Heron Lake State Park RV & Campground Guide

New Mexico

Glide across brilliant blue waters in a sailboat or paddle through rocky inlets at Heron Lake State Park, a stunning spot located in the far northern reaches of New Mexico. If you listen closely, all you'll hear are the sounds of the wind rushing through the pines — this is a wake-free "quiet lake." The guaranteed serenity makes it a spectacular destination for all manner of silent sports, including kayaking, fishing, hiking, and cross-country skiing. No matter how you choose to explore, you'll be rewarded with panoramic views across the water to the forested cliffs. The park feels remote, but Los Ojos is just 10 miles away, and Santa Fe lies 100 miles to the south.

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Weather
Spring 25-65 F
Summer 40-85 F
Fall 30-70 F
Winter 6-40 F
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Nearby Cities
Los Ojos, NM
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RV Resorts & Campsites in Heron Lake State Park

Heron Lake State Park sits at more than 7,000 feet above sea level, which means that evenings are cool year-round. An RV is the perfect way to camp in complete comfort. If you haven't purchased a motorhome yet, an RV rental is a fun way to upgrade your trip and give your dream model a test run.

Heron Lake State Park Campground

With 250 campsites, the Heron Lake State Park campground has plenty of space for the summer crowds. Reserve in advance, and you'll have a better chance at snagging one of the 54 sites with electric hookups. Within the campground, you'll find a dump station and water, as well as showers and bathrooms. Most sites accommodate RVs up to 50 feet long, giving you plenty of space to park and set up camp. Campsites are $10 for a basic spot and $14 for a site with electricity.

Trout Lakes Campground

Sleep among the trees at Trout Lakes Campground, which is located 35 miles from Heron Lake. It's set high in the mountains near a series of small lakes, so bring your fishing gear and spend quiet afternoons casting for trout. This is a quiet, relaxing spot with just five campsites. The campground is primitive; be prepared to pack out all waste and use the bathroom in your RV. Keep in mind that the road can be rough, so this is best for small RVs. Sites are free and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Rio Chama RV Park

With its shaded sites and stunning forest surroundings, Rio Chama RV Park is a picturesque spot to set up camp. Ask about sites next to the Rio Chama for the best views. This campground offers full hookups and pull-through sites up to 60 feet long; big rigs are welcome, and the camp store offers a range of RV supplies. Every site has a fire pit, picnic table, and access to the park's free Wi-Fi network. A few steps from camp, you can fish from the shore in the Rio Chama. Rates range from $27 to $49 per night for RV sites, with excellent discounts for weekly stays.

El Vado Lake State Park Campground

With a variety of basic and electric campsites, El Vado Lake State Park campground is a great alternative when the Heron Lake State Park campground is full. Sites are close to the massive El Vado Lake as well as the boat launch and hiking trails. There's a playground nearby for little ones; the park also offers showers, modern bathrooms, and a dump station. Expect to pay $10 for basic sites and $14 for spots with electric hookups.

RV Rentals Near Heron Lake State Park

Nearby RV Rentals

Restaurants

What to Do at
Heron Lake State Park

Inside Heron Lake State Park

The centerpiece of Heron Lake State Park is the lake itself — with its large surface area and breathtaking surroundings, it's perfect for swimming and boating. Canoeing, kayaking, and sailing are popular activities; if you bring a motorboat, keep in mind that you must travel at no-wake speeds. While you're on the water, try fishing for the trout and salmon that live in the depths. You can also explore the shoreline on foot or by bike using the scenic seven-mile trail network. If you are coming in the winter, bring your ice-fishing gear snowshoes or cross-country skis.

Outside Heron Lake State Park

The rugged New Mexico wilderness surrounds Heron Lake State Park; it's a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Hiking, biking, and fishing opportunities abound. The nearest dining options are located in Chama, which is about 19 miles north.

Restaurants

Chama Grill

Grab a quick meal on the go at Chama Grill, which serves diner classics like chili, Philly cheesesteaks, and more.

Type: American

Location: 2701 US-84, Chama, NM 87520

Glorybry's Taco House

The name says it all at Glorybry's Taco House — this low-key spot serves excellent tacos. You can also choose from a small selection of Mexican dishes, including burritos and taquitos.

Type: Mexican

Location: 2000 NM-17, Chama, NM 87520

Patsy's Restaurant & Bakery

With its eclectic menu, Patsy's Restaurant & Bakery caters to a range of tastes. The Mexican entrees are particularly delicious; locals love the sopapillas.

Type: Mexican

Location: 1810 NM-17, Chama, NM 87520

Felicianos Homerun Pizza

One of the only pizza joints near Heron Lake State Park, Felicianos Homerun Pizza is a great option for grab-and-go meals. The menu also includes hot sandwiches, chicken strips, and other American classics.

Type: Pizza

Location: 1201 NM-17, Chama, NM 87520

Fina's Diner

If you're in the mood for a patty melt or a traditional breakfast, Fina's Diner is the place to go. It's open for breakfast and lunch; check out the excellent Mexican options.

Type: American

Location: 2298 NM-17, Chama, NM 87520

Shopping

Tierra Wools

Set just 10 miles from Heron Lake State Park, Tierra Wools is an unexpected gem. Its stock of handmade wool items comes from locally raised sheep; be sure to ask about weaving classes and workshop tours.

Location: 91 Main St, Los Ojos, NM 87551

Henrys True Value Hardware

Pick up tools and other RV and camping supplies at Henrys True Value Hardware, which is a short drive from the park.

Location: 17342 US-84, Tierra Amarilla, NM 87575

Mountainview Mall

Browse everything from cheese to clothing at Mountainview Mall, a friendly spot in Chama.

Location: 503 Terrace Ave, Chama, NM 87520

Lowes Grocery store

Whether you need a quick resupply or a full grocery-shopping trip, Lowes Grocery store has you covered.

Location: US-64, Chama, NM 87520

Sightseeing

Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad

Take a relaxing train trip through the spectacular mountains of northern New Mexico on the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad. During the ride, you'll see massive gorges, meadows covered in flowers, and stunning peaks. This historic steam train has been in operation since the late 1800s and is suitable for families and people of all ages.

Location: Chama, New Mexico

Fly-Fish the Rio Chama

If you’re an angler, fly-fishing on the Rio Chama is sure to be the highlight of your vacation. This river is known for its massive brown trout; it's not uncommon to reel in a 20-pound catch. Access the river from El Vado Lake, which lies just south of Heron Lake State Park.

Location: Rio Arriba County, New Mexico

El Vado Lake State Park

Experience another of New Mexico’s spectacular lakes at El Vado Lake State Park. This is a great option if you want to bring a motorboat; water sports are allowed, and the 3,200 acres of water gives you plenty of room to play. Prefer to hike? A 5.5-mile trail leads from Heron Lake State Park to El Vado, making it an accessible daylong adventure.

Location: Rio Arriba County, New Mexico

Fishtail Ranch

Explore the wild New Mexico landscape with Fishtail Ranch Outfitters. Accompanied by an expert guide, you'll join a fair-chase elk hunt or take a guided fishing trip to remote mountain streams. Many of the fishing excursions are family-friendly and include all gear, so they're a great option for beginners.

Location: Chama, New Mexico

Stone Lake

Fish for rainbow trout at Stone Lake, a small body of water located a short drive from Heron Lake State Park. This is a no-wake lake; launch your canoe or kayak from the boat ramp.

Location: Rio Arriba County, New Mexico

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How to Get to
Heron Lake State Park

The easiest way to reach Heron Lake State Park is from Santa Fe; from town, simply follow Highway 84 north. Head west on NM-95 just after Los Ojos, and you'll hit the park after a short drive. If you're coming from Taos, take Highway 64 west.

Entering Heron Lake State Park

Heron Lake State Park is open to visitors year-round; be sure to check the availability of facilities during the winter months.

Day-use per vehicle : $5

If you're planning to paddle, hike, or fish Heron Lake State Park, RVshare wants to know what you think. Email your favorite stories, tips, and snapshots to [email protected], or simply tag RVshare when you post about the trip on social media.