Springer Lake, NM

As I’ve written before I like to boondock camp. A nice free location when north of Las Vegas, New Mexico, on I-25 is Springer Lake State Wildlife Area. This location is near another favorite location: Maxwell National Wildlife Refuge.

Looking north from the Springer Lake campground area.
High prairie and mountains in the background.
Looking south at more prairie and mountains in the distance.

Getting to the Springer Lake involves driving along a few miles on a well maintained gravel road. The last short section of dirt road to get to the campground isn’t maintained so be aware of mud and snow.

Here is a link to a PDF download with map directions and some more information about Springer Lake –


The campground is on the southern side of the lake surrounded by a barbed wire fence (to keep the cows out); next to the poorly maintained boat launch ramp. Enter the ‘human corral’ by the dumpster crossing a cattle guard. Choose your spot by one of the half-dozen concrete picnic tables.

One of the picnic tables with the pit toilet in the background.

The grounds are basic – just tables, occasionally mowed grass and a pit toilet. The ground is mostly flat so leveling isn’t difficult. No campfires are allowed! The toilet is in good condition, though I’m not sure how often it is serviced – I recommend you bring your own toilet paper!

On a clear night the stars and moon are amazing – there is no light pollution! This is great place to see the Milky Way or search for plants using a telescope.

I have stayed at Springer Lake many times and all but once I was the only person at the location. During my stays I usually hear coyotes and see at least a few antelope. The morning of my February 2019 visit there was a herd of 50+! Ducks paddle on the lake.

The wind can blow strongly. It is also gusty. My visits have been in the winter so nights are very cold.

This is a great location for truck campers or those with rigs and/or trailers willing to drive along a gravel road and splash through a few puddles.

Springer Lake is great truck camper location!

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