New Mexico EMNRD
1 hour, 35 minutes
Campgrounds. Boat ramps and docks. Visitor Center. Showers. Restrooms. Picnic areas.
Clayton Lake State Park is a small bit of land that surrounds a man-made lake. It is mostly known for the lake, a respite from the hot climate and somewhat barren surroundings. In addition to the lake, the park is knows for a series of dinosaur tracks that were discovered during the spillway construction.
The property is heavily developed with paved roads, five different campgrounds, picnic areas with pagodas, and an abundance of parking areas. The park's remote location away from town and any through-highways give it a quiet atmosphere with dark skies for stargazing. It is especially quiet, almost solitary, during the off-season months.
There is a fee for New Mexico State Parks, either paid per day or annually.
Hiking Opportunities: There are two short trails: The first is a short flat walk on a roadway to the dam spillway that leads to the boardwalk over the dinosaur tracks. The second is a short and easy nature trail on the north end of the park.
Paddling Opportunities: It would be a nice lake for paddling, an interesting shoreline and an entire side of the lake that's inaccessible by walking. But it's also open to motorboats (trolling speed only), which seems unnecessary considering the small size of the lake.
Camping Opportunities: Clayton Lake State Park has five different campgrounds, some with RV hookups but all made for vehicle access. There are no walk-in camping spots, and backcountry camping is not available.
Official website: Link
Official park map: pdf file