Clayton Lake State Park
141 Clayton Lake Road
Clayton, NM 88415.
PH: (575) 374-8808 / 1888 NM PARKS
Fax: (575) 374-2461
Website: www.claytonlakestatepark.net & http://www.emnrd.state.nm.us/prd/clayton.htm
Park Manager: Charles Jordan
Land: 471 Acres
Lake Surface: 170 Acres
Elevation: 5,040 Feet
Gate Hours: 24hrs
Entrance fee/day/vehicle: $5.00
Camping fee: $10.00
Camping w/electric: $14.00
Annual Day Use: $40.00/vehicle
Annual Camping: NM Resident: $180.00
Annual Camping: Non-Resident: $225.00
Annual Camping: Resident Senior or Disabled: $100.00
Clayton Lake State Park is located 15 miles north of Clayton, Close to New Mexico's border with Colorado, Oklahoma and Texas. The landscape is characterized by rolling grasslands, volcanic rocks, and sandstone bluffs. Set on the western edge of the Great Plains, it was a stopover point for travelers along the Cimarron Cutoff of the Santa Fe Trail.
Visitors today can enjoy picnicking, camping and superb fishing at the park's 170-acre lake, as well as view one of the most extensive dinosaur track ways in North America. Clayton Lake was created by the State Game and Fish Department in 1955 as a fishing lake and winter waterfowl resting area. A dam was constructed across Seneca Creek, which is actually a series of seeps except after heavy rains.
During the fishing season, which usually runs from April to October each year, the lake is a popular spot for anglers hoping to catch trout, catfish, bass and walleye. Boats are allowed on the lake, but are restricted to trolling speeds. The lake is closed to fishing during the winter, when it serves as a stopover for waterfowl. Several duck species including mallards, pintails and teals frequent the lake, and Canada geese and bald eagles are often seen here.
The park offers camping and picnicking facilities, a group shelter, and a modern comfort station. The dinosaur tracks are located on the dam spillway, at the end of a gentle 1/4 mile trail. Best times to view the tracks are in the morning and the late afternoon. A sheltered gazebo and boardwalk trail along the track way provide extensive information regarding the dinosaurs who traveled here so long ago.
You can meet the Park Manager and Rangers here.