New Mexico's Hopewell Lake

Update: The lake is closed for 1998.

by Phil Rowe

High in New Mexico's northern mountains, between Tres Piedras and Tierra Amarilla on US-64, you'll discover a beautiful small lake and campsite. At 9400 feet above sea level the lake is primarily the result of snowmelt and runoff from the surrounding slopes.hopewell.jpg (35001 bytes)

There is a small primitive campground on the eastern shore and up into the pines and aspens. You will not find water, electric or sewer connections. The setting is beautiful and getting there couldn't be easier, though roads within the campground area are a bit bumpy. Campers are advised to bring their own drinking water as the lake water is not safe to drink. And bring warm clothing, even in mid-summer, for the nights get cold quickly after sunset.

Fishing is pretty good, especially since the lake is stocked from time to time with trout. Pan-sized catches are great sport and good eating, though catch-and release is encouraged. There is an easy walking trail all around the lake. You won't really want to bring your boat. It's only a 26 acre body of water, but few are as accessible in high country settings.

The season is short up there in the high country. Campers arriving in June may still find the roads blocked by snow drifts. It's better to wait until July. And winter arrives early. There can be new snow again in late September or Early October. U.S. Route 64 is not a year-round road, often closed by heavy snows for several weeks in mid-winter.

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