Oasis State Park, Portales, NM

This is a holiday weekend (Easter) and I wasn’t able to get a site with hookups so we are technically “boondocking” for 3 nights although I paid for the site.  $10 a night plus a $12 fee for booking online. This small state park is just a few miles from Cannon Air Force Base and Clovis, New Mexico.

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There are 3 designated campgrounds — 4 no hook up sites at Hideaway Campground (where I am); a group campground and group picnic area in the vicinity of the lake; and 19 spots at Indian Grass Campground.  There are electrical and water hookups at Indian Grass Campground and this is where I saw the majority of RVs.  There is a dump station nearby.  The website says the dump station is inoperable but this is inaccurate and the ranger informed me they have been having trouble getting the website updated.

Although 2 of the other 3 available sites where we were had “reserved” signs on them, we never had any neighbors the whole weekend.  I was able to run my generator without worry of annoying anyone.  It’s not as isolated as it looks though because we are just across the road from the visitor’s center.

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Hideaway Campground, site #4
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There is a small pretty lake stocked with bass and catfish and I think the main draw of this state park is the fishing opportunities.  You will be able to walk the whole campground in 1/2 an hour as it’s not a large property.  I think the ranger said a little over one mile.  Although there aren’t any dog designated areas, there are plenty of on-leash walking opportunities.  I liked the fact that I had no neighbors for 3 days because even the cat felt comfortable coming out on his harness and soaking up some sun.

This area attracts bird watchers too.  The visitor’s center has a long list of species you might spot at different times of the year.  I actually was able to see and video a new species to me — Scaled quail.  They look like a mourning dove with a little top knot and they walk like California quail.  The ranger told me she has also spotted horned lizards and tarantulas here at various times of the year.  The dogs did latch on to something moving in the weeds until I pulled them off, don’t know if it was a lizard or rodent.

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Scaled quail

Yesterday there was a large family group using the day use picnic area and playground.  I imagine with this park being so close to the Air Force Base and two towns, that it does get a bit of use, even though it seems so isolated when you are here.  The visitor center is open 7 days a week from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., although they do close it when they are out on the grounds.

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Visitor’s Center
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Path from picnic area to the lake (a very short walk)

There are plenty of small potty buildings and two restroom buildings. I also like the fact that, instead of one big dumpster in a single locale, there are trash cans with attached lids almost everywhere.  You don’t have to walk very far with a full poop bag in your hands.  There are a few trails leading off into the dunes as well, although I don’t know if these are designated trails or just areas that have gotten worn down so much they now look like designated trails.

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One of the “sand dune” trails
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Bathhouse and restroom
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Indian Grasslands camping area
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Trail to the lake
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Entrance to the Indian Grasslands camping area. There is no registration booth at the Hideaway campground.
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Hideaway Campground

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