Nestled in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains is the beautiful 30-acre Morphy Lake State Park. Part of the Mora Land Grant that was established in 1835 by Col. Albino Perez, the lake served as an important asset for the Mora and Las Vegas communities, as well as Fort Union. A lot of work has been done to the park since then, such as the dam that was constructed in 1930 to allow the lake to store more water. Later in 1965, it was leased to the state as an official state park and remains as one of the state’s smallest.
Just 7 miles southwest of town, Morphy Lake attracts visitors year-round for its one of a kind outdoor experience. Accessibility is not the easiest, as it is reached by a narrow, 3-mile dirt road. However, the trek is definitely worth it once travelers arrive and take in the picturesque scenery. There are 60 campsites throughout the park and RV’s are welcomed; just be prepared as camping is primitive. Campers can find picnic tables and toilet facilities available.
In addition to camping, non-motorized boats and canoes are allowed and quite prominent on the 15-acre lake. The park possesses an abundance of rainbow and native German brown trout stocked by the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish. This makes it the perfect fishing spot both in the summer and winter for ice fishing. Visitors also enjoy the wildlife viewing as many types of birds, coyotes, deer, and other wild animals can be seen throughout the park. Prices start at $5 a car, but unfortunately Morphy Lake is closed for dam renovation and there is currently no set date to reopen the park.