Oliver Lee Memorial State Park

Written by on January 23, 2016 in NM Outdoor Adventures - Comments Off on Oliver Lee Memorial State Park

Oliver Lee Memorial State Park
Set at the desert foot of the dramatic Sacramento Mountains, Oliver Lee Memorial State Park in New Mexico is a great place to camp during the Spring, Fall and Winter months. The view from the campground includes the White Sands, the Organ and the San Andreas Mountains, as well as the nearby Sacramento Mountains. Water flows year-round in Dog Canyon where the park is situated, creating a quiet green oasis in contrast to the surrounding prickly desert setting. The 180-acre canyon was an early Apache stronghold, and records show that at least five major battles occurred in the area between government troops and Mescalero Apaches.

People are drawn to the area for its surprising beauty and the contrast between the arid desert terrain and the green oasis. It’s also a great place to go hiking. The Dog Canyon Recreation Trail starts in the park and heads up into the Lincoln National Forest. The trail offers stunning views of White Sands National Monument as well as a 6-mile challenging climb.

The park’s namesake, Oliver Milton Lee (1865-1941), was a rancher, U.S. marshal, and gunman (described as a crack shot with any weapon) and one of the most colorful characters in New Mexico history. Later is life he became quite a prominent cattle rancher in the area. You can experience the life of a 19th century cattle king through guided tours of Oliver Lee’s ranch headquarters.

The park is great for camping, hiking and enjoying the desert, but offers few amenities. The nearest town is Alamogordo, where you can find lodging, dining and shopping as well as some fun activities like the Alameda Park and Zoo, the Cloud Climbing Rail Trial (formerly the old Alamogordo and Sacramento Mountain Railroad, now a hiking trail) and the New Mexico Museum of Space History. A few miles away is White Sands National Monument, another fun place to visit while staying in the area.

Oliver Lee Memorial State Park
409 Dog Canyon
Alamogordo, NM 88310
Phone: 575-437-8284

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