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Press Release

Phased Reopening of State Parks to Begin May 1st

May 1, 2020 | Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources Department, Press Release, Recreation

Santa Fe – Today the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department’s (EMNRD) State Parks Division announces that eight State Parks will begin to reopen for day-use only beginning May 1st. Overnight use and campgrounds remain closed and all events through the end of May have been canceled. In addition, there will be capacity limits at many re-opened State Parks.

The first parks open for day-use on May 1st are: Cimarron Canyon, Ute Lake, Brantley Lake, Sumner Lake, Caballo Lake, Cerrillos Hills, Storrie Lake, and Villanueva. Remaining State Parks will be opened in future phases.

Day-use fees will be waived to decrease person-to-person interaction through May 15th. Visitors with overnight camping reservations through May 15th will be issued a refund. The phased reopening considers availability of park staff and resources, characteristics of the park, and the ability to social distance once in the park. The public is encouraged to visit parks near their homes to reduce traveling for the protection of local communities.

Park staff will be managing for the use of State Parks in line with the Centers for Disease Control and Occupational Safety and Health Administration guidelines to reduce the spread of COVID19. Additional information about social distancing and hygiene will be posted throughout parks to ensure visitor safety. State Parks is committed to ensuring that facilities are clean and sanitary and will take extra precautions to enhance their cleanliness.

Days and hours of park day-use openings vary across the system. For details on specific parks information visit the State Parks website and know before you go. Information to verify before your visit:

  • State Parks that are open to day-use access and specific hours of operation
  • Visitor capacity guidelines for each State Park
  • Social distancing information
  • Group size restrictions
  • Available facilities
  • Park visitor etiquette
  • Useful supplies to bring including personal cleaning and sanitation products

Additional restrictions include:

  • Hours of operation may be limited
  • No overnight park use
  • Visitor centers and indoor facilities remain closed
  • Water access and trails will be open, but access may be limited to adhere to social distancing requirements
  • Comfort stations closed in order to ensure social distance; vault toilets open
  • No group shelter use or large organized events, in accordance with continued restrictions on mass gatherings
  • Playgrounds closed
  • No campfires or open fires
  • Limited concession operations

To ensure the safety of visitors, Parks staff, and local communities, EMNRD thanks our visitors for continuing to adhere to social distancing and hygiene guidelines while visiting our parks. Additional details on reopening facilities will be provided when it is deemed safe to do so.