Have you ever seen the Milky Way with your bare eyes? If not, this is the place to see it! Stargazing is otherworldly at Clayton Lake State Park and Dinosaur Trackways! Located 15 miles north of Clayton, New Mexico, and 4 hours from The University of New Mexico Main Campus, this state park is a celestial haven for hobby and professional astronomers alike. In 2010, this state park was designated as New Mexico’s first dark sky park and maintains its status as an International Dark Sky Park. If you visit during a new moon weekend (less light pollution!), be sure to attend a star party for a close-up look at the stars at the Observatory.
During the day, there are trails to wander as nature surrounds you. Explore a blast from the past when you take the trail to the dinosaur trackways. With over five hundred dinosaur footprints, Clayton is known as one of the best preserved and most extensive dino track sites in the United States. The 170-acre recreational reservoir is perfect for boating, canoeing, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, hiking, camping and even bass fishing. Whether you are seeking solitude or quality time with friends and family, the park supplies a space and an opportunity to unwind amidst breathtaking surroundings. Well worth the drive.
Stop by the UNM Outdoor Adventure Center for camping gear rentals, stand-up paddle board rentals, and more. Learn more here.