And here’s a best-kept secret: if you like friendly small towns, you’ll LOVE Bloomfield, a little community east of Farmington with 8,000-plus friendly souls, small-town prettiness, great small restaurants and lodgings and a location that makes it truly “the heart of the Four Corners.” From Bloomfield, you’re less than a day-trip from Salmon, Aztec or Chaco; you’re practically within an expert cast of the San Juan. You can find your best fishing, day-camping or picnicking sites at the Pine River, Cottonwood or San Juan River campgrounds at Navajo Lake, and still sleep in a comfy bed that night. If all that’s not enticement enough, Janet Mackey at the Bloomfield Chamber offers another—Bloomfield has a brand-new and “wonderful” municipal swimming pool. What could be a better base camp for your Four Corners adventure?

The Four Courners

New Mexico Vacation Directory
Kate McGraw, writer






Many of New Mexico’s parks, like Living Desert Zoo and Gardens State Park near Carlsbad or Elephant Butte Lake State Park near Truth or Consequences or City of Rocks State Park near Deming, are famous throughout the world for their fascinating animal life, recreational beauty or interesting geologic features. Others are less well-known. They are little secrets among New Mexicans, and each of those little secrets has its own secret. For instance, there’s Bottomless Lakes State Park outside Roswell. Bottomless Lakes, so-called because they are very deep, actually is composed of seven small lakes surrounded by high red bluffs. They are a favorite area for a picnic, swimming, hiking or just generally hanging out on the warm beach of Lea Lake admiring the staked plains surrounding the park. Primitive and RV camping is allowed. Saturday nights throughout the summer, park rangers give cultural/historical talks, that visitors find educational and enjoyable.

The Bottomless Lakes secret? Because they are so deep, they are a perfect place to practice scuba-diving. Scuba-diving on the High Plains…ha! Or wander to the top north-central part of New Mexico to Heron Lake State Park, near the small community of Tierra Amarilla, northwest of Taos. Heron is a very picturesque lake, surrounded by tall pines. It is a designated “quiet lake,” where boats operate at no-wake speeds only. In fact, it is a favored spot for sailing aficionados.


The northwest quarter of New Mexico is in what’s called the “Four Corners Region,” referencing the fact that this is the only place in the U.S. where the corners of four states meet neatly – New Mexico, Colorado, Utah and Arizona. A Four Corners Monument marks the spot on the geographic surveys where the corners are contiguous. And indeed, there is a Four Corners Economic Development Agency that is trying to diversify and grow the economy of the region, which is historically dependent on oil and gas production. Director Christa Romme says the agency is concentrating on six different areas, one of which is tourism.