SP Campground Review – Elephant Butte Lake State Park, Truth or Consequences, NM

Gorgeous Elephant Butte Lake

A lovely and relaxing State Park by beautiful Elephant Butte Lake in middle NM. We stayed at the northern-most campground (Monticello).

Link to campground here: Elephant Butte Lake State Park, NM
Link to map location here: Elephant Butte Lake State Park, NM

  1. Site Quality = 5/5
    We stayed at the Monticello campground and there is an excellent selection of sites here. They are all very large, flat gravel sites with water/electric, shelters, picnic table and fire-pits and great separation. Pull-through sites have 50Amp. Nicest lake views are in the front reservation loops (#16-30), but many other sites have slices of lake view or beautiful mountain views.
  2.  Facilities = 3.5/5
    Good facilities. Flush toilets and showers, all spacious and kept nicely clean. Only ding is that (like all the state parks here) they have that timer button on the shower. All campgrounds have access to the lake with boat ramp and fishing opportunities. On-site dump station.
  3. Location = 5/5
    We just loved the location here. You’re right by a lake with lots of water activities and hiking trails. Also very close to Truth and Consequences for spa/hot-springs and basic shopping needs (Walmart). Plenty of short day-trips to do in the area including visiting local ghost towns (Kingston and Hillsboro).
  4. Pet Friendliness = 5/5
    Excellent doggie park. Plenty of space to hang out and play, plus daily walks down to splash around in the lake

Overall Rating = 4.6
 Enjoy wide open space and gorgeous views of Elephant Butte Lake

Summary: Elephant Butte is New Mexico’s largest body of water and the State Park is one of their most popular. The first thing to understand is there are two “major” campgrounds separated by ~10 miles. The Southern-most one (clearly marked on exits 79 & 83 on Hwy I-25, includes Lions Loop, Quail Run, Desert Cove) is their main one and has more developed facilities (e.g. swim-beach, marina), whereas their northern one (not marked on exit 89 on Hwy I-25, called South Monticello campground) is more relaxed and quiet. We of course, chose Monticello and were very, very happy with it. The sites here are very large, flat, gravel with water/electric, picnic table, shelters, fire-pit, great separation and lovely, open views. Most open lake views are in the 2 front reservation loops (sites (#16-30), but all sites are nice, in our opinion. We ended up extending our stay twice so we switched sites a few times. Despite being a popular park, the more remote Monticello campground was only ~1/2 full on the week-end and stayed very quiet/relaxed. Overall we had a blast visiting Truth and Consequences, hiking around the area, soaking in the sunsets and splashing in the lake. We would definitely come back.

Extra Info:  Full Verizon coverage via phone and aircard. Sites cost $14/night for water/30 or 50Amp electric. Camping fees can be covered with New Mexico Annual Camping Permit. Approx. half of sites are reservable, half are first-come-first-serve. On-site dump station.

Our first site at Elephant Butte (reservation site #19). We thought it the nicest-view site in the campground.
Typical back-in-site (#21 on left)
Typical 50Amp pull-through (#9 shown)
View of shelter, picnic table and fire-pit at each site
View down reservation loop (we’re in #19 in the very back)
View down side of loop in non-reservation section. This was our 2nd site (#33)
Another view of non-reservation section (#32 on right)
Soaking in the evening view at our campsite
View of facilities in middle of campground
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We LOooVE Comments, So Please Do

  1. says

    Wanted to let you know how much I love your campground reviews! They are way better than what I’m used to seeing. In fact your entire website is incredibly comprehensive. Thanks for taking the time. It is much appreciated!

  2. mariettta says

    Great review, fantastic photos! I may have to make Elephant Butte my next stop! Workamping currently at Sacred Rocks Reserve in Boulevard, Ca. Very beautiful and peaceful environment high in the desert/mountain area East of San Diego. I’m really enjoying your blog! Hope to meet somewhere on the road one day!

    • libertatemamo says

      So happy you’re enjoying the blog. New Mexico is just wonderful!
      I’ll have to check out Sacred Rocks.
      We lived in San Diego for several years and I totally missed it!
      Always cool to get tips on spots to go to.

  3. Heidi says

    Thank you for your reviews! My hubby and I were just trying to find some info on Elephant Butte for a possible quick camping trip with the kids this weekend and I found you guys! How funny that you guys are there now! Is it beautiful!?! We live in the East Mountains of ABQ and are trying to pick a spot for a fun get a way!

    • libertatemamo says

      Oh, I thought it was gorgeous! We actually extended our stay because we enjoyed it so much. The Northern (Monticello) campround is definitely the more “remote” one. The Southern campground has swim beach and more “stuff”, so depends a bit on what your family likes best. Both have access to the lake and water. All my pics are from the Monticello location. The nearby town (Truth or Consequences) is a pretty sleepy little place. Nice for spas/hot springs, but not alot else going on. Personally, I really enjoy that kind of remote, relaxing stay. You can see more pics of the area and lake in my previous 3 posts.

  4. says

    What a wonderful review of Monticello Campground at EB Lake State Park! It makes me want to take off & camp there, even though it’s only a half hour from where we live. In our five years here, we have driven to many out of the way places but have never been to Monticello campground. One of our favorite spots to day trip mid-week is Long Point on EB Lake. Btw, your photos look familiar; when you were in Truth or Consequences, did you stop by my boutique? Have you been to the Three Rivers Petroglyph’s campground? We are thinking of going there in July.

    • libertatemamo says

      Happy you like the review and we DID stop by the boutique (lovely spot!).
      We haven’t been to Three Rivers since the trails
      arn’t dog friendly (always a show-stopper for us), but I’ve heard good things about
      the campground. Enjoy your trip!


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