Leasburg Dam State Park


Overlooking the Rio Grande at Leasburg Dam State Park
Overlooking the Rio Grande at Leasburg Dam State Park
Leasburg Dam State Park Visitor Center

The Leasburg Diversion Dam was built on the Rio Grande in 1908. Its purpose was to divert water into the Leasburg Canal to irrigate about 31,600 acres of agricultural land in the upper Mesilla Valley. Leasburg Dam State Park is a 240-acre property around that dam. About one mile of the Rio Grande bisects the park: the developed area is east of the river with a wildlife refuge west of the river. Leasburg Dam State Park is adjacent to Fort Selden State Monument.

Leasburg Dam State Park offers a visitor center, group picnic shelter, single picnic shelters (with tables and barbecue grills), 31 developed campsites (with electric hookups), an RV dump station, playground, restrooms and showers. Activities available at Leasburg Dam State Park include picnicking, fishing, hiking, swimming and wildlife watching. There are interpretive exhibits on the property and park rangers lead regular campfire programs during the summer months. The park also offers an amphitheater and an observation deck with a lookout point above the Rio Grande.

To get there: Exit Interstate 25 at exit 19 and go west on New Mexico Highway 157 to the park entrance. The park gate is open from 7 am to sunset, seven days a week.

Fees: Day-use: $5 per vehicle; Pedestrians and bicyclists get in free. Camping: Primitive sites: $8 per site per night. Developed sites: $10 per site per night. Developed site with either electric or sewer: $14 per site per night. Developed site with both electric and sewer: $18 per site per night. Water hookups aren't always available but when they are, they're free.

Picnic site beside the Rio Grande at Leasburg Dam State Park
Picnic site beside the Rio Grande
Upper left photo courtesy of New Mexico State Parks
Other photos courtesy of Erica Asmus-Otero, New Mexico State Parks