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  • Writer's picturelilmyacofield


By Michele Robertson The exploration of Carlsbad’s diverse outdoor recreation opportunities took me to Hackberry Lake OHV (off highway vehicle) Area, which is managed by the BLM (Bureau of Land Management). The terrain here is different from what we’ve explored thus far in the Outdoor Enthusiast column. The desert landscape rolls on and wide open spaces allow unobstructed views of the area. The BLM website says this area is for intensive use of motorcycles, sand dune buggies, and other OHVs. A variety of soils and topographic features offer a day of off-highway adventures. Driving along highway 62/180 towards Hobbs, NM you turn north on SR (state road) 360 for just under six miles. Then turn east onto CR (county road) 222, you will find the parking lot on the north side of the road. The parking lot has five shelters with trash cans, fire rings, a charcoal grill, and plenty of space to set up camp. If you are just there for the day the parking area has plenty of room. There is a vault toilet available as well, but there is no water so come prepared. There are no fees to use the area, and camping is limited to a 14 day stay. Be sure to have the proper registrations in place for your OHV. The Hackberry Lake OHV Area offers more than 55,000 acres of stabilized dune lands and cliffs. The trails take you along the bottom of arroyos and across small draws. Competitive motorcycle events typically occur annually, due to Covid-19 restrictions those events did not happen this year. The typical riding season is from October to May, as the summer months can be too hot for riding. “The tall hills on the Eastern side of Hackberry Lake have a great rockhounding experience as well as a perfect place for a beautiful clean hike,” shares Mark Hollen, outdoor enthusiast and co-founder of Campfire Industries. “The hills are full of Agates, Jaspers, Cherts, Chalcedony roses, as well as very colorful petrified and agatized woods,” Hollen adds. The BLM website tells us that rocks, minerals, semi-precious gemstones, and invertebrate fossils may be collected on public lands without a permit. It is important to note though, that no cultural artifacts may be collected on public lands. These include but are not limited to; arrowheads, stone tools, beads, pottery, broken objects and debris more than 100 years old. As always be prepared when you head outdoors. Check the weather and prepare for forecasted conditions. Bring plenty of water, and practice the 7 principles of Leave No Trace. If you bring it in with you, take it out with you too. #RecreateResponsibly and as you are out and about in Eddy County, if you see large amounts of trash or big items please take the time to report it by calling the Eddy County Code Enforcement Dept at 575-887-9511 ext. 2161 or ext. 2162. Citizens can also file an anonymous trash complaint online at

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