360° VR Panoramas of Southern New Mexico
Bottomless Lakes State Park
East of Roswell, New Mexico


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Lazy Lagoon consists of three adjacent sinkholes

Lazy Lagoon consists of three adjacent sinkholes

Lazy Lagoon is the first of the Bottomless Lakes encountered when coming from Carlsbad. The outlines of three round sinkholes can be seen through the clear water.

Bottomless Lakes State Park, near Roswell, New Mexico

Date photographed: April 8, 2014
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Cottonwood Lake, a cliff-encircled sinkhole

Cottonwood Lake, a cliff-encircled sinkhole

The Bottomless Lakes near Carlsbad are sinkholes created when the limestone and gypsum rock dissolves and is carried away, followed by collapse into subterranean voids. They vary from 20 to 80 feet deep.

Bottomless Lakes State Park, near Roswell, New Mexico

Date photographed: April 8, 2014
See location in Google Maps

Lake-in-the-Making and the trail to a viewpoint above Mirror Lake

Lake-in-the-Making and the trail to a viewpoint above Mirror Lake

The name says it all - the second in the row of sinkholes has not collapsed far enough to contact the water table, so it is dry. But, very soon in geologic terms, it will become another lake.

Bottomless Lakes State Park, near Roswell, New Mexico

Date photographed: April 8, 2014
See location in Google Maps

Figure Eight Lake at Bottomless Lakes

Figure Eight Lake at Bottomless Lakes

This twin lake has fish in the larger pool, but none in the more alkaline smaller part

Bottomless Lakes State Park, near Roswell, New Mexico

Date photographed: April 8, 2014
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Inkwell Lake is popular for fishing

Inkwell Lake is popular for fishing

Despite their small size the sinkhole Bottomless Lakes are popular fishing spots

Bottomless Lakes State Park, near Roswell, New Mexico

Date photographed: April 8, 2014
See location in Google Maps

Pasture Lake at Bottomless Lakes

Pasture Lake at Bottomless Lakes

Pasture Lake shows a broad band of white alkali where evaporation has exceeded infiltration and the water level has consequently dropped

Bottomless Lakes State Park, near Roswell, New Mexico

Date photographed: April 8, 2014
See location in Google Maps

Lea Lake was Elaborately developed by the CCC in the 1930's

Lea Lake was Elaborately developed by the CCC in the 1930's

One of the most ambitious projects undertaken by the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) in New Mexico was the complex of recreational facilities at Lea Lake - restrooms, changing rooms, sun shelters and cabins. The four story tower originally supported a water tank, but is now closed.

Bottomless Lakes State Park, near Roswell, New Mexico

Date photographed: April 8, 2014
See location in Google Maps

Deep cracks and dangerous cliffs above Lea Lake

Deep cracks and dangerous cliffs above Lea Lake

The geologic processes that created the Bottomless Lakes are ongoing, and deep cracks mark the edges of the sinkholes. A month before I was there an entire family had to be rescued from this set of fissures and cliffs.

Bottomless Lakes State Park, near Roswell, New Mexico

Date photographed: April 8, 2014
See location in Google Maps

Lea Lake is the largest of the Bottomless Lakes and is 90 feet deep

Lea Lake is the largest of the Bottomless Lakes and is 90 feet deep

The so-called bottomless lakes are flooded sinkholes. They were formed when massive gypsum deposits dissolved and were leached away, then overlying rocks collapsed into the void. Lea Lake was extensively developed by the CCC in the 1930's and is today a very popular park.

Bottomless Lakes State Park, near Roswell, New Mexico

Date photographed: April 8, 2014
See location in Google Maps

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