Sunday, April 19, 2020

Much of New Mexico's Outdoors Under Coronavirus Quarantine

Much of New Mexico’s great outdoors including many public campgrounds remain closed due to the Coronavirus Crisis and non-residents are banned from using state parks.

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has ordered schools and many businesses closed and the public to stay home during the crisis.

But she has acknowledged folks still need to get outdoors to exercise and asks they continue social distancing and other precautions while doing so.

 “You can go outside but you must do it cautiously and there are best practices,” Gov. Lujan Grisham stated in a recent news release.  “Avoid crowded trailheads and parking lots, and don’t carpool with people outside your family unit.”

Some guidelines to follow while venturing outdoors include:

  • Stay close to home. Try to limit outdoor recreation to your immediate neighborhood. When traveling avoid other people, limit stops at open businesses and practice preventative measures. Wear a facemask and wash hands often.

  • Be cool. Avoid risky outdoor recreational activities to avoid getting hurt and needing rescue. Take a leisurely hike instead of going rock climbing or mountain biking and give our emergency responders, law enforcement and health care workers a break.

  • Check for closures. Visit the various land management agencies’ websites before venturing out to public lands. Most open spaces are closed right now to protect the public and agency staff. Visit the state’s Outdoor Recreation Division website at for links and lists of closures.

  • Avoid others. Try to limit your recreation to off hours or days to avoid others. Stay away from popular trailheads that are typically crowded and stay closer to home. Get some exercise but stay safe.

Outdoor enthusiasts will find most of the lands managed by the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the National Forest Service (NFS) are still open to the public but some campgrounds, trail heads and roads might be closed. A limited number of state parks have been opened as of May 1 but out-of-state visitors are banned from using them. Visit for more information. Do your homework before venturing out. Campers are advised that campfires are currently prohibited due to fire danger.

When venturing out make sure to wash hands often, wear a facemask and stay at least six feet away from others to minimize possible exposure to the Coronavirus. Out-of-state visitors are required to quarantine in place for two weeks when visiting New Mexico. 

In the meantime visit our library to read great stories and view fabulous pictures of many of New Mexico’s best outdoor recreational activities to better prepared to enjoy them when the crisis is over.

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