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Oliver Lee Memorial State Park

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Oliver Lee Memorial State Park –  historical state park


Set against the dramatic Sacramento Mountains, this park features a historic ranch house, quiet camping in the Chihuahuan Desert, and pools of water under the cottonwood trees of Dog Canyon.  Springs flow year-round and ferns cling to the sides of mossy rocks.  The water in Dog Canyon has attracted people to the area for millennia.

The park’s namesake, Oliver Milton Lee (1865-1941) was a colorful figure in New Mexico history.  In 1893 he settled at the mouth of Dog Canyon and built an extensive house at his ranch headquarters.  At its peak, his holdings reached about one million acres.  Oliver Lee explored ways of bringing water to the dry Tularosa Basin and was instrumental in establishing the town of Alamogordo.  Lee is also credited for using his influence to attract the railroad to the area.

Oliver Lee’s home at Dog Canyon Ranch has been completely rebuilt from ruins.  It is authentically furnished providing visitors with a glimpse of Lee’s life at the ranch. The house is closed for renovations. Please monitor the park events page to find out when tours resume.

Want to Visit?

The campground, just southwest of the mouth of Dog Canyon, is dry and rocky with desert grasses, mesquite, ocotillo, creosote, yucca, and various species of cacti. The sites vary widely in elevation offering privacy and incredible views across the Tularosa Basin. 

Travel Tips:

  • Peak season for the park is October through April
  • Park Elevation 4,400 ft
  • We are the closest campground to White Sands National Park (30 min. / 27 miles)
  • The park makes an excellent base for day trips
    • Ruidoso 1.25 hours / 66 miles
    • Three Rivers Petroglyph Site 56 min. / 50 miles
    • Cloudcroft 44 min. / 35 miles
  • There are attractions in Alamogordo less than 30 minutes away
    • Alameda Park Zoo
    • New Mexico Museum of Space History
    • Heart of the Desert Pistachios & Wine
    • McGinn’s Pistachio Land
  • The nearby Lincoln National Forest offers miles of trails ranging from very easy to very challenging



  • Camping
  • Education Programs
  • Picnicking
  • Trails:
    • Hiking
    • Interpretive Trails
  • Wildlife Viewing
    • Birding
  •  Guided Tours of the Historic Oliver Lee Ranch House -Contact Park for current schedule

  • Campground Facilities:
    • 15 water + electric (30 amp)
    • 1 ADA water + electric (50 amp)
    • Dump station
    • 24 developed dry sites (8 with tent pads)
    • 2 ADA developed dry sites
    • 6 water hydrants for non-electric sites
  • Reservation Sites Year Round:
    • June through September
      • 15 water & electric (30 amp)
      • 1 ADA water + electric (50 amp)
      • 12 ADA non-electric
    • 14 water & electric (30 amp)
    • 1 water & electric (50 amp)
    • 2 ADA non-electric
    • 1 ADA water & electric 50 amp
    • 24 non-electric
  • Primitive Camping: None
  • Restrooms:
    • Restrooms with water
    • Showers
    • Vault Toilets
  • Gardens
  • Group Facilities (To book, please email
    • Group Picnic Shelter
    • Group Campsite
  • Historic Sites
  • Visitor Center
  • Exhibits


409 Dog Canyon Rd.
Alamogordo, NM 88310

Landline (575) 437-8284

(505) 660-7381

​(8 miles south of Alamogordo via US 54 and 4 miles east via Dog Canyon Road)


Kate German
Park Manager