Villanueva State Park

Coordinates: 35°15′25″N 105°22′2″W / 35.25694°N 105.36722°W / 35.25694; -105.36722
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Villanueva State Park
Pedestrian bridge over the Pecos River leading to the Vista Trail
Map showing the location of Villanueva State Park
Map showing the location of Villanueva State Park
Location of Villanueva State Park in New Mexico
LocationSan Miguel, New Mexico, United States
Coordinates35°15′25″N 105°22′2″W / 35.25694°N 105.36722°W / 35.25694; -105.36722
Area1,600 acres (6.5 km2)
Elevation5,600 ft (1,700 m)
Governing bodyNew Mexico State Parks Division

Villanueva State Park is a state park of New Mexico, United States, located on the banks of the Pecos River. The park features red and yellow sandstone cliffs, cottonwood trees, and other native plants. Villanueva State Park's elevation is 6,110 feet (1862 m) above sea level.[2] The park sits in the shift from The Rocky Mountains and The Great Plains.[3] The park is located southwest of the town of Las Vegas, 35 miles (56 km) New Mexico.[4] While on the lookout trails of Villanueva State Park, one would be able to view the Pecos River. Water in the Pecos River south headed to Villanueva State Park, there are showed signs of base metals and mercury. Elevated levels of copper, lead, and zinc.[5]


Villanueva State Park's weather stays in the moderate zone for New Mexico. December and January are the coldest months at the park being a low of 23F and a high of 49-50F. The warmest months for Villanueva State Park are in June and July, where the high is 90F and the low reaching 55-59F.

Villanueva State Park was established in 1967, when land was donated by San Miguel del Babo Land Grant Board of Trustees.[6] When the land was granted in 1967, the park was now 67 acres which included 4,800 feet of river access from the park. Later, 3.5 miles of the Pecos River was opened to the public from the park.[6]

State marker inscription[edit]

"Couched between high red sandstone bluffs in a beautiful valley of the Pecos River, this park is located near the picturesque Spanish colonial village of Villanueva. The park offers hiking trails with historical markers and camping/picnicking sites"[7]


Outcrops in the park are of the Recent, Late Pleistocene, and Permian ages. The earliest rocks form the base of the 300 to 500-foot-high cliffs of Glorieta Mesa and were conveyed during the Middle to Late Permian period, around 268-245 million years ago.[8] The earliest rocks belonging to the Permian Yeso Formation formthe lower slopes below the cliffs, withslender bands containinglocalized layers of red-orange calcareous siltstone and dolomitelimestone up to15 feet thick. It consists of alternating layers offine-grained to medium-grained calcareous quartzsandstone.[8]


  1. ^ "Villanueva State Park Management and Development Plan" (PDF). Retrieved January 25, 2011.
  2. ^ "Villanueva State Park". State Parks. Retrieved December 13, 2022.
  3. ^ Liddell, Judith; Hussey, Barbara (2013). Birding Hot Spots of Santa Fe, Taos, and Northern New Mexico. Texas A&M University Press. ISBN 978-1-62349-254-0.[page needed]
  4. ^ New Mexico State Parks Division. "Villanueva State Park". New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department.
  5. ^ "NMGS Fall Field Conference Guidebook - 44". New Mexico Geological Society. Retrieved December 13, 2022.
  6. ^ a b Moffatt, Karl F. (April 28, 2011). "Villanueva State Park is a local treasure". Santa Fe New Mexican.
  7. ^ "Villanueva State Park Historical Marker". The Historical Marker Database. Retrieved December 13, 2022.
  8. ^ a b "Geologic Tour: Villanueva State Park". New Mexico Bureau of Geology & Mineral Resources. Retrieved December 13, 2022.

External links[edit]