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The northeastern corner of the state of Mexico is home to the Tucumcari Destination. This region is partially bordered by Colorado, Texas, and Oklahoma. Cities that can be found in the area include the destination's namesake, Tucumcari, in addition to Melrose, Hayden, Springer, Des Moines, and Cimarron, among others. Tucumcari's name is derived from the Comanche term"tukanukaru," which translates into the phrase "to lie in wait for something to approach."[1] As of 2023, Tucumcari has a population of 5,118 people, establishing it as the 35th largest city in New Mexico.[2] Fort Sumner, another city in the destination, hosts a population of 1,031 residents.[3] Various attractions are located within the region, some being the Tucumcari Historical Museum, Bishop's Handmade Boots, Tee Pee Curios, Meslands Dinosaur Museum, and the Tucumcari Mural Tour,  which features over 40 murals.[4] Those looking to participate in warm-weather activities are advised to visit the destination between mid-May to late September. The temperature varies throughout the year from 26°F to 94°F on average.[5] Two notable lakes in the region include Conchas Lake and Lake Sumner. Conchas Lake is a 25-mile reservoir, which is formed by the Conchas Dam located on the Canadian River.[6]

What Tucumcari is known for

The Tucumcari Destination is located in the state of New Mexico, specifically in the northeastern corner along the state’s border with Colorado and Texas. Various cities can be found in the region, namely Springer, Melrose, Hayden, Cimarron, Des Moines, and Tucumcari, the namesake of the destination. Tucumcari, New Mexico, owes its name to its origins rooted in the Comanche culture. Specifically, the name is derived from the Comanche term "tukanukaru," meaning "to lie in wait for something to approach." During the mid-19th century, the area's flat-topped peak played a role as a lookout point for Comanche raiders, who concealed themselves while waiting to pounce on unsuspecting cowboys herding cattle along the well-traveled Chisolm and Comanchero Trails.[1]

Tucumcari, New Mexico, situated in Quay County, has a population of 5,118 people as of 2023, making it the 35th largest city in the state and the 4,740th largest in the United States. However, the city is experiencing a population decline at an annual rate of -0.85%. Notably, there has been a decrease -2.55% decrease since the 2020 census, which reported 5,252 people living within the borders of the city. Spanning over 10 miles, Tucumcari has a population density of 538 people per square mile. The city's racial composition includes 72.64% White, 13.05% other races, 8.48% two or more races, 2.42% Native American, 1.38% Asian, 1.07% Black or African American, and 0.96% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander.[2]

Another city in the destination is Fort Sumner, located just below Lake Sumner, specifically in De Baca County, New Mexico, which serves as a village and the county seat. As of the 2010 U.S. Census, the population stood at 1,031 people, a decrease from the 1,249 residents recorded in 2000. The village hosts the Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility during the spring and fall seasons. Moreover, Fort Sumner holds historical significance as the burial site of a relatively well-known outlaw, Billy the Kid, who met his demise there in 1881.[3]

Tucumcari, New Mexico, is a city along Interstate 40, known for its historic buildings, architecture, and neon signs, making it a fairly popular stop for travelers on Route 66. Visitors can explore the city's heritage through museums and the Tucumcari Mural Tour, showcasing over 40 murals depicting the area's history. The Mesalands Dinosaur Museum offers real fossil displays and life-sized bronze dinosaur sculptures. Tucumcari Ranch Supply provides locally-made products, including Watson's BBQ. The Tucumcari Historical Museum offers a wide range of artifacts, and Bishop's Handmade Boots sells custom-made cowboy boots and special gifts.[4]


Colorado and Texas border a relatively large portion of the Tucumcari Destination, with Oklahoma also bordering a fairly smaller part of the region. The area is situated primarily in the state of New Mexico, in its northeastern corner. Multiple cities can be found in the area, including Mosquero, Capulin, San Jon, Melrose, Fort Sumner, and Tucumcari.

Tucumcari, New Mexico, experiences a climate characterized by hot summers and short, cold, snowy, and windy winters. The weather remains mostly clear throughout the year. Temperature variations are fairly noticeable, with average lows ranging from 26°F to average highs reaching 94°F. Rarely does the temperature drop below 14°F or go above 102°F. For warm-weather activities, the optimal time to visit Tucumcari is from mid-May to late September.[5]

Conchas Lake is a 25-mile reservoir in northeastern New Mexico, formed by Conchas Dam on the Canadian River. Spanning 9,600 acres with an elevation of 4,200 feet, it offers diverse recreational opportunities. The adjacent Conchas Lake State Park has separate north and south areas with nine boat ramps for relatively easy lake access. The lake is home to various fish species, including walleye, bass, catfish, and crappie.[6]

Lake Sumner is another lake in the region situated in northern De Baca County. The lake itself is a reservoir formed by Sumner Dam on the Pecos River. Embracing the lake's surroundings is the Lake Sumner Community, spanning 68.5 square miles, with 62.2 square miles of land and 6.3 square miles of water. Sumner Lake State Park occupies both the east and west sides of the lake's southern end, near the outlet. U.S. Route 84 serves as the northeastern boundary of the community, leading southeast to Fort Sumner, the county seat, and northwest to Santa Rosa. In terms of climate, Lake Sumner experiences a cold semi-arid climate, categorized as "BSk" on climate maps according to the Köppen Climate Classification system. The area's temperature range varies, with the highest recorded at 112°F on June 12, 2022, and the lowest at −24°F on January 13, 1963.[7] 


The history of Tucumcari, New Mexico, dates back to 1901 when it began as a tent city along the Chicago, Rock Island, and Union Pacific Railroad, initially known as "Ragtown" and later as "Six Shooter Siding." As the railroad transformed the camp into a division point in 1908, the settlement was officially named Tucumcari, inspired by the nearby mountain. By 1910, the city had developed into a railroad center with essential facilities like a roundhouse, depot, and water tower, as well as over 60 businesses. Among the first businesses to open in 1902 were the Barnes and Rankin furniture store, A. B. Simpson Hardware, A. A. Blankenship's livery barn, a hotel, and the Monarch Saloon. Boarding house operations were established by Mr. and Mrs. Turner at First and Turner. Additionally, businesses like the Gross Kelly Company from Las Vegas, which dealt in general merchandise, and M. B. Goldenberg's Mercantile Company contributed to the town's growth. Max Goldenberg's home, the first permanent residence in Tucumcari, also served as the location for the post office. Over the years, the city evolved from a railroad camp to a community with a diverse range of businesses and amenities, solidifying its place in New Mexico's history.[1]

Springer, New Mexico, has a history that traces back to 1877 when William T. Thornton, representing the Maxwell Land Grant and Railway Company, enlisted Melvin Whitson Mills to establish a townsite not exceeding 320 acres. Judge Mills chose a location along the Cimarron River called Las Garzas, where he laid out the town and graded the streets. The Maxwell Land Grant and Railway Company conveyed the deed to Mills on March 31, 1880, bequeathing the town the name Maxwell. However, by 1883, according to the deed for the Mills Mansion, the town was officially named Springer. Springer became the county seat of Colfax County from 1882 to 1897 and retained its former courthouse as a museum. The town's location was chosen in anticipation of the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway's arrival, as it was positioned halfway between the Mountain Branch and Cimarron Cutoff of the Santa Fe Trail. The area later became home to the Springer Correctional Center, operated by the New Mexico Corrections Department, which stands 2 miles northwest of Springer. This facility's history started in 1909 as the New Mexico Boys' School and now serves as one of the state's oldest detention centers.[9]

4.6 (112 Reviews)

Clovis RV Park

Clovis, New Mexico

Clovis RV Park

Clovis RV Park is located in Clovis, New Mexico, which is located near the border between New Mexico and Texas. The property is open year-round and has 64 RV sites available for reservation. People who would like to stay at the RV park can reserve for a short or long-term stay, paying daily, weekly, or monthly. One unique amenity that is found in the business is a hair salon, which is operated by one of the owners. The city has various attractions and restaurants and one larger-scale celebration, Draggin' Main and Music Festival, which occurs in June. Before Clovis RV Park had been established, it had been a trailer park. Many of the sites retained their size when the RV park was opened, allowing guests to bring larger rigs than some parks would typically allow.

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4.5 (85 Reviews)

Akers RV Park is located in Clovis, New Mexico on the eastern edge of the state, next to the border of New Mexico and Texas. The business offers a total of 37 RV sites, all of which come with full hookups, such as electricity, sewage, and water. Guests can reserve spaces at the RV park year-round and can choose to stay on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. The owner, Scott, comments that he would like patrons to feel "comfortable" during their stay. He also mentions that the establishment allows people to smoke on the grounds, and pets can be accommodated, though there is a fee for those staying on a monthly basis. Akers RV Park is a family-owned company that has been in Scott's family for about 70 years.

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4.3 (62 Reviews)

Ponil Campgrounds

Cimarron, New Mexico

Ponil Campgrounds

Ponil Campgrounds is an RV park in Cimarron, New Mexico, with 37 full-hookup RV units and space for several tents. The property is seven acres of grass and mature trees with a creek at the back. It also features a shower house for men and women, a laundry facility, a game room, an outdoor closed-in pavilion, a community fire pit, and a basketball court. One of the owners remarks that the park's most unique attributes are its connection to nature, as visitors can see several different kinds of wildlife, such as wild turkeys, deer, bison, horses, and an owl that visits often. The owner also says the campground is set apart by its rural location, a place "where the Rockies meet the plains." Some local attractions include places to hike and fish for trout. 

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0 (0 Reviews)

Clayton RV Park in Clayton, New Mexico, offers a total of 89 sites, including tent areas, RV sites, and cabins. Amenities include electrical hookups, laundry facilities, propane services, a playground, horseshoe pits, and a horse motel. The park features “bare bones” cabins with heating and air conditioning. The bonus room has a pool table, and a book and DVD exchange is also available. Nearby attractions include Clayton State Park with dinosaur tracks and Capulin Volcano. The park aims to ensure guests feel welcome and comfortable by having the goal of providing attentive customer service and a peaceful atmosphere. Those who stay at the park are most often older couples, families, and hunters. Clayton RV Park has a relatively long history, and the owners envision future improvements and sustainability initiatives such as solar power.

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