Recommendations for Visiting Sitting Bull Falls

Alamogordo, NM—July 1, 2019— Sitting Bull Falls Recreation Area is an oasis hidden in the midst of the desert where a beautiful 150-foot waterfall pours over canyon walls. You will find cabanas with picnic tables, charcoal grills, restrooms, and a paved trail through the canyon ending at the falls. It’s no wonder hundreds of visitors flock to the area each weekend. This has been a record-setting year for visitation to Sitting Bull Falls, as has every year prior. While the Lincoln National Forest is excited so many people want to enjoy their national forests, we are also trying to be mindful of the impacts increased visitation can have on the trails, habitat and to the other visitors.

For the best experience at Sitting Bull Falls we recommend visiting during the week. Visiting between Monday and Thursday will mean a more tranquil visit, especially for visitors looking for solitude in the great outdoors. 

“We want everyone who comes to Sitting Bull Falls to have a quality experience,” stated District Ranger Aaron Stockton. “On Saturday’s it’s not uncommon for the parking lot to be completely full by 9:30 am, which is why we recommend a weekday visit. Too many people at one time can be overwhelming for our staff and the site. The entire experience is degraded, which is not what we want.”

Overflow parking is available; however, it is half a mile away from the main parking lot at Sitting Bull Falls, which can be a hike for some individuals especially in the heat. Signage will be posted at the intersection of NM state highway 137 and Sitting Bull Falls Road to notify people if Sitting Bull Falls main parking is full. If the sign indicates the location is busy you may want to consider returning on another day.

There is a $5.00 charge per car to enter Sitting Bull Falls, which is open daily from 8:30 am to 5 pm. The following rules apply while visiting the day-use area.

  1. Cabanas, pavilions, and BBQ grills are on a first come first serve basis with no reservation taken. Each cabana is designed to accommodate two groups.
  2. Visitors should adhere to closure signs to help prevent injury to themselves or other visitors from being in closed areas.
  3. The outgoing gates close precisely at 6:00 pm and all groups should be out of the area by then.
  4. Parking is on a first come/first serve basis. Parking is only allowed in designated parking spots and not along roads for safety reasons.
  5. Drones are not allowed within the day use area. Fireworks are never allowed on any Forest Service lands.

With your continued diligence and support, we will be able to keep Sitting Bull Falls a wonderful location open year-round.