Sitting Bull Falls Recreation Area

Area Status: Open
sitting bull falls

This desert oasis features a series of spring-fed waterfalls that fall 150 feet (45.7 m) to a large pool of water below. There is an ADA accessible path to the falls viewing area a short distance from the parking lot, along with several hiking trails. Sheltered picnic sites with tables and grills are available, along with fresh water, trash cans, and restrooms. 

Sitting Bull Falls Recreation Area is 42 miles (67.6 km) west of Carlsbad, New Mexico, and can be reached via two routes. From north of Carlsbad, take Highway 137 from US 285, and then follow Forest Road 276. From south of Carlsbad, take Dark Canyon Road/County Road 408 from US 62/180, and then follow Forest Road 276. 

At a Glance

Operational Hours: The site is currently opened with the following modified hours: Thursday - Monday: 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. Tuesday-Wednesday: CLOSED We are working to resume normal seasonal hours, and will update this site and announce when this happens.  Thank you for your patience during this time.
Area Amenities: Accessible, Fee charged for some activities, Picnic tables, Toilets, Drinking water, Parking
Usage: Medium-Heavy
Busiest Season: Summer
Restrictions: Day use only. No overnight camping permitted. 
Closest Towns: Carlsbad, NM
Water: Potable Water
Restroom: Yes
Operated By: Forest Service

General Information


From US285 north of Carlsbad, turn west onto NM137. Continue on NM137 for about 20 miles until you find County Road 409. Turn right on this road and continue. The Sitting Bull Falls Recreation Site is at the end of this road

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Day Hiking



Guadalupe Ranger District picnic area.
Difficulty Level: Easy


Picnic tables: Yes
Fee charged for some activities: Day-use fee
Parking: Yes
Toilets: Yes
Accessible: Yes
Drinking water: Yes

Related Information

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


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