If you love hitting the water, New Mexico’s lakes, rivers and reservoirs are great for boaters! There are docks and launch ramps located in New Mexico’s State Parks, public lakes and in most of New Mexico’s popular camping areas! So even though this state may be best known by tourists for it’s beautiful deserts, you can also hit the gorgeous waters of New Mexico for a day of boating!
So whether your travel plans include checking out a big city like Santa Fe, boating on Elephant Butte Lake or maybe visiting a popular National Park destination like the Carlsbad Caverns, there’s a place and a water venue for everybody feeling adventurous in New Mexico!
BOATING IN NEW MEXICO
Boaters and paddlers in New Mexico will have no trouble finding a great place to spend the day on the water. There are many waterways to choose from! A few of the most popular boating lakes in New Mexico include: Elephant Butte Lake, Navajo Lake and Heron Lake. To help you decide where to launch your boat, we’ve created a list of popular boating, paddling and rafting destinations in New Mexico! Check out the map below!
ELEPHANT BUTTE LAKE
Elephant Butte Lake is the perfect place for you if you love camping, fishing, boating, or just being outdoors. Being New Mexico’s largest State Park there is plenty of water and plenty of beach room to enjoy. Elephant Butte Lake can accommodate watercraft of many styles and sizes: kayaks, jet skis, pontoons, sailboats, ski boats, cruisers, and houseboats. Besides sandy beaches, the State Park offers restrooms, picnic areas, playgrounds, and developed sites with electric and water hook-ups for RV’s.
The Cochiti Dam is the 23rd largest dam in the world by volume of material.
The Cochiti Lake provides for flood control, recreation, and wildlife habitatation. The recreation area includes two public areas: Cochiti on the west side of the lake and Tetilla Peak on the east side. Recreation includes sailing, wind surfing, kayaking, and fishing. There is a swim beach and playground. Facilities include campgrounds and campsites, many with water and electric hookups, as well as a large boat ramp, trails, visitors center, and picnic areas.
Navajo Lake is the second largest lake in the state, and has multiple campgrounds, two marinas, and two boat docks. Navajo Lake is a haven for boaters of every stripe – motorized boaters, canoers, kayakers, water skiers and sailors. The San Juan River is a world-class fly fishing destination and features a campground, day use areas and a serene trail along the river. Navajo Lake State Park offers some of the best boating, fishing, hiking, and camping in New Mexico.
A picturesque lake set among the tall pines of northern New Mexico, Heron Lake State Park has been designated a “quiet lake” where boats operate at no-wake speeds only, making it an excellent location for all types of paddle craft. Heron also has amazing sailing, cross-country skiing, and hiking.
With record-size trout and kokanee salmon, Heron Lake is a fisherman’s paradise.
New Mexico’s State Parks offer outdoor enthusiasts sparkling lakes, white sand beaches, amazing caves, expansive deserts and mountain ranges that stretch on and on! Some of the most popular activities include boating, fishing, camping and RVing – so what are you waiting for? Get out there and enjoy it!
Visit the New Mexico State Parks website to explore the state park locations and the variety of activities that each park has to offer it’s visitors. Have fun exploring!
FISHING IN NEW MEXICO
With so many great waterways in the state, New Mexico can offer some awesome fishing opportunities for anglers!
Before casting your line, make sure you have all the information you need about New Mexico’s fishing regulations, fishing license requirements, boating license requirements and boating restrictions for the lake where you’ll be fishing. Check out the local fishing reports that are available for your waterway. Visit the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish website for more information.