While the average traveler may not think of New Mexico as a place full of gorgeous lakes and rivers, the stark contrast of the beautiful deserts makes the water features in this state that much more striking. Whether you’re looking to drop in a line, take a swim, or gaze out over the water from the comfort of your RV, these five New Mexico water destinations should have top priority on your bucket list.
1. Elephant Butte Lake State Park
An overhead shot of Elephant Butte Lake shows off the vibrant green tones of the water against the desert and scrub grass that surrounds it, and highlights why this lake is the top one on our list.
This state park offers camping, boating, fishing, and more, and is New Mexico’s largest state park. Not only are there RV hookups available on location, but the park itself is full of activities and allows motorized watercraft like jet skis, pontoon boats, ski boats, and more. There are also picnic areas, restrooms, trails for hiking, and playgrounds.
For those interested in boating on the lake but hoping to avoid bringing their boat, there are boat rentals available.
2. Cochiti Lake
Located between Santa Fe and Albuquerque, Cochiti Lake features the Cochiti Dam, one of the top 10 largest earthfall dams in the United States. While there are no camping locations on the lake itself, there are plenty of RV camping spots nearby, allowing you to visit the lake during the day, and head back to the comfort of your RV at night. There is also a visitor center and wildlife viewing area nearby, and boating and water sports are both allowed on the lake.
3. Williams Lake
While Williams Lake is a bit of a hike from the camping area, the surrounding views are well worth the walk. Williams Lake is located near Taos, NM, inside Carson National Forest. While there are no camping locations on the lake itself, if you are looking for gorgeous natural views or a snowshoeing trail that is open during the winter months, this is a must-stop location on your next trip. Keep in mind that there are specific rules for the Carson National Forest to ensure the location stays intact for future visitors, including campfire restrictions, so be sure to do your research before setting out for this area of New Mexico.
4. Grindstone Lake
Grindstone Lake Recreation Area and Trail System is a wonderful place to spend an afternoon. Kayaking, fishing, disc golf, hiking, and more are all available at this incredible water feature in New Mexico. For those looking for family fun, Wibit Water Park is located at Grindstone Lake and is open during the summer months up until Labor Day weekend. While the camping location at the park is closed for the 2022 season at the time of this writing, there are plenty of nearby camping locations that are only a short drive from this outdoor destination, meaning you can easily park your RV nearby and head out for a day of fishing.
5. Eagle’s Nest Lake
Eagle’s Nest State Park is located along the Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway, and its elevation means this area is much cooler than the surrounding area, making it the perfect summer stop. Eagle’s Nest Lake is open for fishing, boating, camping, hiking, and wildlife viewing, though be aware that the campsites are by reservation only during the peak season. Both motorized and non-motorized watercraft are allowed, and the lake is stocked with trout and salmon, as well as Northern Pike and Yellow Perch.
If you’re interested in visiting any of these New Mexico water features, be sure your RV is in tip-top condition before hitting the road. Here at Good Sense RV, we can give your RV a comprehensive tune-up, or help you shop for a brand-new RV to help foster your adventurous spirit, no matter where your travels take you.