Abiquiu Lake Recreation Area

Description: 4,000-acre lake on the Chama River.  The scenic high walled canyon of the Chama River above the main body of the lake is about 3 miles long and popular with wakeboarders and water skiers.  Kayak fishing along the shore and shallow bays to the east is increasing.

Directions: About 13 miles NE of Coyote, New Mexico. Abiquiu Lake is located in northern New Mexico, 61 miles north of Santa Fe on Hwy 84/285 at the intersection of Hwy 96.

Go on Highway84/285 north and the highwy will divide in about 24 miles. continue on Highway 84 west for about 30 miles passing thru Abiquiu and it's general store and last gas before the lake   Turn about 1 mi S on NM 96 to the turn and road to the launch ramp.

Map of Lake:  Downloadable Park Map   

Water Sports: Boating, swimming, water skiing, jet skiing, river running, windsurfing, kayaking and fishing

Conditions: Ramp and Lake Conditions or Alternative USACE Site (the USACE site is being updated. When you currently get to the site you need to click on "Water Control" and down to daily reservoir report - not updated on weekends.)

  • Excellent Boating Conditions:   6230 Ft. down to 6220 Ft.
  • Good Boating Conditions:     6220 Ft.down to 6190 Ft.
  • Fair Boating Conditions:  6190 Ft. down to 6185 Ft.

River Running:

Rio Chama above the lake.  Miss the Big Eddy on the Chama River and you have to paddle all the way to the ramp...a very exhausting trip.

Rio Chama below the Dam. Scenic primarily Class I-II except with very low water levels.  (Two wiers on this stretch down to Abiquiui.)  Best to run above 500 cfs.

Ramps: 2

  Cerrito Boat ramp              Two Lane Concrete                                     

  Top elevation       6221   Bottom elevation

  High Water Boat Ramp       Two Lane Concrete                                           

  Top elevation      6289    Bottom elevation   6216'

Marinas/Rentals: None

Wind Warning Lights: At north side of lake, two at south side of the lake

Prevailing Winds: Out of NW, and sometime SW. Storm winds in late afternoon can make loading at Cerrito Boat ramp difficult.  Be prepared to stay out on the opposite side of the lake until conditions improve.

Fish Species: Catfish, crappie, largemouth and small mouth bass, walleye and rainbow trout

Special Boating Restrictions: None  6190 you get a west side spit that goes across the lake. This shallow area is generally unmarked.  All alcoholic beverages are banned anywhere on Corps lands and water at this location.  For safety keep to the eastern side of the lake when going north.

Servicing Boats:  There is some last minute boating equipment at the town of Abiquiui and is also the closest fuel.  This means a 16-18 mile round trip to gas up.  Next major boat servicing stores will be in Santa Fe.

Recreation Areas Managed By: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  NM State Parks assists in law enforcement/lake patrol.

Facility is owned and operated by US ACE. Controls 2,147 square miles of drainage.  The dam is an earth fill structure 1,540 feet long and rises 321 feet above the riverbed.  In 1981 PL 97-140 authorized the storage of 200,000 acre-feet of San Juan Chama water .  The City of Albuquerque obtained a storage easement to 6,220 feet.  Federal real estate interests have not been obtained to go above 6,220 feet.  In 1987, the County of Los Alamos began construction of a non-federal hydro plant .  It was completed in 1990 with a capacity of 13.2 megawatts. 

Information: (505) 685-4433  Ranger: (505) 685-4371  Fax Number 505-685-4647




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