Sumner Lake State Park (Click Here for Park Page)

Description: A 2,800-acre lake with a maximum depth of 65' and an average depth of 20-30 feet.


USCG Auxiliarist Chuck Madison doing a free  Vessel Safety Inspection Sumner Lake New Mexico

Directions: 16 miles northwest of Fort Sumner, New Mexico

From Albuquerque the trip takes about 2 and one-half hours for the just under 160 miles. Go East on I-40 for 144 miles to Exit 277.  Go south on US 84 about 30 miles to SR 203 and follow it west to the dam and park entrance.

Map: Printable park map      

Water Sports: Boating, swimming, waterskiing, jetskiing and fishing.  (no river running below the dam - see special restrictions below.


Excellent Boating:

    4,262 feet in elevation down to 4,250 feet in elevation 42,926 acre-feet down to 16,266 acre-feet storage

    2,810 surface acres down to 1,436 surface acres


Good Boating:    

    4,249 feet in elevation down to 4,239 feet in elevation

    16,266 acre-feet down to 5,868 acre-feet storage

    1,436 surface acres down to 565 surface acres


Fair to Limited Boating:  

    4,239 feet in elevation down to 4,231.5 feet in elevation

    5,868 acre-feet down to 46,000 acre-feet storage

    565 surface acres down to 340 surface acres


Ramps: 3

  • One (1) ramp at Main Campground with three (3) launching lanes.       

Top Elevation:  4,284'    Bottom Elevation: 4,234'

  • One (1) concrete ramp at Violation (east) Canyon two (2) launching lanes.                                   

Top Elevation:  4,272'    Bottom Elevation: 4,232'                                        

  • One (1) concrete ramp at Alamo Cove with one (1) launching lane.                                                                 

Top Elevation 4,284'      Bottom Elevation: 4,241'

Docks:  3

  • One (1) 8’ x 40’ Meeco Courtesy Dock at the Main Campground.
  • One (1) 8’ x 40’ Meeco Courtesy Dock at Violation Canyon.
  • One (1) 10' x 60' Meeco Courtesy Dock at Alamo Point Day Use Area

Marinas/Rentals: None

Wind Warning Lights: At main boat ramp parking lot. When wind warning lights go on they are set at about 15 mph and suggest that small craft under 16' go off the lake.

Prevailing Winds: Typically from the west.  Current Conditions.

Fish Species: Large and smallmouth and spotted bass, bluegill, walleye, catfish, crappie, white bass and winter trout


Hunting: Restricted and governed under the Small Game and Waterfowl Proclamation of the Game and Fish Department. Check the Proclamation annually for any changes. Check with the park manager for restricted areas.

Special Boating Restrictions:

Lake: None but generally at elevation 4,232 it is recommended that no boating be allowed on the lake.

Pecos River: Many people have ran the river.  However they must gain permission from the land owner to gain access to start.  The lease agreement the state has with the BOR is amended to say that the State of New Mexico will not allow people to enter the water below the dam for swimming, wading, or rafting.  Also whenever the water release is enough to float down, Sumner Lake State Park is required to close the access area.  

Information: The river flow below the dam.

Service Boats: Closest gasoline is at the hill top bait shop at the lake. Typical hours of 9 am to 6 pm.  Round trip from the park is about 3 miles. Closest marine repair will be in Clovis about 81 miles from the lake.

Recreation Areas Managed By: New Mexico State Parks

Land Information: Lake is a Bureau of Reclamation Project. 

Information: (505) 355-2541


Go Back to Boating Waters





New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department ©
1220 South St. Francis Drive | Santa Fe, NM 87505
EMNRD Legal Disclaimer