Wagon Mound Playa Lake


Geographic Coordinates:  36°1.5’N, 104°42.4’W 


Size:  Just over 1 square mile.  Lake runs north/south for over one mile bounded by a high ridge on the west side.


Elevation: 6,200’

County:  Mora County New Mexico

Directions:  Take the Wagon Mound exit from I-25 and go east to the stop sign. Turn north and parallel I-25, passing under it north of town going west and onto the NM Wildlife Management Area.  

General:  Good for paddlecraft, sit-on-top kayaks, canoe or fish at a beautiful lake. Few boats with small outboards use this lake because of the issue with saline waters causing problems with water cooled motors and bearings. Electric powered Jon boats OK. 

High plains stunning background for your recreation. This salt playa and surrounding wet grasslands are managed primarily by NMDG&F. On the east side of the highway the area is privately owned. Also known as Salt Lake Refuge, Wagon Mound Lake holds water from intermittent springs and surface runoff. The water supply is not dependable, and the lake varies widely in size from year to year. Waterfowl hunting is permitted during season and, with landowner permission, on nearby private lands. Birding flyway migratory route.  Not open for camping and no facilities.

Fish: Too Saline for fishing. 

Special Conditions: The lake is a no-wake lake (no whitewater off the bow or sides of the vessel..use minimum speed necessary to maintain some forward motion) Bring Sunscreen and bug repellent .

Water: Levels are variable.  Launching may be a problem for any small motorized vessels. Consult the weather before going especially wind projections.  High winds depending upon directions can and has caused boating accidents on similar high plains lakes.

Ramp: None. 

For Info:  Call for current water levels at the NMGF office.

Managing Agency: NM Department of Game and Fish, P.O. Box 25112, Santa Fe, NM, 87504, 505-827-9903

Closest NM State Park(s):  Sugarite north by Raton, Clayton Lake east by Clayton, Cimmaron Canyon northwest by Cimmaron. 

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