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New Mexico Lakes - Navajo Lake

New Mexico's Navajo Lake
Navajo State Park is Colorado and New Mexico's answer to Lake Powell. This 15,000 surface-acre reservoir extends for 35 miles south into New Mexico. Fish for record-size northern pike or catfish in open waters without crowds. Camp on your boat or enjoy beautiful lake view camping. Gather your family and friends and enjoy Navajo Lake from the comfort of a houseboat. Explore three major rivers and sail or water-ski on open waters. The Pine River, the most developed area along the lake, includes a visitor center with interpretive exhibits, developed campgrounds, a day use area and a full service marina.  Sims Mesa is across the lake, accessible by NM 527, and includes a visitor center with interpretive exhibits, developed campgrounds and a full service marina.  The San Juan River area below the dam is world renowned for excellent trout fishing and includes wheelchair-accessible fishing facilities on the river, Cottonwood Campground, seven day use areas and several hiking trails.

Take advantage of the opportunity to see wildlife such as foxes, deer, grouse and turkeys in the midst of one of Colorado's most historic and scenic areas. See interesting artifacts of the Anasazi Indians at the Visitor Center in a setting rich in local history.

History - The area where Navajo State Park now sits was originally inhabited by the Anasazi Indians and abandoned the area around 1050 A.D. because of a serious drought at that time. NavajoThe Ute and Navajo tribes settled the area during the 14th century.

The 10 explorers of the Dominguez-Escalante Expedition were some of the first white men entering the area. Their mission was to create a route from New Mexico to California for the Spaniards. In the early 1880s, the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad laid their tracks in the area. The railroad served the area until 1967 and was an important part of the economy.

The Navajo dam was constructed in 1962 for irrigation water for the Navajo Indian Reservation. To this day, the area remains unpolluted and sparsely populated. Navajo State Park is one of the best reservoirs in Colorado for water recreation. With approximately 15,000 surface water acres available, the recreational opportunities seem endless.  

Directions From Colorado- Take U.S. 160 west from Pagosa Springs for 17 miles, then turn southwest onto Colorado 151 for 18 miles to Arboles. Turn left again onto County Road 982 and drive two miles to the lake.

Directions From New Mexico-  Navajo Lake State Park is 25 miles east of Bloomfield via US 64 and NM 511.

 

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