Fun in the sun is what summertime lakeside destinations are all about. When the peak summer temperature knob is turned way up into the triple digit range in southern New Mexico, Elephant Butte Lake State Park is the place to be! Boating, fishing and swimming in this picturesque desert lake during a summer heat wave is like a dream come true. The cool blue water sure does look like a mirage, but all it takes is dipping a toe in the water to make sure the illusion is real!
There are lake destinations that offer a remote wilderness experience and then there are lakes that are are more like a fun filled recreational area. Since there are only a few big lake destinations to break up the barren monotony of the Desert Southwest landscape, these bodies of water definitely act as entertaining aquatic activity areas that offer a chance to break up the boredom when the oppressive heat of summer sets in. Keeping the spirit up is what it is all about and splashing around in cool lake water has a way of leaving all of the troubles behind.
When somebody asks where to find this place, the easy answer is to say Elephant Butte Lake State Park is located seven miles north of Truth Or Consequences. For the uninitiated, this sounds like a load of gibberish, but Truth Or Consequences actually is the name of a city that is seven miles south on Interstate Highway 25! Truth Or Consequences is important to keep in mind because this is the closest place to stock up and watercraft rentals are available. On the flip-side, this city is the location of a Border Patrol Checkpoint on I-25, which can be a source of undue process for foreign visitors. Because of the current political climate as of 2020, avoiding the southern border checkpoint areas is highly recommended. Border policies will likely return to being favorable for tourists with a change of administration.
Elephant Butte Lake is the largest State Park in New Mexico and it is also the largest reservoir lake in this state. The shoreline and activity venue compare to what can be found at Lake Havasu or Lake Mead. The Rio Grande River flows downhill all the way from Colorado to feed this big lake, so there is some exciting game fishing to be found in these waters. The shoreline offers plenty of nooks and crannies, so finding a private cove to call your own is easy to do. A marina is located on site and watercraft rentals can be found here too.
Elephant Butte Lake State Park is a haven for boaters, paddle boarders and wind surfing is also a popular activity. This park has lakeside designated picnic areas with BBQ pits that are perfect for the day trip crowd. There is a campground with facilities and showers, while lodging is available next to the dam in the old historic district. There are trails and dirt roads that go to cozy spots all along the shoreline, so it is easy to float a bobber in the water even when not on a boat.
The name of this park gets its name from the landmark big brown butte that looks like the silhouette of a crouching elephant and the desert landscape is as picturesque as can be. The cool refreshing blue water is the main attraction, so when this far south on the Rio Grande, be sure to swing by this State Park to check it out. Just the sight of a big blue lake out in the middle of the desert on a hot summer day is enough to make anybody want to jump right on in!
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