Experience New Mexico's Waterways

While many may imagine that New Mexico is mainly high-desert land, the opposite is actually true. New Mexico is home to a plethora of different aquatic attractions, ranging from large lakes, deep watering holes, and rushing rivers. Take to the waters a cool off, hop on a boat and enjoy the open waters, or head down to the banks for a variety of fishing fun.

Jeff Massey San Juan Fisher

Meet Jeff Massey

Born and raised in Farmington, Jeff Massey has been fishing the waters of the San Juan since he was a young angler. Now, Massey provides guide services on the San Juan for venturous fishers that want to expand their horizon as the co-owner of Soaring Eagle Lodge. Massey believes that the San Juan offers an opportunity for anglers of all skill levels to learn while exploring the unique landscape of the river.


Experience the San Juan River

Located just below the Navajo Lake Dam, the San Juan River features world class trout fishing, boating, hiking, camping, and abundant wildlife. In addition, the San Juan's "quality waters" are the perfect environment for trout to thrive in, allowing for some of the best catch and release trout fishing in the world. 

San Juan Trout


Rivers, Lakes, and More Outdoor Excursions in New Mexico

Navajo Lake State Park

Navajo Lake State Park

Navajo Lake is an oasis among the mesas and arroyos of northwestern New Mexico and holds the distinction of being the second-largest lake in the state. The park features campgrounds, hiking trails, and some of the best boating and fishing the Land of Enchantment has to offer. 


Animas River

Running through New Mexico for 25 miles into Farmington where it finally merges with the San Juan, the Animas River is a beautiful destination for all types of recreation! Take a stroll on one of the many riverside trails or take a thrilling ride through the manmade whitewater section that flows through the heart of Farmington. You can catch the river again down in Aztec, where the Animas River Trail snakes alongside the waters for almost 2 miles.

Easily accessed trails bring everyone closer to nature's wonders along the Animas River Trail.


Heron Lake State Park

Heron Lake State Park

Heron Lake is a designated "quiet lake" nestled in the pine trees of northern New Mexico — this designation means that boats must travel at no-wake speeds, allowing for pristine fishing conditions. Access to record-sized trout is available year-round, as Heron Lake is a popular destination for ice-fishing. The park also features campgrounds along the lakeshore and a hiking trail along the Rio Chama to its south.


Abiquiu Lake

Located just 60 miles north of Santa Fe, Abiquiu Lake is most notable for its proximity to the home of the famed artist, Georgia O'Keeffe. Abiquiu Lake is a U.S. Marine Corps of Engineers-managed area with a large dam and features campgrounds, recreational areas, boating, and fishing — don't miss the play wave on the Chama below the dam! In addition, there are many attractions in the area, including Bandelier National Monument and Ghost Ranch!

Abiquiu Lake


Rio Chama in the Fall

Rio Chama

Chama is another major fishing and guiding destination, near the Colorado border. The Rio Chama is a major tributary of the Rio Grande and enters the state just north of the town of Chama, before winding south through canyons and pines. The river's terrain offers great rafting and kayaking — from advanced sections to more mellow sections, there is something for every level of boater! In the summer months, permits are required for boating and rafting the Chama between El Vado Ranch and Chavez Canyon.


More Rivers, Lakes, and Aquatic Exploration

Experience the rest of New Mexico's best-kept secrets in other parts of the state. From babbling brooks to crystal-clear watering holes, the Land of Enchantment has serene bodies of waters throughout its landscape!

Sunrise at Heron Lake, siter lake to El Vado