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Santa Cruz Lake Recreation Area (BLM)
County Road 98A Taos, NM 87571

Thirty miles north of Santa Fe, New Mexico, the snow-fed waters of the Rio del Medio and the Rio Frijoles begin a 2,000-mile journey and a 7,000-foot descent to the Gulf of Mexico. For a time they gather at Santa Cruz Lake at the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains near Chimayo, behind the 125-foot Santa Cruz Dam.

Built in 1929 by the Santa Cruz Irrigation District, the dam is 535 feet across and 90 feet deep at the overflowing spillway. The lake covers 121 surface acres with water in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, providing recreational opportunities for anglers, picnickers, campers, and boat lovers alike. The scenic lake at base of Sangre de Cristo mountains offers boating, fishing, hiking and camping.


  • Thursday-Sunday
    • May 1 - September 15: 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.     
    • Sept. 16 - April 31: 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
    • Closed Thanksgiving Day
    • Closed December 22-26 and New Years Day.
    • Closed when the lake freezes over
  • For additional information or questions, please contact the BLM Santa Cruz Lake contact station at 505-351-1438.

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