Abiquiu Lake, New Mexico, USA
Also known as: Abiquiu Reservoir
Abiquiu Lake, located in Rio Arriba County in North-Central New Mexico, offers recreation areas for swimming, camping, fishing, boating, canoeing, kayaking, water skiing,, hiking and more. Creating in 1963 as a project of the United States Army Corps of Engineers, an earthen dam 1,540 feet long and rising 321 feet high was constructed across the Chama River. Abiquiu Dam is second of three dams built in the Chama River watershed, a tributary to the Rio Grande River. Red sandstone cliffs, towering mesas, sagebrush, and stands of juniper and pine surround the scenic reservoir.
Fishing is a popular pastime at Abiquiu Reservoir. Visitors with a New Mexico fishing license can cast in their line for catfish, crappie, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, walleye and rainbow trout. Geocaching, the treasure hunting game using a GPS to hide and seek containers with other participants, is also allowed at Abiquiu Lake, but only with prior authorization from the lake manager.
Visitors who want to relax and enjoy Abiquiu Lake will have a great time at the Riana Campground, located on a 150-foot rock bluff overlooking Abiquiu Lake. Open from April 1-October 15, visitors have access to campsites as well as a playground, showers, dump station, visitor center, and fishing areas.
When not in the water, Abiquiu Lake visitors may enjoy nearby attractions including the Georgia O’Keefe Museum, Ghost Ranch, and Chaco Canyon. Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico opened in 1997 dedicated to the internationally-known artist for whom the museum is named. Georgia O’Keeffe lived in Abiquiu as well as Ghost Ranch. The 21,000 acres of Ghost Ranch, formally called Piedra Lumbre (shining rock), was part of a land grant to Pedro Martin Serrano for the King of Spain in 1766. Now owned by the Presbyterian Church, visitors can enjoy a number of activities, including a guided tour centered around Georgia O’Keeffe and the Ghost Ranch Landscape. Finally, visitors may enjoy the Chaco Canyon which contains the largest stone ruins in the US, including Pueblo Bonito, Chettro Ketl, and Casa Rinconada.
Rugged but beautiful, the terrain around Abiquiu Lake offers an exciting retreat from civilization where opportunities for fun abound. Whether you prefer adrenaline-pumping activities such as waterskiing or just want to take in the sights, there is something for everyone at Abiquiu Lake.
Ah, but how do you pronounce Abiquiu? According to the New York Times, it’s AH-bee-kee-oo.
Things to do at Abiquiu Lake
- Vacation Rentals
- Water Skiing
Fish species found at Abiquiu Lake
- Black Bass
- Largemouth Bass
- Rainbow Trout
- Smallmouth Bass
Abiquiu Lake Photo Gallery
Abiquiu Lake Statistics & Helpful Links
Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed
Water Level Control: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Surface Area: 5,200 acres
Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 6,200 feet
Minimum Elevation (Min Pond): 0 feet
Maximum Elevation (Max Pond): 6,375 feet
Water Volume: 113,735 acre-feet
Completion Year: 1963
Drainage Area: 2,146 sq. miles
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