Cochiti Lake, New Mexico, USA

Welcome to the ultimate guide for history, statistics, local fun facts and the best things to do at Cochiti Lake.

If you’re considering Cochiti Lake vacation rentals, we’ve made it super easy to explore accommodations and nearby hotels using the interactive map below. Simply click on a listing to compare similar properties, best rates and availability for your dates. Or keep scrolling to read our Cochiti Lake guide!

Cochiti Lake visitor and community guide

Lake Locations: USA - Southwest - New Mexico - North-Central -

Stretching 7 miles long on the Rio Grande River, Cochiti Lake is located in Sandoval County, New Mexico, about 20 miles west of Santa Fe and 60 miles northeast of Albuquerque. The entire lake lies within the boundaries of the Pueblo de Cochiti Nation. Beautifully situated among tall rocky bluffs and steep cliffs, Cochiti Lake has become a recreational delight. Recreational activities include sailing, fishing, windsurfing, and swimming.

Cochiti Dam is one of the ten largest earth fill dams in the United States. The construction of the Cochiti Dam began in 1965 after being approved by the Flood Control Act of 1960. Cochiti Lake was created after Congress modified its authorization for Cochiti Dam. Instead of flood and sediment control only, state officials decided that a permanent pool for fish and wildlife as well as recreational purposes would be beneficial. To create Cochiti Lake, water had to be imported from the Colorado River Basin. Cochiti Dam stands 251 feet above the Rio Grande streambed and stretches over five miles. The Rio Grande and the Santa Fe Rivers are impounded by the large dam.

On the west side of Cochiti Lake, visitors will find the Cochiti Recreation Area which consists of three camping areas with or without electric hook-ups, a boat ramp, two day use areas, an overlook and visitors center. On the east side of Cochiti Lake is the Tetilla Peak Recreation Area. It features two camping areas, a boat ramp, one day use area and an overlook. All other land outside of the two recreation areas are owned by the Cochiti Pueblo and are not open to the public.

Day sailing and windsurfing are two popular activities on Cochiti Lake, due to the fact that it is a no-wake lake. All motorboats must run at idle speed operation only. Calm, still waters are to be expected while on Cochiti Lake. Windsurfers can access the lake from the Tetilla Peak Recreation Area near the boat ramp.

Fishing is also a favorite on Cochiti Lake. Cochiti is known for its large northern pikes and walleyes. Some northern pikes have measured over 40 inches, while some walleye have measured close to 30 inches in length. Besides northern pike and walleye, other fish of interest are bass, catfish, perch, carp, crappie and rainbow trout. Cochiti Lake is stocked with rainbow trout in cool months.

North of Cochiti Lake is the Bandelier National Monument. A beautiful Ancestral Pueblo site called the Alcove House can be seen from one of the trails at the Bandelier National Monument. The Alcove House is 140 feet above the floor of the Frijoles Canyon. It was home to about 25 Pueblo people. When weather is permitting, visitors can climb four wooden ladders and a number of stone stairs to see inside the Alcove Home. Bandelier National Monument also offers a road into the Frijoles Canyon, a visitor center, a lodge, and miles of trails.

Whether visiting local attractions or relaxing in the calm waters of Cochiti Lake, visitors will no doubt enjoy their time. Escape for a while from the business of the city life and have some fun at Cochiti Lake.

Custom Cochiti Lake house decor

Read our full review of these personalized lake house signs.

Things to do at Cochiti Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Camping
  • Hiking
  • Wildlife Viewing

Fish species found at Cochiti Lake

  • Bass
  • Carp
  • Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Northern Pike
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Trout
  • Walleye

Best hotels and vacation rentals at Cochiti Lake

The Cochiti Lake map shown above is a simple and stress-free way to search for trip accommodations. But if you want to take a deeper dive to find the ideal waterfront home, cabin, condo, hotel or resort, visit our favorite lodging partners by clicking the buttons below.

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.

Cochiti Lake photo gallery

New photos coming soon!

Cochiti Lake statistics & helpful links

divider

Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Surface Area: 1,200 acres

Shoreline Length: 21 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 5,461 feet

Minimum Elevation (Min Pond): 5,340 feet

Maximum Elevation (Max Pond): 5,474 feet

Water Volume: 582,019 acre-feet

Completion Year: 1975

Drainage Area: 11,695 sq. miles

We strive to keep the information on LakeLubbers as accurate as possible. However, if you’ve found something in this article that needs updating, we’d certainly love to hear from you! Please fill out our Content Correction form.

Advertise your Cochiti Lake vacation rental

LakeLubbers will soon offer homeowners and property managers the opportunity to to showcase their vacation rentals to the thousands of lake lovers searching our site daily for accommodations. If you’d like additional details, please contact our advertising team here.

divider

Looking for the Cochiti Lake forum?

LakeLubbers previously offered visitors the ability to create accounts and participate in lake forums. When we overhauled the site’s content management system in 2021 we had to disable those features. We’re evaluating options and welcome your comments and feedback here.

We also encourage you to join our lake-lovin’ community on Facebook and Instagram!

Spread the word! Share our Cochiti Lake article with your fellow Lake Lubbers!