Santa Rosa Lake, New Mexico, USA

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Santa Rosa Lake — things to do, where to stay, fun facts, history, stats and more. Let’s dive in!

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Looking for Santa Rosa Lake cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore our comprehensive list of favorite travel partners.

All About Santa Rosa Lake

Santa Rosa Lake is snuggled in the Pecos River Canyon near the town of Santa Rosa along NM 91 in Guadalupe County. It is cradled on one side with acres of rolling grassland and encase by low, rocky hills dotted with a variety of brush on the other. Visitors will enjoy a host of recreational activities such as boating, fishing, camping, water skiing, and more.

Authorized by the Flood Control Act of 1954, Santa Rosa Lake was created by impounding the Pecos River. Santa Rosa Dam and reservoir are used for flood control, sediment retention and irrigation storage. The completed dam stands 212 feet above the streambed and 1,950 feet long. Although there is not a permanent pool at Santa Rosa Lake due to water released periodically for irrigation use, in recent years lake levels have increased and become stabilized encouraging more activity at the lake. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers owns all the land surrounding Santa Rosa Lake and leases the area comprising the State Park to the State of New Mexico.

The town of Santa Rosa, the city of natural lakes, is not far from the lake that takes its name. The town of Santa Rosa is famous for natural sinkhole lake. Visitors to Santa Rosa Lake may also enjoy the short drive to Blue Hole, an 81 foot deep natural artesian spring, which keeps a constant temperature of 61 degrees and delivers up to 3,000 gallons of water per minute.

Fishing is excellent in the Santa Rosa Lake. The lake is stocked by the New Mexico Game and Fish Department. Fish species include largemouth bass and smallmouth bass, channel catfish, walleye, crappie, sunfish, and yellow perch. Wildlife viewing is another popular pastime at Santa Rosa Lake. Depending on the time of year, Canada geese, pelicans, ring billed gulls, ducks, and even eagles may be sighted by an observant visitor. Along the sandstone shoreline mule deer, raccoons, fox, and coyotes come down for a refreshing drink of the lake water.

The Santa Rosa State Park offers three recreational areas which consist of the Rocky Point Camping Area, the Juniper Park and Boat Ramp Area, and the Los Tanos Primitive Camping Area. The park covers a total area of 550 acres. Camping facilities include primitive as well as electric campsites and some of the amenities are picnic shelters, restrooms, boat ramps, and grills. The Santa Rosa State Park also has two paved hiking trails and two Day Use Facilities.

Whether visitors plan their vacation at Santa Rosa Lake, or stop by on their way to another destination, they will find much to do and see. Visitors may enjoy Santa Rosa Lake so much that it becomes a regular vacation site.

Things to Do at Santa Rosa Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Water Skiing
  • Camping
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • State Park

Fish Species Found at Santa Rosa Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Catfish
  • Channel Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Perch
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Sunfish
  • Walleye
  • Yellow Perch

Find Places to Stay at Santa Rosa Lake

If you’re considering a Santa Rosa Lake lake house rental or hotel, we’ve made it super easy to find the best rates and compare vacation accommodations at a glance. Save time using this interactive map below.

Recommended Sites to Book a Santa Rosa Lake Vacation

If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Santa Rosa Lake lodging partners.

  • VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
  • – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, connects travelers to everything from cozy B&Bs to luxury resorts.
  • Expedia – Expedia is a popular online travel agency with more than 140,000 lodging properties worldwide.
  • – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, is an industry leader in online accommodations.
  • TripAdvisor – Read traveler reviews and compare prices on hotels, vacation rentals and more at TripAdvisor.
  • Trivago – Trivago helps travelers compare deals for hotels and other accommodations from a variety of booking sites.
  • KAYAK – KAYAK scours hundreds of other travel websites at once to find the best deals on hotels and other travel-related services.
  • RVshare –RVshare connects travelers interested in renting a motorhome with owners who have RVs to rent.
  • CampSpot – Campspot offers premier RV resorts, family campgrounds, cabins and glamping options across North America.

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.

Santa Rosa Lake Statistics & Helpful Links


Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

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

Surface Area: 3,544 acres

Shoreline Length: 60 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 4,744 feet

Minimum Elevation (Min Pond): 0 feet

Maximum Elevation (Max Pond): 4,776 feet

Maximum Depth: 40 feet

Water Volume: 92,679 acre-feet

Completion Year: 1981

Drainage Area: 2,434 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.

Shop Santa Rosa Lake Gifts

Custom Lake Tumblers

Captain / First Mate Custom 20 oz Tumbler

Custom Lake T Shirt

Personalized My Boat My Rules Unisex T-Shirt

Custom Lake Coffee Mug - On Lake Time

On Lake Time Custom Coffee Mug – 11oz or 15oz


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