The largest and most popular lake in New Mexico, Elephant Butte Lake State Park provides a setting for every imaginable water sport, including boating, water-skiing, fishing, scuba diving, and canoeing. The lake has sandy beaches, quiet little coves, full-service marinas, and enough open water for cabin cruisers and houseboats. The visitor center offers regional interpretive exhibits. The mild climate of the area makes this park a popular year-round destination.
Elephant Butte Reservoir, created by a dam constructed in 1916 across the Rio Grande, is 35 miles long with more than 200 miles of shoreline. Although constructed to provide for irrigation and flood control, the lake is New Mexico’s premier water recreation facility. A wide variety of water sports are available at the lake, with fishing being one of the most popular.
Although fossils of the stegomastodon (a primitive relative of today’s elephant) have been discovered just west of the reservoir, the area was not named for its former and formidable inhabitants, the name “Elephant Butte” was derived from the eroded core of an ancient volcano, now an island in the reservoir, in a shape of an elephant.
The park has numerous camping and picnicking areas, with more than 250 developed campsites and 150 electrical hook-ups for RV’s and trailers. Many campsites have shelters and grills. Reservations are also available in our developed sites and beach reservation areas.
Marina Del Sur is located in Elephant Butte Lake State Park and has moorage, fuel, food and fishing tackle. Rentals include houseboats, jet skis, ski boats, pontoons and kayaks. Call (505) 744-5567.
Rock Canyon Marina at Rock Canyon has repair service and carries fuel, food, and fishing tackle. Rentals include ski, pontoon and houseboats. Visitors can arrange parasailing. Night fishing is available for a fee. Call (505) 744-5462.
Dam Site Marina, east of the dam, carries fuel, food, beer and fishing tackle. Rentals include 14-foot fiberglass boats with 25-horsepower motors, and ski and pontoon boats. Call (505) 894-2041.
Sports Adventure on Long Point (May-Oct.) operates a grill in the summer months. Visitors can arrange parasailing (Memorial Day through September), rent jet skis (May through October) and houseboats (April through November). Contact: (505) 744-5557.
Monticello RV Park is open year-round. It has fuel, food and fishing tackle. Take Exit 89 east from I-25, and follow signs to the RV park. Call (505) 894-6468.
Fees: Lake Fees do apply, please call for current fees
Location: Elephant Butte Lake State Park is five miles N. of Truth or Consequences via I-25 exit 83