Contrasting spectacularly with its surroundings, Lake Meredith lies on the dry and windswept High Plains of the Texas Panhandle. The lake itself was created by Sanford Dam on the Canadian River; it now fills many breaks whose walls are crowned with white limestone caprock, scenic buttes, pinnacles, and red-brown, wind-eroded coves. Lake Meredith's shores are dotted with mesquite, prickly pear, yucca, and grasses of arid plains. Up the sheltered creek beds stand cottonwoods, soapberry, and sandbar willows. On November 28, 1990, Congress renamed Lake Meredith Recreation Area as a National Recreation Area, "to provide for public outdoor recreation use and enjoyment of the lands and waters associated with Lake Meredith in the State of Texas, and to protect the scenic, scientific, cultural, and other values contributing to the public enjoyment of such lands and waters."
Dramatic 200 foot canyons carved by the Canadian River surround this 10,000-acre reservoir. The lake was created to supply water for 11 Panhandle cities and to create recreational opportunities such as fishing, boating, waterskiing, sailing, sail-boarding, scuba diving, and swimming. The backcountry surrounding the lake provides areas for hunting, camping, horseback riding, wildlife viewing and hiking.