Cochiti Recreation Area is located in Sandoval County, New Mexico, within the boundaries of the Pueblo de Cochiti Indian Reservation. The lake offers two public recreation areas: Cochiti on the west side of the lake and Tetilla Peak on the east side. Both sides offer spectacular scenic views of the water and surrounding mountains. The Cochiti Dam is one of the ten largest earth-fill dams in the United States, and also one of the largest in the world. The lake derives its name from the Indian Pueblo on the Cochiti Reservation.
Our quiet lake is an ideal location for all paddle, wind surfing, and sailing craft. The lake is also a popular fishing spot for species such as bass, crappie, walleye, pike, catfish, sunfish and trout. Cochiti Recreation Area has a popular, family friendly, swim beach Day Use area for public enjoyment. It is a fee area, $5 per vehicle, but the cost is covered by the campsite fee for visitors staying in the campground. Additionally, the Cochiti picnic area has 21 covered picnic sites with a large group site that can be reserved by calling the main office. Cochiti Day Use Areas are open from April 15th to October 15th.
The campground consists of four loops. Juniper Loop campsites have electric hookups and some have water. Elk Run and Ringtail Loops are non-electric and have community water spigots. All sites in Buffalo Grove Loop have water and electric hookups. The Cochiti boat ramp is open year-round and is accessible by a paved road. The ramp has four concrete lanes for loading and unloading.
Cochiti Lake sits at 5,343ft in elevation and is nestled in the foothills of the Jemez Mountains. Our high desert environment is dominated by juniper, pinon trees, and mixed grasslands. There are many opportunities for wildlife viewing. Four osprey nesting platforms have been erected around the lake to provide nesting sites, as well as viewing opportunities. On the east side of the lake, deer, coyote, river otters, rabbits, beavers, and the occasional bear are often sighted.
Cochiti Lake is five miles from Tent Rocks National Monument, which has fascinating geological formations.
ADA Access: N
Managed by the Army Corps of Engineers on the Cochiti Pueblo this campground is well designed and managed. Bathrooms were cleaned by Adelante daily while I stayed there. The Rangers were very friendly, the campsites were paved, had covered pick nick tables, grills, and a heater in the bathroom (March) and showers were hot. Visitors center has lots of information, and there are hiking trails. Not close to any major shopping, but there is a small store nearby and a laundry mat next to the store. Overall, I was very impressed.
A brief visit to this beautiful area. Close to Santa Fe for a quick day trip. Clean campground, no wake lake… it was great