$20 / night

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Established Camping

Cochiti Recreation Area

31 Reviews


US Army Corps of Engineers

Cochiti Lake


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.

Natural Features

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.

Nearby Attractions

Cochiti Lake is five miles from Tent Rocks National Monument, which has fascinating geological formations.

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  • Drive-In
    Park next to your site
  • Walk-In
    Park in a lot, walk to your site.
  • Boat-In
    Sites accessible by watercraft.

Stay Connected

  • WiFi
  • Verizon
  • AT&T
  • T-Mobile

Site Types

  • Tent Sites
  • RV Sites
  • Standard (Tent/RV)


For Campers

  • Market
  • Trash
  • Picnic Table
  • Phone Service
  • WiFi
  • Drinking Water
  • Electric Hookups
  • Toilets
  • Pets

For Vehicles

  • Sanitary Dump
  • Water Hookups
  • Pull-Through Sites
  • Big Rig Friendly

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out of 5

31 Reviews

Lee D.The Dyrt PRO User
Reviewed Oct. 15, 2023

Another great CoE campground!

General: 80 campsites in four loops: Juniper (1-34), Elk Run (35-50), Buffalo Grove (51-66) and Ringtail Cat (67-80). 

Site Quality: Driveways were paved and most had a concrete pad, and all sites appeared to be level. IMO, the best sites are in the Ringtail Cat loop for views (but there are no hookups). Buffalo Grove has electric and water hookups, as well as light posts. Sites 51, 53, 57, and 59 have the best views. Sites in Elk Run have light posts but no hookups or views. IMO, the sites in Juniper are the least desirable: yes they have electric hookups, but they are older, overgrown, and have no views. Each site has a picnic table (some are covered), a BBQ grill, and a lantern hook (if no light post). 

Bath/Shower house: The one in Ringtail Cat loop was very clean. I did not use the shower but certainly would. 

Activities: This was on our route for a one-night stay, and we were there out of season so did not explore options but there is a boat ramp. Not sure about other in-season activities. For $6 (with senior pass), for a non-electric site, this campground was an incredible value.

Month of VisitMay
Reviewed Mar. 24, 2023

Small and quiet

The campground is inside the Cochiti Pueblo Nation. Nice views of mountains and pastel sunrises and sunset. Great place to catch-up on online business.

Site57 and 65
Month of VisitApril
DThe Dyrt PRO User
Reviewed Mar. 5, 2023

Clean and comfortable

About half of the Cochiti campground has sites with electricity and water. All sites have paved driveways, canopies, and charcoal grills. The entire campground is on a hill overlooking Cochiti Lake. Buffalo Grove sites 51 and 53 have a clear view over the lake. The Cochiti campground is about a 22 minutes drive to the center of Santa Fe. The only downside to the campground is that there are no trees and it can be windy or very sunny. The bathrooms were good with flush toilets, hot water in the sink, and free hot showers.

SiteBuffalo Grove 53
Month of VisitApril


Cochiti Recreation Area is located in New Mexico

Detail location of campground


From Albuquerque, New Mexico, take Interstate 25 north to exit 259. Turn west on State Route 22 and proceed through Pena Blanca to the park office and recreation area.


Pena blanca, NM 87041


35.6416667 N
106.325 W

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