Cochiti Dam, NM

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Cochiti Lake, NM.

Cochiti Lake borrows its name from the people that have occupied the present site continuously for over seven hundred years. Cochiti Dam operates in concert with three other U.S. Army Corp of Engineers flood and sediment control projects-Galisteo, Jemez Canyon and Abiquiu Dams. It sits on Cochiti Pueblo Indian Land, and as such, some sections are posted off-limits to the visiting public.


Cochiti Lake is located on the Rio Grande about 50 miles upstream from Albuquerque, NM. The Rio Grande is the fifth longest river in North America, and among the 20 longest rivers of the world. From its origins high in the Rocky Mountains, it travels 1,900 miles and drops more than two miles before emptying into the Gulf of Mexico.

Campground.The mission of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is to provide quality, responsive engineering service to the nation. The Corps plans, designs, builds, and operates water resource and other civil works projects, provides military construction for the Army and Air Force, and provides design and construction support for other Defense and Federal Agencies. Cochiti is one of the ten largest earthfill dams in the United States. It stretches 5.5 miles and rises 251 feet to impound the waters of the Rio Grande and Santa Fe River. The construction of the dam was authorized by the Flood Control Act of l960 and construciton began in 1965 at a cost of $94.4 million dollars.

Indian Reservation.Two recreation areas, one on each side of the lake, contain boat launching, camping and picnicking facilities. Recreation also includes fishing for trout, northern pike, catfish, bluegill and crappie. The cool waters are refreshing to swim in and quiet, as it is a no wake lake. With the prevalence of wind, sailing and sailboarding are also very popular. There are a number of campsites which include water and electricity, a nearby sewage disposal facility. Also there are nearby restroom and shower facilities. It is an ideal location for that escape from the city and its location for travel to the many historic sites within this area.