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Main Street Picnic Guide: New Mexico 
Elephant Butte Lake State Park

P.O. Box 13
Elephant Butte,NM 87935
Gate Hours: 24 hours

Elephant Butte Lake State Park headquarters are five miles north of Truth or Consequences via I-25 exit 83.

The largest and most popular lake in New Mexico, Elephant Butte Lake State Park provides a setting for every imaginable water sport. 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 40 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. The mild climate of the area makes this park a popular year-round destination.

Elephant Butte Lake State Park is a lot more than water-based recreation. Humans have been making use of the Rio Grande long before the Dam was here. Visit the Dam Site Recreation Area and Paseo del Rio Recreation Area to see and learn more about the history of the Dam construction and the work of the Civilian Conservation Corps. Click here to learn more.

Over 100 million years ago, the area was part of a vast shallow ocean. Once the sea receded, the area was the favorite hunting ground of the tyrannosaurus rex dinosaur. Evidence of the Rex, the largest land-dwelling predator of all time, and other species of dinosaur have been discovered in area rock formations.

Although fossils of the stegomastodon (a primitive relative of today�s elephant) have been discovered near 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 the shape of an elephant.

Facilities

  • Visitor Center
  • Group Shelter
  • Developed Sites (132)
  • Electric Sites (98)
  • RV Dump Station
  • Restrooms
  • Showers
  • Marina
  • Playground

Activities

  • Camping
  • Picnicking
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Water-skiing
  • Sailing
  • Trails
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Winter Sports

 
 
 
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