Amistad National Recreation
4121 Veterans Blvd.
Del Rio, TX 78840
Explore a Borderland Paradise
Amistad NRA is the United States portion of
International Amistad Reservoir, formed on the Rio Grande along the
border of the US and Mexico. Amistad is known for excellent
water-based recreation, camping and is surrounded by a landscape
rich in prehistoric rock art, a vibrant border culture, along with a
wide variety of plant and animal life.
Things to Do
Amistad National Recreation Area is best
enjoyed out on the water, however there are some things you can do
if you don't own a boat. See map in the
right-hand column for locations.
Visit Amistad Dam
Visitors can drive across Amistad Dam
for a great view and to visit the commemorative eagles marking the
border with Mexico. The dam is open most days from 10 am until 6 pm.
Please note that half the dam is in Mexico, and is an official
Port-of-Entry. If you do not intend to enter Mexico, you can park or
turn around before passing the United States flag.
The International Boundary and Water
Commission operates Amistad Dam; tours are not offered.
Picnic, Swim, or Walk Down by the Water
Governors Landing has both a day use
area and a campground. There are 8 picnic areas around the lake.
Visitors can swim anywhere in the lake except in coves with boat
ramps or marinas.
Rent a Boat
Forever Resorts operates marinas at
Diablo East and Rough Canyon.
Take a Scenic Drive
Viewpoint Road at Diablo East
(unpaved) leads to good spots for picnicking, swimming and SCUBA
Tent or RV (dry) Camp
Amistad NRA maintains four primitive
campgrounds located throughout the park.
Active or retired military may use the U.S.A.F. (Southwinds) Marina
located just off the road to Amistad Dam.
The Amistad NRA area is home to dramatic 4,000
year-old rock art. These mysterious paintings adorn rock shelter
walls in the upper reaches of Amistad Reservoir. Boaters can usually
access Panther and Parida Caves (depending on lake level), and
hikers can go on a guided tour at nearby Seminole Canyon State Park
and Historic Site.
Taking a closer look at the modern landscape
of Lake Amistad can tell a person much more about the history of the
area than they might at first expect. Surprisingly, the history of
the Lower Pecos River Region begins far before the U.S. Military�s
early camps and outposts and goes far beyond the beginning days of
the Southern Pacific Railroad.
The first visitors to the canyons that now
form Amistad NRA arrived some 12,000 years ago following herds of
large ice-age animals that grazed the grassy upland plateaus and
ventured deep into the canyons for water. And although the people
might be gone, they�ve left a legacy of their life ways in the
artifacts and rock art that grace the canyon walls.
Nature & Science
Amistad National Recreation Area supports
flora and fauna in a combination not found in any other National
Park Service site. This biodiversity is a result of the park�s
location in a transition zone between three major plant communities:
Tamaulipan Shrubland, Chihuahuan Desert, and Edwards Plateau. This
mix of habitats is combined with a huge expanse of the clear, clean
waters of Amistad Reservoir.
People use Amistad Reservoir year round. In
contrast, some animals utilize the area only during seasonal
migrations. In the fall, thousands of Monarch butterflies roost on
park lands before continuing their journey south to wintering sites
in Mexico. Many waterfowl species spend the winter on the lake
before returning north in the spring. Even endangered and threatened
species, such as the Interior least tern, use the lake to nest and
The National Park Service and state agencies
have implemented several projects in order to monitor the natural
resources of the lake and surrounding areas. Extensive inventories
of flora and fauna, yearly Monarch butterfly tagging, and monthly
water quality testing provide invaluable data.
By monitoring changes, park staff can quickly
take measures to conserve the natural resources and beauty of
Amistad National Recreation Area.
Did You Know?
The first Southern Transcontinental Railroad was completed in
January 1883 by driving a silver spike into the track at a location
on the Rio Grande just upriver from the confluence with the Pecos
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