Elephant Butte Lake State Park

boat towing inflatable tubes at elephant butte lake

New Mexico’s largest body of water, Elephant Butte Lake is a fisherman’s paradise known for record-breaking black, white, and striped bass, as well as crappie and bluegill.

The lake offers miles of trails, sandy beaches, and magnificent views along its 43-mile length. Admission / park fees are $5 per car or $15 per bus or tour van. Walk or bike in for free! Annual day use park passes are $40.

elephant butte lake state park map
balloons rising over the shores of elephant butte lake

About Elephant Butte Lake

Azariah fishing at elephant butte lake state park.
Photo of Azariah fishing at Elephant Butte Lake courtesy of fishing guide Frank Vilorio

Elephant Butte Lake State Park encompasses 40,000 acres. Camp sites for tents and RVs are available. A Visitor Center is located near the main gate.

The lake is abuzz in the summer, especially on the three big holiday weekends — Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day. Jet skis, powerboats and pontoons are popular forms of transportation out on the water, while many swimmers cool off along the shorelines.

In cooler months the lake provides a serene setting for sail boats, paddleboards or kayaking. Birds of all kinds can be seen at the lake, especially during migration season. Boating, camping and hikes on the walking trails or strolls on the sandy beach are available year-round.

There are two marinas to serve boaters. Wireless internet is available throughout the park (below Monticello point).

The Damsite Recreation Area, built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the late 1930s, has been designated a Historic District. The site retains the flavor of the lake’s historic past and includes cabins, an RV park, rock-lined paths, and the charming Dam Site Lodge, housed in the old Administration Building dating from 1911 and the dam-building days.

Marinas / Boat Rentals

dam site marina elephant butte nm
kayaks, standup paddleboards

Dam Site Marina

55 Damsite Road
More info
marina del sur
boats, kayaks, standup paddleboards, tubes

Marina del Sur

State park main entrance
More info

Bait & Fishing Supplies

boats for sale at butte marine general store elephant butte
bait, fishing supplies, fuel, snacks, watercraft sales

Butte General Store & Marine

900 NM Highway 195
More info
dam site marina elephant butte nm
accessories, bait, candy, fishing supplies, snacks, t-shirts

Dam Site Marina

55 Damsite Road
More info
marina del sur
bait, fishing supplies, sporting goods, watercraft rentals

Marina del Sur

State park main entrance
More info
pats convenience store and lake supplies elephant butte
bottled beer, bottled wine, fishing supplies, fuel, groceries, packaged liquor, sporting goods

Pat’s

1006 Highway 195
More info
zia kayak outfitters elephant butte nm
fishing supplies, sporting goods, watercraft sales

Zia Kayak Outfitters

310 Rock Canyon Road
More info

Maps

Elephant Butte Lake State Park main gate

Elephant Butte Dam overlook

Elephant Butte Lake Events

Here are just a few of the events you can attend at the lake. Details are subject to change, always check websites or social media for up-to-date info.

Kayak Fishing Tournament

Next occurrence:
2024-05-17T07:00:00

Junior Open Fishing Tournament

Next occurrence:
2024-06-15T08:00:00

Fireworks Show at Elephant Butte Lake

Next occurrence:
2024-07-06T20:30:00

Elephant Butte Balloon Regatta

Next occurrence:
2024-09-06T06:30:00

Elephant Butte’s Luminaria Beachwalk

Next occurrence:
2024-12-14T17:00:00

First Day Hike at Elephant Butte Dam

Next occurrence:
2025-01-01T10:00:00