Water Sports – Boating, Boarding, Tubing, Kayaking
The Rio Grande bisects the county, feeding our two lakes, Elephant Butte and Caballo. Water sports of all kinds are possible here.
Thousands of visitors come to the lakes each year. During summer weekends, both lakes—but especially Elephant Butte—turn into hubs of activity. Otherwise, the lakes offer plenty of wide open water and relative privacy.
Kayaking, canoeing and floating the river is a popular activity in summer, when the river is flowing and the weather is especially hot. The 5 1/2 hour passage from Elephant Butte State Park to Caballo Reservoir is easy—two 18″ drops in 17 miles, on a course that winds from Elephant Butte to Truth or Consequences / Williamsburg then through BLM land for the remainder of the trip.
Several organizations make use of Sierra County’s lakes and river. Check out the Las Cruces Paddling Meetup Group for info on group kayak and canoe outings. The Rio Grande Yacht Club holds regattas at the lake during winter months. In the summer, the Southwest Drag Boat Association hosts races for every kind of watercraft imaginable.
FREE BOAT TRAINING is offered by New Mexico State Parks. The training is required for anyone operating a boat and completion of the course earns participants a free night of camping.
Boat Rentals, Kayak Rentals, Houseboat Rentals and More:
Captain D’s JetSkis
JetSki rentals in season at Elephant Butte Lake.
Dam Site Marina
Kayaks, standup paddle boards, aqualodges, and boat slips.
Float from the Boat
Rent inner tubes and other inflatables right on the bank of the Rio Grande.
Marina del Sur
Boat slips are available at Marina del Sur, as are rentals of pontoon boats, pontoon ski boats, and slide boats (3 hour minimum).
Rio Grande River Trips
Rent inner tubes and inflatable kayaks – transportation provided, life-jacket included, $20 per person.
Zia Kayak Outfitters
Kayak, paddleboard and other watercraft sales and rentals, plus all the accessories you’ll need out on the lake.