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Eagle Nest Lake, New Mexico

Eagle Nest Lake, New Mexico

Are you yearning for an escape? A place where the hustle of the city feels like a distant memory? Then let’s embark on a journey to a place where tranquillity rules and nature thrives – New Mexico. Known as the “Land of Enchantment,” this state, with its blend of cultures and landscapes, casts a magical spell on every traveler. Amidst its treasures lies one that stands out, a mesmerizing alpine sanctuary known as Eagle Nest Lake.

Imagine this – a vast expanse of shimmering water, encircled by rugged mountains and lush greenery, under the wide-open sky. That’s Eagle Nest Lake for you! Perched at a soaring altitude of 8,300 feet, this 2,400-acre lake is an oasis of serenity in the heart of New Mexico’s wilderness. But how did this gem come into existence?

History of Eagle Nest Lake, New Mexico

The story of Eagle Nest Lake dates back to the early 1900s. The creation of the Eagle Nest Dam gave birth to this man-made wonder. What was once a valley is now an aquatic haven that breathes life into the arid, mountainous landscapes of New Mexico. Eagle Nest Lake was not only constructed into a lake, it’s also state park! A retreat that promises an unforgettable journey into nature’s lap, where adventure meets relaxation. Whether it’s fishing, boating, hiking, or just soaking in the picturesque views, Eagle Nest Lake State Park is the heartbeat of this enchanting region.

Eagle Nest Lake Dam
Eagle Nest Lake Dam Image Source: Legends of America

Eagle Nest Lake by the Numbers

Situated at a towering altitude of 8,300 feet above sea level, Eagle Nest Lake’s vast expanse encompasses an impressive 2,400 acres. Its shimmering surface mirrors the vast New Mexico sky, and beneath the surface, the waters reach depths of approximately 90 feet at the lake’s deepest points. These depths house a thriving aquatic life, including fish species such as rainbow trout, kokanee salmon, and yellow perch. Along its shoreline, the park sprawls across nearly 700 acres, providing ample space for camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities. As for visitors, thousands of nature lovers, adventure enthusiasts, and anglers are drawn to the lake’s shores year-round, making it a vibrant hub of activity amidst the serene alpine wilderness.

Lake CharacteristicStatisticUnit
Surface area2,400 acres
Shoreline length16.5 miles
Maximum depth90 feet
Ranking (Size) (New Mexico)#9 By Surface Area

Fishing at Eagle Nest Lake

Popular Fish Species

But what’s a lake without its fish, right? Eagle Nest Lake’s crystal clear waters harbor a vibrant aquatic life. Anglers, get your gear ready! Rainbow trout, kokanee salmon, and yellow perch abound here, making the lake a favorite amongst fishing enthusiasts.

For the table below: EM=Early Morning | LE=Late Evening


Kokanee Salmon

Sockeye Salmon
Spring + FallEM + LE
2.5 Ibs
18 inches
Smallmouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
Late Spring + SummerEM + LE
Abundant 2.5 Ibs
16 inches
Rainbow Trout
Spring + FallEM + LE
Abundant 2 Ibs
15 inches
Brown Trout
brown trout
Spring + FallEM + LE
Moderate2 Ibs
18 inches

Fishing Season and Techniques

Fishing is a year-round activity at Eagle Nest Lake. Whether it’s summer or winter, there’s always a chance for you to reel in a big catch. If you’re an ice fishing aficionado, winter months are particularly exciting. And don’t worry if you’re a novice; the state park offers fishing clinics to help you master the art.

Fishing Tournaments and Events

To add a dash of excitement to your fishing adventures, Eagle Nest Lake hosts annual events, like the Ice Fishing Tournament. A celebration of the angler community, these events bring together participants from all over the country, making fishing not just a hobby but a vibrant cultural event.

Activities at Eagle Nest Lake

Water Sports and Boating

Craving a bit of thrill? Eagle Nest Lake has you covered! Its pristine waters provide the perfect playground for a variety of water sports. Canoeing, kayaking, or simply cruising on a boat – pick your favorite and ride the gentle waves.

Winter Activities: More Than Just Ice Fishing

When winter rolls in and the lake transforms into a glistening ice sheet, it’s not just about ice fishing. Don your snow boots and get ready for a day of snowshoeing or cross-country skiing across the frosted landscapes. Eagle Nest Lake in winter is a wonderland you wouldn’t want to miss!

Lodging Around Eagle Nest Lake

Hotels and Resorts

After a day full of adventures, a comfortable place to rest is a must. Around Eagle Nest Lake, numerous hotels and resorts cater to a range of preferences and budgets. Whether you’re seeking luxury accommodations with full amenities or a modest room with a view, you’ll find it here.

Cabins and Lodges

For a more intimate stay, consider renting a cozy cabin or lodge. Imagine waking up to the sight of a tranquil lake, right outside your window! It’s not just a stay; it’s an experience that combines comfort with nature’s charm.

Campgrounds for Outdoor Lovers

For those who truly want to immerse themselves in nature, camping under the starry New Mexico sky is an unbeatable option. Eagle Nest Lake offers well-maintained campgrounds where you can pitch your tent and savor the essence of outdoor living.

Lodging NameType of LodgingDistance from LakeWebsite Link
Eagle Nest Fly Shack and LodgeLodge0.5
Econo LodgeHotel1
Angel Nest RetreatCabin1.5
Golden Eagle RV ParkCampground0.6

Planning Your Visit to Eagle Nest Lake

Best Time to Visit

Every season unveils a different facet of Eagle Nest Lake, making it a year-round destination. Summers are perfect for boating and fishing, while winters offer the thrill of ice fishing and snow sports. Fall, with its riot of colors, offers breathtaking views, and spring sees the area teeming with life.

Eagle Nest Lake New Mexico map
Eagle Nest Lake New Mexico

Getting to Eagle Nest Lake

Located in northeastern New Mexico, the lake is easily accessible by road. The drive itself is a treat, with stunning landscapes to keep you company. Just pack your bags and hit the road; Eagle Nest Lake awaits!

There’s something about Eagle Nest Lake that leaves a lasting impression. Its natural beauty, the plethora of activities, the tranquillity – it all combines to offer an experience unlike any other. If you’ve been yearning for a break, for a place that allows you to reconnect with nature, and create unforgettable memories, look no further. Eagle Nest Lake in New Mexico is calling!


  1. How big is Eagle Nest Lake?
    • Eagle Nest Lake covers approximately 2,400 acres. Its vastness allows for plenty of room for boating and a rich habitat for a variety of fish species.
  2. What is the depth of Eagle Nest Lake?
    • The lake is approximately 90 feet deep at its deepest point. This depth varies across the lake, providing different habitats for aquatic life.
  3. What kind of fish are in Eagle Nest Lake?
    • The lake is home to rainbow trout, kokanee salmon, and yellow perch, among others. It’s a paradise for anglers who enjoy both bait and fly fishing.
  4. Can you swim in Eagle Nest Lake?
    • While the clear waters might seem inviting, swimming in Eagle Nest Lake is not typically recommended due to the cold water temperatures and sudden weather changes.
  5. Are there camping facilities around Eagle Nest Lake?
    • Yes, Eagle Nest Lake has several campgrounds, making it a perfect place for outdoor lovers to connect with nature. Remember to check current guidelines and availability before planning your trip.
  6. What are the opening hours for Eagle Nest Lake State Park?
    • The park is typically open from sunrise to sunset. For specific information or updates, it’s best to check the official New Mexico State Parks website or call ahead.
  7. Can I visit Eagle Nest Lake all year round?
    • Yes, Eagle Nest Lake is a year-round destination. Summer offers excellent conditions for boating and fishing, while winter transforms the lake into an ice fishing and snow sports haven.

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