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boating on Elephant Butte Lake in Sierra County NM

Water Sports – Boating, Boarding, Tubing, Kayaking

boating on Elephant Butte Lake

The Rio Grande bisects the county, feeding our two lakes, Elephant Butte and Caballo. Water sports of all kinds are possible here.

Sail Boat RegattaThousands 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.

dragboat racing at Elephant Butte Lake

image source: Southwest Drag Boat Racing’s Facebook page

free boat safety training for Elephant Butte Lake & Caballo Lake

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:

Please note, all rental facilities will equip you with lifejackets, which are required attire when you are out on the water.

Dam Site Marina

77b Engle Star Route,

Kayaks, standup paddle boards, aqualodges, and boat slips.

Marina del Sur

State park main entrance,

Boat slips are available at Marina del Sur, as are rentals of pontoon boats and ski boats.

Sports Adventure Rentals

Rock Canyon Boat Ramp,

Pontoon boats, ski boats, pedal boats, standup paddle boards, wake boards, tubes, rentable by the hour or the day.

White Water Weekends

pick ups downtown and at Rotary Park,

Rent inner tubes, inflatable kayaks, and 16′ catarafts – transportation provided.

Zia Kayak Outfitters

310 Rock Canyon Road,

Kayak, paddleboard and other watercraft sales and rentals, plus all the accessories you’ll need out on the lake.

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