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Santa Rosa Lake is snuggled in the Pecos River Canyon near the town of Santa Rosa along NM 91 in Guadalupe County. It is cradled on one side with acres of rolling grassland and encase by low, rocky hills dotted with a variety of brush on the other. Visitors will enjoy a host of recreational activities such as boating, fishing, camping, water skiing, and more.
Authorized by the Flood Control Act of 1954, Santa Rosa Lake was created by impounding the Pecos River. Santa Rosa Dam and reservoir are used for flood control, sediment retention and irrigation storage. The completed dam stands 212 feet above the streambed and 1,950 feet long. Although there is not a permanent pool at Santa Rosa Lake due to water released periodically for irrigation use, in recent years lake levels have increased and become stabilized encouraging more activity at the lake. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers owns all the land surrounding Santa Rosa Lake and leases the area comprising the State Park to the State of New Mexico.
The town of Santa Rosa, the city of natural lakes, is not far from the lake that takes its name. The town of Santa Rosa is famous for natural sinkhole lake. Visitors to Santa Rosa Lake may also enjoy the short drive to Blue Hole, an 81 foot deep natural artesian spring, which keeps a constant temperature of 61 degrees and delivers up to 3,000 gallons of water per minute.
Fishing is excellent in the Santa Rosa Lake. The lake is stocked by the New Mexico Game and Fish Department. Fish species include largemouth bass and smallmouth bass, channel catfish, walleye, crappie, sunfish, and yellow perch. Wildlife viewing is another popular pastime at Santa Rosa Lake. Depending on the time of year, Canada geese, pelicans, ring billed gulls, ducks, and even eagles may be sighted by an observant visitor. Along the sandstone shoreline mule deer, raccoons, fox, and coyotes come down for a refreshing drink of the lake water.
The Santa Rosa State Park offers three recreational areas which consist of the Rocky Point Camping Area, the Juniper Park and Boat Ramp Area, and the Los Tanos Primitive Camping Area. The park covers a total area of 550 acres. Camping facilities include primitive as well as electric campsites and some of the amenities are picnic shelters, restrooms, boat ramps, and grills. The Santa Rosa State Park also has two paved hiking trails and two Day Use Facilities.
Whether visitors plan their vacation at Santa Rosa Lake, or stop by on their way to another destination, they will find much to do and see. Visitors may enjoy Santa Rosa Lake so much that it becomes a regular vacation site.
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