Cochiti Lake

No short text A large campground with easy access to the lake and its associated watersports. If you enjoy the water, this is a good campground to visit.

Campground data:

Controlling agency: US Army Corps of Engineers; Cochiti Lake
Official URL:campground web site
Region: North-central; Jemez Mountains.
CG elevation: 5479ft; 1670m
Campsite count: 80. 48 with electricity, 32 without.
Visual density: 0.00. Visual density not recorded.
Fee: $5.00. The fee varies from $5.00 to $12.00 per night depending on day of week, season, and whether or not you are in a site that has electricity.
Season: All year. Summer might be hot.
Dogs: Unknown.
Horses: Unknown.
Handicapped accessible: Yes.
RV max length: 65ft; 20m
RV parking surface: gravel
RV pull-through spaces? Yes.
General notes: The picnic tables in the non-RV loop are covered. Most in the RV loop are not covered (I guess they expect RVers to stay inside their RV?).

At least one double site exists; group sites also are available by reservation.

You can call ahead or visit ReserveUSA.com and make a reservation.

A pay phone is at the pay station at the entrance to the campground.

The campground gate is closed from 10pm to 6am. The lock combination is given to campers.

You might also check out the Recreation.gov web site for Cochiti Lake.

Campground facilities: water, trash can(s), vault toilet(s), flush toilet(s) (in RV area. No toilet seats in the bathroom with the showers.), cooking grill, showers ($0.25 for five minutes), tent pads, electrical hookups, water hookups (You must bring at least 100 feet of hose with you to get water; spigots are shared between sites.), RV dump station, reservation sites.
Campground attractions: fishing, boating, swimming, lake, year-round access.

When we visited it:

Date: 2001-10-07
Cleanliness: 9.

Waypoints:

Waypoint Type Description
CLCGCampgroundCochiti Lake campground and recreation area

Maps:

Geohack online map list

Paper maps:

Map name Cartographer Year Scale Topo map? Online access Notes
Albuquerque New Mexico USGS 1983 1:100000 Y from sar.lanl.gov (free)
Guide to Indian Country of Arizona Colorado New Mexico Utah Automobile Club of Southern California 1998 1:0 N Arizona Strip Interpretive Association (purchase) Good overview road map for northwest NM. No scale is given on the map. The corner coordinates are approximate.
Los Alamos BLM 2003 1:100000 Y Public Lands Information Center (purchase)
Santa Fe National Forest US Forest Service 2004 1:126720 N From the National Forest Store (purchase) West half
Wildernesses of New Mexico US Forest Service 1981 1:1000000 N No online copies. Base map with national forests, wilderness areas and highways.

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Getting to the campground:

From I-25, take the Cochiti Lake exit (NM 22) and follow the signs to the town of Cochiti Lake and the Pueblo de Cochiti golf course. Before you arrive at either of these, you will see the turnoff to the right into the recreation area.
No short text

About the campground:

Campground overview
This is an overview of the campground, taken from near where you first enter the recreation area. What you see here is the RV area with electricity; the non-electric campsites are behind the bushes on the right and extending off the right side of the picture.
Here you can see our truck in Site 47 in the non-electricity area. While this site does not have one, several sites had nice, level areas where tents could be placed. All of the non-electricity (B-loop) campsites have shelters like this. Only a few of the A-loop (electricity) sites have them.
Our truck in site 47
The playground in the nearby picnic area
Here is a view of the playground in the picnic area, not far from the camping area. And, you can see Cochiti Lake in the background.

Of course, one of the primary reasons for camping here is the water.

This photo was taken by Michael Wester. My thanks to him for his permission to use it.

A boat on Cochiti lake

Plants we saw around the campground:

Reader comments about this campground:

On Sun Jul 27 15:57:55 2003 Wanda from G.P.Texas said:
I have been staying here for 6 years in Oct. to go to the Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque. It is a very nice place to stay. I camp in a tent; mornings are cold but it is pleasant the rest of the day. And so many stars to see !!

On Sat Jun 19 12:57:41 2004 JUDITH SCHMADER from RIO RANCHO N.M. said:
THIS IS THE WORST CAMPGROUND I HAVE EVER BEEN AT....MY REASONS ARE IT WAS BUILT IN THE EARLY 70S AND NO IMPROVEMENTS HAVE BEEN MADE TO IT SINCE....FOR EXAMPLE ELECTRIC CONNECTION BOXES ARE JUST TO FAR FROM YOUR RV WHEN EXPECTED TO STAY ON YOUR BLACKTOP PARKING AREA. MANY DO NOT REACH YOUR RV....WATER YOU NEED 75 TO 100FT HOSE WHO CARRIES ONE OF THESE AROUND??

THE RV SITES MOST OF THEM ARE ON A CLIFF SO WHEN YOU STEP OUT OF YOUR RV IT IS VERY DANGEROUS AND TREACHEROUS EXPECIALLY FOR ANYONE DISABLED. OF WHICH I SHALL BE FIRING A LETTER OFF TO THE DISABELITY BRANCH. PLUS A FEW OTHER LETTERS.

A SEWARGE PLANT IS ALREADY UNDER CONSTRUCTION THERE AND WIND WHEN BLOWS JUST RIGHT WELL NEED I EXPLAIN IS ONE!!

CAMPGROUND HOSTS WERE VERY UNATTENDATIVE IN THIS SITUTATION AND WHEN TELLING THEM I COULD NOT GET OUT OF RV EXCEPT FOR FALLING OFF A CLIFF....CAMPGROUND HOSTS TRIED BUT TO NO ADVAIL TO GET AHOLD OF A RANGER SO THEY SAID.

THIS WAS MY FIRST TRIP TO COCHITI AND SHALL BE MY LAST AND WOULD NOT RECOMMEND THIS CAMPGROUND TO ANYONE...IN ORDER FOR OUR ELECTRIC TO REACH WE PARKED ON GRAVEL AREA .....AND WERE TOLD WE COULD NOT DO THIS AND PARKING ON BLACKTOP AREA OUR ELECTRIC WOULD NOT REACH WITHOUT FALLING DOWN A CLIFF... WE THEN MOVED TO A GRAVEL AREA WITH OUT A CLIFF AND NO ELECTRIC.....

IT IS ON BMI LAND AND IS RUN BY THE ALBUQUERQUE DISTRICT CORPS OF ENGINEERS.....I SHALL AND WILL BE IN CONTACT FOR DISCRIMINATION AGAINST A DISABALED.

NOT LIVING FAR FROM HOME WE LEFT THE NEXT DAY. I DID NOT EXPECT A HANDICAP AREA BUT JUST ONE THAT A DISABLED PERSON COULD WALK IN AND OUT OF THE RV OF WHICH I COULD NOT ....BUT A CLIFF TO GET IN AND OUT OF RV....AND STILL HAVE ELECTRIC. WE MY HUSBAND AND MYSELF ARE NOT OLD PEOPLE BUT IT WAS JUST TO DANGEROUS A PLACE. THEY NEED TO IMPROVE THIS CAMPGROUND OR CLOSE IT DOWN.

ALSO OUR CAMPGROUND HOSTS SAID THEY WERE UNHAPPY WITH THIS CAMPGROUND. MY QUESTION TO THEM WHY ARE THEY DOING IT THEN??

On Wed Jun 23 11:10:39 2004 Anonymous from Somewhere said:
do you have mushrooms out there?

On Fri Jun 25 09:47:54 2004 Anonymous from Albuquerque NM said:
Yes we have mushrooms but we have even more stupid New Yorkers living in Rio Rathole which I think may explain the SPECIAL COMMENTS ABOUT COCHITI LAKE.

Sorry I have no sympathy for people who think camping is driving a 30 foot RV into a parking lot and watching movies on their DVD while talking with friends on their cellphone and eating microwave popcorn.

On Sat Jun 26 11:53:45 2004 Anonymous from Australia said:
I love it! My dogs love it too.

On Sat Jun 26 11:54:53 2004 Anonymous from Somewhere said:
great place to sleep.

On Sun Jun 27 11:21:20 2004 Anonymous from Somewhere said:
I guess the anonymous from Albuq. thinks everyone drives a 30 ft rv and all who live in Rio Rancho are from NYC....

On Fri Oct 1 18:58:16 2004 Anonymous from Albuquerque NM said:
We camped accross the lake at the Tetilla Peak area. It was clean and quiet. We had a great site overlooking the lake. It was a very nice drive down to the park. We give it a thumbs up.

On Thu Feb 10 19:49:43 2005 Happy with Cochiti from Albuquerque NM said:
We stayed at Cochiti Lake for 3 days in September 04. It was a very pleasant experience and we thoroughly enjoyed our stay and cant wait to go back. The park attendants were extremely nice and very helpful. We drove across the lake to the other campground and it was barren. This would have been our choice by far.

On Wed Mar 2 15:29:44 2005 Great outdoors from Egipt said:
We enjoyed the campground a lot. Everything was very clean warm water for this time of the year. Isolated beautiful wild life but also with easy access to groceries and bigger towns. Our jeep was the best tool to explore the Jemez and the pictures we took up there showed the lake and the mountains around it. I WANT TO BUY A HOUSE HERE!!!

On Sun Mar 6 13:07:02 2005 Lily from San Luis Obispo CA said:
Thinking about camping here March 18th. Clothing suggestions? Weather conditions? Can you swim in the lake? I've never been to New Mexico before any cool hiking trails nearby? I would appreciate any advice and info!

On Mon Mar 7 09:47:43 2005 Webmaster from Albuquerque said:

Lily I'd love to respond personally but unfortunately you did not give me any contact information. Try the general suggestion form as one way of getting in contact.

Spring in NM is wind season but March may be early enough to avoid the wind. The weather can be anywhere from snowing to pleasantly warm so pack clothes that can be layered.

A beach is south of the boat ramp, and I have seen swimmers and windsurfers there.

As for your question about nearby hikes, check out the hikes section of ExploreNM.com.

On Thu May 5 06:00:34 2005 Environmental Planner from NM said:
Well, it seems a lot of complaints are thrown at us. First of all, this is a primitive campsite, it is for camping, i.e. tents, or campers, or lay on the grounders. It is not a hotel. Camping requires some effort, unless you are just lazy. By the way, to the person who complained about having to carry a 75'-100' hose to hook up her trailer so she could drink, they are about $9.99 at WalMart and will fit in a WalMart sack, tough I know. For those who are handicap, I understand your situation, but, it is not discrimination. Discrimination is purposely withholding an opportunity due to race, religion, color, sex. No one is purposely withholding anything from you.

Either you want to camp, or hang out in a trailer. Make your choice. If you expect a roll out ramp and red carpet, go somewhere else. You can't please everyone, especially the middle age crowd who has nothing better to do than complain about every damn thing on earth and write letters saying someone is withholding something from them.

We do have free tissue, you need to use it.

On Thu May 12 16:17:02 2005 Robert from La Mesa, California said:
Cochiti Lake is truely a beautiful area and a super spot to camp. Motorhomes and all. We travel a lot by Motorhome and havent had any problems at Cochiti Lake. I was sorry so hear some bash the lake so badly but on the other hand glad to see all the positives. I understand some peoples expectations are unrealistic. But go with the flow and youll enjoy life more and certainly be happier. We want to live at Cochiti Lake some day too. And are planning on it.

On Thu May 12 21:48:52 2005 Mark Fowler from Newbury Park,CA said:
I dont have a comment specifically. But we plan on staying at Tetilla Peak CG for 2 nights in October for the balloon fiesta and as a stayover while we travel to Tennessee. Has anyone stayed at Tetilla Peak? Can someone give me more info? Do I need 100 water hose My wife is semidisabled. That being said, we have NEVER expected anything more than what we have been told to expect from campgrounds. We particularly like the StateFederal CGs because we feel its our way of supporting the system, and to be honest, I would rather have it that way. For the most part every StateFederal CG we have stayed at in our deluxe super high dollar popup trailer have been nicer and maintained beyond our expectations.

On Fri May 27 14:50:29 2005 Susie from Moriarty, NM said:
Anyone who does not absolutely LOVE Cochiti Lake should not ever come back. I "discovered" the lake 4 years ago. My husband and I took our honeymoon there. It was so peaceful and quiet. We had a wonderful time. I hope that the negative people that have nothing good to say about the lake, will just stay away and leave us positive people to have all the fun....

On Wed Jul 27 16:18:11 2005 Marc from Albuquerque said:
Nice campground. Facilities were well maintained. Hot in July when we camped but the clouds came in in the afternoon to cool things off and a dip in the lake works too. If you go, do the Tent Rocks hike. Not too far from the campground and really cool if you have never done it.

The only thing I can knock Cochiti for is the fact that it may bee too close to the city. We had several campers around us playing loud music, using fowl language in the presents of childeren, and one couple even got into a fight that required the sheriff to come and regain order. Not a plesent camping experience.

Nice place, but I'll try to get further away from "it all" next time.

On Mon Oct 10 09:05:15 2005 Anonymous from Somewhere said:
Tetilla Peak area is just a wonderful area, quiet, the scenery is just one that cannot be caught in photos. Compared to the other side of the Lake it is the best you will have for relaxing. We have camped there over 14 times this summer and will til it closes end of Oct.

Also might add many improvements are being done there.

Our thanks go out to "Robin" for making our summer there very NICE!!!

Sincerely.
Judy & Bob & 2blackdogs

On Fri Mar 10 10:24:18 2006 Donna from Albuquerque, NM said:
I stayed at Cochiti Lake last weekend and loved it. Very quiet and peaceful. The site was level and the electric post was not too far. I did notice some of them were a bit of a distance from the sites but thats what extension cords are for. I will definitely stay there again and will recommend it to my friends.

On Wed Apr 5 21:40:54 2006 Whistles from NM said:
I plan on taking a trip there in the next few weekends so the kids can go fishing! I cannot believe the comment left by that lady. It is called camping..... I would hate to be stuck next to this woman at a campsite. Can't wait to visit this beautiful place!

On Thu Nov 2 05:40:17 2006 Sally from Albuquerque, NM said:
I spent several days at Cochiti Lake in early September, and liked it so much that I spent my weeklong vacation there later that month. The scenery is beautiful and the facilities were very nice. All the staff that I met were very friendly, and provided very useful information. I plan to return on a regular basis.

On Fri Jun 30 16:43:28 2006, the webmaster said:
Due to repeated attacks (i.e., attempts to add links about Viagra and online casinos) against this specific page, all comments are being manually screened. Go ahead and use the comment form. It will fail, but I will see the comment and get it up as soon as I can (dissertation writing permitting). When the attackers back off, I will re-allow direct addition of comments.

On Wed Mar 28 14:56:33 2007, Mark Jarzemba from Santa Fe, NM said:
We stayed a weekend at Conchiti Lake in late November of 06 and thought it was a really nice, clean place to stay with terrific scenery. We will be heading back for a weekend stay this weekend March 07. Great hiking, fishing and a nice waterfront are all available within a mile or two.

The only two improvements I would suggest keep in mind these are VERY minor points is that the RV sites do have sewer hookups but for most sites there is really no way to get the RV or drain hose to them they are uphill and relatively far from the parking site for the RV. No biggie, just seems like a waste to have them present without the ability to use them.

The second is that there are no fire pits which seems unusual since in most of the RV sites we saw there was very little vegetation, and the sites were mostly rocks. Theres nothing like a roaring fire to end the day with. They do have BBQ grills though.

On Thu May 17 14:40:11 2007, Brian from Rio Rancho, NM said:
I've never camped at Cochiti but can say that it is a favorite place for nearby desert dwelling triathletes to practice open water swimming. Because it is a nowake lake it is safe for that kind of thing, even outside the roped off swim area. The water is also nice, not like some of the recreation lakes that are heavily sued by power boats.

In addition, there are great areas to both run and bike in the immediate vicinity. We have done swims followed by runs and swims followed by bikes...its just an all around great training ground.

On Mon May 21 10:43:50 2007 Cara from Las Cruces, NM said:
I just had to smile and add my own comment about the negative shouted comment at the top because as soon as I read it I knew this must be a great place to tent camp. If RVs don't like it, then it will likely be a more quiet pleasant place to be! We are coming next week and am looking forward to it.

Thanks everyone else for the great advice on where to set up.

On Tue Jun 12 10:09:49 2007 Annita from Rio Rancho, NM said:
We love it there, it is a great place for a day trip to go swimming with the grandkids or to spend the weekend. This is our favorite place to spend Father's Day each year.

On Mon Jun 18 21:06:47 2007 gary from abq nm said:
I have been sailing boats at cochiti for about 30 years. I often stay overnight in my boat. It is a place of beautiful mornings and light breezes, quite, with beautiful sunsets following usual afternoon t-storms passing off the Jemez mountains to the west. it is a great place to swim, walk run bike sail or just kick back and enjoy. There are sometimes deer, always beavers, many different waterfowl at different times of the year, coyotes, and latley turtles and garter snakes have moved in. It is pretty well policed and family friendly. also, one can make a small profit by selling garden hose there. (chortle).

On Thu Jun 28 14:28:10 2007 Anonymous from Albuquerque, NM said:
I haven't heard any comments about the swimming at the lake. Would it be a good place to swim and play in the water, or is it more of just a fishing lake?

On Sat Jul 14 20:57:08 2007 gary from abq nm said:
Cochiti lake is an excellent place to swim. There is a roped off area just for swimming and wading at the SW corner of the dam, with a very gradual dropoff and the army corps has added a few truck-loads of sand for a sandy beach. On the East side (tetilla peak) if you follow the dirt road that turns to the left at the bottom of the boat ramp, you will find several coves and some sandy (narrow) beaches with good swimming etc. There are some shady trees and very green areas of grass and willows along the water's edge. The road winds itself around these coves and forks off here and there and one can find some very private areas. The water is near 80 deg. July and August. They close the area at nightfall but there is overnight camping up towards the top of the boat ramp.

On Mon Jul 16 10:39:26 2007 Pattie from Somewhere said:
Great informational site for someone like me, who's not yet been to Cochiti.

What about fishing license requirements? Will my NM resident license be valid, or do I need "Tribal" license?

On Thu Jul 19 16:44:24 2007 gary from Somewhere said:
You just need a NM fishing--no tribal is needed.

On Sun Aug 26 14:59:22 2007 John from Corrales, NM said:
I had a great time taking various members of my family fishing over the last three weekends. I had just bought an old, small boat recently, and this is the perfect lake to have a nice quiet day of fishing and swimming. I haven't camped here, but from what I could see of the facilities, if you need more than what is offered, you don't know how to camp. Will be coming back again and again. I have perfected catching white bass, and need to learn how to catch whatever else is in there.☺

On Tue Aug 28 14:40:10 2007 Eileen from Salem KY said:
hi everyone; we're planning on moving to the abq area in a year or two. we were wondering if it's permissible to allow dogs to swim in the lake. in all likelihood if we visited it would be after the summer season. our dogs love to swim and retrieve.

thanks

eileen

On Sat Oct 13 09:08:15 2007 Gary from Somewhere said:
hi Eileen--yep, dogs can swim in the lake. a lot of people bring down their dogs, especially on the east side as their are numerous coves and points to swim and throw sticks off of for the dogs to fetch. We were just there yesterday sailing with 2 of our dogs with us. The chiuaya sp. stays out of the water but the rat terrier loves to fetch the sticks.

On Sun Jun 15 11:21:55 2008 Mike from Rio Rancho,NM said:
I'm not from NYC, but the great state of Florida. A co-worker suggested I go up to Cochiti, and thats just what I'm going to do. It sounds like a real nice place, I hope there are no complainers like that poor woman at the top of the page. Got plenty of those in Florida.

On Tue Jul 1 18:07:33 2008 Brandy from Belen, NM said:
My family and I were thinking about going the Lake during the 4th of July weekend. I was wondering are you allowed to camp with tents next to the water or do you have to be on one of the designated spots for tents? Also are you allowed to bring your own fire pits for late night fires?

On Wed Jul 2 18:37:40 2008 Anonymous from Los Lunas NM said:
Our family went on June 27-29 and it was our first time. It was very nice,clean, and very friendly people. I would definatly recommend going to someone who asks where's a good place to go camping. The kids really enjoyed the swimming area and watching the boat docking.

On Mon Sep 8 10:25:38 2008 Anonymous from Albuquerque, NM said:
We were very happy with the lake, the cleanliness, the price, very quiet (at least when we stayed) and the short distance from Albuquerque. Our weekend was wonderful and we'll back. Fishing was so-so. Nice boat ramps. Great swimming area. Our reservation was made with Sandy-very helpful and pleasant lady on the phone and in person. Her friendliness and customer service helped make our stay even better. The day we left a different person was at the station-Lee-Not pleasant to work with, rude, and showed very little interest in making ua a reservation for the next weekend. Maybe she was having a bad day. All in all we had a wonderful time and will come back frequently. Thank you.

On Sun Jan 11 01:43:55 2009 jack from texas said:
man, all that nonsense at the top, including the campground attendants' response (priceless) just turns us on no end! we will DEFINITELY stay there this summer, and we'll bring our sailboat to boot. 100' of walmart hose, man that comment has me rollin' on the floor. you can't even FIND water in texas, so what's 100'!!! can't wait to find an empty, quiet campground at a nice, small lake, with folks that have a sense of humor... finally, what an A+ deal! HA!

On Fri Feb 27 14:12:40 2009 Gary from Albuquerque NM said:
Cochiti update: There have been many improvments going on up at the lake the last couple of years--to name a few--More covered palapas or pagodas both at the west boat ramp area and the south swimming/beach area. Huge new camping area overlooking the lake with what looks to be a bathroom/shower building. Picnic tables along the boat ramp shore and under all the pagodas, a mast raising tower at the west boat ramp. Looks like the new campground will be open this summer (09) but don't know for sure. Weekdays there are hardly any people there but weekends comes quite a crowd so take yuour pick. It is a trolling speed only lake so it is always quite. BYOGH (bring your own garden hose).

On Sat Mar 7 23:53:19 2009 Jo from Santa Fe from Somewhere said:
You can bring your dogs but they are required to be on a leash. People bring dogs that they can't always control, and its a royal pain to have a pit bull barking its head off. I take my dogs, leashed, and have a great time. We've had to leave when unleashed/uncontrolled dogs are there. The rangers do try to enforce leashes but can't be there all day. The lake is great! My Scouts (Boy and Girl) have camped there as youngsters for years, the nature trail is terrific, the rangers give really good talks. As for cliffs, well, I don't really want to camp in a parking lot! My children and I have spent many hours canoeing around, the wild birds are gorgeous, and while we don't get much in the way of fish, a friend pulled a 36 inch pike(?)out.

On Sun Apr 26 15:53:39 2009 wooliebooger from AZ said:
Lots of info given in the comments above, and this sounds like a great place. I have 2 questions:

1. Is there a dump station available in the event your site doesn't have an available/usable sewer dump? If not, how far is it to one?

2. Are the roads paved getting in to the C.G.'s? I'm not prissy, but with the engine in the rear of my MH, dirt in the intake isn't a good idea for any real distance (but I do have lots of water hose).

Thanks in advance!

On Sun May 3 20:14:15 2009 Desertt5 from Albuquerque said:
First off, wooliebooger, yes there is a dump station at the entrance to the RV loop. Lots of room around it to get in and out. No sites have their own sewer hook-up. It is maybe 1/2 mile around the loop.

We just got back from a great weekend there. Looks like most sites only need up to 50' of water hose, but I would carry more just in case. The sites with water are on the inside of the loop and DO NOT have a cliff to step off of. The electric only sites may have a couple of feet, then stairs going down to a picnic table. Pretty small parking area wiht more room down the stairs to a picnic table.

Our had site had the electric hook-up on the opposite side of our camper. (Only one there that is this way) The atendants loaned us an extension for our 30amp hook-up for free.

Was a quiet weekend, most inside the loop sites were occupied, very friendly all around, campers and rangers alike. Fishing and swimming is a little ways away, 1/2 mile to a mile from the rv loop?

We will be back.

On Sun May 3 20:19:46 2009 Anonymous from Somewhere said:
Yes, the roads are all paved. Only the road to the swimming area is not paved.

On Fri May 15 11:11:38 2009 Anonymous from Somewhere said:
My family is considering camping here. We camp in tents so are there any spots with some shade since it's so hot right now? What is the daily fee? And how is the fishing?

On Wed Jun 17 21:22:39 2009 izzy from ABQ NM said:
I have been to the lake many times- a few to fish many to swin- my daughter is 4 and loves it there- the fishing was not so great but it was more for the experience for her-its a great getaway from the city : )

On Mon Jun 22 02:33:04 2009 Krystal from Bernalillo said:
My Husband has been to Cochiti Lake quite a few times and just has loved it, I mean he is constantly talking about taking us, our daughter and I, out there, BUT when it comes to me wanting some questions answered about the lake he simple just has no answers, ha men.

Questions I have that I really would like answered are,

1.) Can you camp somewhat near the water or is it just at the designated campground areas? I noticed a similar question not far above this posting, but it doesn't seem to be answered. Which brings me to the next,

2.) If it is camping only at the designated grounds, how far is it to the lake? A mile or so? Can you walk?

3.) Is the area pretty safe? I mean I'm sure there are pleny of honest people out camping, but if the grounds are not in walking distance from the lake would I feel pretty safe leaving our tent and other knick-knacks there while we are out at the lake for the afternoon?

And lastly, and I'm sorry, 4.) But our daughter is 9 months and is a fast lil crawler! I've read on other postings about cliffs...at the tent sites, there aren't any cliffs that my daughter can just randomly fall off of are there? Trust me she's always in watchful eye with us both! But if there's a cliff RIGHT NEXT to our tent area, I'm not sure staying would be a great idea?

Thank you to anyone or all who respond!

-Krystal ( FIRST TIME camper )

On Mon Jun 22 07:53:32 MDT 2009 the webmaster from Albuquerque replied:
When you submit questions, if you provide an email address, I will often send a personal reply.

You need to camp in the designated camping areas. I did not measure the distance from the campground to the lake, but it is easily walkable for me (keeping in mind that I hike all over the place).

We have never had problems with theft while camping, but we also ensure that any valuables we have are out of sight and locked up in our vehicle. I have met people who have had stuff stolen, but it was always out and easy for the thief. You might call the Army Corps of Engineers (they run the campground; see contact info near the top of this page) and ask them what problems they have experienced.

Regarding cliffs, (a) the campsites vary a lot in vertical relief. Choose one without a ``cliff''. (b) The ``cliffs'' are not cliffs, but more like steep hills. (c) Children bounce (I certainly did as a kid, but I know my mother worried :-).

On Wed Jun 24 21:37:01 2009 Krystal from Bernalillo said:
Thank you much!

On Sun Jul 19 22:55:39 2009 Anonymous from ABQ. NM said:
We have gone to this lake for years, and have seen it change from just a fishing place to a beach. We never had a problem there. We feel safe and enjoy the walks. We meet people from all over the world there. yes some places are steep, but it's best to look up the site you want or need. It is up in the mountains so yes it is expected to have hills. Wish they have hookups for the bathrooms though. Well it's up to us all to do our homework and look up and or call these places and ask what they can do for us there.

I Pray you all enjoy your stay there. I know we do and I'm sure we will in the near future.

On Mon Jul 20 12:58:09 2009 vint from Somewhere said:
Hi. I'm thinking of going camping at Cochiti lake. sometime between July 26, 2009 to July 31, 2009.

What is the weather like around the end of July? Thanks

On Sun Aug 2 18:29:33 2009 Tess from Rio Rancho said:
We visited Cochiti Lake for the first time on July 25. It was so nice, we took our children and they played in the water all day. The only negative thing was that we had packed to grill out, reading that they had grills. So, after the water play we went to the picnic area/day use, and it was closed off! Does anyone know if this is becaue of fire danger, or just someone not showing up to work?? We had to come all teh way back home and grill out at a park here in Rio...no grills anywhere between! Other than that, we loved it and are plannign on going back in the next week or two.. I just want to make sure we bring appropriate food this time.

PS- I know you can bring your own grill to the beach area, we just dont have one..but that may be a possibility if we cant get into the other spot. Thanks!

On Tue Aug 4 16:25:57 2009 Anonymous from Albuquerque said:
Great site! We just bought a kayak and would like to know if Cochiti would be a good place to give it it's virgin cruise? We have a pop-up camper in our pickup bed and would love to be able to camp fairly close to the water since the kayak is a bit heavy. We have not been there since the camping area was built. Any help/suggestions as to a camp site etc would be REALLY APPRECIATED! Also are there lots of boats? We really would like no boats. We kind of like to be away from people, so remote is ok. Thanks so much for any help you can give us. We would like to come this weekend (7 Aug).

P.S. I get a laugh reading some of the posts. Humor is good for our lives :-)

On Mon Sep 14 10:12:51 2009 Anonymous from Somewhere said:
i have heard over and over again about the new website which isnt on yet,also the new campsite which is suppose to open in august 2009 for picknicking which didnt happen, camping on the loop is great love cochiti but hey what gives looks like it is ready they say for camping on the new area is due to open in october is this true

On Wed Sep 16 11:56:15 2009 Anonymous from Somewhere said:
Coming to Tetilla Peak Campground next week. Hope we have picked the right campsite. Never been there before. What is weather like there in the evening this time of year? Is there a gas station fairly close. We drive a Gold Wing Trike and are limited on how many tanks of gas we hold. Thanks for any help you can give. Wish I had found this earlier.

On Thu Jan 7 09:08:14 2010 dianne moore from rio rancho nm said:
since you have expanded more trailer facilites where is your new website that was suppose to be up last year

Later, the webmaster replied: ExploreNM is a spare-time activity. I do plan on better honoring the time I have scheduled for it in 2010, so maybe I can make faster progress on the code and database rewrite. It really is making (very slow) progress.

Re-visiting Cochiti Lake to update the campground information (and give Tetilla Peak campground its own page) is on the to-do list.

In the meantime, remember also that Cochit is run by the US Army Corps of Engineers, not ExploreNM.com.

On Sat Jan 9 08:46:33 2010 Anonymous from Town of Cochiti Lake said:
I live in the Town of Cochiti Lake so I do not use the campsite but have been to the lake numerous times. Loved reading the comments (99% of them anyway).

Wanted to add the following information that may be helpful-There is a very efficient and well regarded volunteer Fire Department and EMS ambulance service located in the Town about 1 mile away.

The Town Library is open to all and has some 9 computers available for public use. They are all connected to the Internet (DSL). The hours vary and the library is open until 7 pm some nights. The library is closed on Sundays. Those with laptops can also use the wireless service, both during and after normal library hours.

The Town Librarian, and in her absence Library Volunteers, is very helpful. ( The volunteers are helpful even if the Librarian is present)

There is a children's program at the Library where volunteers will tell stories, read books to the children etc.

There is a highly rated golf course some 3 miles past the gas station/Cstore.

For specific info re library hours,ambulance and the town etc visit www.cochitilake.org

On Tue Jan 12 11:33:29 2010 Bob from Cochiti Lake said:
Why does the town discourage having pets such as dogs? Residents seem to be at war with each other about pets and this makes this a BAD community because of it!

Keep your dogs and other pets safe in this community, is dangerous for them here.

On Wed Feb 10 09:19:14 2010 Logan from Buena Vista, CO said:
Is the campground open in winter? Do you guys have snow on the ground right now? Does the lake freeze over? Looking at kayaking WhiteRock Canyon, and looks like all camping near Bandelier is closed this time of year. Any information on current conditions would be appreciated.

Thanks.

On Wed Feb 10 10:02:25 2010 The Webmaster from Albuquerque, NM said:
Just a reminder that the lake and campground are run by the Army Corps of Engineers (see the link near the top of the page). ExploreNM.com is not affiliated with them in any way (other than we pay taxes). For information about current conditions, your best bet is to call them. Their web page lists the phone number as (505) 465-0307/0308/2300.

On Wed Feb 10 15:22:18 2010 charlie from lisle, illinois said:
we are planning a trip for the last week of july 2010. i am concerned that it will be very hot during the day. we have a pop up. I see cochiti lake listed at 5500 feet altitude and i am wondering at what altitude is the campground? what about Tetilla Peak - is that at a significantly higher elevation? i'm guessing average temps late july early august 87 high, 63 low. sound right?

On Thu Feb 11 09:00:24 2010 The Webmaster from Albuquerque, NM replied:
The elevation difference between the campgrounds and the lake is not enough to make much of a difference in temperature. It's at most 50 ft. The two campgrounds are similar in elevation, so there's no difference to speak of there either. I think that the Tetilla CG is slightly lower than the campground on the west side, but I do not have specific data.

In July/August, I would expect highs in the low to mid 90s and lows in the 60s (figure 30-40F difference between day high and night low).

July/Aug is thunderstorm season, so you can expect thunderstorms. How many we will have depends on El Nino. Some years are very dry, others have a storm nearly every day. Even when there is a storm, it normally comes, rains, and leaves, so you will not be interrupted for more than an hour, probably less.

When the thunderstorms come, they lower the temperature substantially, possibly as low as night temps (but normally less). I did once see a 30F drop in 15 minutes.

You also need to be aware of lightning safety. NM has the highest per-capita death rate from lightning. We also have a lightning observatory near Socorro (because we have lots). A simple answer is that if there is nearby lightning, your car is normally a safe place to be. Also, if the small museum there is open, it would be a safe place. Here's a web site with more safety information: lightningsafety.noaa.gov

On Wed Feb 17 19:45:29 2010 Gary from Abq NM said:
The lake did freeze over this winter about Dec 20th, but has been melting off the past 2 weeks. I was up there yesterday and the ice was almost gone. I figure the rest melted off today. I myself plan on going sailing Friday and it is also great kayaking there. You must come in on the west end of the lake as the Tetilla peak side stays closed til about April. The road is blocked off about 6 miles from the lake on that side.

On Sat Feb 20 09:32:30 2010 Anonymous from rio rancho nm said:
gee so slow getting new website up, wondering if new campsite is even avaible

Later, the webmaster replied:
Remember that ExploreNM.com and Cochiti Lake are run by different organizations with no connection between them.

On Sat Feb 20 19:13:29 2010 gary from abq nm said:
New campground is not open yet. they are feverishly working on it. Of course, the old one on the west side is open. (I was there Fri 2/19/10)

On Wed Feb 24 17:20:21 2010 Logan from Buena Vista, CO said:
I heard from a source on www.mountainbuzz.com that alcohol was prohibited at Cochiti. Is that true? We are still looking at kayaking White Rock Canyon, but dont' want to get a ticket if we come floating into the lake drunk as skunks after the 7 mile flat water float...?

Later, the webmaster replied:
According to the US Army Corps of Engineers web site for Cochiti (link at the top of the page), alcohol is prohibited at the lake. I do not know how rigorously they enforce the rule.

On Thu Feb 25 16:42:53 2010 gary from abq nm said:
I heard first hand from an Army Corp officer that it means "be discreet". Just don't show off in public that u are indulging. I have been sailing and kayaking up there for some 30 years with no problem and I think it's common knowledge that I occasionaly sip. Just don't drink at the swim beach or the boat ramp and u'll be OK. Just don't tell them where you got this information or I'll have to sue.

On Sat Apr 17 18:34:57 2010 dianne from Somewhere said:
is the new campsite open yet???? if it is how much does it cost or is the same about

On Fri Apr 23 16:09:48 2010 gary from abq nm said:
Yes it is and it appears to be very nice with better lakeviews. I do not know about the fee but probably about the same.

On Sun May 9 10:56:50 2010 Anonymous from rio rancho nm said:
what about the new website i had called about it and they said soon so you can make reservations well kind of hard to make reservations when you dont know what the hell your looking at or the site you want now is it

On Mon May 31 10:35:10 2010 Anonymous from albuquerque said:
Just curious, is cochiti included in the free fishing weekend on june 5th?

On Sat Jun 12 19:41:15 2010 Anonymous from South Valley said:
Looks beautiful and affordable. I've always wanted to come here and finally plan on it perhaps for the 4th of July. My question is can you rent boats over there? If so, how much do they cost? If not, is there a place to rent them closer there than in Albuquerque or Santa Fe? Thanks.

On Tue Jul 20 14:43:05 2010 Roger from Rio Rancho said:
Well, the new campground sites are open from ealy Spring. It's now: July 20th, 2010

If you haven't seen the new improvements... Check it out :)

Nice job on the all new campsites. All new Facilities, etc and still growing

On Thu Oct 7 18:14:42 2010 Rob Savana from Somerdale , NJ said:
We will be moving to New Mexico in about a year and this place looks beautiful. I'd like to know what types of fish are in the lake and mosquitoes love me. How are they in the summer there?? Thanks so much....

On Thu Oct 28 03:47:06 2010 Richard J Shutter from Carlsbad, NM said:
Recently on October 22 thru October 24th weekend, my mother and her husband, Mr. & Mrs. Wolfe rented two spaces, one for them and one for me so we could be close to each other in spaces that has electricity and water. We set up both sites and everything was working fine, however within less than one hour, the water was suddenly turned off, and nobody informed us of anything. We contacted the camp hosts and they informed us that we should have water but it never happened. Later we were told the workers broke the water line and we could relocate to a site for each of us that had water. My mother and husband and I were very disgusted with the way this was handled and we finally did move both of our campers but were separated from each other and our camping trip turned out to be more work than pleasure! The camp hosts could have at least informed us that the water was about to be cutoff BEFORE we set up our campers! THIS WAS TOTALLY WRONG!

On Sat Nov 6 14:54:29 2010 Sara from New Mexico said:
My husband and I went up here with the intent of teaching our new puppy how to swim. Imagine our consternation when we discovered that the swimming beach was closed and blocked off(early November, sure, but it was still 70 degrees and sunny). So we parked down at the boat loading area, thinking that we might be able to find an area away from the boats to swim and take the pup swimming. The area was covered with "No Swimming" signs, so we decided to hike across the rocky terrain to the swimming area. Upon making it to the swimming area, we were very upset to find signs declaring "NO DOGS". This was incredibly frustrating, given that we've looked all over New Mexico for swimming lakes where we can take the pup-- New Mexico apparently doesn't think dogs should learn to swim.

It was also very frustrating to drive all the way out there and find out that the swimming beach was closed-- none of the sites for the lake mention anything about the beach being closed during the "winter".

On Thu Dec 16 17:17:57 2010 Gary from Abq. NM said:
Most people I talk to over the years enjoy their experiences at Cochiti. Of course, it is impossible for everything to be perfect all the time for everyone, but making the best of things is pretty good. Sometimes the worse stuff gets at the time, the better the memories. For fishing there are tons of white bass and crappie. There are a lot of channel cat 3 to 6 lbs as well as the mud cats (yella bellies) Some largemouth and smallmouth. Walleye up to 12 lb. Northern Pike 2 to 4 ft. Mosquitoes are rare most years although there can be a few down in the grassy coves at night. If your up in the campgrounds you probably won't see or hear one.

On Sun Feb 13 08:54:27 2011 Dave from Fruitland Park said:
Well, we are from Florida and are doing a full southwest camping tour this summer with our little Pop-up. Yep, I'm old so I added in AC. This place looked great. Seeing the temps at mid-90s in day and 60 at night, well...I'll take dry 95 in NM over 95 with 90% humidity in Florida any day. And 60 at night, that'll be heaven, we're used to lower 80s at night, same humidity.

After a few more stops in NM, we then go up to Utah and then down to southern AZ. I think the temps will feel nice in NM. 100 feet to water? We're staying in several spots where we bring in our own water. I agree with many other posters, camping isn't supposed to be about being in a resort, it is supposed to be about enjoying the outdoors.

Can't wait to get there

dave

On Fri Feb 18 09:45:51 2011 Daniel from Albuquerque, NM said:
We moved to Alb from the midwest U.S. March 2010. I am used to real muddy, ugly lakes there, and we were very happy to see the clear, clean water of Cochiti in the Spring. We went back in July to swim and were impressed by the cleanliness of the beach, having a restroom close, and the views while swimming/tanning are great!

On Sat May 28 13:01:48 2011 jw from Somewhere said:
Went to this lake 05/26/2011 in the afternoon. I launched my boat into the no wake lake (idle Only) and we had a great time! No one there we had the lake to ourselves. I caught a huge white bass Big Mouth on the 1st cast. Left about 1730 hours because it got windy.

jw

On Sat May 28 13:07:40 2011 Anonymous from Albq nm said:
Just a reminder to the staff out there........Clean out the boat ramp money deposit can. It was so full I tried to push my slip in there and ended up pulling 3 other peoples envelopes. I managed to get themm all stuffed down in there but thats not good business and we dont need the local criminals feeding off that spot!

Great Lake and clean Rv spots lets keep it that way!

On Thu Jun 30 07:46:11 2011 Anonymous from Rio Rancho NM said:
My wife and I love Cochiti lake and will continue to go there. The only thing I would recommend is to bring the camping fee back down to a reasonable price again. The jump from $12 to $20 was somewhat shocking. I could see $1 or $2 dollars, but $8 all of a sudden is a little much. The additional money that is spent for this, we could stay a few more days. I don't know if this was to pay for the new grounds and play area, but I don't see the additional fee as necessary.

On Sat Jul 2 08:52:32 2011 Anonymous from Cochiti, NM said:
Just FYI all. It looks like the park has a new facebook page. I found it looking for information on the fires up here.

www.facebook.com/USACE.Cochiti.Lake

On Thu Sep 1 11:17:54 2011 Craig N from Albuquerque, NM said:
Dog lovers should go to the other side of the lake, it's called Tetilla Peak recreation area. Much more relaxed atmosphere for dogs. Note! Don't drive to Cochiti and expect to get there quickly even though the lake is pretty small, it takes about 30+ minutes to drive to the other side because you have to go way out of the way. Instead find a route directly there, Hwy 16 off I-25 is the best way I know of!!

On Wed May 23 18:41:03 2012 Sam DaCosta from Rio Rancho, NM. said:
We camped at Cochiti Lake last weekend and had a great time. The water temp was nice, we brought our Kayak's and accessed the water on both days for a morning and evening trip across the lake. The running training on top of the Dam offered a long 10 mile run (5 out and 5 back) with views to knock your socks of.

We made reservations to return this weekend during the Memorial Day weekend. Cannot wait to use my Kayak on the lake again. Yes, it is a primitive campsite but "that's what camping should be."

On Mon May 28 18:43:12 2012 Donnie Gatling from Albuquerque,New Mexico said:
On 27 May I was fishing at Cochiti lake and caught a 7 pound Black Bass and a 3 1/2 pound Black, and a 9 1/2 pound Northern Pike.

I don't know much about camping there but the fishing is good.I have been fishing there for 20 years and love Cochiti lake.

On Sun Jun 10 13:00:25 2012 happy camper from Kanab, Utah said:
Anyone who doesn't like this place needs to go somewhere else!

We've stayed at Cochiti lake a number of times. It ranks with "our favorite places to stay". It is beautiful, clean, remote, and safe. It is somewhat primitive and we LOVE it that way. Nature is beautiful in all it's forms, and the thunderstorms that rocked the area the last time we stayed (2010) were AWESOME! Lightning bolts hitting the ground, wind in the trees... juat amazing. And the wild life is great, too. We were visited each night by a pair of coyotes, and daily by redtailed hawks. We would have camped there last year, but our week long reservations were canceled by the park when the wildfires came too close to the area.

Even tho it's remote, it's not too far to see Santa Fe as well as Albuquerque. New Mexico if full of wonderful outdoor activities and places to explore, too.

Some locals helped us when we had a problem with our vehicle and only wanted $10 to fix it. We gave them a huge tip! So friendly and helpful!

We'll be camping there again this summer, (hopefully no fires there this year), and happily look forward to it... swimming and kayaking in the lake, too.

On Tue Jun 26 08:20:39 2012 Margie from Rio Rancho, NM said:
We love the new campgrounds,but why does the water in the restrooms have to be so HOT?! It's almost scalding.

On Sun Jul 1 16:12:52 2012 David from Abq. NM said:
We are new here and retired from NJ,and having our granddaughters 11&14 come for a visit in July.We are planning just a day trip to the lake for sightseeing,swimming,and hiking.We know about clothes,sunscreen,food and stuff like that,but never having been don't know about things like changing clothes, showers,toilets,ways to get out of the sun,daytrippers cost to enter the lake.Any gereral information would be greatly appreciated,and we thank you.Really looking foward to this.

David

On Sun Jan 27 22:36:55 2013 Susan from NM said:
This is a lovely place to spend time!!! Dog-friendly and peaceful. Beautiful NM skies and weather. I'm so lucky to live nearby!

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