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“Swimming and Fishing at Cochiti”
Review of Cochiti Lake

Cochiti Lake
Attraction details
Level 5 Contributor
54 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Swimming and Fishing at Cochiti”
Reviewed September 3, 2013

Nice small resivore, good swimming with tables for picnics and bathrooms. Good camp sites and never overly busy. Fishing is fair with catfish, crappies, occasional northern pike and bass.

Visited July 2013
4 Thank Timmm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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45 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Level 4 Contributor
44 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
“Gem of beach, crystal clear water and rugged beauty”
Reviewed July 15, 2013

I've been going to Cochiti Lake beach for a few years now with my kids and friends and each time I go, I think...why don't I come here more often? The beach is generally well kept with several picnic tables (some covered with pavilions). There are bathrooms and when they are out of order there are porto-potties available. As you drive down there is a boat ramp on the left. On the right is the large beach with a roped off swimming area that stays shallow way out. Beyond the swimming area to the right are several buoys that create a lane for kayak and stand up paddle boarding.
There is no lifeguard here although there are rangers that walk around and monitor the beach.
It's best to go in June/July. If it's a very dry summer, the lake water will get too warm at the end of July and algae will form. It will turn your suit green.
It's also best to go early in the day, unless you are sailing or windsurfing. The winds pick up at noon almost every day like clockwork. A shade tent will likely get blown away. I would recommend some camp chairs/beach chairs.
I've been on the weekday when it's almost empty and it's like heaven in New Mexico in the cool clear lake water.

Visited July 2013
7 Thank webwahine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 6 Contributor
462 reviews
148 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 281 helpful votes
“Small lake, good location”
Reviewed February 25, 2013

Cochiti Lake is a small lake conveniently located in between Albuquerque and Santa Fe, NM. As locals, we enjoy visiting Cochiti Lake in the shoulder and off seasons as it is quiet, not many people, and offers a nice place to hike, fish - a fishing license is required - walk our dog, or just hang out for a few hours. Dogs must be on a leash at all times and are not permitted at the beach area.

Scuba diving is allowed for certified divers, but you must float a scuba dive buoy on the surface while you dive. Visibility is extremely poor and water is cold, but this is a good place to practice your skills in less than ideal conditions. One will rarely find a scuba diver here, except us.

In the peak late spring and summer season, there is a beach area open for swimmers - this is closed during off season - complete with covered areas for shade and some picnic tables. Restrooms and picnic facilities are also available near the boat launch ramp. Restrooms are usually clean and well maintained year round.

Cochiti Lake also features a nice RV park, with a newer section complete with some camp sites with electrical hookups. Fees vary from about $12.00 to $20.00 per night when we visited here, based on the amenities of the campsite. There is also a small playground for kids in this section, and roads are paved in the newer section of the RV park. Reservations are required during high season and still strongly recommended in low season.

A small visitor center is open during high season, with friendly Forest Rangers and fairly-helpful staff. The visitor center gives you a nice overview of the lake and surrounding area, and you can hike a couple of easy trails from the visitor center to an overlook of the lake.

Visited February 2013
6 Thank DiveMoreWorkLess
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Level 5 Contributor
52 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“This is a lake?”
Reviewed February 2, 2013

You have to desperate for a body of water to consider this a lake. Not much in the way of facilities or view, but if have have to swim or take the boat out, I guess this would do.

Visited August 2012
2 Thank Jim G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Level 5 Contributor
71 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 141 helpful votes
“Kids really liked it”
Reviewed January 10, 2013

Just a good place to relax and not feel "commercial-ized." Spent a good day reading and painting while grandchildren explored the area. Water is a "special place" in New Mexico.

Visited August 2012
3 Thank GAIL W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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