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Navajo Lake

For the lake in Utah see Navajo Lake (Utah)
Navajo Lake
Looking north. Navajo Dam is on the left side.
Location Rio Arriba / San Juan counties in New Mexico;
Archuleta County in Colorado, United States
Coordinates
Type reservoir
Primary inflows San Juan River, Piedra River
Primary outflows San Juan River
Catchment area 3,190 sq mi (8,300 km2)
Basin countries United States
Surface area 15,600 acres (63 km2)
Water volume 1,708,600 acre·ft (2.1075 km3)
Surface elevation 6,085 ft (1,855 m)
Location of Navajo Lake within New Mexico

Navajo Lake is a reservoir located in San Juan County and Rio Arriba County in northwestern New Mexico, in the southwestern United States. Portions of the reservoir extend into Archuleta County in southern Colorado. The lake is part of the Colorado River Storage Project, which here manages the upper reaches of the San Juan River, storing and releasing water that is used locally for irrigation, or ultimately reaching the Colorado River in Utah. Water is impounded in Navajo Lake by the earth- and rock-filled Navajo Dam, 3,800 feet (1,200 m) long and 400 feet (120 m) high, completed in 1962. The 15,600-acre (63 km2) lake is over 25 miles (40 km) long and lies at an elevation of up to 6,085 feet (1,855 m).

The construction of the dam and the resulting lake flooded and destroyed one of the Navajos' most sacred sites.[1]

Two shoreline areas near the dam in New Mexico are part of the Navajo Lake State Park, featuring over 200 camping and picnic sites, and two improved boat ramps and two marinas. The river shorelines below the dam are also part of the state park, as well as a BLM Recreation Area. An area in Colorado near the head of the lake is the Navajo State Recreation Area. The lake is an excellent destination for camping and general boating, as well Smallmouth Bass, Black Crappie, Northern Pike, Channel Catfish, and Trout fishing.

References

  1. ^ Linford, Laurance. Navajo Places. History, Legend, Landscape. University of Utah Press. Salt Lake City: 2000.

External links

  • Navajo Lake State Park
  • U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Navajo Lake
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