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Camping at Cochiti Lake

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Overview of Cochiti Lake

Cochiti Lake is a popular recreational area located in the Pajarito Plateau's foothills of the Jemez Mountains in north-central New Mexico. It's managed by the US Army Corps of Engineers and is situated on the Cochiti Indian Reservation.

Camping Options

Developed Campgrounds: Cochiti Lake offers developed campgrounds with a number of amenities. These may include hook-ups, restrooms, shower facilities, picnic tables, and grills. Campsites are often available for both RVs and tents, with some limitations on vehicle sizes due to the size of the camp spots.

Dispersed Camping: Dispersed camping might not be available around Cochiti Lake, as it is managed for specific recreational activities and the preservation of the environment. Always check with the US Army Corps of Engineers for the local rules.

Reservation Information

Booking: Campsites at Cochiti Lake often require a reservation, especially during peak season. These reservations can typically be made through the Recreation.gov website or by calling the reservation line.

Fees: There are usually fees for camping at Cochiti Lake, and these can vary based on the type of campsite and amenities you require. These fees help maintain the facilities and services provided.

Season and Hours

Open Seasons: Camping at Cochiti Lake is generally available from spring through fall. However, the exact opening and closing dates can vary from year to year based on weather conditions and other factors.

Operating Hours: The lake area, including campgrounds, will have specific operating hours that may change throughout the season. It is important to check ahead for current information about hours of operation.

Safety and Regulations

Swimming and Boating Safety: If your camping trip includes swimming or boating on Cochiti Lake, be sure to follow all safety guidelines and regulations, including wearing life jackets and observing any posted swimming restrictions.

Fire Safety: Fires must only be made in designated areas, such as fire pits or grills provided at the campsites. Be aware of the current fire restrictions, as these can change based on environmental conditions.

Wildlife: Always maintain a safe distance from wildlife and do not feed the animals. Properly store and dispose of food to avoid attracting unwanted wildlife to your campsite.

Fishing Regulations: If you plan on fishing, ensure you have the proper New Mexico fishing license, and be aware of any specific lake regulations.

Leave No Trace

Always follow Leave No Trace principles while camping to minimize your impact on the environment. This includes packing out all trash, respecting wildlife, and leaving the site as you found it for future visitors.

Local Attractions

Aside from the lake itself, there are other attractions in the area that campers might be interested in, such as the Bandelier National Monument and the Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument, which offer unique hiking experiences.

Contact Information

Before heading to Cochiti Lake, it is wise to contact the local US Army Corps of Engineers office for the most current information regarding camping, regulations, and any alerts or closures that may affect your trip.

Cochiti Lake Project Office: This is the office you would contact for up-to-date information specific to the Cochiti Lake area. They can provide detailed information on campsite availability, current conditions, and any recent changes to regulations that campers should be aware of.

Map of Campgrounds in Cochiti Lake
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