Boating, Kayaking, Floating, Tubing

Water sports of all kinds are possible here. The Rio Grande bisects the county, feeding our two lakes, Elephant Butte and Caballo.

sailing at elephant butte lake

Thousands of visitors come to the lakes each year.

During summer weekends, both lakes—but especially Elephant Butte—turn into hubs of activity. Otherwise, they offer plenty of wide open water and relative privacy.

Kayaking, canoeing and boating can be enjoyed year-round. When the river is high enough, floating the river is a popular activity. The complete 5.5 hour passage from Elephant Butte State Park to Caballo Reservoir is relatively easy—two 18″ drops in 17 miles, on a course that winds from Elephant Butte to Truth or Consequences / Williamsburg then through BLM land for the remainder of the trip. Floating conditions vary, depending on number of acre feet being released from Elephant Butte, weather, and other factors.

Free Boat Safety Class

life preserver water safetey training elephant butte lake

Free Boat Training is offered by New Mexico State Parks. The training is required for anyone operating a boat and completion of the course earns participants a free night of camping.

Learn more

Watersport Organizations

Several organizations make use of Sierra County’s lakes and river.

Check out the Las Cruces Paddling Meetup Group for info on group kayak and canoe outings. The Rio Grande Yacht Club holds regattas at the lake during winter months, and dinghy races in the summer. The Southwest Drag Boat Association hosts races for every kind of watercraft imaginable in summer months.

southwest drag boat racing at elephant butte lake

Watercraft Rentals

Please note, all rental facilities will equip you with lifejackets, which are required attire when you are out on the water.

dam site marina elephant butte nm
Elephant Butte

Dam Site Marina

kayaksstandup paddleboardsMore Info
float from the boat truth or consequences rio grande
Truth or Consequences

Float from the Boat

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marina del sur
Elephant Butte

Marina del Sur

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floating the rio grande in truth or consequences
Truth or Consequences

Rio Grande River Trips

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kayaking on elephant butte lake