Escaping to your nearest blue body of water is always a good idea once the summer months come around. Laying on a floaty under the beaming sun then splashing into the cool blue freshwater around you is never a bad idea. There's a relaxing calm lake near Santa Fe, New Mexico, that is perfect for a fun and peaceful day trip. You can even opt for a camping trip to really get the most out of visiting the area.

Santa Cruz Lake Recreation Area is only a 30-mile drive north of Santa Fe, making it the perfect spot to day trip to.

The lake is actually a man-made dam that was built back in 1929. Santa Cruz Lake is 535 feet across and gets up to 90 feet deep!

You can make a splash and relax under the rolling hills and nearby mountains. There is so much to do at this lake, from fishing to picnicking to camping, boating, and hiking galore.

You can float or boat across the lake, admiring the deep blue water, wildlife, and the large granite wall that borders one side of the dam.

Bring a kayak and sail across the smooth water or opt for a more exciting adventure and tow your boat out here. Even sticking to the shores and admiring the views from the rocky banks makes for a fun time.

The recreation area is a great place to visit when funds are low and excitement is high, since entry is only $5 per vehicle and the area is open year-round.

If you're interested in camping, there is an overnight camping fee of $7 to $9 depending on the campground and number of vehicles.

No matter if you choose to go on a day trip or a whole weekend trip, the Santa Cruz Lake is sure to have you leaving refreshed.

Santa Cruz Lake Recreation Area

Price: $5 entry

Address: County Road 98A Espanola, NM

Why You Need To Go: You can kick back and enjoy the views of the mountains over the still, calming waters of the dam nestled between them.


We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.



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