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Pecos River, New Mexico
Report by Marc W. McCord

Santa Rosa Lake SP to Sumner Lake SP
~ miles

General Description

The Pecos River forms near Santa Fe in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of Santa Fe National Forest, then flows southeast to Fort Sumner, where it turns south and flows through Carlsbad into Texas to its confluence with the Rio Grande at International Amistad Reservoir between Langtry and Comstock. Of all New Mexico rivers, it is second only to the Rio Grande in distance travelled through the state, and provides a significant water source for most of eastcentral and southeastern New Mexico. At least 7 state parks are located along its banks between the headwaters and Carlsbad, near the Texas border.

Location

Distance from major cities

Santa Fe miles; Albuquerque miles; Phoenix miles; Durango miles; Denver miles; Salt Lake City miles; El Paso miles; Dallas miles; Austin miles; San Antonio miles; Houston miles; Oklahoma City miles; Little Rock miles; Kansas City Miles. (All distances are approximate, and depend upon starting point, destination point and route taken.)

Water Quality and Flow Rates

Best time to go

Hazards to navigation

River Access Points

Campgrounds and accommodations

Villanueva State Park offers campsites with and without electricity, drinking water, restrooms, showers, a launch ramp (small fee may apply), day use area with picnic tables, fishing and a sanitary dump station. Santa Rosa Lake State Park (505-766-2724), located 3 miles north of Santa Rosa (121 Miles east of Albuquerque off U.S. 66 / I 40), offers campsites with and without electricity, drinking water, restrooms, showers, a launch ramp (small fee may apply), day use area with picnic tables, fishing and a sanitary dump station. Sumner Lake State Park, near historic Fort Sumner where Billy the Kid is buried, offers campsites with and without electricity, drinking water, restrooms, showers, a launch ramp (small fee may apply), day use area with picnic tables, fishing and a sanitary dump station, a marina and fuel. Abundant natural campsites are available all along the river, but some may be on private property - ALWAYS obtain permission before camping there!

Liveries, outfitters and shuttle services

Reviewer's Comments

Technical Data
Class Rating
Length miles
Minimum Flow cfs
Optimum Flow cfs
Maximum Flow cfs
First Put-in Below Santa Rosa Dam
Lat. / Long.
Last Take-out Sumner Lake State Park
Lat. / Long.
Elevation msl
Gradient fpm
USGS Gauge Web: 08382830 (Santa Rosa Dam)
Boats Canoes, Kayaks
Season
Permits No


Adobe Whitewater Club of New Mexico - For the Love of Rivers

Canoeman River Guide Service - Guided river trips in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado and Utah

Lone Star Paddler - the paddlesports web site of Marc W. McCord

Click the links below for information regarding the section of the Pecos River and its tributaries where you want to paddle.

[ Pecos River Homepage ] [ Cowles to Pecos ] [ Pecos to Villanueva SP ] [ Villanueva SP to Santa Rosa Lake SP ]
[ Sumner Lake SP to Bottonless Lakes SP ] [ Bottomless Lakes SP to Brantley Dam SP ] [ Brantley Dam SP to Living Desert SP ]
[ Gallinas River ]

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© September 23, 2002. All rights reserved.
Last updated December 16, 2007

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