Day trips: Ute Lake offers wet, dry activities

Compiled by Bryant Million

Ute Lake State Park near Logan offers visitors many activities in and out of the water. The lake is a manmade reservoir fed by the Canadian River, stretching 13 miles long and never exceeding one mile in width. The lake’s surface covers 8,200 acres, and it is the second largest lake in New Mexico.

Recreation and activities
Ute Lake State Park has a new marina and offers such water activities as fishing, swimming, boating, water skiing, sailing, knee boarding, jet skiing, wind surfing and parasailing. Fish in the lake are walleye, small- and large-mouth bass, crappie, bluegill and channel catfish. According to Park Manager Rodney Paris, many fishing tournaments are held in the park.

Out-of-water activities offered at the park are camping, sightseeing, hiking on trails, wildlife viewing, picnicking and bird watching.

The wildlife in the park include ducks, quail, doves and pheasant. Deer and antelope roam the surrounding plains and mesas.

Facilities at Ute Lake include a visitor center, group shelters, 142 developed sites (shelter, water and table), 77 electric sites (electricity, water, shelter and table), RV dump station, restrooms and showers.

“The friendly atmosphere and cleanliness of our park and restrooms is great,” Paris said. “Visitors are able to have fun and relax in and around the water, and there is plenty of room for all kinds of camping. All of these are just a few reasons why people like to come to Ute Lake.”

Upcoming events
Paris said, “There is always something going on at or near Ute Lake.”

On July 1, Ute Lake and the Logan community will hold a Fourth of July celebration that will include a parade, bean feed and barbecue, dance and fireworks display over the lake.

Other upcoming events and programs include Orienteering, Star Parties, Dam Tours and Night Sky.

Ute Dam history
The Ute Dam was completed in 1963 and is owned and operated by the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission. The dam is the largest labyrinth weir spillway facility in the world and the largest built by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, with a design discharge capacity of 550,000 cubic feet per second, according to the Adobe Mission Realty Web site.

Prices
o Day visits from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.: $5
o Overnight camping at primitive sites: $8
o Overnight camping at developed sites: $10
o Overnight camping at electric sites: $14

How to get there
Take NM 209 north to NM 469 to San Jon and then to Logan. Ute Lake State Park is three miles west of Logan by NM 540.
Information: 487-2284.