Navajo Reservoir

Only an hour-long drive from Durango, the Navajo Reservoir is the premier aquatic experience in northern New Mexico and southwest Colorado. With 159 miles of shoreline, there are endless possibilities for outdoor sun and fun on the reservoir’s waters. It is one of the largest bodies of water in New Mexico. 

Navajo Reservoir offers a break from the high desert climate of the southwest and has plenty of opportunities for fishing, boating, swimming, canoeing, and kayaking. 

Additionally, visitors can camp, hike, and picnic along the shore. 

Things to Do at Navajo Reservoir

Boating, Water Skiing, Wake Boarding

Boating on Navajo Lake

To travel the length of the entire lake, boaters must have valid registration in both Colorado and New Mexico. Power boats, houseboats, personal watercraft, sailboats, and sailboards are allowed on the Navajo Reservoir.

Navajo State Park has a 110-foot boat ramp that can accommodate vessels of any size. The Two Rivers Marina also provides boat rental services and sells ice, tackle, boating supplies, cold drinks, snacks, apparel, and camping gear. 


Fishing enthusiasts can find a variety of species at Navajo Reservoir, including northern pike, smallmouth bass, catfish, bluegill, brown trout, common carp, rainbow trout, and kokanee salmon.

Bait, tackle, and advice can be found at Two Rivers Marina

You must have a valid fishing license from Colorado and New Mexico to fish the entirety of the Navajo Reservoir. 

Swimming and Picnicking

Sunset at Navajo Lake, Arboles, CO

Swimming is not allowed on the portion of the Navajo Reservoir located in Colorado; however, it is allowed on the New Mexico side of the lake. 

There are no lifeguards on duty at Navajo State Park, so wear a lifejacket.

There are two group picnic areas are available for reservation through the Visitor Center. The picnic areas have upright grills, picnic tables, and water. The picnic area near the Visitor Center is a covered pavilion, and has electric outlets and lights. 

Visitors are also welcome to picnic along the shoreline for quieter experience. 

Kayaking, Canoeing, and SUPing

Kayaking, canoeing, and SUPing are allowed at Navajo Reservoir. It is recommended that visitors tune their kayak or canoe trip into a camping trip and see the entirety of the reservoir on a multi-day trip. 

There are no lifeguards on duty, so wear a lifejacket.


Camping reservations are required for the sites at Navajo Reservoir, of which there are 138 (including RV sites). Navajo's developed campgrounds have amenities like showers, flush toilets, and two cabins available for rent. 

Most of these sites are open year-round. Dispersed camping is not allowed. 


There are five trails located around the Navajo Reservoir: Nature Trail, Rosa Trail, Windsurf Beach Trail, Piedra Trail, and Sambrito Wetlands Trail. These trails are gravel or dirt and range from beginner to intermediate in difficulty.

Try Sambrito Wetlands Trail for a stellar view of the lake and San Juan River Valley. 

Maps and Site Resources

Travel Tips for at Navajo Reservoir

  • Get properly outfitted for your fishing trip before heading out to fish.

  • The area is a breeding ground for insects, so bring plenty of bug repellent and wear long sleeve shirts. 

  • If you own a houseboat, tow it to Navajo Resevoir and enjoy the waters for an extended period of time. 

  • Bring plenty of water and food with you.  

  • The sun is much stronger at higher altitudes, so apply and reapply sunscreen liberally every two hours.  

  • Purchase your New Mexico fishing license online at home before coming to the park, as those licenses are no longer available at the Visitor Center.

Accessibility Information

  • There are some accessible campsites at Navajo State Park.  

  • The visitor center and its nearby bathrooms are barrier-free and wheelchair-accessible,

  • There is one accessible fishing are available at the park

Care for Durango 

  • Please research the park restrictions and conditions before you make your trip.  

  • Store your food in a designated bear cache, vault, or hang. 

  • Follow Leave No Trace (LNT) principles. 

  • Dogs must be leashed or otherwise physically restrained. Do not leave pets unattended. 

  • Protect fragile environments and stay on marked trails. 

  • Do not dump any waste in the waters of the Navajo Reservoir. 

  • Please pack out all trash and waste, including your pet's waste. 

Pledge to Care for Durango