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Posts Tagged ‘Cochiti Lake Recreation Area’

The Most Relaxing Morning Ever

Posted by Jody on September 29, 2013

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Stand up paddle boarding (SUP) is something that I’ve wanted to try for many years! SUP is a fun and easy family activity, making this fast-growing sport the perfect opportunity for just about anyone to go out and play on the water.

According to REI: “Paddle boarding offers an amazing full body workout and is becoming a favorite cross-training activity for skiers, snowboarders and other athletes. And since you’re standing at your full height, you’ll enjoy excellent views of everything from sea creatures to what’s on the horizon. It’s almost like walking on water!”

Greg and I recently spent a gorgeous New Mexican September morning paddle boarding on Cochiti Lake. It was our first experience on stand up paddle boards, so we had no idea what to expect. After suiting up with life vests, Gene Scanlon of Sol Board Sports in Albuquerque taught us everything we needed to know, and within a very short amount of time, we were eagerly launching our boards from the beach to enjoy the most relaxing morning ever on placid Cochiti Lake. It really was almost like walking on water. Neither one of us even fell in the lake (and falling off the board was the one thing I really had anticipated)! 🙂

Gene told us that paddle boarders could burn up to 1,100 calories per hour, and after two hours on the lake, we could definitely believe it! Our leg & arm muscles felt like wet noodles. (Note to self: Next time eat a heartier breakfast!) But when we returned to the little sandy beach, Greg and I both felt completely relaxed, refreshed, and rejuvenated. We were hooked after only one time out!

I see many, many more stand up paddling days in our future!

Do you have a favorite beach sport? Do tell! We’d love to hear about it.

This week’s Travel Theme is “Relaxing.”

Helpful links:

REI / Stand Up Paddleboarding

Cochiti Lake, New Mexico

American Canoe Association


Posted in Inland Shores | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments »

The Best Staycation Ever at Cochiti Lake!

Posted by alainaflute on July 23, 2012

Cochiti Lake (Photo by Alaina Diehl)

Boy, it feels great to hit the beach!

Happy Feet (Photo by Alaina Diehl)

Yesterday was my very first trip to the beach at Cochiti Lake, located less than an hour’s drive north of Albuquerque, New Mexico. I’d never been before, and I’m not sure why! Granted, I’m not the biggest fan of lake swimming,  but there was much more to enjoy. In the water, families were swimming, rafting, and sailing. On the sand, others were sunning, picnicking, and making sandcastles. There is even a volleyball net nearby.

Makeshift sailing on Cochiti Lake (Photo by Alaina Diehl)

If you go, be sure to bring your hat/sunglasses/sunscreen combo (the New Mexican sun can be very intense). Many people brought their own shade to set up on the beach- but it was a windy day, and umbrellas and canopies were flying everywhere! Just bring something you can tack down. Also, the lake has a rocky, uneven bottom. Although we were fine barefoot, you might be more comfortable in Aqua Socks or some other water-friendly shoe. Last but not least, be sure to bring plenty of your own water and hand sanitizer (the restrooms are pit toilets with no running water).

Off to play in the sand! (Photo by Alaina Diehl)

A day at Cochiti Lake will put the spring back in your step!


Posted in Beaches of North America, Inland Shores, Monday Miscellaneous | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Enchanting Cochiti Lake, New Mexico

Posted by Jody on October 21, 2011

Cochiti Lake Recreation Area (Photo by EGD)

When you’ve been in New Mexico for 20+ years, it seems easy to take for granted that you live in “The Land of Enchantment.” Sometimes even we  need to get out and re-explore the back roads to remind ourselves of the beauty that is New Mexico! The Cochiti Lake Recreation Area is just that type of reminder.

An easy 45 minute drive north of Albuquerque, New Mexico lies the idyllic Cochiti Lake Recreation Area.  Here you’ll find the serene no-wake Cochiti Lake, picnic shelters galore, overnight camping, and a lovely, well maintained swimming beach.  In fact, the entire recreation area is wonderfully managed by the US Army Corps of Engineers.

Beach at Cochiti Lake, New Mexico (©Jody Diehl)

“Numbers grow each weekend at what may be the nicest beach in the State of New Mexico. Visitors bring pop-up shelters, gas barbeque grills and chairs and spend most of the day having fun at Cochiti Lake. The Cochiti Lake staff has been working to make the beach larger, constructing more shelters and providing more parking areas to make everyone welcome.” (USACE) With the prevalence of New Mexico breezes, sailboarding and sailing are popular activities on Cochiti Lake.

Scenic Drive to Cochiti Lake, New Mexico (©Jody Diehl)

Cochiti Lake was formed by the building of Cochiti Dam, the eleventh largest earth-filled dam in the world. Construction of the dam began in 1965 and took a decade to complete at a cost of $94.4 million. The Cochiti Dam stretches 5.5 miles and rises 251 feet to impound the waters of the Rio Grande (the fifth longest river in North America) and the Santa Fe River.

We really enjoy the scenic drive to the Cochiti Lake Recreation Area.  There is enough water in the area to make for some beautiful New Mexico style foliage, and everything you see is framed by rugged mountains and hills.  There are also several delightfully friendly communities with lovely, well-kept houses and farms, and the locals are almost guaranteed to wave to you as you drive through!  It’s customary to wave a friendly “howdy” back.

Directions: From Santa Fe, south on I-25 to exit 264, west on Highway 16 and north on Cochiti Highway (Hwy 22). From Albuquerque, north on I-25 to exit 259, northwest on Highway 22.

Have a great day at the beach! (Wherever you are!)

Posted in Beaches of North America, Friday Finds, Inland Shores | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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