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Posts Tagged ‘New Mexico beaches’

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 »

Take a Break at Abiquiu Lake!

Posted by alainaflute on September 3, 2012

Ghost Ranch, Abiquiu, New Mexico

On the way to a flute seminar at Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu (pronounced Abb-ih-Q), New Mexico, I passed a lake. Where there’s a lake, there’s a beach! On a free afternoon, I tracked back with a few friends, and we found a lovely day-trip spot in beautiful, Land of Enchantment scenery.

Entrance to Abiquiu Lake (Photo by Alaina Diehl)

Not far from Espanola, or Santa Fe for that matter, Abiquiu Lake is no secret from fun-seeking local families. We saw boaters, picnickers, and swimmers of all ages.

Beach Contractors at Abiquiu Lake (Photo by Alaina Diehl) Please clean up after yourself and Toss No Mas!

Now, here’s a lake completely sans sandy beach. The rocks take you right up to the water, and, surprisingly, they aren’t too hot underfoot.

Bare Feet on the Rocks (Photo by Alaina Diehl)

There are restrooms, some shade trees, and shaded picnic tables. The New Mexican sun is strong, even this time of year, so be sure to bring a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, and plenty of water. There is a small fee for the boat ramp and day use, so bring some 1 dollar bills. Have fun, and don’t forget your camera!

Swimming and Wading in the Cool Waters of Abiquiu Lake (Photo by Alaina Diehl)

And for art fans, it’s no surprise that this lovely area of New Mexico was Georgia O’Keefe’s home from 1949 to the end of her life (you can tour her home and studio or visit the museum dedicated to her in Santa Fe).

View from the trail to Chimney Rock (Photo by Alaina Diehl) Abiquiu Lake is in the distance.

Golden Sunrise: Chimney Rock near Abiquiu, New Mexico (Photo by Alaina Diehl)

So, take a break at Abiquiu Lake and have a great day!

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

Lake Carlsbad Recreation Area, New Mexico

Posted by Jody on August 27, 2012

Today’s Featured Writer: Kristie McLin

Lake Carlsbad Recreation Area, New Mexico

Carlsbad is for Children!

This summer we spent our vacation in Carlsbad, New Mexico.

When people think of Carlsbad, they mostly think of the Caverns, which is no surprise. Carlsbad Caverns National Park boasts “Beauty and Wonder; Above and Below.” But we spent all of our time at the Lake Carlsbad Recreation Area.

Lake Carlsbad Recreation Area

There is a beach on the Pecos River here that is very kid friendly. At first, the kids were a little worried about swimming in something that was not a pool, but some really friendly local kids helped them jump right in! We took walks along the river, played at several of the play structures, visited the skate park and recreation center, and had lovely picnics. The kids had so much fun playing that they wanted to come back to play at the park the next couple of days instead of seeing the Caverns.

Shade, picnic tables, pedal boats and cafe at the beach. Lake Carlsbad Recreation Area

The beach at Lake Carlsbad Recreation Area

Since I know we will be back in Carlsbad soon, this was not a hard request to fill. The grown-ups had a great time watching the kids play while relaxing under big shade trees and covered picnic areas.

Lifeguard stand at Lake Carlsbad Recreation Area

Island at the beach, Lake Carlsbad Recreation Area

The kids had so much fun playing at all the different play structures and swimming in a river that they certainly will be requesting that we come back soon!

Posted in Beaches of North America, Inland Shores, Monday Miscellaneous | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

Home and Garden …and Beach!

Posted by Jody on August 13, 2012

Make your next garden party a beach bash!

 Here’s a fun boat tour of the creative little landscaped beaches along the Pecos River in southeastern New Mexico.

Enjoy the ride~

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 Just add friends and piña coladas!

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

Little Green Men and Small Blue Lakes

Posted by Jody on August 10, 2012

International UFO Museum and Research Center, Roswell, New Mexico.

Click on the street lamp (holding the American flag) to zoom in on the alien! You may want to click again for a real close-up encounter.

Top Secret

Are you heading to Roswell, New Mexico?  If you are, you probably know that when folks head to Roswell, they are often in search of an out-of-this-world experience.  Little green men abound in this thriving city tucked into in the southeastern quarter of the Land of Enchantment. Yep, flying saucers and extra-terrestrial beings are right at home in the high plains of New Mexico. From Roswell’s International UFO Museum & Research Center to its fast food restaurants, from the town’s artfully decorated storefronts to its painted street lamps, intergalactic sightings are the norm in this otherwise (seemingly) typical “All American City.”

You know what would really seem alien in these parts?  A beach!

Lea Lake from the Bluffs, Bottomless Lakes State Park

About fifteen miles southeast of the city of Roswell, you might not find a cover-up, but you may need one (for your bathing suit, that is). Tucked away at an elevation of 3500 feet, you’ll discover 1400 acres of ranch land, salt flats, and stunning red bluffs adorned with seven small green-blue lakes. This is Bottomless Lakes, New Mexico’s first state park.

Lea Lake, Bottomless Lakes State Park, New Mexico

Lea Lake is the only lake in Bottomless Lakes State Park where swimming is allowed. Families love this spot! Greg and I recently stopped by to cool off and enjoy a picnic supper on our way from Albuquerque to Carlsbad, New Mexico. We had an absolute blast here, swimming in the fresh, clean water. The designated family swimming beach was manned by many friendly lifeguards.

Beach at Lea Lake, Bottomless Lakes State Park, New Mexico

Lea Lake’s well maintained sandy beach is bordered by a shaded picnic area and a full shelter building.   Clean restrooms, outdoor showers, pedal boat rentals and a large children’s playground are all nearby.  Besides swimming, scuba diving, paddle boarding, and hiking are popular activities at Lea Lake.  Lovely campsites are very near the beach. The surrounding views are absolutely gorgeous.

View from the Picnic Shelter at Lea Lake

Perhaps the 1947 Roswell Incident visitors were just looking for a place to enjoy a day at the beach. What do you think?

For additional information, the New Mexico Bureau of Geology & Mineral Resources has a wonderful article/geologic tour of Bottomless Lakes State Park. It includes park history, folklore and facts about the “Pecos diamonds” that can be found in the area.

Dif-tor heh smusma.”  ~Vulcan greeting/blessing

“Live long and prosper.”

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

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 »

The City of Natural Lakes? Guess Again…

Posted by Jody on February 17, 2012

…unless you answered Santa Rosa, New Mexico!  Yes, Santa Rosa, New Mexico, with twelve spring-fed lakes in the local area, is indeed known as the City of Natural Lakes.  Located on Interstate 40 between Amarillo, Texas, and Albuquerque, New Mexico, there are plenty of activities for water lovers in and around this little Northeast New Mexico community.

Park Lake, Santa Rosa, New Mexico

Believe it or not, water skiing, windsurfing, fishing, and even scuba diving are all popular sports in these parts.  Although swimming is allowed at Blue Hole, Perch Lake, and Santa Rosa Lake (not spring- fed), what we really want is a beach!  That’s exactly what we’ll find at the “Southwest’s largest swimming pool.” Spring-fed Park Lake, conveniently located right off the interstate (exit 275), is the place. Featuring a 32 foot water slide, the beach at Park Lake is fun, free and family friendly.

Park Lake offers summertime fun in the sun with rental pedal boats, walking paths, picnic tables and a lovely playground for the kiddies.  Not stopping in Santa Rosa for the night?  Well, just pull over and surprise the family with an opportunity to relax and enjoy this lovely beach park (they’ll never see it coming)! You’ll be glad you did. Here’s a chance to run, splash, swim, picnic and play before you hop back in the car for that long drive through the beautiful Desert Southwest.

Park Lake in February, Santa Rosa, New Mexico

Greg and I visited Park Lake in February. The water level is down for the winter months, but I was told that the level would be back up to swimming capacity near the 1st of June.  Lifeguards are on duty then, too.

Santa Rosa, the City of Natural LakesWho knew?

Scuba Diving at Blue Hole, Santa Rosa, New Mexico

The famous Blue Hole is a short walk from Park Lake.

Perch Lake in February, Santa Rosa, New Mexico

Tranquil Perch Lake is a short drive from Park Lake.

Have a great day at the beach! ~ Hasta luego. ~

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

When Tingley Beach Was Really a Beach (Albuquerque, New Mexico)

Posted by E.G.D. on November 21, 2011

Tingley Beach, as it looks today (© Jody Diehl)

Back in the early days of this website, Jody did a very  nice article on New Mexico’s beaches.  In this article, she said “don’t be fooled!  [Tingley Beach] isn’t a ‘beach’ at all,” but it was a beach until 1951, when it was closed due to “bacteria and the fear of contracting polio.”  On a recent trip to Las Vegas, NV, Jody and I caught up with a very lovely and lively woman who was once Tingley Beach‘s only female lifeguard!  Her name is Janet, and she was one of four lifeguards working at Tingley Beach in its final years as a swimming beach.

Janet DuBois in 1950 at Tingley Beach (photo taken by Janet’s sister)

According to Janet, in her day the water at Tingley Beach was 12+ feet deep, and “it was the ‘in’ place!”  It had two anchored rafts, and “the tower, on the island with the diving board.”  She says the lifeguards “used to flip coins to see who would get the island.  That was where the shade was!”

To become a lifeguard, Janet says she “took a course at the YMCA, from the Red Cross,” and it apparently served her well.  She told us that “one time, this man was pulled in, and I was so proud of myself.  In the water you’re weightless!  A little five-foot person could pull in a 200 lb man.”  Aside from that one incident, though, she says there really was very little “saving” necessary on the part of the lifeguards.

Janet, who knew that we were interested in her times at Tingley Beach from previous visits and conversations, very kindly had a whole folder of old photographs compiled and ready to hand to us when we visited with her earlier this month.  Most of the photographs were from the Albuquerque Museum Archive’s Flickr page, so you can see them, too, if you follow the link!  In the images, the place is a truly lively beach park, and in one photograph, a sign reads “Swimming in Albuquerque’s Bathing Beach… Inspected daily by health dept.  Boats-Canoes-Beach Chairs-Umbrellas.”  Sounds like a fun and safe way to spend a hot summer day in Albuquerque to me!  It’s really too bad that since they re-opened Tingley Beach in the twenty-first century, the water is exclusively for fishing and pedal boating.  In happy news, though, Tingley Beach  is still a lovely place for a beachy picnic, and as of November 1st of this year, there are grills in the picnic area that are open for public grilling.

To close, I would like to share with you a picture of our featured lifeguard, then and now:

Janet in 2011 displaying Janet in 1950 (© Jody Diehl)

Her hair style has barely changed at all, and her smile is just as pretty!  Happy beachgoing and beach-nostalgia memories to all- E.G.D.

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

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 »

New Mexico’s Beaches: Desert Gems

Posted by Jody on July 25, 2011

Believe it or not, we really do have some wonderful recreational beaches in New Mexico! These are just a few of the cool choices you’ll have when you visit us here in the desert!

*Bottomless Lakes State Park*

If you take the 15 mile scenic drive from Roswell,  New Mexico, to Bottomless Lakes State Park, you’ll be very glad you did!  Surrounded by beautiful, high red bluffs, this area was set aside in 1933 as New Mexico’s first state park.  This park is truly one of New Mexico’s best natural treasures.

There are actually seven lakes located within the boundaries of this 1400 acre of the park.   The lakes range in depth from 17 ft. to 90 ft. Lea Lake, the deepest of the lakes at 90 feet, is the only one of the Bottomless Lakes where swimming is allowed.  Lea Lake is spring fed, and the water is cool and crystal clear. It’s no surprise that this lake has also become quite popular with the scuba crowd, due to the clarity of the water.  During the summer months, pedal boats and paddle boards can be rented for a fee. (But you can always build a sandcastle for no extra charge.) This New Mexico swimming beach is well maintained, and life guards are on duty in the summer.

Click here for the Bottomless Lakes State Park brochure.

*Lake Carlsbad Beach Park*

Located in the Chihuahuan Desert along the beautiful Pecos River lies the “Pearl on the Pecos”: the friendly City of Carlsbad, New Mexico.  And in the heart of this desert city you’ll find Lake Carlsbad Beach Park. Some might consider this 1000 ft. stretch of beach less than a “treasure,” but believe me, after a day of exploring in the scorching New Mexico sun, you’ll be happy to settle in under the shady trees of Lake Carlsbad Beach Park and enjoy the cool waters of this little swimming beach, located within the 125.6 acres of The Lake Carlsbad Recreation Area! The swim area is open to the public from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend, when lifeguards are on duty from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM.

Here’s the link to Lake Carlsbad Beach Park.

*Tingley Beach, Albuquerque, New Mexico*

Tingley Beach, as it looks today (© Jody Diehl)

Don’t be fooled!  This isn’t a “beach” at all. It’s really a series of small ponds. Although this is a lovely family recreation area, this New Mexico beach has been closed to swimmers since the 1950’s.  Tingley Beach, part of the Albuquerque BioPark system, was built by diverting water from the Rio Grande in the 1930’s.  A major reconstruction of Tingley Beach began over a decade ago, and The Albuquerque BioPark was presented the  “2008 North American Conservation Award” by the The Association of Zoos and Aquariums for the Tingley Beach Restoration Project.  Click here if you’d like to find out more about Tingley Beach.

Happy Treasure Beach Hunting in the Land of Enchantment!

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

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