The Canadian River is a very long, major U.S. waterway that flows from its headwaters near Raton Pass in far northern Colfax County, just south of the Colorado border, down through east-central New Mexico, then east across the Texas Panhandle into Oklahoma, where it drains a sizeable portion of that state before reaching its confluence with the Arkansas River just west of Fort Smith, Arkansas.
In New Mexico, the river has a navigable flow that is usually limited to years of above-average rainfall in the desert between Raton and Tucumcari. Its major tributaries include the Vermejo, Ute, Mora, Conchas and Cimarron Rivers, most of which offer paddlers great whitewater runs when they flow. The geology of the Canadian River includes granite cliffs and canyons near the headwaters and a deep sandstone canyon with historical ancient ruins between the Cornudo Hills to the west and the Kiowa National Grasslands to the east. Golden and bald eagles can be seen soaring high over the river valley, but few signs of civilization will be found along the river and its tributaries.
(19 mi. NE)
Vacation rentals available. 12 Shores at Ute Lake is filled with water activities, family-friendly golf and even horseback riding.
One mile from Tucumcari on Hwy 54 is Tucumcari Lake and Wildlife Area. This undeveloped 770 acre reserve provides excellent wildlife viewing, because the shallow lake and wetlands attract numerous birds, including ducks and geese, bald and golden eagles, doves, quail and pheasants. Plans are being made to add several developed trails to the reserve.
(32 mi. NW)
Conchas Dam, constructed by the Corps of Engineers on the Canadian River, is a concrete gravity section flanked by embankment wings. The dam has a structural height of 235 feet, a crest length of 6,230 feet, and a volume of 836,000 cubic yards of concrete and 887,000 cubic yards of earth. The main spillway is an overflow section 300 feet long in the main section of the dam. An emergency spillway, located on the north dike, is 3,000 feet long and is 17 feet higher than the main spillway. The irrigation outlet works is a circular pressure tunnel leading to the gate chamber, then into two steel penstocks in a horseshoe tunnel. The reservoir has a capacity of 528,951 acre-feet, of which 252,334 acre-feet are conservation storage.
Water stored in the Conchas Reservoir, 31 miles northwest of Tucumcari, is conveyed to the land in the Conchas Canal and its branch, the Hudson Canal. The canals deliver the water to the 172-mile distribution system which serves the project lands.
The lake is a popular site for a wide variety of water sports activities including boating, fishing
P.O. Box 976
Conchas Dam NM 88416
(25 mi. NE)
Known for its numerous little coves and inlets, Ute Lake is among the state’s longest lakes, almost 13 miles long, though only 1 mile wide at its widest.
A popular family camping destination, this boating
It boasts a marina and a full range of water
Park amenities include
Round-the-clock fishing is available every day of the year for angler fanatics. The lake has produced several state-record game fish. Summer temperatures range from lows around 63 to highs around 92. Winter temps range from lows of 25 degrees to highs around 54.
P.O. Box 52
Logan, NM 88426