From the red-rock mesas contrasting against deep blue skies to ancient adobe villages nestled amidst the rugged terrain, New Mexico’s landscapes are timeless and treasured. With the sweeping vistas of the Chihuahuan Desert to the lush greenery of its river valleys and sparkling lakes, New Mexico has plenty of places to enjoy nature. If you’re looking to live in New Mexico, there are plenty of charming lakefront towns where you can easily access these breathtaking landscapes.

To help you out, Redfin has gathered a list of 8 popular lakes in New Mexico to live on this year. From the quaint and quiet shores of Abiquiu Lake to the picturesque Cochiti Lake, you’ll find the right New Mexico lake town to call home. Let’s dive in.

1. Abiquiu Lake (Youngsville)

Nearest city: Youngsville, NM
Median home sale price: $322,000
Population: 50
Homes for sale in Youngsville, NM
Apartments for rent in Youngsville, NM

The first place on our list of lakes in New Mexico to live on is Abiquiu Lake. About 55 miles northwest of Santa Fe, Abiquiu Lake is nestled in the small town of Youngsville. This lake is a gem for those who love the outdoors, offering activities such as fishing, kayaking, and picturesque hiking trails around the perimeter. Nearby, the Carson National Forest has hiking areas, winter sports, camping, and fishing areas. Despite its small population, Youngsville’s proximity to Abiquiu Lake makes it a great location for those seeking peace and natural beauty.

2. Caballo Lake (Caballo)

Nearest city: Caballo, NM
Population: 70
Homes for sale in Caballo, NM
Apartments for rent in Caballo, NM

Located in the small town of Caballo, Caballo Lake offers a tranquil retreat for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. Caballo Lake is known for its boating and fishing opportunities, with the Caballo Mountains providing a stunning backdrop. You can find Caballo Lake State Park, which has campgrounds, picnic areas, and trails. North of the area is Truth or Consequences, NM, a charming town with museums, local breweries, and views of the Rio Grande.

3. Cochiti Lake (Cochiti Lake)

Nearest city: Cochiti Lake, NM
Median home sale price: $350,000
Population: 470
Homes for sale in Cochiti Lake, NM
Apartments for rent in Cochiti Lake, NM

Cochiti Lake is a great place to enjoy New Mexico’s beautiful landscapes. Known for its kayaking, sailing, and fishing, Cochiti Lake is surrounded by natural beauty, including the nearby Bandelier National Monument and the Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument, providing ample hiking and exploration opportunities. The city of Cochiti Lake offers a serene lifestyle by the water. The community’s close-knit feel, combined with the recreational offerings of Cochiti Lake, makes it a great New Mexico lake town to buy a home in.

eagle nest lake in new mexico

4. Conchas Lake (Conchas Dam)

Nearest city: Conchas Dam, NM
Median home sale price: $160,000  
Population: 150
Homes for sale in Conchas Dam, NM
Apartments for rent in Conchas Dam, NM

Conchas Lake is a picturesque area with a variety of outdoor activities such as boating, fishing, and camping. The community around Conchas Dam, with a population of 150, is known for its welcoming atmosphere and scenic beauty. The lake’s vast waters provide an ideal setting for those looking for a beach day, camping under the stars, or hiking. The area’s natural attractions and recreational opportunities make it a hidden gem in New Mexico.

5. Eagle Nest Lake (Eagle Nest)

Nearest city: Eagle Nest, NM
Population: 320
Homes for sale in Eagle Nest, NM
Apartments for rent in Eagle Nest, NM

Eagle Nest Lake is an amazing location for fishing, hiking, and wildlife viewing, attracting visitors year-round. The town, with a population of 320, offers a cozy community feel amidst the stunning landscapes of Moreno Valley. Eagle Nest Lake is particularly known for its cold-water fishing, including trout and salmon. The surrounding area, part of the Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway, provides breathtaking views and outdoor adventures. Eagle Nest is an ideal spot for those looking to connect with nature and enjoy the tranquility of lake living.

6. Elephant Butte Reservoir (Elephant Butte)

Nearest city: Elephant Butte, NM
Median home sale price: $130,000
Population: 1,400
Homes for sale in Elephant Butte, NM
Apartments for rent in Elephant Butte, NM

Elephant Butte Reservoir is the largest reservoir in New Mexico and is a great lake to live near. Located in Elephant Butte, the city offers a variety of recreational activities, including boating, fishing, and camping, making it a popular destination for outdoor lovers. The reservoir’s vast expanse of water and Elephant Butte Lake State Park provide lots of opportunities for adventure and relaxation. The Elephant Butte area has plenty of scenic spots like Elephant Butte Dam View, campgrounds, and trails like the Cairn Trail.

navajo lake state park in new mexico

7. Lake Sumner (Lake Sumner)

Nearest city: Lake Sumner, NM
Population: 80
Homes for sale in Lake Sumner, NM
Apartments for rent in Lake Sumner, NM

Lake Sumner, situated in the community of Lake Sumner, is known for its fishing, boating, and camping sites. The small population of 80 residents enjoys a secluded lifestyle amidst the natural beauty of New Mexico. Sumner Lake State Park has plenty of picnic areas, boat ramps, and the Westside Overlook. Lake Sumner’s tranquil environment makes it a perfect spot for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle and enjoy the great outdoors.

8. Navajo Lake (Navajo Dam)

Nearest city: Navajo Dam, NM
Population: 330
Homes for sale in Navajo Dam, NM
Apartments for rent in Navajo Dam, NM

The final spot on our list of best lakes in New Mexico to live on is Navajo Lake. Located near Navajo Dam, this lake is a premier destination for fishing, boating, and water sports. Navajo Lake State Park surrounds the lake and has camping, hiking trails, and wildlife viewing. The community of Navajo Dam provides a peaceful setting for residents, with the lake’s vast waters and scenic beauty as the centerpiece. Navajo Lake is also near Frances Canyon Ruins, a preserved Navajo pueblito, offering a glimpse into the state’s history.

Note, this list is not comprehensive of all the lakes in New Mexico. Median home sale price data from the Redfin Data Center during April 2024. Average rental data from April 2024. Population data sourced from the United States Census Bureau.

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