Navajo Dam, at an elevation of 6,085 feet, was completed in 1963 and is the principal storage feature for the Navajo Indian Irrigation Project. The reservoir is one of the four initial units of the Colorado River Storage Project and is located in northwest New Mexico and southwest Colorado, about 34 miles east of Farmington, NM. The reservoir has a maximum surface area of 15, 610 acres and extends 35 miles up the San Juan River, 13 miles up the Pine River, and 4 miles up the Piedra River. The reservoir provides important recreation and fish and wildlife benefits but its primary purpose is to provide irrigation water and flood control. Recreation at Navajo Reservoir is managed by the New Mexico State Parks (505) 632-2278. There are two visitor centers at Navajo Reservoir in New Mexico. They contain limited interpretive displays on the construction of the dam and reservoir, and on the area's natural and local history, including native cultures. A third visitor center is located within Navajo State Park in Colorado. All three visitor centers are open year round. This large reservoir is surrounded by beautiful scenery and rugged landscape. To accommodate the maximum water surface area of almost 23 square miles, 5 public boat ramps and 3 marinas are located at the reservoir. Available fish species include northern pike, catfish, smallmouth bass, rainbow trout, and Kokanee salmon. The initial 3 1/2 miles below Navajo Dam, of the San Juan River, are considered a nationally renowned, trophy rainbow trout, tailwater fishery with designated "quality waters" and special angler regulations in effect. Please check state fishing regulations for specifics. Available species include rainbow, German brown, and cutthroat trout. About 4 1/2 miles of the river are within the State Park boundary below the dam.
Take U.S. Highway 160 east from Durango to the intersection of State Highway 172, about 5 miles. Turn right and take State Higway 172 south through Ignacio to the stateline, about 30 miles. Continue south on State Highway 511 to the Navajo Lake State Park entrance near Navajo Dam, New Mexico, about 20 miles.