Discovering the Wildlife Splendors of New Mexico: Paddle Boarding Edition!
New Mexico, known for its stunning landscapes and rich biodiversity, offers a wealth of opportunities to witness wildlife in its natural habitat. Paddle boarding, a unique and immersive activity, allows you to experience the wonders of nature up close and personal. From serene lakes to meandering rivers, New Mexico boasts a diverse range of captivating locations where you can paddle your way to incredible wildlife encounters. Join us on a journey through the Land of Enchantment as we explore the best places to view wildlife from a paddle board.
Elephant Butte Lake:
Situated in southern New Mexico, Elephant Butte Lake is a haven for wildlife enthusiasts. Paddle along its calm waters and witness a variety of bird species such as majestic herons, elegant egrets, and playful ducks. During the summer months, keep an eye out for diving ospreys and soaring bald eagles as they search for their next meal. Best time to visit: Spring and summer.
As the lifeline of New Mexico, the Rio Grande offers an incredible wildlife viewing experience. Launch your paddle board in the Bernalillo area and navigate downstream, surrounded by breathtaking cliffs and vibrant flora. Encounter the agile beavers constructing their intricate dams and, if you're lucky, catch a glimpse of the elusive river otter as it gracefully swims through the currents. Best time to visit: Spring and early summer.
Nestled in the northwestern corner of the state, Navajo Lake entices adventurers with its pristine waters and stunning red sandstone cliffs. Paddle along the lake's serene coves and witness the beauty of mule deer gracefully sipping water on the shoreline. Look to the skies to spot soaring golden eagles and ospreys as they scan the depths for fish. Best time to visit: Late spring and early fall.
Famed for its artistic inspiration and natural splendor, Abiquiu Lake captivates visitors with its picturesque vistas. Launch your paddle board into the clear blue waters and meander through narrow canyons. Marvel at the sight of majestic bighorn sheep gracefully navigating the rocky ledges, while ospreys circle overhead, ever watchful for a chance to dive into the water. Best time to visit: Spring and fall.
Santa Rosa Lake:
Situated in eastern New Mexico, Santa Rosa Lake is a hidden gem for wildlife enthusiasts. Embark on a tranquil paddle board excursion and witness a multitude of bird species, including colorful vermilion flycatchers and striking western tanagers. Don't forget to keep an eye out for white-tailed deer gracefully moving along the water's edge. Best time to visit: Spring and fall.
Nestled within a forested landscape, Bluewater Lake is a treasure trove for wildlife viewing. Glide silently on your paddle board and witness the beauty of majestic elk venturing to the water's edge for a drink. Wild horses are also found near the shoreline. Scan the skies for the soaring wings of red-tailed hawks and listen to the distinctive calls of various songbirds echoing through the surrounding trees. Best time to visit: Late spring and early fall.
Located in northeastern New Mexico, Ute Lake offers an exceptional wildlife viewing experience. Launch your paddle board and witness the grace of pronghorn antelopes as they roam the open grasslands near the water. Marvel at the aerial acrobatics of cliff swallows and the occasional sighting of a great blue heron in search of its next meal. Best time to visit: Spring and early summer.
Surrounded by rugged beauty, Caballo Lake provides a serene escape for wildlife enthusiasts. Paddle along its scenic shores and encounter mule deer grazing on the banks, while ospreys circle overhead, ever vigilant for the perfect fishing opportunity. Keep your eyes peeled for the elusive bobcat silently traversing the landscape. Best time to visit: Spring and fall.
Embrace the tranquility of Brantley Lake as you paddle through its clear waters. Watch as wild burros quench their thirst along the shoreline and marvel at the vibrant plumage of red-winged blackbirds perched on swaying cattails. Don't be surprised if you spot the occasional coyote stealthily exploring the area. Best time to visit: Spring and fall.
Clayton Lake State Park:
Nestled in the northeastern plains, Clayton Lake State Park is a wildlife lover's paradise. Launch your paddle board and experience the thrill of spotting prairie dogs scurrying through the grasslands. Witness the mesmerizing aerial ballet of swallows and the occasional visit from curious white-tailed deer. Best time to visit: Spring and early summer.
Eagle Nest Lake:
Located in the majestic Moreno Valley, Eagle Nest Lake offers a serene setting for wildlife enthusiasts. Embark on a paddle board adventure and observe the elegance of sandhill cranes as they wade through the shallow waters. Scan the skies for the regal presence of golden eagles soaring high above the mountain peaks. Best time to visit: Spring and fall.
Lake Carlsbad Recreation Area:
Situated near the banks of the Pecos River, Lake Carlsbad Recreation Area is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Paddle your way through the calm waters and observe the lively antics of playful river otters. Look to the shore to catch a glimpse of the agile white-tailed jackrabbits as they dart through the underbrush. Best time to visit: Spring and fall.
Discover the untamed beauty of Conchas Lake as you paddle along its pristine shores. Be enchanted by the sight of great blue herons patiently stalking their prey in the shallow waters. With a bit of luck, you may even witness a majestic golden-mantled ground squirrel scurrying across the rocky landscape. Best time to visit: Spring and fall.
El Vado Lake:
Nestled amidst the stunning scenery of the northern mountains, El Vado Lake beckons wildlife enthusiasts to its shores. Paddle your way through the crystal-clear waters and witness the elegance of white-tailed deer as they gracefully navigate the wooded shoreline. Listen for the melodic songs of western meadowlarks that fill the air. Best time to visit: Spring and fall.
Surrounded by lush forests and picturesque mesas, Heron Lake offers a tranquil retreat for wildlife lovers. Launch your paddle board and explore the lake's hidden coves to observe the majestic great blue herons as they take flight. Keep an eye out for the elusive black bear roaming through the dense vegetation. Best time to visit: Spring and fall.
Located in the scenic high desert landscape, Cochiti Lake mesmerizes visitors with its rugged beauty. Embark on a paddle board adventure and witness the majesty of bald eagles soaring above the lake, while coyotes stealthily patrol the shoreline. Take in the panoramic views of the surrounding cliffs and imagine the stories they hold. Best time to visit: Spring and fall.
Flowing through stunning canyons and vibrant landscapes, the Pecos River offers a unique wildlife viewing experience. Launch your paddle board near Santa Rosa and float downstream, observing the agile river otters playing in the water and the vibrant plumage of kingfishers perched on overhanging branches. Best time to visit Spring and early summer.
Oasis State Park:
Tucked away in the eastern plains of New Mexico, Oasis State Park is a hidden gem for wildlife enthusiasts. Paddle through the tranquil waters and spot the playful antics of raccoons along the shoreline. Listen for the distinctive calls of eastern meadowlarks that echo through the grassy meadows. Best time to visit: Spring and fall. Paddle boarding may be disallowed here in the future, swimming is already banned although for now enjoy the area.
Caballo Lake State Park:
Immerse yourself in the beauty of Caballo Lake State Park, where wildlife encounters abound. As you paddle along the scenic shorelines, keep an eye out for the agile bobcats stealthily traversing the landscape. Watch as turkey vultures circle high above, riding the thermals with effortless grace. Best time to visit: Spring and fall.
Brantley Lake State Park:
Located in southeastern New Mexico, Brantley Lake State Park provides a serene setting for wildlife observation. Launch your paddle board and witness the elegant flight of great blue herons and the occasional sighting of white-tailed deer exploring the shoreline. Listen for the melodic songs of western bluebirds that fill the air. Best time to visit: Spring and fall.
New Mexico's diverse landscapes offer an abundance of opportunities to witness wildlife from the unique perspective of a paddle board. From the tranquil lakes and rivers to the breathtaking mountains and plains, each location provides a captivating experience for wildlife enthusiasts.
Whether you encounter graceful herons, elusive river otters, or majestic mammals like moose and deer, these 20 remarkable locations allow you to connect with nature in unforgettable ways. So grab your paddle board, explore the Land of Enchantment, and let the wonders of New Mexico's wildlife paint a vivid picture in your mind. We hope you have enjoyed our list of some of the best places to view wildlife from a sup in New mexico!
Tips, Tricks, and Fun Articles await.
Here are a few quick links to help you keep going, don't forget to check our blog out for more tips and expert advice. For wildlife tips check out our blog and this article on Beginners Guide To Bird Watching. And don't forget to read our article on Stand Up Paddle Boarding and Wildlife Encounters. For a complete guide of where to paddle board in every state, this one is for you! The best places to paddle board in the United States a state by state tour of where to paddle board with Glide Paddle Boards.
Or perhaps something international is what you are looking for, then these two articles will help out. Check out the ultimate guide on finding places to paddle board near you for tips and tricks on finding new and exciting places near you! And for international spots Epic Spots Globally To Paddle Board is for you! And check out the Glide O2 Angler and why it makes an incredible platform for birding and wildlife viewing.