Located in the lower Rio Grande Valley of New Mexico, Elephant Butte Lake State Park is a watersport lover’s paradise. Its name is derived from a prominent rock formation, once a volcano, that is said to be elephant-shaped.
During the winter months, Elephant Butte is warm and mild, making it a popular destination for travelers from the north. While the park is centered around the lake, watersports are not the only activities at Elephant Butte.
2. Other Activities and Sites
Elephant Butte has many areas for camping and picnicking. There are electrical hook-ups for RVs, and some of the campsites have grills and covered shelters. There are lots of amenities geared toward the comfort of the campers – showers, well-marked nature trails, playgrounds, and concession stands provide comfort and convenience.
Campers have described some of the campsites as “no frills,” and that also means no all-night lighting. Star gazers will revel in the lack of peripheral light.
Elephant Butte Dam
Built between 1911 and 1916, Elephant Butte Dam was the largest man-made water reservoir of its time. It is 206 feet high and 1,674 feet long.
Ancient History and Geology
Many millions of years ago, Elephant Butte was under an enormous ocean that was relatively shallow. After the waters of the sea receded, Tyrannosaurus Rex dinosaurs hunted and lived there. T-Rex fossils have been discovered at the park, along with many other kinds of fossils. There are exhibits of the historical geology of this ancient dinosaur hunting ground.
Hunter-gatherers lived in this part of the world until 1000 AD, living off the rich diversity of plants and animals. Slowly, humans disappeared from the area, only to return in a modern era.
For a combination of ancient history and modern convenience, the warm and beautiful Elephant Butte Lake Park has something for everyone.
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