Float 'N Fish San Juan Area Attractions
Navajo Lake State Park, NM                              Navajo Lake State Park Brochure
Navajo Lake State Park in San Juan county, NM is a large State Park providing boating, fishing, improved site camping, nature trails, marinas and visitor centers.  Navajo Lake is the second largest lake in NM providing over 15,000 surface acres for boaters and fishermen, as well as XYZ miles of shoreline.  The lake provides fishing for warmwater species including smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, pike, bluegill and catfish, while the Quality Water of the San Juan River below the dam has provided one of the finest tailwater fisheries for rainbow and brown trout in the world.  Navajo Lake also provides coldwater fish species with Rainbow  Trout, Brown Trout and Kokanee Salmon. 

Navajo Lake State Park, NM supports Quality Water Fishermen by providing parking lots, paystations and rest rooms on the south side of the Quality Water along highway 511.  These angler support facilities are at the Gravel Pits, Simon Point, Lower Flats, Texas Hole and Upper River (no rest room) parking facilities.  There is a $5.00 per day/per vehicle charged at these sites.  This parking fee is included in the camping fee for campers at Cottonwood Campground, Pine River Site or Sims Mesa Site.

The camping facilities at Pine River Site, Cottonwood Campground and Sims Mesa Site provide improved sites, many with picnic tables, shelters, fresh water, RV dump facilities and showers at the Pine River Site.  There are marinas at the Pine River Site immediately north of the dam off highway 511 and also at Sims Mesa site, accessible from highway 64 and then highway 527.  

Navajo State Park, CO                                        Navajo State Park - Colorado   
The portion of Navajo Lake which resides in Colorado is small relative to that in New Mexico.  Colorado has a State Park (Navajo State Park) with 138 campsites and a marina at Two Rivers Marina.  Navajo Lake Park facilities are located on the western shore near Arboles, CO and also on the northease shore accessible by highway 500.  The camping facilities feature improved sites with support for RV's.
 
Ancient Indigenous Peoples of the 4 Corners Area
Northwest NM and southwest Colorado have long been the home of indigenous peoples.  In modern times, considerable evidence has been left behind by the Anasazi peoples with impressive structures at Chaco Canyon and at Mesa Verde, and Chacoan Great Houses in San Juan county.  These sites were occupied for hundreds of years.
  Chaco Culture National Historic Park - 75 miles                 Map - Chaco Canyon                                                           Chaco Culture Park

The Chaco Canyon civilization formed about 850AD to 1250AD was the center of an advanced culture that spread throughout the Four Corners area.  This culture built advanced living structures, roads, had an advanced understanding of geometry and an interest in the stars and sun.  The Chaco people may be the ancestors of modern pueblo tribes of northern NM and AZ.

  Mesa Verde National Park- 88 miles                                      Map - Mesa Verde                                                      Mesa Verde National Park

Mesa Verde National Park in southwest Colorado is the site of an ancestral people who lived in the area from about 600 AD to about 1300 AD.  These people left behind approximately 600 cliff dwellings with about 4,000 known archeological sites. 

served in the United States.
  Aztec Ruins National Monument- 20.5 miles                       Map - Aztec Ruins                                                     Aztec Ruins National Park

Aztec Ruins may have first been seen by europeans in 1776 when father Escalante noted uninhabited dwellings on a river he named the The River of Lost Souls, which it the Animas river today.  Tree dating has shown that this site was occupied for about 200 years from about 1111 AD to 1300 AD.  The builders of the site are thought to be ancestors of today's pueplo people.  Severe drought about 1300 is believed to have driven the people elsewhere. 

  Salmon Ruins - 23 miles                                                           Map - Salmon Ruins                                                                    Salmon Ruins

The Salmon Ruins are the remains of an 11th century Chacoan Culture Great House.  Great Houses were smaller extensions of the Chacoan culture and several of them were located in San Juan county.  In addition to the ruins, on site you can view replicas of a Sweatlodge, Hogan, Tipi and Pithouse.  The Salmon Ruins are administered by the San Juan County Museum association.

 
Modern Indian Tribes of the 4 Corners
  Ute Mountain Ute - Towaoc, CO - 94 Miles                       Map - Towaoc, CO                                                           Ute Mountain Ute Tribe   

The Utes were originally a hunter - gatherer society that is thought to have come to the southwest from the northwest and Canada.  Their several bands and tribes lived in small groups across much of  Utah, southwest, central and southern Colorado and parts of northern Arizona and New Mexico.  Today the Ute Mountain Ute branch of the tribe headquarters in Towaoc, CO. 

  Southern Ute - Ignacio, CO  - 23 Miles                              Map - Ignacio, CO                                                                  Southern Ute Tribe

The Southern Utes were also hunter gatherers who came to the Colorado rocky mountain area from the Northwest and Canada.  The original territory of the Southern Utes covered parts of the Colorado front range from Denver down to near Las Vegas, NM and the San Luis valley in southern Colorado.  Today the Southern Ute live on a reservation in southwest Colorado below the San Juan mountains.  Most of the rivers which supply Navajo Reservoir pass through Southern Ute land on their way to Navajo Dam, the Animas River also passes through Southern Ute land on its way to join the San Juan near Farmington.  Tribal headquarters are at Ignacio, CO, a short drive from Navajo Dam.  The Ute tribe provides a new, modern gaming facility at Sky Ute Casino and a new Cultural Center and Museum. 

  Jicarilla Apache - Dulce, NM - 56 Miles                              Map - Dulce, NM                                                               Jicarilla Apache Tribe

The Jicarilla Apache are believed to have migrated to the 4 corners area originally between 1300 AD and 1500 AD.  This was a hunter gatherer society that lived in small bands and moved from one location to another seasonally in search of food.  Their original territory included parts of south central Colorado including parts of the Rio Grand and Arkansas River basins in Colorado east into Kansas.  This range also included much of north central and northeast New Mexico from Dulce south to near Albuquerque and east all the way to the Texas/Oklahoma border.  Tribal headquarters are at Dulce, NM. 

  Navajo - Window Rock, AZ  - 164 Miles                          Map - Window Rock, AZ                                                                 Navajo Tribe

The Navajo's are believed to have migrated to the 4 corners area about the same time as the Jicarilla Apache.  Both tribes appear to have descended into the 4 Corners area from northwest Canada or eastern Alaska.  Navajo's and Jicarilla Apache's share different but similar languages derived from the Athabaskan languages of northwest Canada and eastern Alaska.  Originally, the Navajo's were nomadic hunter gatherers.  After coming into contact with Pueblo peoples and also the Spanish the Navajo's evolved into a culture which grew crops and tended herds of livestock, primarily sheep.  The Navajo nation today is over 250,000 strong with a large reservation in northeast Arizona, southeast Utah and northwest New Mexico.   Tribal headquarters are in Window Rock, AZ. 

 
Golf
  Pinon Hills Golf Course - 32 Miles, Farmington, NM            Map - Farmington, NM                                                Pinon Hills Golf Course

Pinon Hills Golf Course is a Ken Dye designed course cut through the desert sandstone of the Farmington area, with the course being opened in 1989.  In 2002, Pinon Hills was rated by Golf Digest magazine as the number 1 municipal golf course in the nation. 

  Hillcrest Golf Course, 58 miles, Durango, CO                         Map - Durango, CO                                                            Hillcrest Golf Course

Hillcrest Golf Course is located on a scenic mesa overlooking Durango, CO, adjacent to Fort Lewis College. 
Snow Skiing
  Durango Mountain Resort - 80 miles                                       Map - Durango Mountain Resort                              Durango Mountain Resort

Durango Mountain Resort is a large, full service ski area located about 30 miles north of Durango, CO.  In addition to winter skiing, DMR also provides summer activities such as horseback rides, scenic chairlift rides and mountain biking.  The location of DMR in the southwest San Juans provides ample high quality snow for the winter season.

  Wolf Creek Pass - 109 miles                                                       Map - Wolf Creek Pass, CO                                                     Wolf Creek Pass

Wolf Creek Ski area is located high in the San Juans about 25 miles northeast of Pagosa Springs, CO.  This ski area generally has more snow on an annual basis than any other ski area in Colorado or New Mexico.
 
Whitewater Rafting
  Animas River - 53 miles                                                              Map - Durango, CO                                                    Mountain Waters Rafting

The heavy winter snows of the San Juan provide high water for raftters during the spring and summer months.  There are several types of trips and levels of rafting challenge available through several vendors in Durango, CO. 

Gaming - Gambling Casino's and Horse Racing
  Apache Nugget Casino - 86 Miles                                             Map - Hwy 550 near Cuba                                             Apache Nugget Casino

The Apache Nugget Casino, formerly in Dulce, NM,  is now located on Highway 550 about 15 miles north of Cuba, NM.

  Sky Ute Casino - Ignacio, CO - 34 Miles                                  Map - Ignacio, CO                                                                     Sky Ute Casino

The Sky Ute is a beautiful new facility in Ignacio, CO.  This is just a short drive of 34 miles from Navajo Dam, NM.

  Ute Mountain Casino - Towaoc, CO - 92 Mi                            Map - Towaoc, CO                                                           Ute Mountain Casino

The Ute Mountain Casino is located in Towaoc, CO southwest of Cortez, CO.

  SunRay Park and Casino - Horse Racing - 27 miles, Farmington, NM     Map - Farmington, NM                             Sunray Park Racing

SunRay Park and Casino provides live horse racing and gambling.

Auto Racing
  Aztec Speedway - 20 Miles                                                         Map - Aztec Speedway                                                 Aztec Speedway

Aztec Speedway is a 3/8 mile dirt track offering racing for several classes including Modified, Stock, Mini Stocks, Late Models and Sprint car.  Check the speedway website for details on what classes are offered for each race event and current schedule.  Seasonal.

Jeep Trailrides
  Durango - 53 miles                                                                       Map - Durango, CO                                                           Jeep Tours Durango

There are many 4/4 trailrides offered out of the Durango and Silverton areas. 

Historic Railroad Trips
  Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad - 53 miles       Map - Durango, CO                      Durango Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad

The historic Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad provides scenic trips powered by original steam powered locamotives high into the San Juan's from Durango to Silverton.  The trip follow the orignal narrow gauge railway along the scenic Animas river.  Winter trips are also available but turn around at Cascade rather than Silverton. 

  Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad - 84 miles                        Map - Chama, NM                                          Cumbres Toltec Scenic Railroad

The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad travels narrow gauge track from Chama, NM to Antonito, CO.  The railway is jointly owned and operated by the states of Colorado and New Mexico.  This scenic trip travels through Cumbres pass to over 10,000 ft, the highest mountain pass served by railroad in the US. 

Museums
  Aztec Museum - 20 miles                                                            Map - Aztec Museum                                                                 Aztec Museum

The Aztec Museum provides insight into the lives of the early european and hispanic settlers of San Juan County.  The city of Aztec was founded in 1887.

Scenic Drives
  Navajo Dam to Taos, NM - 350 miles round trip                    Map - Navajo Dam to Taos, NM

The drive from Navajo Dam to Taos, NM goes through some of the most beautiful country in NM.  This route goes from Navajo Dam to Dulce, NM, then to Chama, NM.  From Chama the route goes south past Tierra Amarilla where highway 64 then goes east through the mountains to Taos.  During this mountain drive you will get to elevations of about 10,000 feet and see beautiful mountain vistas.  Once near Taos, you will cross the Rio Grande at the Rio Grand Gorge. 

  Durango to Silverton, CO  - 201 miles round trip                  Map - Navajo Dam to Silverton / Ouray, CO

This is a beautiful trip any time of year, but it is spectacular in the fall as the Aspen changed to a golden yellow color.  This event usually happens during September or early October and must be seen.  The drive to Silverton travels through Durango and then north to Coal Bank and Molas passes.  Coal Bank pass is at an elevation of 10,640 ft and Molas Pass is at 10,970 ft.  During this drive you will be surrounded by some of Colorado's most beautiful scenery.  These passes may be closed or icy during winter months.







  Million Dollar Highway - 244 miles round trip                          Map - Navajo Dam to Silverton / Ouray, CO

The Million Dollar Highway covers 25 miles of Colorado's high country between Silverton and Ouray.  In addition to traversing Coal Bank and Molas passes on the way to Silverton, this scenic trip goes over Red Mountain Pass between Silverton and Ouray at an elevation of 11,018 ft.  This is a spectacular drive through challenging high country.  This route may be snow packed, icy or closed during winter months due to weather or avalanches.