Not far from home, Escondida Lake is the vacation spot for summer

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It’s summertime!

The best way to kick back and relax is to have a picnic, go fishing or camp. The perfect spot to do all of this and more to have fun in the sun all-year-round is Escondida Lake.

Lindsey Padilla/El Defensor Chieftain: Hannah Whitney catches a blue gill fish at Escondida Lake. This is her first day. She came with her parents Cody and Sarah Whitney (not pictured) and her sister Hailey Whitney (not pictured).

From I-25 take the 152 exit east, and continue north 1.4 miles; follow the signs and the beautiful lake is to the left, with a picnic area and park to the right. According to County Road Superintendent Marty Greenwood, the lake is man made. In 1995 the Socorro County manager and commissioner tried to clean up the area and upgrade the lake themselves, but needed the extra help. Working under the supervision of the New Mexico Tech Operation; the lake was created with equipment by the Bureau of Land Management, Middle Rio Grande Conservancy and the Friends of Bosque Del Apache.

The area was a disaster, so clean up also included the removal of some trees Greenwood said.

“When the Socorro County discovered it (the area) was never maintained, and it wasn’t real pleasant,” Greenwood said.

The lake has seen an increase of 1,000 visitors over the recent year of people who come to camp, fish or vacation, he said. The lake draws the attention of nearby residents, mostly from the Albuquerque and Valencia County areas. Cody and Sarah Whitney, a couple who brought their two daughters, Hannah and Hailey, from Datil enjoyed their first day at the lake. Cody said he has been fishing for five years, and Escondida has a good lake. The family loves to fish and they plan to come again.

“Fishing is relaxing and enjoyable to the kids,” Sarah said.

The lake during the winter has trout, and during the summer catfish and bass are put in the lake. Visitors can bring their RVs and hook-up at the lake for $18 per night. If people want to stay at the lake for the night there’s also a shelter they can stay at for $25 per day. People can fish in the lake, have picnics, and use the lake for family reunions. The lake is busy during the major holidays, especially Easter, Greenwood said. The lake is open 24 hours a day for everyone to come by to get away from life for awhile.

“The atmosphere is close to home, and you don’t have to travel far — everyone can enjoy it to relax. It’s a vacation spot,” Greenwood said.

For more information or to make reservations to stay at the lake contact 575-835-2041.