Northwestern New Mexico: Places to Explore

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Navajo Dam

Navajo Dam is the name of a tiny town a few miles below Navajo Lake State Park, as well as the name of the dam itself. At the base of the dam lie the legendary "Quality Waters" of the San Juan River. Exceeding the hype, this restricted ¾-mi stretch—a portion of which is catch-and-release only—is one of the country's top five trophy-trout streams. The next 12 mi of the San Juan are open waters with year-round fishing for trout, as well as Kokanee salmon, and largemouth and smallmouth bass. The wildlife-friendly river carves a scenic gorge of stepped cliffs along cottonwood-lined banks that attract elk, Barbary sheep, golden and bald eagles, blue herons, and not a few fly fishers in waders.

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