Monastery Lake and Lisboa Springs Fish Hatchery
About The Lake
Monastery Lake is tucked away into the mountains of Pecos. The lush meadow that surrounds it offers beautiful views, mild weather, and greenery that can often be hard to find in the high desert of New Mexico. The lake is home to small lake trout and a favorite among local fly fishermen.
This quiet lake makes a great option for beginning fishermen and families. It’s free to access, free to park, and the lake edge is shaded but has relatively open fishing spots so young fishermen don’t snag their hooks in the bushes too much.
In the State of New Mexico, fishermen and women need licenses above age 11 and under 70, so young kids and grandparents are free to fish!
- Free parking
- Restrooms On Site
- Walking Trail
- Trail Head
- Food nearby in Pecos, NM
A trail circles the lake and continues through the valley, offering a great, family-friendly hike. I brought my double jogging stroller and was able to easily access the lake. Durable wheelchairs or jogging strollers should have no trouble reaching the edge of the lake from the parking lot on the wide dirt path. See the video below for a glimpse of the view from the parking lot to the lake’s edge.
By the way, the video was shot while I was pushing my twin jogging stroller–proving just how smooth the packed dirt path was.
The surrounding trail was tight enough in spots that I didn’t venture too far with the stroller and disturb the few fishermen stationed around the lake.
For more family-friendly trails in Santa Fe, click here.
Water Activities for Kids
My daughters loved walking along the edge of the lake in the clear water with their water shoes on and chase small fish. We found fossils of shells along the beach.
Crawfish often climb onto fishermens’ hooks and steal their bait which makes for an exciting time for little ones!
A permanent toilet sits at the parking lot, another at the lake edge.
Lisboa Springs Fish Hatchery
Just up the road from the lake is the Lisboa Springs Fish Hatchery, the state’s oldest fish hatchery. This hatchery helps supply Monastery Lake, Cowles Ponds, and the Pecos River. It is a great opportunity to teach kids more about game and fish management and have fun while doing it!
The hatchery features a handicap-accessible self-guided tour that takes you through a visitor center where you and your kids can see the actual raceways where the trout are born and grow large enough to be released! The self-guided tour has multiple benches lining the path.
Indoor raceways have small fry. The fish grow in larger raceways outside, ending with a single small raceway with enormous trout the kids can feed!
The hatchery also offers real running water bathrooms.
Feed Giant Trout!
25cents will give your children a hand full of food to throw into the water for the big trout so bring quarters!
If you don’t have any, don’t worry, there is a change machine in the visitor center.
Plan Your Visit
Monastery Lake and Lisboa Springs Hatchery are located 30 minutes from Santa Fe, just beyond Pecos, NM on State Road 63.