Sierra County: A Great Place to Visit
Elephant Butte Lake is a reservoir Lake of the Rio Grande, formed by the Elephant Butte Dam. At full capacity the Lake is 40 miles long, 4 miles wide, covers 36,500 acres and holds 2.198 million acre-feet of water. Built from 1911-1916, the dam was constructed for the purpose of flood and irrigation control for the large agricultural area downstream along the Rio Grande. Later, the Lake became a major recreational site. The Lake takes its name from a dark brown rocky island just northeast of the dam. Actually on eroded core of an ancient volcano, the island bears an uncanny resemblance to an enormous elephant head and torso rising from the water.