your paddlesports destination

Lake Maloya in New Mexico

Trip Overview

Sugarite Canyon State Park, Northeastern NM

This 130-acre lake is up in the cool forest by the Colorado border in Sugarite Canyon SP. Gasoline motors are not allowed which makes it popular with sailing, flat water kayaking and canoeing enthusiasts. Close by is the National Rifle Association's Whittington Center, the most complete shooting facility in the United States just west of Raton.

Water Sports: Boating, flat water kayaking, canoeing and fishing.
Swimming is prohibited as per a Lease agreement with the City of Raton since the lakes are a public water supply storage.

Lake Conditions: Ramp and lake conditions are generally excellent year around due to it's dedication to City Water Supply use and not irrigation. It generally does not vary from full to down from full by only about 3 feet. Fish Species: Rainbow trout

Bird and Wildlife Species: The prime time for viewing from kayak or canoe is spring and fall when the small lake is still unfrozen.
Boaters may see migrating waterfowl, ospreys and bald eagles, mallard, Canada geese, American coot and Western grebe. Other part-time and full-time feathered residents include the belted kingfisher, spotted sandpiper, great horned owl, Cooper's hawk, barn swallow, downy and hairy woodpecker, Northern flicker, rufous hummingbird (seasonal migrant arriving after July 4), broad-tailed hummingbird, spotted towhee, Western tanager, house finch, gray-headed junco, black-capped and mountain chickadee, Steller's jay, Western scrub-jay, house and canyon wrens, and common raven.

Lake Maloya also has a shoreline set of wildlife to view. Cottontail rabbits can be viewed year-round on the west side of Lake Maloya.

Still more wildlife species call this area home: raccoon, porcupine, short-tailed weasel, Albert, Douglas' and rock squirrels, least chipmunk, striped skunk, and little brown bat.

Special Boating Restrictions: Oar powered, sail and electric motors only. New Mexico State Park Regulation 16.8 Sugarite Canyon: Gas powered boats are prohibited on Lake Maloya; All boating is prohibited on Lake Alice.

Service for Boats: None Locally

Recreation Areas Managed By: New Mexico State Parks

Land Status Around Lake: New Mexico State Park Manages all land around Lake Maloya.


Raton, NM has all the standard accomodations and a couple of bed and breakfasts.


State Park Daily or Overnight Camping Fees do apply



About 9 miles NE of Raton, NM. From Albuquerque go North on I-25 for 226 miles. Take the I-25 exit 452 at Raton, follow NM 72 east for 3.5 miles, and go north on NM 526 for about two to four miles to the park entrance.


There is one ramp and one dock at the boat ramp for boat use only.


Information on Lake Maloya and Sugarite Canyon SP: (505) 445-5607


PDF map available here:

  • Duration: Day Trip
  • Sport/Activity: Kayaking, Canoeing
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: Flat/Sheltered Water
  • Group Rates: No

Locations on this Trip