National Park Service

Chihuahuan Desert Network (CHDN)

I&M at Amistad National Recreation Area

Amistad National Recreation Area Amistad National Recreation Area
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Location of Amistad National Recreation Area in the Chihuahuan Desert Network. Click for larger image.

Amistad National Recreation Area (NRA) was created from the construction of Amistad Dam on the Rio Grande in 1969. It was established as part of a cooperative effort with Mexico to develop a combination of recreation, flood control, water storage, and power generation facilities. Lake Amistad includes the confluence of the Devil's and Pecos rivers with the Rio Grande. Amistad NRA encompasses 23,195 ha (57,292 ac) of land and extends 118 km (74 mi) up the Rio Grande, 22 km (14 mi) up the Pecos River, and 38 km (24 mi) up the Devil's River.

Amistad NRA lies in a region containing one of the densest concentrations of prehistoric American Indian rock art and artifacts in the New World. Several sites (including Panther and Parida Caves) are preserved at Amistad NRA and are accessible to visitors by boat when water levels permit. Other recreational uses of the area include boating, swimming, fishing, and camping.

The park is located at a convergence of the Chihuahuan Desert, the Edwards Plateau Savannah, and the Tamaulipan Mezquital ecoregions, which contributes to its species diversity. Amistad NRA has 859 plant species from 113 families. Vertebrate taxa include 59 species of fish, 55 reptiles and amphibians, 67 mammals, and 250 species of birds. CHDN monitors climate, invasive plants, landbirds, landscape dynamics, and spring ecosystems at Amistad National Recreation Area.

Life Zone

The elevation range is from 282-364 m (915-1,194 ft) and average annual precipitation is 46 cm (18 in). Amistad NRA is primarily located in the Tamaulipan thornscrub life zone.

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Last Updated: March 21, 2017 Contact Webmaster