Farmington New Mexico

An Outdoor Recreation Paradise


Located along at the confluence of 3 rivers in extreme northwestern New Mexico, Farmington is the major industrial and retail center of the entire Four Corners region. Because of its great location and nearly ideal climate, Farmington is an outdoor recreation paradise.

The city occupies 27 square miles of high Colorado Plateau desert and is considered the "Hub" of San Juan County, with a trade radius of 150 miles. Navajo Mine, just west of the city, is one of the largest coal mining operations in the world, and the extractive industries of oil, gas, and mining are the largest employers in the region.

Population / Elevation

  • 34,000 people / 5,395 feet above sea level

Weather / Climate

The Four Corners area is renowned for its year-round pleasant climate. Low humidity and warm temperatures prevail; jackets or sweaters are advisable for evening activities. Average low temperatures in summer and winter are 41.3 and 88.5° F. respectively. Average rainfall is 7.5 inches; winters are usual mild with an average snowfall of 12.3 inches. There are an average of 273 sunny days per year.

 Farmington, New Mexico - Monthly Climate Normals
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Click for Farmington, New Mexico Forecast


The history of the Farmington area dates back over 2,000 years when Anasazi lived in "pit houses" throughout the region. They later built pueblo structures from the native sandstone rock as can be seen at Aztec and Salmon ruins, as well as many other archeological sites in the surrounding countryside.

After the Anasazi's mysterious disappearance about 1500, the area was inhabited by the Navajo, Jicarilla Apache and the Utes into the present time. Native Americans called the area "Totah," which translates as "where three river meet," the La Plata, Animas and San Juan.

The Spanish passed through the region in the late 1700s and eventually settled in the eastern part of San Juan County in the early 1800s. It wasn't until the mid 1870s that pioneers from Animas City, Colorado began permanent settlement.

Originally called "Junction City" because of its location near the convergence of the 3 rivers, the town began to blossom into a flourishing farm and ranch economy and was incorporated in 1901. The name was later changed to Farming Town and finally, the "w" was dropped, shortening the name to Farmington.

Farmington's other historical claim to fame is that for 3 consecutive days in March of 1950, half the town's citizens reported seeing hundreds of "flying saucers" zooming through the skies between 11 am and noon.

Things To Do

Farmington is the perfect hub from which to explore the exciting Four Corners Region and enjoy the many outdoor recreational activities available throughout the area.

Native Americans

The Four Corners area is the traditional homeland of a number of Native American tribes, including the Navajo, Jicarilla Apache, Ute, Mountain Ute, Southern Ute and Hopi nations. Visiting Native American communities, attending social dances or public events on tribal homelands is a popular pastime for visitors.

There are many trading posts in the area which market an abundance of contemporary Native American arts and crafts. Much of the traditional
craftsmanship is still represented in the turquoise and silver jewelry, hand-woven Navajo rugs, pottery, kachinas, baskets and carvings.

Water Sports / Fishing

World-class trout fishing can be experienced on the San Juan River at the base of Navajo Dam. Navajo Lake has 150 miles of shoreline, holding trout, kokanee salmon and warm water species. Three full-service marinas are available. Jackson Lake off the La Plata Hwy., has excellent trout fishing year-round. La Plata River has good brown trout fishing each spring.

Morgan Lake, on the Navajo Reservation, is open year-round providing bass, crappie and catfish. A special fishing license is required. It also offers fantastic windsurfing in 75-degree water year-round. The 1200-acre lake is 15 miles west of Farmington on Hwy. 64.

Mountain Bike Trails

Mountain biking opportunities are abundant throughout San Juan County including the Road Apple Trail and Pinon Mesa. At Farmington Lake there are a vast number of trails through all types of terrain.

Hiking & Climbing Trails

In the areas near Farmington, hikers can find various kinds of terrain, from the Bisti/De-na-zin Wilderness, a federally protected area with unique geologic formations, petrified logs and fossils, to the backcountry trails of Chaco Culture National Historical Park or Angel Peak, a 40-million-year-old geologic formation where trails wind around the desert floor below the overlook. Farmington's River Corridor has over 5 miles of interconnecting walking paths along the Animas River.



There are hotels and motels in Farmington, NM with something for every taste and price range. For more information and a complete list. Click Here. (Rates, availability and reservations online)

Camping & RV Parks

There are numerous campgrounds/RV parks in the Farmington area. Navajo Lake State Park has 3 camping areas: The Pine River Site, the Sims Mesa Site and the San Juan River Recreation Site, on the banks of the San Juan River. Angel Peak Recreational Area in the Nacimiento Badlands also offers camping. For a complete list contact:

Farmington Convention & Visitors Bureau
203 W. Main Street
Farmington, New Mexico, 87401
Phone: 505-326-7602; 800-448-1240

Resources & Nearby Attractions


Cities & Towns

  • Aztec, New Mexico: 15 miles east.
  • Bloomfield, New Mexico: 7 miles east.
  • Cortez, Colorado: 65 miles north.
  • Durango, Colorado: 51 miles northeast.
  • Shiprock, New Mexico: 28 miles west.
  • Gallup, New Mexico: 120 miles south.

Parks & Monuments

Recreation & Wilderness Areas

  • Angel Peak Recreation Area: 50 miles southeast.
  • Bisti Badlands/DeNaZin Wilderness areas: 40 miles south.

Historic & Points of Interest

  • Aztec Museum and Pioneer Village: 505-334-9829.
  • Farmington Museum: 505-599-1174.
  • Salmon Ruins & Heritage Park: Bloomfield, 505-632-2013.
  • Navajo Reservation: 15 miles west.
  • Navajo Mine: Outside Farmington.
  • Four Corners Monument: 60 miles west.

-- Bob Katz


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