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Can You Swim in Lake Meredith, Texas…Safely?

Things are big in Texas. The Big Texan gives guests a chance to eat a 72-ounce steak for free. Big Bend National Park covers over 800,000 acres. The Dallas Cowboys stadium in Arlington is home to the enormous electronic board in the country at 160 feet wide and 72 feet high.

But not all things in Texas are grand because of their size. Lake Meredith, a lesser-known lake in the Texas Panhandle, won’t shatter any records with its depth or square miles, but it will transport guests to a tropical oasis.

This stunning lake is a hidden gem, offering visitors relaxation and outdoor recreation. Let’s learn more about Lake Meredith in Texas!

Where is Lake Meredith, Texas? 

The oasis of Lake Meredith is in the plains of the Texas Panhandle about 30 miles northeast of Amarillo. In the upper section of Texas, the Canadian River has cut dramatic 200-foot canyons, and the construction of the Sanford Dam in the 1960s created a beautiful lake.

The Lake Meredith National Recreation Area is between Highway 354 to the northwest, Highway 136 to the southeast, Highway 87 to the southwest, and Highway 152 to the north.

What Is Lake Meredith Known for? 

Lake Meredith is more of a hidden gem than a famous destination. It’s a swimming hole and outdoor enthusiast’s paradise that even Texans might not visit often. The water’s blue-green color remains year-round, and guests feel like they’re in a tropical oasis. In addition to water recreation like boating, fishing, and kayaking, five hiking trails range from easy to strenuous.

Pro Tip: Heading to Texas with your significant other? Check out these 7 Romantic Getaways in Texas.

Friends boating together on Lake Meredith
Go boating, paddleboarding, swimming and more in Lake Meredith.

Is Lake Meredith a Natural Lake?

The Sanford Dam formed Lake Meredith to create a water supply storage reservoir. This artificial lake is the largest body of water within a 200-mile radius. The Canadian River Municipal Water Authority (CRMWA) serves the citizens of the Texas Panhandle by providing safe and dependable water to over half a million residents.

Lake Meredith is a fun recreational area and a water source for eleven cities in the Texas Panhandle.

What Is the Depth of Lake Meredith?

The depth of Lake Meredith fluctuates by the season and year. The lowest depth was in 2013, when the waters were only about 26 feet deep. In 1973, the lake was almost 102 feet deep. According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife website, Lake Meredith has a mean depth of 30 feet, with water levels fluctuating four to ten feet yearly.

Can You Swim in Lake Meredith, Texas?

Guests can swim in Lake Meredith. It’s an ideal location to enjoy chill waters in the summer heat. However, the National Park Service cautions swimmers to pay attention to the weather. Conditions can change in a matter of minutes. High winds in this part of Texas can cause dangerous swimming conditions.

There are also numerous tree branches and other debris under the surface that can trap swimmers if they’re not paying attention. It’s never a good idea to swim at night, but if you do, always swim with others, wear a life vest, and have lights on at the shore to mark your location.

Spring Canyon closes to swimming at night, but all other areas of Lake Meredith remain open.

Girl swimming in Lake Meredith
Cool off from the summer heat in Lake Meredith.

Can You Boat on Lake Meredith? 

Boating is one of the best ways to experience Lake Meredith. If you bring your watercraft, there’s public boat ramp access at Sanford-Yake, Fritch Fortress, and Blue West. If you don’t have a boat, there are rentals at Wright-On Bait, Tackle, and Watercraft Rental at the Sanford-Yake boat ramp.

Rent a pontoon boat, kayak, or paddleboard. Kayaking and canoeing are also popular water sports at Lake Meredith. Additionally, there are ranger-guided paddles throughout the summer.

What Type of Fish Are in Lake Meredith?

Fishing is another everyday activity at Lake Meredith National Recreation Area. The docks at Sanford-Yake and Spring Canyon or the shores of Harbor Bay, Cedar Canyon, Chimney Hollow, or Bugbee Canyon are all excellent fishing spots.

According to the National Park Service, “Game fish may be taken only by pole and line (including rod and reel). Channel, blue, and flathead catfish also may be taken with a trotline, jugline, or throwline.” Always know the state regulations and licenses you need to fish lawfully.

Frequently, anglers will find largemouth and smallmouth bass, channel and blue catfish, white and black crappie, rainbow and brown trout, and walleye in Lake Meredith. There are restrictions on how many fish you can catch daily. There are also minimum lengths. If you’re planning on fishing at Lake Meredith, visit the National Park Service website or the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department website for the most updated information.

Pro Tip: Going on a road trip through Texas? Make sure to do these 9 Best Things To Do on Route 66 in Texas.

Is Lake Meredith, Texas Worth Visiting?

Because you won’t have to fight the crowds other swimming holes in Texas create during the summer, Lake Meredith is a stop worth putting on your road trip itinerary. Its remote location offers scenic beauty, capturing the hearts of visitors. Plus, there’s much to do, from swimming and canoeing to hiking. There’s something for everyone at Lake Meredith National Recreation Area!

Have you been to Lake Meredith? Tell us in the comments!

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