Amarillo Lake

Type: General Entry

Published: 1952

Updated: June 16, 2020

Amarillo Lake, a playa also known as Wildhorse Lake, is within the city limits of Amarillo in southern Potter County (at 35°13' N, 101°15' W). Since it was once a relatively dependable source of water, mustangs, buffalo, and other game formerly frequented it. It was a landmark for Indians, Comancheros, Spanish explorers, and trailblazers; Josiah Gregg's party camped beside it on March 14, 1840. Later, free-range cattle raisers often watered their stock there. These considerations, plus the location of the Fort Worth and Denver City right-of-way, prompted J. T. Berry to plat the original townsite of Amarillo, initially called Oneida, on the section of school land that encompassed the lake. Amarillo Lake, now located between North Hughes and McMasters streets south of Amarillo Boulevard, no longer holds much water because the town's sewage system has diverted most of the surface drainage. The lakebed itself is now marked by shallow depressions and sparse grassy areas in the variable soil. The area surrounding it is flat to gently sloping, with a loose sandy soil that supports scrub brush and grasses.

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Anonymous, “Amarillo Lake,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 21, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

June 16, 2020