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TOYAH LAKE. Toyah Lake, a playa, is on either side of U.S. Highway 285 four miles southeast of Blue Goose Hill in northeastern Reeves County (centered at 31°22' N, 103°23' W). The lake is surrounded by flat to gently sloping desert terrain of calichified bedrock, alluvial deposits of sand and gravel, and windblown sand. Reddish-brown to brown sands, clay loams and clays, and rough stony ground support scrub brush and grasses. Toyah Lake, covering an area of 5½ miles in length and 2 miles in width, is the largest of many playas in Reeves County. Like other playas, it gives evidence of undeveloped drainage in the area. It is fed by two immature stream beds-Salt Draw from the west and Toyah Creek from the east. These normally dry draws pour rain water into the shallow depression of the playa after downpours. Toyah is an Indian word meaning "flowing water" or "much water." In 1582 the expedition of Antonio de Espejo marched down the Pecos River to the area of Toyah Lake, where the men met Jumano Indians who told them a more direct route for their return to La Junta.


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

"TOYAH LAKE," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed August 28, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.