California is not bad -- there is a fair amount of open space, although less (I think) than Utah, Arizona, Colorado, or New Mexico. On the other hand, there are more trees and streams. And some decent mountains -- not the Rockies, but pretty good.
If you are looking for a good way to waste a few minutes, scroll down through our blog:
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Abiquiu Lake -US Army Corps of Engineers campground, we have driven by but not stopped, they say it has excellent facilities surrounded by red sandstone cliffs and mesas of "O´Keefe Country." Campground Area
Echo Amphitheater - Natural rock formation is nearby with a campground as well. Close to Ghost Ranch & the Ghost Ranch Piedra Lumbre Education and Visitor Center, located on U.S. Highway 84 just one mile north of the main Ghost Ranch entrance, has exhibits and a gift shop. A very nice museum in "O´Keefe Country." Ghost Ranch also has camping.
BLM campgrounds are often very nice as well.
Valley of Fires Recreation Area & BLM Campground is an excellent campground. Fires rated
The Three Rivers Petroglyph Site & BLM Campground 3Rivers
There are many Nat'l Forests in NM and AZ such as The Lincoln National Forest - from personal experience, the camping around Cloudcroft is very good. We have mainly used the campgrounds or dispersed camping area by the Silver, Apache & Saddle Campgrounds on the Hwy going to Mescalero Apache Indian Reservation on NM 244. Sacramento Ranger District. Lincoln
Deerhead was being updated when we were there early this summer.
Bluff Springs & Rim Trail- This popular dispersed area has a small waterfall, with springs located 200 yards above. Access to T113 (Willie White) can be found here. There are some bike trails in the area as well & motorcycles ones as well. Other trails Rails to Trails and Camping and Ruidoso Trails and Trail listings
There are several areas listed in this POST some in the Lincoln Nat'l and some in the Gila Nat'l Forest, both with plenty of boondocking/despersed sites.
I have not been to Mescalero Sands. I can not find a link stating how far the drive is from the HWY.
Chiricahua National Monument by Willcox is great, been there will go back. Chiricahua NPS but if rigs are too long for the Nat'l Mon Campground in the Coronado National Forest above it you can desperse camp for free.
Close by Chiricahua Nat'l Mon there is the neat ruins of a fort, some hiking to get to it. Fort Bowie National Historic Site is worth the 3 mile round-trip walk for the best experience of Fort Bowie National Historic Site. If you physically can not walk the trail, please contact the visitor center staff at 520-847-2500 for directions to the alternate access. Fort
Such as Carr Canyon Road is 7 miles south of the Fry Blvd./Hwy 92 intersection on the east side of Sierra Vista; it is 2.3 miles from Hwy 92 to the Carr House, 8.5 miles to the campgrounds. Ordinary passenger cars can negotiate the upper stretches of Carr Canyon Road, but high clearance is helpful. Warning: Large RVs and vehicles pulling trailers may not be able to negotiate the tight curves on this narrow mountain road! However, the campgrounds and upper part of the road are usually closed in winter due to heavy snow and ice in the higher elevations. Grand Canyon Dispersed Camping
There are many others, but this should let you see what is out this way.
DesertHawk- Las Cruces, NM USA
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Arizona might be the best for year round boondocking, high cool mountains with tall trees in the summer and someplace close to Q in the winter for warmth. Not the most beautiful or least amount of people but you can buy necessities within a 1/2 hour drive of many good spots. Colorado and Utah are great until winter snow covers you.
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Most western states have good boondocking locations, although to really get away from it, try Nevada. I've been in valleys where there wasn't another person and you can have an entire mountain (or even mountain range) to yourself. The fish in the streams see people so infrequently you can walk right up to the bank and often they won't scatter! Take a hike, sit down to admire the view, and find yourself gorging on pine nuts for an hour or so. Startle a herd of wild horses and watch them run like the wind. The only time you'll have much company is hunting season (the deer in NV are huge).
So many of the good boondocking locations in parts of CO and UT are so well known that finding a site can be tough on the weekends.