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Open Roads Forum  >  Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping

 > Question about New Mexico dispersed camping areas

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Gakayaker

Georgia

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Posted: 03/22/10 02:48pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We will be arriving in Albuquerque on April 17th and we will be leaving on April 24th. We have made plans to see Chaco Culture Park, Bisti Wilderness, El Malpais NM, and finish up at Petroglyph NM. Can anyone recommend any good dispersed areas to camp in around these areas. In regards to Chaco Culture Park, I have found info on Angel Peak Scenic area but I didn't know if anything would be around the other areas or if anyone could recommend some good places other than developed campgrounds. Any ideas/tips would be appreciated.

pulsar

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Posted: 03/22/10 04:01pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Moved from Truck Campers, then from RVing in Mexico and South America.

JFG

TN

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Posted: 03/22/10 04:22pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Three Rivers Petroglyph Site, Three Rivers, NM
There are 2 water/electric RV sites here, plus a few picnic tables where dry-camping is allowed, although it is next to impossible to level one's trailer at any of them. Still, at $2/night, the price is right!

Three Rivers


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Eugarps

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Posted: 03/22/10 04:23pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

OP,

I've asked the Moderator to move your post back to the TC forum. I think they missinterpreted "New Mexico" and thought Mexico.

Take a look at the area around Jemez Springs. There are some really nice, quiet CG's around there which aren't too over populated. I'll check with my son, who lives in ABQ and camps and backpacks quite a bit. He recently mentioned Dark Canyon in southern Utah as being really nice. The Scenic Drives would seem to go through public lands. Others, I'm sure, will chime in.

Best,

Bill

* This post was edited 03/22/10 04:38pm by Eugarps *


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skipnchar

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Posted: 03/22/10 04:45pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We've camped in a NUMBER of national forest disbursed areas in several areas of the state. One area we liked especially was in the Cabola National Forest, north of Grants. Good luck / skip


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DesertHawk

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Posted: 03/22/10 05:55pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Boondocking/Dispersed Camping NM-AZ ** Chaco Canyon Area *** Chaco Campground

Canyon de Chelly by Chinle is great with a free campground and showers or at least I remember them having showers. Been there want to go again. Nat'l Park and Hubbell Trading Post NHS could be on the way to it.

Navajo National Monument is located at the end of State Highway 564 off of US Highway 160. We have not been to this one, but sounds very interesting. Two campgrounds, one open all year, somewhat isolated but no fees are charged. NPS Site - Visit
Navajo

Navajo NMon is on the way to Monument Valley, about 170 miles form Williams. Maybe 50 miles or so to Mon't Valley.

This was a neat place to camp and visit (have not been to in it many years), even with a museum near by all close to Gallup at Red Rock/Churchrock just off of I-40 east of town.

Blue Water Lake State Park, by Grants, west of Albu'que on I-40. Bluewater not a bad area, but more of a fishing site. But not at all bad for an overnight, even some hiking trails.

El Morro National Monument is neat to see & has a small campground; there is a private campgound near by as well. Near Grants or can be reached from Gallup. We went from Gallup to Zuni Pueblo then to El Morro (we lingered too long at the Pueblo and didn't get to hike the trial at El Morro, got there too late in the day; its a neat trail too, we had hiked it before). Of course one could go to it from Grants as well.
El Morro
Things to Do

It has a very small campground, but there is a private campground near by. Campground and RV Park The El Malpais Nat'l Conservation Area is also near featuring Grants Lava Flows.

Albuquerque has many neat and cool things to see there. As does Santa Fe both on I-25.

And between Grants and Albuquerque there is Acoma Publo which does have Tours. We have never stopped, however.

Bandelier National Monument would be a nice place to visit near Los Alamos and not far from Santa Fe. It was a pleasent campground when we stayed there. Bandelier
Campground

Santa Fe Camping *** Bernalillo City Campground North of Alb'que *** Storrie Lake State Park - Las Vegas

I have not gone there. It would be very much a boondocking area. This is the information I have found and saved:

Little visited and largely unknown, the Bisti Badlands is an amazingly scenic and colorful expanse of undulating mounds and unusual eroded rocks covering 4,000 acres, hidden away in the high desert that covers the distant northwest corner of New Mexico. The Badlands are administered by the BLM (Bureau of Land Management), and are known officially, but less evocatively as the Bisti Wilderness Area. There are no signposts pointing the way to the Badlands from any nearby towns, but the usual approach route is along NM 371 from Farmington, the largest town in the Four Corners region - this heads due south through wide open prairie land at the east edge of the great Navajo Indian Reservation, which extends for 200 miles across into Arizona. After 36 miles, a gravel track exits east, opposite an historical marker recording the history of this area and of the nearby Bisti trading post, now derelict.

Bisti

Approach Roads: Five miles along the entrance track, the grassy plain is replaced quite abruptly by a multi-colored eroded landscape of small clayish hills, shallow ravines, and strange rock formations. The scene is a vivid mixture of red, grey, orange and brown that stretches for many miles. The track passes a large area suitable for parking, then crosses a dry sandy wash and continues alongside the badlands for ca 3 miles before rejoining NM 371. However, the road was fenced off shortly after the wash when I visited, a barrier which looked quite permanent. The far end of the track is actually the official entrance to the badlands, not that there is much difference in scenery or facilities. Several similar un-signposted tracks cross the sandy hills at the south edge of the formations, around a seasonal drainage known as the De-na-zin Wash. A ten mile drive along one such bumpy track leads to the much larger De-na-zin wilderness - equally colorful and even more remote, although partially covered with vegetation.

The nearest towns with hotels close to the Bisti Badlands are Bloomfield, Farmington and Gallup.

Scenery: After a few minutes walk into the wilderness, the road is out of sight and the surreal landscape is all around. The clayish hills are composed of layers of coal, silt, shale and mudstone with varying hardness and colouration, and are mixed with more resistant sandstone which has eroded into weird formations similar to those of Goblin Valley or Bryce Canyon in Utah. Many small ravines created by rainwater erosion cross through the hills, and there are also occasional mini caves and fissures several meters deep. Much of the surface is unstable - the layers are often loose, rocks are crumbling and some of the formations are quite delicate. Hikers should take care not to damage the features; there are no established trails, but walking along the ravines is the usual way to explore. Petrified wood is scattered across the surface - sometimes entire tree stumps, with the bark still clearly recognisable. Fossils may also be found - the teeth and bones of a variety of species including dinosaurs are embedded in the earthy layers.

Abandoned Buildings: The loneliness of this strange and deserted land is emphasised by a cluster of abandoned and semi-derelict buildings nearby. These are the remnants of the old Bisti trading post, and include a large warehouse, a gas station, several storage sheds and most poignantly, a childrens' playground, now overgrown and rusty. One building is still in use - a sparsely furnished church used for services on several occasions a week, and left open for the casual visitor to enter at other times. Walking around this sandy, wind-swept location, which has the appearance of being deserted for many years, is a moving experience, made all the more memorable by the mysterious landscape.

We have stayed once at Angel Peak Scenic BLM Area, 1986 it was. Not really too close to Chaco.

* This post was last edited 03/22/10 06:26pm by DesertHawk *   View edit history


DesertHawk- Las Cruces, NM USA
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Gakayaker

Georgia

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Posted: 03/22/10 08:17pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My thanks to everyone for the suggestions. We really appreciate the info that you posted.

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