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Open Roads Forum  >  Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping

 > National forest boondocking in Northeast New Mexico

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Ron Butler

Federal Way WA./Sun City AZ. or points between.

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Posted: 10/12/09 09:37pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We are currently in Farmington NM for the FMCA rally. We want to head east into Chama and Taos areas. Not sure if we will go as far east as Raton and Las Vegas, but we do want to go back down through Santa Fe?

I know about the NM state parks up in that area.

Any suggestions for boondocking and/or national forest areas to stay in. Have a 33' Class A towing a Saturn, so it can't be too rugged to get in to!

Thanks for any suggestions.


[b]Ron & Carolyn Tucker - Wire Hair Fox Terrier Federal Way WA./Sun City AZ. [b][COLOR=#000066]GO HUSKIES[/COLOR][/b] [url=http://picasaweb.google.com/RonButler6][b]Our Trip Pictures[/b][/url] [url=http://goodsamclub.mytripjournal.com/ronandcarolynstravels][b]Ron & Carolyns Travels[/b] [/url]

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Matho

New Mexico Texas

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Posted: 10/12/09 10:22pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Carson National Forest.

Nice area.


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DesertHawk

Las Cruces, New Mexico

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Posted: 10/12/09 11:21pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Santa Fe Nat'l Forest such as El Porvenir near Las Vegas we boondocked in this area once years ago, dispersed camped. When you said boondocking, did you also mean Dispersed Camping? One should find dispersed spots, but from the size of you rig, I believe you mean campgrounds without any hook-ups.

I have never had the opportunity to stay at a COE campground. Not too many in NM.
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.

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 Cruz Lake Recreation Area a BLM site with campgrounds is 30 miles north of Santa Fe. We have stayed there, a nice area & offers two campgrounds, the North Lake Campground and the Overlook Campground, which offers a great view down onto the lake.

Also Army Corps of Engineers---Cochiti Lake between Santa Fe & Albur'que.

Carson Nat'l Forest West-side Map----East-side Map --- Campground List I am not familar with these Lakes.
Carson National Forest - My only personsal experience has been camping up by Taos on the Hwy going to Eagle Nest such as La Sombra 8 miles east of Taos along US Highway 64 at 7,800 ft. elevation or Capulin & Las Petacas. One of these can serve as a base to visiting Taos.


A neat area in New Mexico would be:
Cimarron Canyon State Park is three miles east of Eagle Nest along US 64. Cimarron
It is a very scenic area, with a nice trout stream running along. We enjoyed our stay there, some years ago.

Eagle Nest is a neat area as well. Eagle Nest Lake is very pretty, with a just opened primative campground. The drive from Eagle Nest (a neat little town) to Raton you would see Cimarron Canyon SP. You would be driving along or in the Cimarron Canyon much of the way. The village of Cimarron is a neat historic place. Village
Colfax
Cimarron
If you do make it to the Eagle Nest Area, be sure to see the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, one of the first Memorials of its kind in the United States dedicated to Vietnam Veterans. A very moving place. It is in Angle Fire.
Memorial
Angel Fire Memorial

By driving 30 miles from Eagle Nest, one could go to Taos a very historic area. The neat Rio Grande Gorge Bridge is near Taos as well on the way to Chama. Taos
Taos
Pueblo
Rio Gorge
Ditto
Bridge

A Veterinarian in Raton told us to drive SR476 to see wildlife. It was fun. We saw deer, elk, turkeys and a bear.

We also did a day trip to see Capulin Volcano National Monument from Raton area. Cone

When we woke up to snow one morning in June at Sugarite Canyon State Park, we also drove over to see Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site in La Junta, CO to find a warmer area for the day. Bent's Fort Both were neat to see, but Capulin was the neatest. But our young children at the time liked Bent's Old Fort. Capulin seems to be closer to Raton. We also did a drive to the Maxwell National Wildlife Refuge. But this would be better in winter to see more birds. Refuge
Maxwell
We made thes day trips from Sugarite State Park near Raton. Sugarite

Coyote Creek State Park is nestled in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains along a meandering stream. Enclosed by a forest of spruce and pine, the small valley displays abundant wildflowers and beautiful fall foliage. The park is ideal for fishing, family camping and leisurely nature walks. Private campsites are scattered along the creek, which is sheltered by cottonwood trees and willow plants. The park's refreshing temperature offer relief during the height of New Mexico's summers. Coyote Creek has the most densely stocked waters in New Mexico. Trout are abundant and provide excellent fishing for children of all ages. In addition, the park offers 1.5 miles of hiking trails through a forest of ponderosa pines. Coyote Creek State Park is 17 miles north of Mora via NM 434. Coyote Creek is on our to do list, but have not been there. Mora are is neat, but again it is a remote spot. Drove by there in the '70s. Lot of neat rides, I would think. Campsite are not deeply wooded it seems from the photos.

Storrie Lake State Park is nice place very near Las Vegas, NM (which means "meadows" in Spanish) & is not up in the Mts but at the foot of some very neat ones, not far from Mora. It could serve as a base camp to explore the Sangre de Cristo Mountains all the way to Taos, then to Eagle Nest, Red River,& even on to Santa Fe via the route by Mora. One could make a long loop from Las Vegas to Mora to Taos to Red River to Eagle Nest/Angel Fire then to Raton then back to Las Vegas via I-25. Photos
And it is near many of the Byways, not just these. ByWay --- Taos
If not wanting to use the interstate, I believe there is a frontage road along it all the way. If you like history visit Ft. Union which is along the way from Raton. To cut off some miles go to Cimarron then turn away from Raton & go to Springer then down to Las Vegas.

But...at 8,000 feet, Cimarron Canyon State Park is "Set in New Mexico's high country, where spectacular palisade cliffs and clear running waters dominate the landscape, Cimarron Canyon State Park is part of the 33,116-acre Colin Neblett Wildlife Area -- the largest wildlife area in the state. Elk, deer, bear, turkey and grouse attract hunters in the fall and winter. Wildlife viewing is plentiful as songbirds, elk, deer, bear, turkey and grouse call the park home."

Not sure of the temps there when you plan on going, but Cimarron Canyon is a neat place. If by Chima: We really like Heron Lake State Park, they do have electric/water sites but some are not if you would like them. Heron Lake

If time allows check out the wool weavers workshop Tierra Wools in Los Ojos near the turn off to Heron Lake SP.
Tierra Wools

Heron Lake Area and Camping by Tierra Amarilla

And of course, Navajo Lake State Park near Farmington, New Mexico & also in Colorado.

Closer to Santa Fe, Holy Ghost campground 16 miles north of Pecos on Highway 63 and Forest Road 122, and Jack's Creek 21 miles north of Pecos on Highway 63. But check for length limits at these first.

Edit Additional Info .

* This post was last edited 10/14/09 03:00pm by DesertHawk *   View edit history


">DesertHawk- Las Cruces, NM USA
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profdant139

Southern California

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Posted: 10/13/09 09:09am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

DesertHawk, that was an amazing summary!! Thanks! I am going to save your reply in my "places we are eventually going to get to, Lord willing" folder.


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Ron Butler

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Posted: 10/13/09 03:55pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

DesertHawk,

Thanks for the great reply and information. Will be using the hot links that you provided.

We spent July & Aug. criss-crossing CO and loved Old Fort Benz. If you click on the hotlinks in my signature box, you will see our travel blog through there and our pictures.

Again, Thanks for all the info.

Ron

Clieb

Carlsbad, NM

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Posted: 10/14/09 01:13pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Taos Ski resort will let you park overnight (ignore the signs) great hiking and good resturants. I stay there to Ski in the winter, they have always been very RV friendly. When you need to dump Montebello RV park is righ down the hill about a mile from the high bridge over the gorge, great view.


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brokeboater

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Posted: 10/15/09 02:08pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ron Butler wrote:

DesertHawk,

Thanks for the great reply and information. Will be using the hot links that you provided.

We spent July & Aug. criss-crossing CO and loved Old Fort Benz. If you click on the hotlinks in my signature box, you will see our travel blog through there and our pictures.

Again, Thanks for all the info.

Ron


Ron,

Enjoyed your Black Canyon photos. It brought back some nice memories.

AGBAT

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Posted: 10/16/09 06:11pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Rio Costilla near Costilla on 522 in far North Central NM. There is a fee that goes to the local rancher(s). Maybe to far north for your plans. See the write up in RV Park Reviews.

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