Camping in Northwest New Mexico | Campgrounds

If you are looking for places to go camping in northwest New Mexico, here’s a list of options, from primitive sites to pop a tent to RVs with all the amenities. If there are additional campgrounds I overlooked, please let me know in the comments field below.

Abiquiu Lake | Riana

PO BOX 290, Abiquiu,  NM 87510
(505) 685-4371

Riana Campground is located on a 150 ft. bluff overlooking Abiquiu Lake, one hour northwest of Santa Fe. The lake is on the Rio Chama, a tributary of the Rio Grande, at an elevation of 6,400 feet.

Riana provides flush toilets, showers, and drinking water, as well as picnic shelters, grills, lantern posts, and tent pads. A playground and dump station are located on-site. There is fishing, boating and swimming at Abiquiu Lake and art, hiking, workshops and seminars at Ghost Ranch. Additional activities nearby include hiking around the lake and along the Rio Chama north of Abiquiu, Plaza Blanca (a couple miles behind Abiquiu), the Georgia O’Keeffe museum, and Penitente morada.

Riana Campground hosts 52 campsites, 13 of which have electric and water hookups.

Fee: $8-$60/night.

Abiquiu Lake sunset
Abiquiu Lake sunset

Angel Peak Campground

Farmington Field Office
6251 College Blvd. Suite A
Farmington, NM  87402
(505) 564-7600
(800) 842-3127

Access to the Angel Peak Scenic Area is off US Highway 550, 15 miles south of Bloomfield on County Road 7175. Follow the gravel road along the canyon rim for approximately six miles to reach the campground, or stop at one of three developed picnic areas along the way to enjoy the view or have a bite to eat. Take plenty of water and watch for rattlesnakes.

Three picnic areas and a campground are located along the canyon rim overlooking Angel Peak and the Kutz Canyon badlands. Three picnic areas (Sage, Castle Rock, and Cliffs), containing seven developed sites, are located along the rim road. Each site has a shelter, tables on a concrete underfoot, a gravel pathway, and a fire grate. Trash cans are located in all three picnic areas. Accessible vault toilets are available at both Sage and Cliffs picnic areas.

Additionally, Angel Peak Campground has 9 sites available for tent camping; each with picnic tables on a concrete underfoot, gravel pathways, and fire grates. Picnic shelters are located at three campsites; two with single shelters and one with a double shelter suitable for larger groups. Two accessible vault toilets and trash receptacles are conveniently located in the campground. A short nature trail winds among the plants that have found a niche along the desolate rim and leads to an overlook of the canyon where a bench is provided for relaxing and enjoying the view.

No electrical hookups or water is available. More information about Angel Peak.

Angel Peak badlands
Angel Peak badlands

Armijo Campground

Quemado Ranger District
(575) 773-4678

Armijo Campground is a secluded, quiet, primitive, FREE campground with 5 sites. Limited to a 14-day stay. Though it is off the beaten path, it is fairly close to Quemado Lake. Ponderosa pines and some oak trees provide shade and there is a spring nearby. However, you shouldn’t rely on water availability or quality. Take your own water. There is no garbage service in this campground – so it is “pack it in, pack it out”. ATVs must be licensed and users must follow all state laws regarding use. ATV use is not allowed in the campground.

From Quemado go south on NM 32 approximately 18 miles to Forest Road 854. Go east approximately 4 miles. Forest Road 854 is not well marked on NM 32 but a large brown sign for the campground is visible to the east of the intersection.

Bluewater Lake State Park

30 Bluewater State Park Road
Prewitt, NM 87045

Pinon-juniper landscape with views towards the Zuni Mountains. Camping, hiking, birding, horseback riding and fishing; particularly tiger muskie. 14 Electric/135 Developed Sites, beach camping, and 2 group picnic shelters. Playground, restrooms, showers, vault toilets, and dump station.


Canjilon Lakes Campgrounds

Canjilon Ranger District
Building 358 State Rd 115
Canjilon, NM 87515
(575) 684-2489

In a picturesque setting of lakes and a meandering stream, Canjilon Lakes Campground offers excellent fishing and camping opportunities to forest visitors. Its beauty turns to splendor when fall leaves change from greens to dazzling gold and oranges. These high elevation lakes are close to the Continental Divide, surrounded by towering pines and firs. 41 campsites (21 electric) near the shores of six small ponds at 9900′ with 2 picnic spots above at Upper Canjilon Lakes. Limited to 14-day stay. Max RV Length 40 ft, Max RV Width 12 ft. Vault Toilets, picnic tables. No Showers.

12 miles northeast of Canjilon via FR 559 & 129. There is a convenience store and gas station in Cebolla, approximately 6 miles from the village of Canjilon. There is a post office in Canjilon.

San Gregorio Reservoir
San Gregorio Reservoir

Clear Creek Campground

Santa Fe National Forest Headquarters
11 Forest Lane
Santa Fe, NM 87508
(575) 289-3264
(505) 438-5300

Elk and deer in the surrounding forest, fish in the Rio de las Vacas and proximity to San Pedro Parks Wilderness make this open meadow site at 8,500′  in elevation a veritable spring, summer and fall paradise. Local streams and the San Gregorio reservoir provide fishing opportunities for anglers, and hikers will delight in the many hiking opportunities in the nearby San Pedro Parks Wilderness. More things to see and do on Highway 4.

Vault toilets, picnic tables, RV pads, fire rings, and drinking water. 4 camping sites (not reservable). 13 RV sites, with a 16′ trailer limit, 30′ RV limit. 8 camp sites are available for reservation through $10 per night per vehicle. This campground accepts Annual, Access, Senior and Kids in the park passes. Site fees are reduced by 50%. Two vehicles are permitted in each camp site. Eleven miles east on NM Highway 126 from Cuba.

Cochiti Lake Campgrounds

82 Dam Crest Rd
Peña Blanca, NM 87041
(505) 465-0307

Cochiti Lake is on the Rio Grande, about half way between Santa Fe and Albuquerque. Cochiti Dam is one of the ten largest earthfill dams in the US. It is one of the four units for flood and sediment control on the Rio Grande, operating in conjunction with Galisteo, Jemez Canyon, and Abiquiu Dams. Windsurfing, fishing, boating, swimming, hiking, biking, and wildlife viewing.

Cochiti Lake is located within the boundaries of Cochiti Pueblo. Please respect and obey all Pueblo regulations and do not trespass on lands closed to the public. From Santa Fe, south on I-25 to exit 264, west on Highway 16 and north on Cochiti Highway (Hwy 22). From Albuquerque, north on I-25 to exit 259, northwest on Highway 22.

Canine smiles at Cochiti Lake
Canine smiles at Cochiti Lake

Cochiti Camping Area

The lake offers two public recreation areas: Cochiti on the west side of the lake and Tetilla Peak on the east side. Cochiti consists of four loops. Juniper Loop campsites have electric hookups and some have water. Elk Run and Ringtail Loops are non-electric and have community water spigots. All sites in Buffalo Grove Loop have water and electric hookups. The Cochiti boat ramp is open year-round and is accessible by a paved road. The ramp has four concrete lanes for loading and unloading. Tent rocks is about 5 miles away, with great hiking, volcanic rock formations and a slot canyon.

Tetilla Peak

Tetilla Peak consists of two loops. Cholla Loop includes 36 individual campsites, each with an electric hookup, table and grill. All electric campsites have shelters, and water spigots are located throughout the campground. This loop also provides a dump station and large restroom and shower building. A partially paved road winds through Coyote Loop, which has 10 sites, each with a table and grill. There are no electric hookups, and water spigots are scattered throughout the loop. The restroom and shower building is centrally located for easy access. The Tetilla boat ramp area offers a parking area and courtesy dock.

Datil Well Campground

Socorro BLM Field Office
901 S. Highway 85
Socorro, NM 87801
(575) 835-0412

Datil Well campground includes one of 15 water wells along the old Magdalena Livestock Driveway. The old cattle trail was established in the 1800s and stretched 120 miles from Springerville, Arizona, to Magdalena, New Mexico. The area includes 3 miles of hiking trails in piсon-juniper and ponderosa pine woodlands, with scenic views of the San Augustin Plains. Please leave a clean camp and respect the facilities and natural surroundings. Pack it in. Pack it out.

The campground and recreation area are open year round. There are 22 campsites, with shade shelter, picnic table, fire pit and BBQ grill. Firewood is provided for those who camp overnight. Restrooms and drinking water are close by. Located 1 mile west of Datil on US 60. There is also another signed entrance to the Datil Well Recreation Area on NM 12, about 1 mile southwest of the road intersection in Datil.

Echo Amphitheater

208 Cruz Alta Road
Taos, NM  87571
(575) 758-6200

Roadside campground adjacent to U.S. Highway 84. The campground contains 9 campsites with 3 small pull throughs. Campground cannot accommodate large RVs. There are no hookups but potable water is available at the Group Shelter next to first campsite and there is a flush toilet. Paved trail from campground accesses the Echo Amphitheater Trail. Spectacular views along an easy trail to eroded dramatic cliff face.

$10/Night for single unit. $40 fee for Group Shelter ($1.00 additional fee per person over 50 people). Approximately 14.5 miles southwest of Canjilon via US 84. Alternately, approximately 15 miles northwest of Abiquiu. Click here for more things to see and do on Highway 84.

Echo Amphitheater
Echo Amphitheater

El Malpais – Joe Skeen Campground

Rio Puerco Field Office
Northwest New Mexico Visitor Center
1900 East Santa Fe Avenue
Grants, NM 87020
(505) 280-2918

El Malpais National Monument Visitor Center (NPS)
1900 E Santa Fe Ave.
Grants, New Mexico 87020
(505) 876-2783

This high desert campground is set back from the highway, with 10 free primitive camp sites. Each site has a covered picnic table, fire grill, and tent space. There are two vault toilets. First come, first served. Some of the sites have pull through parking ideal for total lengths up to 50 feet. However, there is a steep arroyo at the entrance. Drivers should inspect before entering. Closest water is 2 miles north, with a 5 gallon a day limit due to aquifer depletion.

There is a maximum of fifteen people and two vehicles per campsite. Stay is limited to 7 days per month in the campground and total stay in the NCA is limited to 14 days per month. Quiet hours are from 10:00 PM to 6:00 AM. No livestock or horses are permitted in the campground. Collecting of firewood and any other natural or historic object is prohibited. Volunteer camp host applications are accepted year round. Please email if interested.

El Malpais is located about 80 miles west of Albuquerque and south of Grants, New Mexico. Two state highways provide access to the NCA and Monument, and both are accessible via Interstate 40. Exit 89, east of Grants, will take you along NM Highway 117 which traverses the east side. Exit 81, west of Grants, will take you along NM Highway 53 which travels down the northwestern edge. More information about El Malpais.

El Malpais National Monument near Grants
El Malpais National Monument

El Morro National Monument

HC 61 Box 44
Ramah, NM 87321
(505) 783-4226 x801

El Morro National Monument operates a free 9-site campground year-round. Each site has a graveled tent pad, picnic table and ground grill for fires. During the warmer months, water is available in spigots. Once the overnight low’s begin to reach freezing temperatures, water is turned off for the season. There are no hookups for RVs. The length limit on all motor homes is 27 feet overall. One site, #5, is handicapped accessible. Sites are available by self-registration on a first-come, first-served basis. No reservations.

El Morro RV Park

Full-hookup RV sites, two cabins, and tent camping. Campground is shaded with juniper and pinon pine trees. They are 100% pet-friendly, with free range chickens to supply eggs to the restaurant, The Ancient Way Cafe.

They are set up for large rigs, with 30 amp electric, water, and sewer, with gravel/dirt pads. Roads throughout park are gravel. Additionally, large RV sites and pull-through sites are available. Daily RV Site Rate: $30 Weekly RV Rate: 7th day is free 14 Day maximum stay. More information about El Morro.

El Morro
El Morro National Monument

El Rito Campground

Carson National Forest
208 Cruz Alta Road
Taos, NM  87571
(575) 758-6200

Located near the town of El Rito, this area is often crowded in summer due to its popularity. No reservations allowed. The campground is situated along the bank of the El Rito Creek. 11 free campsites at 7600 feet with excellent hiking and fishing access. One double site, two toilets, and no electricity. However, the camping area is shaded with Oak, Juniper, and Ponderosa pine trees and it is quite close to Ghost Ranch. 5 miles northwest of El Rito via NM 110 & FR 559.

El Vado Lake State Park

P.O. BOX 367
Tierra Amarilla  NM  87575
(575) 588-7247

El Vado Lake State Park offers fishing, boating, camping, hiking, winter cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. A 5.5-mile scenic trail along the Rio Chama connects El Vado with Heron Lake. Quiet coves around the lake are great places to catch trout and kokanee salmon. The lake and surrounding area are a major wintering ground for bald eagles and other wildlife. There are eight campgrounds with 80 developed campsites, including 17 with 30 amp electricity, 2 W+E+S full hookup sites (30 & 50 amp), RV dump station, and 4 group campsites. Restrooms, showers, playground, hiking, biking and horse trails, as well as boating, sailing, and water skiing. Map

El Vado lake
El Vado Lake

Fenton Lake State Park

Manny Sanchez
455 Fenton Lake Road
Jemez Springs, NM 87025
(575) 829-3630

The Jemez Mountains provide the backdrop for this stunning year-round retreat surrounded by beautiful ponderosa pine forests. Fenton Lake State Park is a mellow mountain escape at 7,650 feet above sea level. The Rio Cebolla flows through the park and there is a fishing and canoeing lake. No wake. No dock for larger boats. Canoe or small fishing boats allowed.

The park also attracts campers, hikers, equestrians, and cross-country skiers. There’s also a fun playground for kids. Stocked with rainbow trout from fall through spring, the lake is home to German brown trout, an ideal spot for flyfishing. Although most anglers prefer the warmth and comfort of summer, there is also winter ice fishing. 5 Electric/25 Developed Sites. Vault toilets, no shower. Park Map, Trail Map, Equestrian

Gallo Campground | Chaco Canyon

P.O. Box 220
Nageezi  NM  87037
(505) 786-7014 x221

Gallo Campground is located within Chaco Culture National Historical Park. Tucked among the fallen boulders and cliffs of Gallo Wash, the campground offers camping in a rugged environment, surrounded by petroglyps, a cliff dwelling, inscriptions and a high desert landscape. The area is remote with no services. Please be prepared with plenty of food, water, shade, sunscreen and cold weather necessities. There are no showers, hookups, and convenience store or food services. There are no cell phone services. Map

Gallo Campground has 48 individual campsites, one of which is designated as handicapped accessible. Each campsite has a picnic table and a fire grate. There are campsites for tent ONLY, for RV ONLY and some allow either. Tent Only sites are closed from November through February for winter season. Trailers and RVs over 35 feet in length cannot be accommodated. There are no hook-ups. A dump station is located in the campground. Generators may be operated one hour at a time between 8:00AM and 8:00PM. Sites 12-16 are for RV camping only.

There are 2 group campsites available to accommodate groups of 10-30 people…tent camping only. Each group campsite has picnic tables and a fire grate. Groups reserving group campsite(s) must call the Park for additional arrangement. The campground has restroom facility with flush toilets. Group tent only area non-electric – $60, RV non-electric – $15, Standard non-electric – $15, and tent only non-electric – $15.


Albuquerque or Farmington: Highway 550, exit to County Road 7900 at mile marker 112; drive CR 7900 then turn westbound to CR 7950 which will turn into a dirt road after three miles. Drive 13 miles of dirt road to reach Chaco Culture NHP.

From the South: Exit Highway 9 to State Road 57. State Road 57 is a rough dirt road for about 20 miles before reaching Chaco Culture NHP. South entrance is not recommended during inclement weather. Please call the Park for road condition.

Pueblo Bonito Chaco Canyon
Pueblo Bonito, Chaco Culture National Historical Park

Heron Lake State Park 
640 State Road 95
Los Ojos, NM 87551
(575) 588-7470

A picturesque lake set among the tall pines of northern New Mexico at 7,167-feet, Heron Lake State Park has been designated a “no-wake” lake, making it an excellent location for all types of paddle craft. Heron also has amazing sailing, cross-country skiing, and hiking. Heron is a fisherman’s paradise with record-size trout and kokanee salmon. Ice fishing is very popular in winter. Wildlife viewing opportunities abound at Heron, where you may see the elusive mountain lion, black bear, elk, deer, marmot, bald eagles and osprey. Access the hiking and fishing trail along the gorgeous Rio Chama from the dramatic caprock stairway near Heron Dam. The 5.5-mile trail, which crosses the river by suspension bridge, affords panoramic views and an adventurous route to neighboring El Vado Lake.

Several campgrounds line the shore of this scenic lake with primitive and developed campsites are available for every taste. There is fishing, swimming, hiking, mountain biking, cross country skiing available. No horses allowed. Close to El Vado lake and about halfway in between Chama and Ghost Ranch.

54 Electric/250 Developed Sites. Beach, marina, dock, potable water, dump station, group campsites, restrooms, showers. Map, East Meadow Trail,Salmon Run Trail

Heron Lake sunset
Heron Lake sunset

Hopewell Lake Campground

Tres Piedras Ranger District
22280 Hwy 64
Tres Piedras, NM 87577
(575) 758-8678

Hopewell Lake is a small, man-made lake, set high in the Carson National Forest at an elevation of 9,500 feet. The 14-acre lake is perfect for canoeing and is regularly stocked with rainbow and brook trout. The Contiental Divide National Scenic Trail goes through the campgound, and is popular with horseback riders and hikers. There is no cell phone service.

Hopewell Lake Campground sits next to its scenic namesake lake between Tres Piedras and Tierra Amarilla. The campground has 31 camping sites. There is also a group day-use shelter and group overnight campsite, both available by reservation. Horse corrals and water troughs are available at two campsites. Vault toilets and drinking water are provided. First-come, first-served sites are available. Canoe, pressurized drinking water. Several dumpsters are available in the canyon.A forest of conifer and aspen trees covers the area and offers partial shade in the campground. Visitors enjoy horseback riding, hiking, fishing and canoeing. ATVs allowed in area, but not in campground.

Reservations can be made by visiting  Reservations must be made 4 days ahead of arrival and can be made up to 6 months in advance for the standard sites or 12 months in advance for the group sites. $16/Night for single unit. $5 per vehicle. $40 Annual Pass. For Group Area, fees $41.00 plus $1.00 per person after 50 people. Maps

Jemez Falls
Jemez Falls

Jemez Falls Campground

Santa Fe National Forest Headquarters
11 Forest Lane
Santa Fe, NM 87508
(505) 438-5300

The campground is located in a stunning Ponderosa Pine and forest meadow environment in proximity to the East Fork Jemez River. Come prepared for warm summer days and cooler nights. Jemez Falls, largest waterfall in the Jemez Mountains, is close by. The Valles Caldera National Preserve and Bandelier National Monument are within a short driving distance. More things to see and do on Highway 4.

Campground has 52 camp sites with picnic table and fire ring. Paved access which allows trailers and RV’s up to 40 feet. Vault toilets, no dump station available. There are no RV hook-ups at the campground. Drinking water is provided from spigots conveniently located throughout the campground. Vault toilets provide basic sanitation needs. A campground host is on duty during the summer camping season. Dogs must be leashed at all times while in campground area. Do not approach wildlife.

This campground is reservation only. Reservation can be made at or call (877) 444-6777. $10 per vehicle/night. America the Beautiful/ Golden Age/Golden Access Passes accepted. 2 vehicles are permitted at a camp site. From the Jemez Ranger Station go 7.5 miles to the junction of State Road 4 and 126 at La Cueva. Continue on State Road 4 approximately six miles east to the campground turnoff on your right. From the turn-off, continue approximately one mile of paved road to campground.

Jewett Gap Campground

This primitive campground is beautiful and free, but it isn’t the most accessible place on the list. The upshot is you usually don’t have to share it with other people. 5 Primitive campsites. No potable water. No amenities.

Bandelier ruins
Bandelier National Monument cliff dwellings

Juniper Campground | Bandelier

Bandelier National Monument
15 Entrance RD

Los Alamos, NM 87544
(505) 672-3861 x0

Juniper Family Campground is located near the entrance to the park, just off Highway 4. After passing through the park entrance station take the first right turn. There are 3 loops in Juniper Campground and sites are first come first serve. No Reservations. Cost for family camping is $12/night with a 50% discount for holders of Inter-Agency Senior or Access passes. Fees are paid by credit card only at a self-registration kiosk located near the entrance to the campground. Campers wanting to pay cash for camping fees will need to do so at the park visitor center during business hours. There is a limit of 2 tents, 2 vehicles, and 10 people per site. Map

Reservations are taken for two sites in the Abert’s squirrel loop which are reserved for small groups (10 – 20 people). The cost for these group sites is $35/night. Reservations for these group sites are available at or you can call 1-877-444-6777.

A restroom with running water is centrally located in each campground loop. Each site has a picnic table and a grill. However, there are no electrical hook-ups or showers available. Most sites are appropriate for tent, RV, or trailer camping. Several sites can accommodate vehicles as long as 40 feet. A dump station is located on the road to the campground. During summer, there will be a campground host. Firewood is for sale in the campground. Fire does pose an extreme danger in the Jemez. Back-country camping is available. Check in for a pass at the visitor’s center. Free back country camping. Main Loop Trail Map, Area Map, Los Alamos/White Rock Area Map, Backcountry Tails Map, Access points to Rio Grande.

Bandelier National Monument, overlooking Frijoles canyon
Bandelier National Monument, overlooking Frijoles canyon

Manzano Mountains State Park
Mile Marker 3, Hwy 131
Mountainair, NM 87036
(505) 469-7608

Nestled in the wooded foothills of the Manzanos, this park provides a quiet retreat and is a nice family get-away, providing wildlife viewing, birding and photography. 9 Electric (30 Amp)/23 Developed Sites. Portable toilets. Park Map, Trail Map

From NM-55 turn onto NM-131 in the village of Manzano. Follow the asphalt road 2 miles to the park entrance then straight ahead 1 mile on a gravel road to the campground.

Fourth of July Campground

This area is available for day use or overnight camping at $7/site; however, there is no water available. Tents and pop-up campers ONLY. Site will not accommodate larger recreational vehicles.

Nacimiento Campground

Santa Fe National Forest Headquarters
11 Forest Lane
Santa Fe, NM 87508
(505) 438-5300

The closest developed campground near San Gregorio reservoir is Nacimiento Campground. Primitive camping along the stream is allowed. Hike along the Rito Anastacio or the Los Pinos Trail, views of Nacimiento Peak, Perchas Trail, Pajarito Mountain and San Gregorio Reservoir Dam. 6 Primitive Sites. No amenities. Pack out your trash. Take plenty of water. Free!

Nacimiento Peak is a relatively small nub on the flat, upraised block of mountain in the northwest portion of the Jemez Mountains. Like the hump of a whale, these mountains gently rise nearly 3,000 feet above the town of Cuba and are completely below tree line. Nestled against the peak is the wonderful highland country of San Pedro Parks Wilderness. At nearly 10,000 feet, this area receives plenty of rain and thus, is strewn with tremendous amounts of fantastically green meadows and forest. There are dozens of camping sites along the dirt road to the trailhead in meadows and in the trees. The stretch of road leading to the trailhead is not in the wilderness area, but Leave No Trace ethics still apply.

Navajo Lake State Park
36 Road 4110, #1
Navajo Dam, NM 87419
(505) 632-2278

Navajo Lake is the second largest lake in the state, with seven campgrounds, two marinas, and two boat docks. Navajo is a haven for boaters of every stripe – motorized boaters, canoers, kayakers, water skiers and sailors. The San Juan River is a world-class fly fishing destination and features a campground, day use areas and a serene trail along the river. Navajo Lake State Park offers some of the best boating, fishing, hiking, and camping in New Mexico, as well as swimming, mountain biking, hiking, scuba diving, and bird watching. In total, there are 105 Electric/244 developed sites. This is a popular recreation area. All amenities, including potable water, restaurants, boat docks, electricity. Park Map, Region Map, Trail Map

Paliza Group Campground

Santa Fe National Forest Headquarters
11 Forest Lane
Santa Fe, NM 87508
(505) 438-5300

This recently renovated group campground is situated in a beautiful Ponderosa Pine forest. Located in Lower Paliza Canyon, come prepared for warm days and cool nights. Two group sites, and campsites with tables, grills, campfire rings. Group Site 1, Owl Loop Drive-In Sites accommodates 100 people; Group Site 2, Red Tail Loop Walk-In Sites accommodates 35 people. Reservations are required for the group campgrounds. Site #1, Owl Loop/Cost is $50.00 per night for up to 50 people and $1.00 per person from 51-100 people. Site #2, Red Tail Loop/Cost is $50.00 per night.

This campground is designated as a reduced impact and recycle campground. Charcoal only in pedestral cooking grills. Users are encouraged to pack out trash and leave the campground clean for others. There are vault toilets; however, there is no dump station or drinking water. Los Alamos County Trails, Bandelier Trails, Valles Caldera Trails, BLM Recreation Opportunities. Click here for more things to see and do on Highway 4.

Ponderosa Group Campground | Bandelier

Bandelier National Monument
15 Entrance RD

Los Alamos, NM 87544
(505) 672-3861 x0

For large groups coming to Bandelier National Monument, Ponderosa Campground is an ideal place to stay. Located 6 miles from the main park entrance, the campground is just a short drive from the main visitor center, the Frijoles Canyon Shuttle System (mid-May to mid-October) and the adjacent town of Los Alamos. Ponderosa Campground is open year-round. The canyon and most of the park’s trails are only accessible by shuttle bus during designated periods, but guests can access those areas by vehicle the remainder of the year. Though open all year, water is only available from mid-May to mid-October.
There are picnic tables, fire grates, and small cooking shelters. Pit toilets are provided but there are no restrooms with running water. These sites are tent-only, but one RV per site can be accommodated in the parking area. No hookup campsites are available. Each site can accommodate between 10 and 50 people. Additionally, food storage lockers and campfire rings are available. Sites can be reserved for large group picnics. The fee and process is the same as reserving the site for an overnight stay.
Hikers can access one trail directly from the facility. The Ponderosa Trail descends into the park through ponderosa pine forest and leads 8 miles through Frijoles Canyon to the visitor center and Main Loop Trail. Other trails in this area include the 3-mile round-trip Falls Trail to beautiful Upper Falls, and various trails of different lengths and difficulties leading up to the mesa tops. Main Loop Trail Map, Area Map, Los Alamos/White Rock Area Map, Backcountry Tails Map, Access points to Rio Grande. More things to see and do on Highway 4.

Quemado Lake Campground

Gila National Forest
3005 E Camino del Bosque
Silver City, NM  88061
(575) 388-8201

Quemado Ranger District
Phone: (575) 773-4678

Quemado Lake is located 16 miles south of Quemado, NM. From Quemado, take NM 32 south 14.2 miles to the Quemado Lake/NM 103 sign. At sign turn left onto NM 103 and go 4 miles to where Forest Road 13 (gravel) begins. Continue straight on FR 13 for 1 mile. There are several campgrounds convenient to Quemado Lake. El Caso I-III, Piñon Campground, and Juniper. However, Juniper is the most popular.


Juniper Campground is Quemado Ranger District’s most popular campground. It offers full RV hookups, leveled tent sites, and easy lake access. There are 17 single family/tent sites and the fee is $10 per day, one double site available for $16 per day, and 17 RV sites with hookups for $15 per day. These sites can accommodate a 35′ RV.

America the Beautiful Interagency Senior and Access Passes are honored for 1/2 off on camping fees. First come, first served. No reservations necessary. All Gila NF campgrounds have a 14 day stay limit. Accessible, boat ramp, picnic tables, toilets, and drinking water.

The campground is located just west of Quemado, NM, take NM 32 south 14.2 miles to Quemado Lake/NM 103 sign. At sign turn left onto NM 103 and go 4 miles to where Forest Road 13 (gravel) begins. Continue straight on FR 13 for 1 mile to campground sign. Turn right into campground.

Quemado Lake
Double rainbow over Quemado Lake, by Albert Herring

El Caso I-III

Quemado Ranger District
(575) 773-4678

The El Caso Campgounds are partially developed, shady campgrounds located at the east end of Quemado Lake, approximately 1/4 mile east of the Pinon campground. They are nestled in a valley stretching alongside an intermittent stream and are surrounded by ponderosa pine and cottonwood trees. The El Caso Campgrounds are popular with hunters, groups, and campers desiring a more primitive camping experience. The campground is approximately 2 miles from the boat launch and the Quemado Lake spillway. Electric motors only.

17 RV Sites, 22 Tent Sites, 22 No Hookup, 3 Pull Thru. Vault toilet and no potable water. Bring your own. Pack trash OUT! Free. First come, first serve. All Gila NF campgrounds have a 14 day stay limit. Just west of Quemado, NM, go south on NM 32 for 14.2 miles to Quemado Lake/NM 103 sign. At the sign go east on NM 103 for 4 miles to where Forest Road 13 (gravel) begins. Continue past the lake. The campground is on the right.


Quemado Ranger District
Phone: (575) 773-4678

The camp sites are nestled among mature piñon and juniper trees. It is tranquil and undiscovered with a few sites having a view of Quemado Lake. The campground is comprised of a family camping loop (east side) and a group camping loop (west side). Two group campsites in this area and a reservation is required for the group sites. Please contact Quemado Ranger District at 575.773.4678 for more information. There are 23 sites (tent only) that are $10/day. A – Group site will accomodate 30 people and the fee is $35/day. Check in time is 11:00 am on group sites. Reservations required. Each group site has a 28 x 20 pavilion with tables, charcoal grills and fire rings. B – Group site will accommodate 75 people and the fee is $55/day.

Red Canyon Campground

Cibola National Forest & National Grasslands
2113 Osuna Rd. NE
Albuquerque, NM  87113
(505) 346-3900

Small, quiet and primitive camp in Ponderosa forest at 7600´elevation, near the Box Canyon trail head. Located near an old mining district, the campground gets heavy use in fall hunting seasons, less at other times. Well-shaded, with 38 campsites and 11 picnic sites in the lower loop. Access into the Manzano Wilderness via Red and Spruce Canyon trails on foot or horseback. There are corrals and parking for horse trailers. However, there are no electric hookups or water available. Recreational Vehicles (RV’s) longer than 22 feet are not allowed in this campground. Vehicles of this size may only park at Ox Canyon Trailhead, approximately 1.5 miles South of Red Canyon Campground. 7 miles West of Manzano, NM 55, FR 245.

Dirt road to Redondo
Dirt road to Redondo

Redondo Campground

Santa Fe National Forest Headquarters
11 Forest Lane
Santa Fe, NM 87508
(505) 438-5300

The Redondo Campground is situated in a stand of Ponderosa Pine interspersed with grass and wildflower meadows within the Jemez National Recreation Area. The campground is approximately 8,200 feet in elevation and you can plan for warm days and cool nights. The Valles Caldera and Bandelier National Monument are within driving distance, both are accessed via the Jemez Mountains Trail National Scenic Byway (NM State Highway 4).

Campground has 62 camp sites; each with a picnic table and fire ring. Vault toilets are available; there are not utility hookups or dump station available. Tents, RVs and trailers up to 30 feet. Drinking water not available at this campground. No reservations accepted at this campground. Camp sites available on a first come-first serve basis. $10 per vehicle per night for single unit. Only 2 vehicles are permitted at a camp site. Dogs must be leashed at all times while in campground area.

From the Jemez Ranger Station go south 7.5 miles north to the junction of State Highway 4 and 126 at La Cueva. Turn right and continue on State Road 4 approximately two miles to the campground turnoff to the left. Los Alamos County Trails, Bandelier Trails, Valles Caldera Trails, BLM Recreation Opportunities

Rio de las Vacas Campground

Santa Fe National Forest Headquarters
11 Forest Lane
Santa Fe, NM 87508
(505) 438-5300

Less than two hours from the city of Albuquerque, Rio de las Vacas Campground offers a cool oasis from the New Mexico heat. Tall Ponderosa Pines and meadows frame the Rio de las Vacas Campground. The Rio de las Vacas stream runs along side the east boundary of the campground and offers fishing adjacent to camping sites. The campground is located approximately one mile past the Clear Creek Campground and is popular during weekends and holidays. Open meadows, hiking, mountain biking or fishing the river.

May to October, picnicking in the open meadows, fishing the river or hunting the forests make this 15-unit campsite extra popular. They charge $10/site. Drinking water, vaulted toilets, tables, fire rings, camping, picnicking, fishing and hiking. 16′ trailer limit. 12 miles east on NM Highway 126 from Cuba, New Mexico. Los Alamos County Trails, Bandelier Trails, Valles Caldera Trails, BLM Recreation Opportunities

Rio Chama Campground

Highway 84
Abiquiu, NM 87510
(505) 438-5300

Located on the Rio Chama Wild & Scenic River, the Rio Chama campground is free.  No reservations required.  There are 9 campsites with picnic tables and fire rings and 2 double sites. Additionally, there are two vault toilets and trash disposal bins. RVs up to 20′ can be accommodated at some sites. However, there is no potable water or hookups. Furthermore, Forest Road 151 is treacherous when wet. More things to see and do on Highway 84.

Rio Chama in Chama New Mexico
Rio Chama as the aspens turn gold

Rio Puerco Campground

Santa Fe National Forest Headquarters
11 Forest Lane
Santa Fe, NM 87508
(505) 438-5300

Rio Puerco is a remote, free primitive campground. There are 5 sites available, with picnic tables. However, there are no fire rings, potable water, or hookups, and there is only one portable toilet available…during summer months only. Whereas it is open Year round, accessibility may be limited during winter months due to snow. They can accommodate up to 20′ RV’s. Take NM 96 to FR 103 and travel FR103 for 13 miles to campground.

San Antonio Campground

Jemez Springs, NM 87025
(575) 829-3535

San Antonio Campground is adjacent to the San Antonio River, tucked into a forest of ponderosa pine at 7,600 feet above sea level. Come prepared for warm days and cooler nights. A paved walking trail along the river provides stream access for a pleasant morning or evening stroll and offers fishing and wildlife viewing.

Extremely popular camping area with 20 single sites and a group site with nine walk-in camp sites and a pavilion which accommodates up to 100 people. The campground has 6 campsites with electric and water hook-ups for trailers and RV’s up to 35 feet. Drinking water available. The campground has vault toilets; however, there is no dump station available. This campground is designated as a reduced impact and recycle campground. Users are encouraged to recycle (recycle bins on site) and pack out trash.

This popular campground is open from May – October, with heavier traffic than many other campgrounds. Check out time is 2 PM, check in time is 3 PM, with a 14-day maximum stay. From mid May – early September all campsites are reserved through or by calling (877) 444-6777. $10 per vehicle per night for single family unit; $15 per night for hook-up sites. Only 2 vehicles are permitted at a camp site.

From the Jemez Ranger Station go 7.5 miles to the junction of State Road 126 at La Cueva. Turn left at the stop sign and follow State Road 126 approximately two miles to campground turnoff. More things to see and do on Highway 4.

Tajique Campground

208 Cruz Alta Road
Taos, NM  87571
(575) 758-6200

6 primitive, free campsites near Tajique Creek. Vault toilets, picnic tables, parking, no potable water or electricity. No trailers. Map

Turquoise Trail Campground

22 Calvary Road
Cedar Crest, New Mexico  87008
(505) 281-2005

The Turquoise Trail Campground is nestled in the cool forests of the Sandia Mountains 15 minutes from Albuquerque. The campground is located on the beautiful Turquoise Trail National Scenic Byway (NM Hwy 14), the scenic route between Albuquerque and Santa Fe. They provide RV, cabin and tent camping in a gorgeous mountain meadow.

This campground is prepared to accommodate the big rigs, with level 70’ full-hookup pull-throughs with 50/30/20 amp service available. Awnings and slide-outs are never a problem. There are grassy areas between each site with picnic tables, and some sites are shaded. Wi-Fi, pets, showers, bathrooms, playground, laundry, dump station are available. Additionally, they offer back-in water and electric sites for vans, pick-up campers, and pop-ups who prefer to be ‘out of the way’ of the larger RVs. These sites also have grassy areas between and many are shaded.

The tent area is isolated from the RV sites, with picnic tables, charcoal grills, clean restrooms, hot showers, and a dishwashing station. Fees

Vista Linda Campground

Santa Fe National Forest Headquarters
11 Forest Lane
Santa Fe, NM 87508
(505) 438-5300

This popular campground is open year round. It is located in scenic San Diego Canyon, with spectacular red rock canyon and mesa views. The Jemez River, adjacent to the campground, offers excellent fly fishing opportunities (license required) and wildlife viewing. Fishing is best during the winter months. More things to see and do on Highway 4.

The campground has 13 campsites with grills. Amenities include drinking water, paved access and vault toilets. There are no hook-ups or dump stations available. They have sites for tents, RV’s and trailers up to 40 feet, with pull through capability. $10 per vehicle per night for single unit. Only 2 vehicles are permitted at a camp site. Dogs must be leashed at all times while within campground area. From the Jemez Ranger Station go 5.6 miles south on State Highway 4. Los Alamos County Trails, Bandelier Trails, Valles Caldera Trails, BLM Recreation Opportunities

Water Canyon Campground

Magdalena Ranger District
(575) 854-2281

This primitive, free campground is located at an elevation of 6,800 feet in the Magdalena Mountains. There are 6 campsites available, with no amenities. First come, first serve. Pack out your trash and take plenty of water.

mst adventures equipment rental

Leave a Reply