From the vast Chihuahuan Desert to the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, New Mexico has a wealth of opportunities to get outside and explore. For outdoor adventurers, there’s skiing in Taos, whitewater rafting on the Rio Grande, and plenty of hiking, from the Southern Rockies to dusty desert canyons. That’s what makes camping in New Mexico such a varied and fulfilling experience.
Carlsbad Caverns provides ample opportunities to hike, explore, learn about desert wildlife, even appreciate a few thousand Mexican free-tail bats take flight. They swarm out of the cave every night at dust for an audience that often numbers in the hundreds. It’s a perfect excuse to stick around the park after dark and do some camping in New Mexico.
Of course, the only camping available within Carlsbad Caverns National Park is backcountry camping, so come prepared to Leave No Trace. Keep in mind that the desert landscape is often dry, so fire bans, even some backcountry cooking bans, are frequently in effect in the drier months. On the upside, backcountry camping permits are free and you can grab one at the visitor center when you arrive.
Visit White Sands National Monument for an unmatched, natural experience. Acres upon acres of white gypsum dunes stretch into the distance, offering hours of diversion, be it hiking across the dunes or sledding down them. If you forgot your sled, don’t worry, you can pick one up in the gift shop. Just be sure to enjoy these activities early in the morning or late in the evening during the summer months; it gets hot in the desert during midday!
As for camping in White Sands, it’s backcountry camping or nothing and sites require a short hike through the dunes. You’ll be camping on the gypsum, surrounded by shifting white hills, dark night skies up above, and no other campers in sight. It’s definitely a unique experience. Permits are $3.00 per person and can be picked up at the visitor center.
Wherever your adventures take you in the Land of Enchantment, get out there and let The Dyrt help you locate the best camping in New Mexico.
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This was my first time stay here. I found staff very friendly and helpful. Location was very clean and very easy to back into. I used my NM state park pass on this stay and for only $4 a night includes 30Amp and water. I have about 20 channels available, wifi works well and no problems with my Verizon service. I would most definitely stay here again.
Nice campground, well spaced spots, #19 was especially good, Pasture lake and Inky Wells both stocked with trout and we caught our dinner on 2 nights. Sign says no alcohol which is a negative in my book, glass of wine with dinner? Coming from Northern NM we’d come back during the winter months.
Of all the campsites to choose from at EBSP, this is by far the best.
Rio Grande del Norte National Monument is BLM land so it is all dispersed camping. You will need to make sure you aren't on someone's property or nearby any roads. There are plenty of turn offs.
This isn't a "get away" more like a stopover spot. I stopped here on my way back North to Colorado to see the bridge over the Rio Grande and so I wasn't so high up in elevation that I would freeze.
But if you can find a quiet place it is a beautiful dispersed spot where there is civilization nearby and toilets at local businesses and picnic areas that you can use. See map on review.
Be careful roaming at night. The drop into the river is quite deep so offroading isn't just ill advised for keeping the flora and fauna safe…but you as well.
There are picnic ares around the monument too, just not established camping spots.
Though about 15 miles off the interstate, this park is WORTH the detour.
RV sites are full hookup and some are easy pull-throughs. Some sites also have nice firepits and shade pavilions. Grounds are well maintained, relaxing, and peaceful. The desert landscape here shines as there is nothing around for miles (very quiet).
DEFINITELY recommend booking a private hot spring tub after dark. The stars are INCREDIBLE. Tubs are the perfect temperature. Overnight guests have access to a 24 hour pool.
Staff are incredibly friendly and a small provisions store onsight sells anything you might've forgotten, plus firewood.