Just 8 miles north of Santa Fe, this small campground in the Santa Fe National Forest is situated near the boundary of the Pecos Wilderness. Popular with both tent and RV campers, this rustic campground is just minutes away from Santa Fe’s food and local attractions, while providing easy access to an abundance of hiking, mountain biking and equestrian trails. For a quick and easy outing, the 1.5-mile, family-friendly Black Canyon Trail starts at the back of the campground loop and explores fir and aspen woods brimming with summer wildflowers. Those looking for a bigger endeavor can hike the nearby West Circle Trail. This 3.2-mile loop climbs 1,200 feet to the summit of Peak 9400, and offers plenty of views and wildlife watching.
The campground at Black Canyon offers 36 tent and RV sites situated among shady Douglas-fir and Ponderosa pine forest. There are also six walk-in tent sites and a few ADA accessible sites. Each site is equipped with picnic tables and grills; water faucets and vault toilets are available in several locations. RV sites can accommodate vehicles/trailers up to 60 feet, but hookups are not available; there is a fee dump station located at nearby Hyde Memorial State Park. Dogs are permitted at this location. The campground is open from May to mid-October. Reservations are accepted, however some sites are saved for first-come, first-serve campers; rates are $10/night.
Nice camping. No water but pit toilets were clean. Hosts were nice. Seemed private even when full.
Great spot to camp while being close to Santa Fe but not in the city. The drive to the campsite is beautiful and vast. No showers. I would recommend making a reservation online! This place was booked every single night. It isn’t super isolated, so if you’re looking for a more wilderness camp this may not be the spot for you. We could see and hear our neighbors in every direction around us. Overall a nice spot to camp though!
With seasonal access this campground can get pretty crowded during peak season due to its close proximity to Santa Fe as well as the amazing outdoor spaces. Driving out of the city you leave the desolation and low laying vegetation and are transported into an oasis of tall growth trees and mountain living. It is hard to believe that less than 10 miles separates these two spaces because of the dramatic difference in appearance. This place really has the best of both worlds!
Driving into the camp, you have three options: Walk-In Camping, Camping With Parking Access & Limited Access.
The walk-in spaces are directly to your right across a small bridge with flowing stream below. Some of the spaces are close enough to the stream that you can hear the gentle trickle of water to put your to sleep at night. Parking for these sections is limited, so it is not recommended to take advantage of these if you are with a party bringing more than one vehicle.
The units with parking are well spaced. Pavement and landscaping create separation which allows each camper to have their own space without feeling cramped. Throughout this section are staggered water stations with potable water and toilets as well as trash cans which are weighted to keep animals away.
A trailhead can be accessed from the rear of this camping area so during busy season there are hikers which park in one of the two lots creating excessive foot traffic throughout the camp;. My suggestion would be to avoid site 24 or 26 which are the sites positioned on either side of the official trailhead.
Each site in the campground is equipped with a fire ring and grill top, a picnic table and a lantern hook. Though this campground has not showers the potable water is a nice touch for those visiting making it much more convenient than other area limited access camps.
Because the trailhead leaves from the campground, throughout the off season the first restroom, the one by the trailhead parking and the walk-in camping does remain open along with the water access to the potable/drinking water fountain at this point of entry.
Check the Kiosk when you arrive, this are will provide any information you might need about the area including any potential dangers on trails, closures or maps.
The pay box is located on the kiosk in the bricks. It is a weird place and isn't the most well marked so rather than looking around for a while and contemplating what to do when you see the broken pay box (previously used) just look down in the middle on the rocks.
The camp host is available during open season and is located in the first space of the drive in loop, when in doubt always remember they are there to help you find information.
This place had options for all: tent sites, camper sites, RV, cabins. Etc. We stayed at the Black Canyon site and the options were plentiful. No showers but clean pit toilets are abundant. There is also a nice playground for those traveling with little ones who may need to burn some steam. Each site had a shelter and a grill as well as fire pit. Many hiking options also from easy to advanced. Plan on spending more than one night and you'll be glad you did
Was able to hike around black canyon with our dog Millie without a care in the world. Always love the ability to hike any where in South Dakota