The best camping near
Carlsbad, NEW MEXICO

54 Reviews 26 Campgrounds
Most Recent Carlsbad Camping Reviews
Does the job

Does tho job for an overnight stay and no one to disturb you. Literally a spot in the dessert. 4 wheel drive recommended

Great Access to Carlsbad Caverns

After learning that Bottomless Lakes State Parks do not allow campfires, and striking out at Lake Van (also no campfires and didn't look to be open in late September), we settled on the Carlsbad KOA to be closer to the Caverns the following morning - and they had campfire rings! 

The owners were very friendly and even showed us to our spot in their golf cart.

Your typical KOA with lots of camping amenities. Enjoyed a long hot shower and clean restrooms. We appeared to be the only folks outside their camper in the evening. 

Was a bit windy, but the landscape allowed for beautiful views all around and a gorgeous sunset.

Doesn’t get closer to Carlsbad Caverns

Simple, no thrills campground. Full hook up and WiFi. Located directly at the entrance to the Carlsbad Canyon National Park. Small restaurant across the street and a general store, gift shop and post office right next door.


We just needed a place to stop for the night and this was a great camp ground. Very very nice and clean facilities.

A fairly secluded and windy desert campground

We stayed here for 4 nights in late November/early December. It is a bit of a drive to get out to the campground from the highway, as you have to circle around the dam the get to the campground. The campground loops are situated up on a hill overlooking the countryside. There is a nice playground underneath a shade cover next to the central bathhouse, which is large and clean. There are trails that go down to the lake boat ramp and a trail that goes between the visitor center/entry booth. This campground was our basecamp to Carlsbad Caverns, which was about an hour drive, if I remember correctly. We enjoyed our stay here, but the wind made us a little worried. There were two days where during the day the wind blew consistently over 25 mph and gusted to 40. Shook the trailer enough that our stabilizer blocks blew away and flagpoles broke. I would stay here again during the winter but I would watch the wind forecast.

Met the need

Had the hook-ups needed and a picnic table, that was about it. Close to the road and tight between the sites with back-in only RV sites for short stays.

Great Spot

Good spot. Nice and flat and very spacious. Not much around. Not really any trees either. We went in November so it was veryyy cold.

Nicest Campground in Carlsbad/Artesia NM area

Gravel level lots. Water pressure 38 lbs but 50 amp power good. Water extremely hard. My water softener did not make a difference. The campground has bbq dinners delivered nightly except Monday. Meal very good. 18 miles to nearest town. Campfires allowed. Staff very friendly. WiFi very iffy and ATT only has 4G.

Good stop between Carlsbad and Artesia NM

Gravel level lots.  Water pressure 38 lbs but 50 amp power good.   Water extremely hard.  My water softener did not make a difference.   The campground has bbq dinners delivered nightly except Monday.  Meal very good.  18 miles to nearest town.  Campfires allowed. Staff very friendly.   WiFi very iffy and ATT only has 4G.

Great little place.

Not much to do in the surrounding area, but the park has nice sites with covered picnic tables at every site. Electric and water hookups. Bathrooms are decent and it has hot showers.

First to Review

Nice lake good fishing and close to town

Storage parkinh

Sfe place to store rv s or cars

Nice enough for a desert in New Mexico

This is an oasis in the middle of a, well, not an oasis. The sites are nice enough with shelters and fire rings. The main downside is the extreme sulfur smell coming off the fracking wells in the distance. They release Hydrogen Sulfide (which is pretty toxic) in the evenings and night and this smell permeates everything. Imagine living near these!

Good stay close to Carlsbad Caverns NP

Overall not too bad of a campground. 15 minutes from Carlsbad Caverns National Park and less than 40 minutes from Guadalupe Mountains National Park. A little pricy in my opinion ($90 for 2 nights) but they have no competitors so they can charge whatever they want I guess. Full hookups and a store right next door within walking distance.

It worked out for us

Arrived here, after 6PM, on a last minute reservation Severe thunderstorms in area Check In was smooth and friendly. Staff advised us game room would remain open all night, In case tenters wanted to have a dry place Ownwer offered us A Deluxe Cabin for $12.00 more We took the offer due to the weather Yea! Cabin was cleanand well stocked, complete with porch swing. One downer Bed needs to be replaced unless rolling to the middle is fun for you . Tent sites are close together with little shade Showers and toilets are great A little less than an hour to Carlsbad Caverns. Bring groceries with you, as the campground store has a limited stock of necessities. $38.00 per night for a tent site with no utilities.

Reservoir RV Site

We stayed at Brantley Lake last summer driving back to Austin TX. We came in late and drove to our site well after dark. The park facilities are very nice with extensive shower and restroom facilities. The site has good hookups for water and electric. The low rating is based on the location. The site is desolate in a very remote area with few if any activities for guests. This area gets very hot in the summer with daytime temps over 100 degrees. If you need one night stay over or something close to the town this camp could be an option but keep your expectations grounded.


Views out of this world. Cannot compare

Great place to beat the Texas heat!

Dog Canyon is located on the north end of Guadalupe Mountains National Park aka the highest point in Texas. Though secluded, Dog Canyon fills up fast so arrive early or plan in advance to claim your spot.

Due to the elevation, this campground is cooler and has more shelter than the Pine Springs campground.  Dog Canyon has excellent trail access with options of one-day or shorter day hikes.

Ranger recommendations:

  • Have a full tank of gas
  • Bring your propane stove - fires are not allowed in any of the campgrounds.
Big rig friendly!

Nice park. Level sites. Escorted to site.

Right on the lake

Sites are roomy, pets allowed, good wifi with booster. Walk down to the lake at sunset, so beautiful!

The smell of oilfields

Nice campground, a little compact. It has several speed bumps which can be hard when pulling. Saw roadrunners, hares, and a large wildcat.

FREE Backcountry Camping

When I first saw this one I was a bit hesitant because of the name itself. I, a person petrified of snakes and also familiar that names are often given for a reason, was skeptical to say the least. But I wanted to try something a bit different and check into other camping options near Carlsbad.

This one is one that you will be required to get a permit. That permit is FREE, basically they just want to know you are out there just in case. From permit issuance you are told basic instructions of camping is open as long as you are not directly on the path. You can park in certain area and must pack in your gear, so travel with only what you want to deal with on your pack.

Camping options are pretty vast. The terrain is pretty rocky and sandy but you can really get a feel for the land out here as opposed to the campgrounds near town that are pretty standard.

most natural camping setting in the area

definitely more of a nature experience than the other camping options I'm aware of in the area. Permits are free and can be obtained at the visitor center. There are not designated sites, you can camp anywhere that's far enough off the trail (rangers will brief you on how far you have to be). Feb was definitely really cold. We were huddling in a shiver bivvy. Will be back for sure but will bring the zero degree sleeping bag next time. The caverns are absolutely amazing and we consider this the best nature camping around.

camp close to the Caverns and dose up on nature (not RVs and crowds)

Rattlesnake canyon- backcountry camping close to Carlsbad caverns- wayyy cooler than the KOA in town or the other camping options I've explored. Permit required but is free- pretty much anywhere far enough off the trail is fair game (obviously check with the ranger for the actual rules). We emerged from the caverns to see a sea of flames coming from the oil fields in what I guess is just south of the park. Gorgeous sunset- seemingly nobody else around though the rangers said there were at least a couple other parties out there. You'll want to bring a heavy duty tarp/ground cloth as many of the otherwise decent tent spots are pretty rocky.

perfectly good place to crash on the way to/from the Caverns

f backcountry hike-in spots aren't your thing, this is a place to crash on your way to/from Carlsbad Caverns (which are EPIC- GO THERE). This place itself- anh. Maybe, technically, this park qualifies as an oasis, but don't get your hopes up too high. The place is not exactly scenic. On first glance it all looks pretty barren, but the water clearly supports a lot of life- tons of birds, rabbits, and plants you won't really see in the surrounding landscape. So there's that. We'll call it very subtle beauty. Ultimately, sunrise/set made it all worth it. After driving around the area for a while, and growing weary of all the depressing drilling operations that overwhelm the sounding area, this place offers some reprieve- like breath of fresh air but for the eyeballs. In short, I guess this place is noteworthy in part because of what it is NOT- another expansive oil field.


Beautifully located in a tranquil setting. Camprgrounds are clean. Very quiet

Rocky, but great place to fish and camp

It’s a beautiful view at night !!! It’s a little rocky but the fishing and water make up for it, I went with my brother and our families( 2-4yr olds and a 1-yr) all had fun in the water and on the shore. Boats allowed and decent bathrooms/showers

decent place to stay

We stayed here while visiting Carlsbad Caverns and GIadalupe MoIuntains. Overall this is a nice place. Everything was very clean and the staff were kind and helpful. Be careful if you drink their water, I think it made us sick.

Clean, great location, friendly staff!!

Very open campground (not a lot of privacy) with easy access to showers. They have a great little convenience store on site and a little cafe/burger style eatery. Make sure you bring the majority of your supply needs in as the nearest store is about 18 miles into Carlsbad.