Free campsite with first comes first policy and it fills up! The sites are pretty close to each other and there only 1 bathroom that gets very used. It’s kept clean but smells awful. Drinking water is available as well as grills and fire rings at every site. Bonus for amazing sunset views of the monument!
Found this campsite heading west on I-40 on a memorial day weekend road trip last minute. Had 40 designated campsites with about 1/2 reservable online and 1/2 first come first serve. They also allow dispersed camping along the lake and there were probably 50+ groups of people in RVs and trailers comfortably spaced.
Wild horses roaming around the lake were also pretty cool.
We took a designated campsite overlooking the lake and added this park to the list of places to return to.
We've stayed here a couple times as a stopping over point on the way to things in AZ but we always talk about how we would like to spend more time. The monument is really cool and the campground is very nice. Clean, quiet, beautiful, everything you would want in a campsite!
Drove in here late in the day (about 9:30pm) to find the bathrooms locked and sites full of RVs. Turns out their policy is that you get a key to the bathroom if you check in, and the office closes at 4:30pm, so if you haven't arrived by then you are going to be looking for a place to squat, and good luck finding one that's not in sight of at least 8 other campers.
Unpowered sites are $10 and powered are $20. The rock in the area is pretty, but that's about it. Otherwise this is an unpleasant, muddy city park with little to offer. Keep on driving, if you ask me!
Gallo Campground is the only campground in Chaco Canyon National Park so reserving ahead of time or getting there earlier in the day depending on the season are very important. The park is very remote so it's a long drive on a potentially very rough road to get in but once you're there the route is well worth the visit.
I visited on a Wednesday night in mid October. The campground had filled up by about 2pm Wednesday and but was full by about 11am on Thursday.
There is currently no potable water at the campground but water is available at the Visitors Center a short drive down the road. There are however flushing toilets and running water in the bathrooms. The campsites each have a picnic table and fire pit. I thought the set up of the tent only area was interesting. There is a parking lot area with sites surrounding it on three sides. The set up allows for privacy between the sites which are nestled in among the rocks and plants as well as ruins!
I wish I had spent more time in Chaco Canyon exploring the sites, hiking, and going on tours. The daily tours and ranger talks provide more insight into the canyon's history than you can get with the self guided booklets.
I have stayed at this campground several time it was a New Mexico Stae Park, it has since been turned over to the city of Gallup as a city park. There are several hiking and horseback riding trails around this campground. One of the best is to castle rock a really good hike. Make sure you call to check for availability, there is a rodeo arena near by and will fill up if there is a rodeo.
Spent two nights here in June, very nice campground each site has a picnic table, fire ring and trash can nearby. Lots of trees for shade. Water is available at the visitor center a short drive away. El Morro is a great place to explore. Highly recommend this place to stay
Great state run campground with options from primitive to full hook ups at great prices. The primitive camping is all along the lake so you can park and walk right in with your canoe or SUP. Playground for the kiddos, lots of areas to explore with the puppers, and plenty of bathrooms and Ramadas available for day use. Boat ramp for those so inclined and good fishing for any anglers out there. The staff running the camp were so enthusiastic and friendly, you’ll want to plan a trip back ASAP.
El Morro National Monument is located on an ancient east-west trail in western New Mexico. The main feature of this National Monument is a great sandstone promontory with a pool of water at its base.
We only hiked the Inscription Rock Loop but were impressed with the way the park integrated features like water channels into the land using natural elements. Everything was organized and impressive.
This RV Campground is great, one of the nicest, cleanest we’ve ever been too. The price was fantastic for what you get. We only stayed one night here and left wanting to stay longer. Everything is so clean and nice looking. Heated pool, BBQ dinner plate for purchase is available some nights. There’s a nice playground for kids. Although the kids were wanting to take advantage of the WiFi lol we were able to stream and download what we needed fast. We’d stay here again FOR SURE. Conveniently right off of the I40.
The campsites here are incredible! They are peaceful and tucked under an amazing starry sky. The ruins are unlike any other; visitors walk through the rooms sculpted by the puebloans a whole millienium earlier.
Gallo is a great car campground that still feels remote and tucked away from the world. Park is accessed from 17 miles of passable dirt road. Driver beware: wet conditions may make muddy roads temporarily impassible by cars not up to the task—call ahead if concerned. Flush toilets are available in campground, but there are no showers or other amenities. There is drinking water by the visitor center, which is only another short drive down the road. Bring all food and supplies because there are no supplies available within 40 minutes of the park and that is at a gas station.
Note about the few secluded tent only sites (sites 41-49): these sites do not allow you to park directly beside the site. You must walk your gear a short+ distance to a defined tent pad (mind the sizes when you reserve). Also, the way the wind blows through the canyon, sites 46-49 have no wind break, and fires may become too dangerous to light up. We camped in one of these and loved our experience. They have more space, are more private, and quieter. But setting up camp was more of a workout too!
Campground is conveniently located 2 minute drive from the El Morro Visitor Center. Easily accessible sites with parking on each site, fire pit, picnic table. The views and stars are breathtaking. Pit toilets well kept, but didn't find any water spigot anywhere. Trash receptacles on site and no fee to camp. Can't beat free camping. Careful of the grass if you have small children. When the prickly pear cactus die and rot away their little hairy spines remain. My toddler fell in a patch of invisible spines and it was a challenge to remove them by lantern light with crummy first aid kit tweezers.
We stayed here in February on our drive from St. Louis to the Grand Canyon. It was beautiful and FREE! It was also extremely cold in February, like my water bottle froze overnight. The campsites are nice and spacious and pretty flat. They each have a tent pad and picnic table. It was quiet at night and you could see a lot of stars. The vault toilets were clean and had TP. The next morning we did the hike around the monument and it was well worth it! There is a staffed visitor center/gift shop with good info.
Bluewater Lake SP is a unique campground in regards to the layout. You can pull up to all of the sites, and you can overlook the lake, be on the lake, be a little further away, private, have neighbors, really what ever you want. Checking in was very easy and the folks were quite nice. Also there were random horses and donkey’s walking around??? So that was a fun surprise.
Free simple campground with just a vault toilet and some picnic tables. You need to bring your own water and/or treatment methods! We love this area within the Cibola National Forests. Nothing too fancy, but great shade and forests. There are a lot of hikes and some swimming holes with waterfalls. For those of us who were not in the mood for miles and miles of rugged hiking there is a road to drive along with incredible views. Dog friendly!
Densely wooded PRIMITIVE campground with trails and fishing but NO WATER. We only stayed there while driving from ABQ to the coast, which was perfect for us, but we will plan to return to explore the Cibola National Forest more. It was cool and shady in August so we quite enjoyed it as a stopover. In our little sedan we didn’t have trouble, but I think there are other forest service roads you’d want a jeep for?
I drove here from Oklahoma to visit a ranger who used to work with me at Chickasaw National Recreation Area. Beautiful monument and trails, and the camping was superb. El Morro has nine campsites, all of which are free and first come first serve. Restrooms (vault toilets) and a water fountain are available as well. I stayed overnight on May 7 and there were 3 other campers, all quiet and friendly. The temperature got down to the mid-40s at night, which was perfect for sleeping. I loved it here!