The best DISPERSED camping near
Cuartelez , NEW MEXICO

102 Reviews30 Campgrounds

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Most Recent Cuartelez Camping Reviews
Empty in winter!

I arrived after dark on December 28th, and at first missed the turn off for the camping, but using the map here on the Dyrt, could see where I went wrong.

Google gets you there, as soon as you cross the cattle stile into the park, take your first left which comes very quickly. Dispersed camping is on both sides of this road. If you go a little further, you’ll see the vault toilets on the right (I couldn’t find these until the morning).

It was completely deserted, except for one RV (I am sleeping in my car). In the morning I discovered a car which looks like someone may be living in the park, but saw no signs of anyone.

It is beautiful! I woke up to an inch of snow! One downside- it’s right next to a landfill. There was no smell, but I could hear all of the equipment in the morning.

Easy to find, clean, safe (I’m a solo woman). I’d stay here again!

Sweet Spot

This place is awesome, easy to get to and free. There is lots of room and we have a lot of privacy. Close to town and everything you need. There is also a place to shoot guns if you got em.

Submersed in the forest

Black Canyon is the type of campground I remember visiting as a child in the NW. Heavily wooded, sites tucked in. Not on top of each other directly, but close enough to have a group camp and be distanced. Vault toilets were clean. Some sites weren’t level, so if you’re in a RTT or RV, be sure to have plenty of leveling tools. Only stayed one night and didn’t get to hike or explore. If you aren’t used to elevation, the camp sits up 8400 feet, it’ll take a bit more time to do normal activities. This Florida gal had to learn to slow down. 😉

Beautiful views of the river!

Pulled in around 4pm on a Saturday and only 1 other camper was here. A few vehicles were parked at the bathroom/trailhead, super friendly. There’s about 3-4 spots with picnic tables then at least 10 other spots with rock ring fire pits but no tables. There is 1 clean vault toilet, but no TP so bring your own. 1-2 bars LTE AT&T service available near bathroom but gets worse the further you go away from it. The views of the river are beautiful as well as the sunrise. It’s a bumpy 3 mile road off the highway, had no issues in my transit van as long as you take it slow.

Just land

Located more in the desert, but an extremely bumpy dirt road can take you further in to other camping areas. Just make sure you have 4-wheel drive. Simple, basic site. Old historical “El Camino de Real” trail runs through the east side of the campground.

Easy spot along the river

I car-camped here just before Labor Day weekend and while it wasn’t the most private camping area, I was able to snag a spot along the river and had a nice time.

Flat and Free!

Stayed here one night. Dispersed large dirt and rock camping area with scattered junipers and other brush. There were a few rock fire pits that others have made but no one there had a fire going at the time we stayed there. It was quiet and if you're lucky you can find a secluded spot among the trees and bushes. There are 2 unisex pit toilets in the area but there is no water or garbage so pack in and out! 

Good cell reception with AT&T and Verizon.

Incredible

Cheap and very quiet. Only one loop was open but I think there were only two other groups of campers. Hikes in area are fantastic. Surprised to get a decent cell signal (good enough for audio only work meetings while I’m living and working on the road).

Lovely campground with some really tight campsites

We stayed one night here in June, 2020. Just wanted to get out of hot Albuquerque and into the mountains for some cooler hiking and cooler air in general. Because of the ongoing pandemic, campgrounds at State Parks were still closed, so the National Forest campgrounds offered the only real option for something close to home. Black Canyon really fit the bill. It took us about 90 minutes to get to our site from our RV storage facility in Albuquerque. It's in the mountains, on the road to the ski area. Not quite as high as the State Park, but still out of the"pinion/juniper" mix you get in the hills of NM and up into Aspen and Pine territory. The sites here have no facilities. There are a couple of vault toilets, which smelled pretty bad when we walked by them. A couple of very primitive looking water areas; no idea if they actually work(I've seen earlier reviews that imply they don't). I never saw anyone using them. And they have non-traditional connects, so if you want to try your luck and get water for your rig here, you'll need a Water Bandit. The campground is well wooded. Campsites come in all shapes and sizes. Our rig is 29 feet, 3 inches, and we were in a spot that maxed out at 32 feet(per description on web site…Site 15). We barely fit. We saw very few sites that could have accommodate much more. I don't think any site would have been able to handle more than 35 feet. Our little Thor Hurricane 27B was the only Class A we saw on site, and the place was pretty packed. Lots of tent camping.(Our pad was narrow enough that back in took more than one try. And there was no space for bringing out the awning. The fire pit area and such were BEHIND the rig.) It was very nice though and in the evening, the temps were fantastic. It was actually chilly enough that my wife had to put on a small wrap while we ate dinner outside.

At the end of the campgrounds is the entrance to the Black Canyon Trail. It's only about 1.3 miles, but for about.4 miles of it, there is considerable steepness. I wouldn't call it a workout, but it's not a totally whimpy trail and it was lovely. We saw lots of plant life and grabbed many nice photos. We went late in the afternoon(around 5:30) and NO ONE else was on the trail. The next morning, we hiked the nearby West Circle Trail on the State Park site, and that's a MUCH tougher trail. You go up 1000' in one mile, and it's an often rocky trail, so careful plodding is recommended. It's a nice trail too! Black Canyon Campground was just what the doctor ordered. Unless, you want/need cell service or wifi. We had read there was no mobile service and they weren't kidding. Over the air TV doesn't come in either, and even radio stations were spotty at best. No problem for us.

(By the way, less than 20 yards from the entrance to the campground, the National Forest ends and the Hyde Memorial State Park begins. And another 50 yards up from there is the State Park RV dump station. Right now, IT IS CLOSED. Don't plan to dump there. In fact, finding a place to dump anywhere in Santa Fe is a tall order.)