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!
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.
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!
My first visit to New Mexico and the southwest. Red Rock Park is in Gallup, NM right on the Arizona state line in between Albuquerque and Flagstaff. Church Rock Trial and Pyramid Rock Trail are both about 3 to 3 and a half miles round trip from the campground. Your surrounded by desert on one side and dark red stone on the other, very cool place and trails.
Camping here was free when we went, you just had to reserve a site using a little tag. We stayed for 2 nights. There were toilets and running water, so we filled up our 5 gallon jug. It was great to stay for free in the NP so we could spend the whole day at the park. There were picnic tables and tons of trees for shade and hammocks. There were also tent pads. When we were there (May) there were tons of open sites, I think we were 1 of 4 people staying there. Nice and quiet!
We stayed at Quaking Aspen Campground for one night but thats all it took. I fell in love with the campground. The big aspen trees, how remote and quiet it was. The elevation at which the cg is at is 8000' makes for cool days and nic crisp cool nights, even in the summertime.
This was the only lake we saw on our trip to the cattle ranch in New Mexico ;) The park is lovely and we truly enjoyed our time here. There is a nice beach as well as boating and fishing. The campground is broken up into a couple areas. Our site was somewhat shaded, which was nice in the heat of the summer. Very cool sites overlooking the lake. I wouldn’t say the sites are secluded, but it’s still a neat place. I haven’t been to many state parks in New Mexico so it was a unique experience!
We used this campground as a starting point for a research trip sampling Precambrian rocks of the Zuni Mountains. I hadn't spent much time in this part of New Mexico, and assumed that the trip was going to be hot and sun-bleached, similar to the desert exposed in nearby Gallup, NM. I was surprised to drive into a beautiful forest just a few minutes off I40.
The campsite includes basic forest service amenities: pit toilets, picnic tables, and metal-rimmed fire pit/grill sites. What set this apart from other non-hosted campsites for me was the condition of the grounds. The tent camping sites had well maintained, leveled tent pads, maintained gravel roads, and clean facilities. The Sites offered a reasonable degree of privacy, although some of the sites near the middle of the loop road place you in close proximity to your neighbor. The area is moderately wooded with pine and aspen, providing shade throughout the day and easy access to the dirt road that transects the Zuni Mountains, letting you out near the Bandera volcano and ice cave, which is a wonderful drive if you have a high clearance/4x4 and time to drive through.
We saw abundant wildlife while working in the Zunis, including several brown bears, deer, and elk. While we didn't have any run ins with these guy in camp, be aware that large animals are present in the area and be sure to take necessary bear-proofing precautions.
Camp fees were $5/night, which is quite the bargain given the well-kept grounds and wonderful scenery. If you're looking for a less-traveled escape from Albuquerque, or just want the chance to explore the under-valued Zuni mountains and western New Mexico landscape (and some pretty interesting geologic features such as orbicular granite), this campground is an excellent place to spend some time on the cheap.
Photos included are from the Zunis south of the campsite, as I didn't think to take any photos while we were at camp.