Top Dispersed Camping near Lincoln National Forest

Looking for the best Lincoln National Forest dispersed camping? Dispersed camping is the perfect way to get off the grid. Each dispersed site offers quick access to one or more of Lincoln National Forest's most popular destinations.

Best Dispersed Camping Sites Near Lincoln National Forest, NM (24)

    Camper-submitted photo from Raptor Lake Dispersed / Holloman Lake
    Camper-submitted photo from Raptor Lake Dispersed / Holloman Lake
    Camper-submitted photo from Raptor Lake Dispersed / Holloman Lake
    Camper-submitted photo from Raptor Lake Dispersed / Holloman Lake
    Camper-submitted photo from Raptor Lake Dispersed / Holloman Lake
    Camper-submitted photo from Raptor Lake Dispersed / Holloman Lake

    1.

    Raptor Lake Dispersed / Holloman Lake

    39 Reviews
    82 Photos
    289 Saves
    Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico

    Welcome to Raptor Lake Dispersed Camping Area, a no-frills spot perfect for those looking to explore White Sands National Park. This place is all about simplicity and nature. You won't find any amenities here—no toilets, showers, or picnic tables—so come prepared to be self-sufficient. But hey, it's free, and the sunsets over the lake are absolutely stunning.

    The lake itself is a bit of an oddity. It's actually reclaimed wastewater from the nearby Air Force base, so it's best to admire it from a distance. Some folks have mentioned a bit of a funky smell now and then, but it's nothing too overwhelming. The area can get pretty busy, especially with its proximity to White Sands, but there's usually enough space to find a spot to park your RV or pitch a tent.

    One thing to note: the Air Force does regular flyovers, which can be quite loud. If you're looking for a quieter spot, try heading to the west side of the lake where it's a bit more secluded. Despite the noise, many visitors appreciate the peaceful vibe and the respectful community of campers.

    Pets are welcome, and fires are allowed, so you can enjoy a cozy evening under the stars. Just remember to pack out all your trash, as there are no disposal facilities here. If you're into photography, the area offers some great opportunities, especially at dawn and dusk.

    In summary, Raptor Lake is a convenient, no-cost option for those wanting to explore White Sands National Park. Just be ready for a rustic experience and bring everything you need with you. Enjoy your stay!

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Phone Service
    • Dispersed
    • Alcohol
    Camper-submitted photo from Forest Road 568 - Dispersed Camping
    Camper-submitted photo from Forest Road 568 - Dispersed Camping
    Camper-submitted photo from Forest Road 568 - Dispersed Camping
    Camper-submitted photo from Forest Road 568 - Dispersed Camping
    Camper-submitted photo from Forest Road 568 - Dispersed Camping
    Camper-submitted photo from Forest Road 568 - Dispersed Camping

    2.

    Forest Road 568 - Dispersed Camping

    14 Reviews
    33 Photos
    212 Saves
    Cloudcroft, New Mexico

    Welcome to Forest Road 568, a dispersed camping area nestled near Cloudcroft, NM. This spot is perfect for those who crave a bit of solitude and don't mind roughing it. The area offers a variety of sites along a mile-long stretch of road, suitable for everything from small tents to campervans and trailers.

    One of the standout features here is the sheer tranquility. Many visitors have noted the peace and quiet, with some even mentioning they couldn't see or hear any neighboring sites. If you're lucky, you might spot some wildlife on your way in—elk and deer are common sightings.

    Now, let's talk amenities—or the lack thereof. This is true dispersed camping, so don't expect any frills. There are no toilets, showers, or drinking water. You'll need to bring everything you need and pack out all your trash. Fires are allowed, and you'll find plenty of rock fire rings scattered around, but you'll need to bring your own firewood.

    The road itself can be a bit of a challenge. It's rocky and uneven in places, so a vehicle with good clearance is recommended. Some folks have managed with smaller cars, but take it slow and steady. The ground can be uneven and rocky, so if you're tent camping, pick your spot carefully.

    Despite the rugged conditions, the scenery makes it all worthwhile. The area is surrounded by a beautiful forest, and the nights are stunningly quiet and starry. Plus, you're just a short drive from Cloudcroft if you need to stock up on supplies or just want to explore the town.

    So, if you're up for an adventure and don't mind the lack of amenities, Forest Road 568 offers a fantastic escape into nature. Just be prepared and enjoy the serenity.

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Phone Service
    • Dispersed
    • Alcohol
    Camper-submitted photo from Bluff Springs Dispersed Camping
    Camper-submitted photo from Bluff Springs Dispersed Camping
    Camper-submitted photo from Bluff Springs Dispersed Camping
    Camper-submitted photo from Bluff Springs Dispersed Camping
    Camper-submitted photo from Bluff Springs Dispersed Camping
    Camper-submitted photo from Bluff Springs Dispersed Camping

    3.

    Bluff Springs Dispersed Camping

    14 Reviews
    49 Photos
    332 Saves
    Sunspot, New Mexico

    Partially developed picnic and dispersed camping area nestled next to the waterfalls called Bluff Springs.  A short trail exists just beyond the bridge that will take you up and over the waterfalls as well as another trail (Willie White Spur T112) that follows and old railroad grade to the east.

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • RVs
    • Tents
    • Standard (Tent/RV)
    • Dispersed
    Camper-submitted photo from Dog Canyon
    Camper-submitted photo from Dog Canyon
    Camper-submitted photo from Dog Canyon
    Camper-submitted photo from Dog Canyon
    Camper-submitted photo from Dog Canyon
    Camper-submitted photo from Dog Canyon

    4.

    Dog Canyon

    12 Reviews
    35 Photos
    131 Saves
    Sunspot, New Mexico

    Dog Canyon in New Mexico is a fantastic spot for those who love a bit of solitude and natural beauty. This dispersed camping area is just a stone's throw from Oliver Lee Memorial State Park and about a half-hour drive from White Sands National Park. It's a prime location if you're looking to explore the stunning landscapes of southern New Mexico.

    The area is known for its peaceful atmosphere and wide-open spaces. Visitors have raved about the quiet and privacy, with some mentioning that they barely saw another soul during their stay. The views are nothing short of spectacular, with mountain ranges providing a dramatic backdrop and starry skies that are perfect for stargazing.

    One of the standout features of Dog Canyon is its accessibility. Despite being a dispersed camping area, it's relatively easy to get to, even for those with low-clearance vehicles. However, a few folks have noted that the turn-off from the paved road can be tricky to spot, and the unpaved roads can be a bit rough. High ground clearance is recommended if you want to explore the more remote spots.

    Cell service is surprisingly good for such a remote location, with both T-Mobile and Verizon users reporting decent coverage. This makes it a great spot if you need to stay connected while enjoying the great outdoors.

    Dog Canyon is also pet-friendly, so feel free to bring your furry friends along. Just be mindful of the local wildlife, which includes beautiful birds and even some bats at dusk. Fires are allowed, but you'll need to bring your own firewood as there's none available on-site.

    In summary, Dog Canyon offers a serene and scenic escape with easy access to nearby attractions. It's perfect for those who appreciate the quiet beauty of the desert and don't mind a bit of roughing it.

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Phone Service
    • RVs
    • Tents
    • Group
    Camper-submitted photo from Forest Rd 568 Dispersed
    Camper-submitted photo from Forest Rd 568 Dispersed
    Camper-submitted photo from Forest Rd 568 Dispersed
    Camper-submitted photo from Forest Rd 568 Dispersed
    Camper-submitted photo from Forest Rd 568 Dispersed
    Camper-submitted photo from Forest Rd 568 Dispersed

    5.

    Forest Rd 568 Dispersed

    5 Reviews
    25 Photos
    99 Saves
    Cloudcroft, New Mexico

    Throughout the Lincoln National Forest you are allowed to do what is called 'dispersed camping'. This is a rustic experience where you are allowed to drive up to 300' off of an open public road onto USFS lands to park and camp. No permits are needed for such activity and no cost is associated with this camping experience. Be sure to bring what you need, especially water, and also pack out what you pack in.

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Phone Service
    • ADA Access
    • RVs
    • Tents
    Camper-submitted photo from Lincoln NF - Forest Service Road 64 - Dispersed Camping
    Camper-submitted photo from Lincoln NF - Forest Service Road 64 - Dispersed Camping
    Camper-submitted photo from Lincoln NF - Forest Service Road 64 - Dispersed Camping
    Camper-submitted photo from Lincoln NF - Forest Service Road 64 - Dispersed Camping
    Camper-submitted photo from Lincoln NF - Forest Service Road 64 - Dispersed Camping
    Camper-submitted photo from Lincoln NF - Forest Service Road 64 - Dispersed Camping

    6.

    Lincoln NF - Forest Service Road 64 - Dispersed Camping

    2 Reviews
    13 Photos
    111 Saves
    Sunspot, New Mexico

    Throughout the Lincoln National Forest you are allowed to do what is called 'dispersed camping'. This is a rustic experience where you are allowed to drive up to 300' off of designated dirt Forest Service roads onto USFS lands to park and camp. Do not drive across creeks and no camping is allowed on private property or within city or village limits. The Motor Vehicle Use Map, available as a download from fs.usda.gov/Lincoln, will show detail on where camping is allowed in each district, as well as a listing of the roads allowing dispersed camping. This map is also available at the District offices, at no charge. No permits are needed for dispersed camping and no cost is associated with this camping experience. Be sure to bring what you need, especially water, and also pack out what you pack in. Leave No Trace principles should be followed for all camping experiences in the National Forest.

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Dispersed
    Camper-submitted photo from Bailey Canyon
    Camper-submitted photo from Bailey Canyon
    Camper-submitted photo from Alamo Peak Rd
    Camper-submitted photo from Alamo Peak Rd
    Camper-submitted photo from Alamo Peak Rd
    Camper-submitted photo from Alamo Peak Rd
    Camper-submitted photo from Alamo Peak Rd
    Camper-submitted photo from Lincoln National Park Forest Road 634 Dispersed
    Camper-submitted photo from Lincoln National Park Forest Road 634 Dispersed

    9.

    Lincoln National Park Forest Road 634 Dispersed

    1 Review
    2 Photos
    52 Saves
    Lincoln National Forest, New Mexico

    Dispersed camping in the National Forest

    • Pets
    • Dispersed
    • Firewood Available
    • Alcohol
    Camper-submitted photo from Dry Canyon Near Hang Glider Launch
    Camper-submitted photo from Dry Canyon Near Hang Glider Launch
    Camper-submitted photo from Dry Canyon Near Hang Glider Launch
    Camper-submitted photo from Dry Canyon Near Hang Glider Launch
    Camper-submitted photo from Dry Canyon Near Hang Glider Launch
    Camper-submitted photo from Dry Canyon Near Hang Glider Launch
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Recent Dispersed Reviews In Lincoln National Forest

105 Reviews of 24 Lincoln National Forest Campgrounds


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Frequently Asked Questions

Which is the most popular dispersed campsite near Lincoln National Forest?

According to TheDyrt.com, the most popular dispersed campground near Lincoln National Forest is Raptor Lake Dispersed / Holloman Lake with a 4.3-star rating from 39 reviews.

What is the best site to find dispersed camping near Lincoln National Forest?

TheDyrt.com has all 24 dispersed camping locations near Lincoln National Forest, with real photos and reviews from campers.