I visited this magical place. It is absolutely beautiful. During the day the myriad of plants are enchanting. At night the stars and sounds otherworldly. And the healing energy of Michaela and Ernesto brought me back into light. Forever grateful.
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!
This was are 1st time trying out our 5th wheel. We live in Albuquerque and wanted to try something close to home. This was a nice park located next to a lake that can be fished with a license. RV park is part of Isleta Casino and free shuttle service is offered from your Rv to the Casino. We would definitely stay again, only draw back is it's close to the railroad station and the train blows its horn. Paid about $35 nightly for full hookups.
I grew up in this part of the state, but never knew this one existed. It’s a small campsite and not much more then vaulted toilets. But it was a very beautiful campsite. There was only a few people camping so it was very quit and peaceful. Easy access to shopping in Grants and real close to many other attractions like Bluewater lake, El Morro, and the Ice Cave. I would happily camp here again.
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 were parked in a vacant spot since Thursday and on Friday afternoon, a forest service employee came and put up a sign on our spot saying it was reserved and he told us that we would have to leave. When we asked him why the sign wasn’t put up earlier in the week? If it had been we would have parked somewhere else. He got an attitude and just told us to move. We told him that we would and he said well if you park in an available spot we would have to pay again. Well yeah we moved and no we did not pay again. Then to top it off, the spots he claimed were reserved never became occupied all weekend. He did this to several people that were already parked and unhooked for the weekend. We decided that he just didn’t want to have to patrol the weekend or something. Never saw him again all weekend. We didn’t let that ruin the weekend. We had a good time overall.
Mother Bosque Gardens is a little retreat in an urban Albuquerque neighborhood. I’ll admit, for me, it was a first for camping in a backyard (that wasn’t my own). Ernesto and Michaela, our hosts, were immediately welcoming and kind. They feel like we could have known them for a lifetime, even though we’ve only met for minutes. Upon arrival, they gave us the tour, and even offered to share a bowl of the aromatic soup simmering upon their stove.
Campsite and Amenities
The campsites (I believe there are two tent sites) are located on the two opposite sides of the house. They are both very private and remarkably quiet. The quiet was surprising being in a city, but it was quieter than many campgrounds we’ve stayed where other groups of campers may be playing music or chatting (loudly) by the fires. The campsite has a private entrance through a gate; parking is off the street. Our campsite space in the side yard, had a table, a couch, and a grill. As stated on the website, and in the Dyrt details, there are no campfires allowed. Michaela and Ernesto welcomed us to use their kitchen, although we preferred some mother and daughter time outdoors during our stay. The tranquil backyard is towered over by old growth trees, and the gardening is exquisite. We shared the space with hummingbirds and roses. The clean bathroom is inside the home where there is a shower available. Michaela and Ernesto even offered the use of their towels. My daughter quickly pointed out that there is Wi-Fi.
The location is very near to the Rio Grande River and the Bosque, which is the natural forest that runs along the Rio Grande. My daughter and I left early in the morning to explore the banks of the flooded Rio Grande (May), and noted the many remarkable birds: violet green swallows swooping along the river exposing their vibrant colors, ducks, egrets, herons, a red-tailed hawk, and several Canadian Geese. We sadly missed the wily roadrunner with three babies in tow. The Rio Grande Nature Center State Park was an excellent starting point for the Bosque.
Mother Bosque Gardens is also located only a few miles from the heart of old Albuquerque, including Old Town, the zoo, the botanical gardens, and the excitement of Central Avenue.
As noted on the website, the camp space can only accommodate an 8X8 tent; it may accommodate two smaller tents. We’ve shared a photo of a standard 2-person backpacking tent set up in the space. I believe the website lists a maximum of three campers in the site. A family with children exceeding a total of 3, who can manage to sleep in tents that meet the size restriction, might consider contacting Michaela and Ernesto for permission to bring more than three. Finally, there is a small walk from the parking at the front of the house to the campsite, so plan to make sure your gear is portable enough to carry it the 75-ish feet (I’m not a good judge of distance so it may be anywhere from 40 feet to 100).
My daughter and I planned to spend a day in Albuquerque for some quality time. In honor of new experiences, we tried something new for us by staying at Mother Bosque Gardens. We were both incredibly happy that we did. We had a wonderful experience not only camping in a beautiful garden, but from the opportunity to meet Michaela and Ernesto. We were welcomed strangers, but I couldn’t help but feel like we departed from friends.
Fine print about my ratings
When I use a star rating system, I truly do consider 3 out of 5 to be average and expected. Anything above three stars is superb and awe-inspiring. I save 5 out of 5 for what I feel is the most enchanted locations. After all, dishing out a 5 for every spot I like wouldn’t help other campers (as it doesn’t help me in return). I consider it rather difficult to provide a star rating for Mother Bosque Gardens because it was such a unique experience for me. As hosts, I would absolutely give Ernesto and Michaela a 5 out of 5. The campsite has some natural limitations as compared to a traditional site, so while the campsite was very comfortable, when compared with large campsites surrounded Giant Sequoias or a serene alpine lake, well…that’s just hard to beat. So, I’ve settled on a 4 out of 5.
Booking with The Dyrt
I had the honor and pleasure of booking this trip through The Dyrt even as they were still rolling out the bookings. I found the process to be simple and effective.
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!
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.
Bout 10 free campsites in a beautiful location. Several vault toilets, great spots to set up a tent, landscape is nice but the Sunset was breathtaking. One of the best sites we’ve had the privilege to stay at in the West.
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 is a donation based campground. There are approximately 10 sites. Each is equipped with a metal pavallion, table, and firepit/cooking pit. There are pit toilets. The sites are amply spaced, and there is cleared area in the high desert terrain to place a tent or two. During my stay, we strung our hammocks up in the pavillion. The site is easy access from the road, and about a 15 min drive from closest town, (Grants).
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!
Visited the coal mine campground after driving a 500 mile day, so it was a set-up eat and crash situation. I did make a reservation on line, but that cost more than the $5 per site fee and was not necessary even though it was memorial day weekend. The fee is great because it is primitive, no electricity, no water at all, not just hookups, but the bathrooms were nice and clean with no sinks.
If you are prepared for a primitive camp with your own water and batteries for your electronics it is great. They have fire rings, grills, picnic tables and level places for tents.There are also nice back-in sites for boondocking RVs and the road up to the campground is fine for big rigs.
I ran into two mountain biker's here from Ireland that were riding the Continental Divide trail from The Mexican border in New Mexico to the Canadian border in Montana. They were staying here since the Trail goes through here. Paddy & Conner were very interesting people and I was fortunate to have run into them here.
I enjoyed my stay with a peaceful quite nights sleep and a short hike in the morning before breakfast cooked on the campfire. I would recommend this over a hotel stay if your passing through Grant's New Mexico on I40. You can probably get a site for the night anytime your passing through.