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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.
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.
My children and I stayed 2 nights in a camping cabin at the Bernalillo KOA in May, 2017. The staff were friendly and helpful throughout our booking process, even when we needed to make changes. The cabin was clean and neat, the KOA showerhouse was as well. They had a nice pool with plenty of shade and an outdoor movie in the evenings which my kids enjoyed. It was an excellent base for exploring the surrounding area, including the Jemez Mountains, many pueblos, Bandelier National Monument, Petroglyph National Monument and Kashe Katuwe National Monument.