From the vast Chihuahuan Desert to the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, New Mexico has a wealth of opportunities to get outside and explore. For outdoor adventurers, there’s skiing in Taos, whitewater rafting on the Rio Grande, and plenty of hiking, from the Southern Rockies to dusty desert canyons. That’s what makes camping in New Mexico such a varied and fulfilling experience.
Carlsbad Caverns provides ample opportunities to hike, explore, learn about desert wildlife, even appreciate a few thousand Mexican free-tail bats take flight. They swarm out of the cave every night at dust for an audience that often numbers in the hundreds. It’s a perfect excuse to stick around the park after dark and do some camping in New Mexico.
Of course, the only camping available within Carlsbad Caverns National Park is backcountry camping, so come prepared to Leave No Trace. Keep in mind that the desert landscape is often dry, so fire bans, even some backcountry cooking bans, are frequently in effect in the drier months. On the upside, backcountry camping permits are free and you can grab one at the visitor center when you arrive.
Visit White Sands National Monument for an unmatched, natural experience. Acres upon acres of white gypsum dunes stretch into the distance, offering hours of diversion, be it hiking across the dunes or sledding down them. If you forgot your sled, don’t worry, you can pick one up in the gift shop. Just be sure to enjoy these activities early in the morning or late in the evening during the summer months; it gets hot in the desert during midday!
As for camping in White Sands, it’s backcountry camping or nothing and sites require a short hike through the dunes. You’ll be camping on the gypsum, surrounded by shifting white hills, dark night skies up above, and no other campers in sight. It’s definitely a unique experience. Permits are $3.00 per person and can be picked up at the visitor center.
Wherever your adventures take you in the Land of Enchantment, get out there and let The Dyrt help you locate the best camping in New Mexico.
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What a great find. This RV Park is still taking reservations during the coronavirus pandemic. We called and got a site for three nights. Sites are long and spacious, level, gravel, wide with shrubbery and some fencing between, adding lots of privacy. Both easy back in and pull through sites. Several large clean showers/bathrooms, laundry and library but no amenities like a pool or hot tub. Did i mention the Excellent cell, and even better fast WiFi, which was very good with multiple access points to connect to through out the park. Staff are super friendly and helpful. Great prices ($34) and we used AARP to get additional discount($16), they also accept Good Sam. Cabins available. We were very happy and recommend it.
I went on my first solo hiking/camping trip here. Coming from Texas, I almost turned around to go back home with only 4 hours left of my drive because I was so terrified. When I drove up I got my dog and we scouted the area and found a secluded camp spot right away. There were quite a few people there but it was so quiet. Just perfection. Every worry/fear/anxiety I had about this trip diminished along with day to day life crap. I’ve never felt so at peace. The sites were so clean, vaulted toilets clean. And the hikes.. was it even real??
Managed by the Army Corps of Engineers on the Cochiti Pueblo this campground is well designed and managed. Bathrooms were cleaned by Adelante daily while I stayed there. The Rangers were very friendly, the campsites were paved, had covered pick nick tables, grills, and a heater in the bathroom (March) and showers were hot. Visitors center has lots of information, and there are hiking trails. Not close to any major shopping, but there is a small store nearby and a laundry mat next to the store. Overall, I was very impressed.
Staff was friendly and the actual park has potential. Sunrises were amazing. Problems, trash overflowing outside the BBQ area and the bathroom trash cans not emptied in the four days I stayed. Sad. Bathrooms were clean when I arrived, but had not been cleaned when I left and there was human hair everywhere, showers were dirty, and so was the floor. Affordable washers and dryers which were clean. Lots of permanent residents here and it was quiet with the exception of my neighbors who had a domestic issue one night. Would’ve stayed longer.
So, the campground hosts and the ranger Lawrence were very friendly. Bathrooms were cleaned often, and the showers were hot. Very secluded sites along the Pecos River, and a cute store for firewood etc nearby. There are hiking trails, and the one along the ridge was fun to hike.
Stayed here one night on the fly, plenty of spaces. A bit pricey at 40.00 per night for electric and water for an 8x12 trailer. Place is clean, and owner is very responsive.