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Water

Established Camping

Mills Canyon Campground

About

Bureau of Land Management

Cibola National Forest and National Grasslands

Elevation of this campground is__5,760 feet and offers__6 camping units.__

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Location

Mills Canyon Campground is located in Texas

Detail location of campground

Coordinates

36.071833 N
104.349431 W

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Get reservations at sold-out campgrounds.

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Access

  • Drive-In
    Park next to your site
  • Walk-In
    Park in a lot, walk to your site.
  • Hike-In
    Backcountry sites.

Stay Connected

  • WiFi
    Unknown
  • Verizon
    Poor
  • AT&T
    Unknown
  • T-Mobile
    Poor

Site Types

  • Tent Sites
  • RV Sites
  • Tent Cabin

Features

For Campers

  • Toilets
  • Alcohol

Reviews

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5 Stars

4 Stars

3 Stars

2 Stars

1 Star

58%
16%
11%
10%
11%

4.0

out of 5

19 Reviews

Jennifer W.The Dyrt PRO User
Reviewed Sep. 20, 2022

Dry camping

Rugged beautiful area. Trail to drive down not bad. Can camp by the river. We didn’t end up staying here due to the fact that we had kids and a dog. The area even at campsites have the grass and bushes right up to it. We were concerned about snakes.

SiteDidn’t stay due to having kids and pet with us
Month of VisitOctober
  • Review photo of Mills Canyon Campground by Jennifer W., September 20, 2022
G
Reviewed Sep. 14, 2022

NOT WORTH THE TROUBLE!!

A friend told us about this place, being from California we decided to give it a try. Complete disaster, the road down was so rough we lost our muffler on a new truck, campsite was primitive but ok. What our, now former, friend declined to tell us is that this is a re-location area for bears that wander into the towns of Taos, Red River, Angel Fire etc. First night so many bears came into our camp I thought we were in a bath house in San Francisco, tore up our “ bear proof” cooler and shit everywhere from eating the jalapeños we had among other things in the cooler. Next morning hike went great till we returned to a destroyed truck from another bear, so destroyed we could’nt start it and had to hike out of the canyon for phone service. Six hours later and an $900 towing bill we finally arrived in Cimmaron, NM. Tow truck driver says he hauls about three cars a year out of the Canyon due to bears and meth heads trying to hot wire vehicles and screwing up the ignition. STAY CLEAR OF THIS PLACE.

SiteMain one
Month of VisitJuly
LThe Dyrt PRO User
Reviewed Oct. 4, 2021

Road closed

On 10/04/2021 the road gate was closed. I do not know why.

Sitenone. Camp closed .
Month of VisitNovember
OThe Dyrt PRO User
Reviewed Jul. 12, 2021

Beautiful and isolated

Not really RV accessible, the drive down the canyon is pretty sketch in a couple of spots if driving a big vehicle or even a vehicle with a trailer.  Beautiful, though.  Summers can be hot, so be careful.

Month of VisitOctober
Kim M.The Dyrt PRO User
Reviewed Jun. 25, 2021

Gorgeous but Hot!

Mills Canyon was an absolutely beautiful campground. I had the place to myself, but that’s because it was too hot for most sane people to stay longer than a few hours. There was one car that drove through to use the bathrooms, but I had the entire campground to myself. It was incredibly hot, so my advice for anybody who is coming to this area during the summer months is to bring way more water than what you think you need, and some type of canopy for shade. I only stayed one night as it never cooled down and the biting insects were terrible. All that said, I will return in the cooler months. No cell service. The road down into the canyon was fine with a few legit ruts but easy to navigate.

Month of VisitJuly
  • Review photo of Mills Canyon Campground by Kim M., June 25, 2021
  • Review photo of Mills Canyon Campground by Kim M., June 25, 2021
  • Review photo of Mills Canyon Campground by Kim M., June 25, 2021
  • (4) View All
HThe Dyrt PRO User
Reviewed Jun. 18, 2021

Rim dispersed camping

We actually stayed off of FSR k87B. Here the campsites can get real close to the edge of the canyon. Super primitive, but amazing views. A little to hot this June.

SiteFSR k87B
Month of VisitJuly
  • Review photo of Mills Canyon Campground by Hunter , June 18, 2021
  • Review photo of Mills Canyon Campground by Hunter , June 18, 2021
HThe Dyrt PRO User
Reviewed Jun. 8, 2021

Stargazing in isolation

This place was off the beaten path, but we'll worth it. Beautiful canyon and open space. We will be coming back for sure.

Month of VisitJuly
  • Review photo of Mills Canyon Campground by Hunter , June 8, 2021
  • Review photo of Mills Canyon Campground by Hunter , June 8, 2021
  • Review photo of Mills Canyon Campground by Hunter , June 8, 2021
  • (8) View All
Karen  N.
Reviewed Apr. 5, 2021

First time

First time camping in this part of the state. Great campsites in the canyon. Very clean toilets. No campfires were allowed but still had a great time No luck fishing

  • Review photo of Mills Canyon Campground by Karen  N., April 5, 2021
  • Review photo of Mills Canyon Campground by Karen  N., April 5, 2021
  • Review photo of Mills Canyon Campground by Karen  N., April 5, 2021
  • (6) View All
L
Reviewed Oct. 12, 2020

Overrun by inconsiderate campers

I give this campground 2 stars - one because it is a lovely spot and two, because it is well-maintained considering its remoteness. The other 2-3 stars it may well have deserved were blacked out by the sheer numbers of outright rude and inconsiderate campers.

The drive into the canyon is, indeed, bumpy but doable in a high-clearance car or SUV. There is no cell service. The campground is near the river but does not have river access - it is possible to get to it but the stickers make it extremely uncomfortable, especially if your bring your pooches. There are some places to walk and see both the ruins of the Mills orchard homestead, as well as access the river, but walking was made very unpleasant by the numbers of trucks, ATVs, and motorcycles zooming by - very loud and lots of dirt in the eyes and mouth.

Not sure if it's the "COVID camping" phenomena but the campground was full to near-full the 3 days, 2 nights we camped there. During that time there were multiple very large groups (10-16 people) of people pulling in and out. One group from Texas brought along very loud 50cc motorcycles and large ATV/Side by sides for their kids, who would make rounds around the campground loop, sending plumes of fine dirt into all of the campgrounds around the loop, not to mention the noise. Another large group of trucks from Texas pulled into the campsite next to ours and literally drove 6 vehicles into the actual camping spot and proceeded to then set up tents all the way into my spot -- loud music, loud talking, loud wood chopping, 4:30 am trucks in and out (I suppose they were driving to the bathroom, which was about a 2 minute walk away). I was forced to sleep in my car, instead of my tent thanks to the noise and the fact that I was not comfortable sleeping with a bunch of strangers who didn't seem to care that I had already set up there. As I packed up the next day and was checking my campground for trash I noticed theirs was strewn with it - I considered cleaning it until I noticed it was mostly used toilet paper.

Camping in New Mexico is amazing and one of the reasons I live here. I don't understand why people need to come to the middle of nowhere to be obnoxious, ruin the experience for everyone else, and trash the place in the process.

Until the COVID camping phenomena ends, expect the worst.

Month of VisitNovember
m
Reviewed Oct. 1, 2020

A little miracle

Loved this place and how in the middle of no where it is. Very clean, basic, and thoroughly wild. We too had the mosquito swarms but it was early summer so a lot of runoff. I’d go back in a second.

P
Reviewed Sep. 2, 2020

A Real Gem!

Great place to camp.  Hard to access in car.  Recommend high clearance truck, 4-wheel drive, or similar.

Contrary to current listing, there is NO POTABLE WATER and NO FIREWOOD in this campground.

There are some historical ruins here that are described on plaques.

C
Reviewed Jul. 25, 2020

Just ok

There is no view of the canyon from this campground, so be prepared to hike or drive down if you want to have great views. The real downer for us was the plethora of vicious mosquitos. We were eaten alive even though we sprayed with bug spray often. Our tent was swarmed with them such that we heard them buzzing our tent all night. We tried multiple sites and couldn’t find a bug free spot. They seemed to be sheltering under trees and in the grass and there was only one spot of water where they may have been breeding. It had rained recently, which may have been the problem, so consider trying this campsite at a dry time of year. We probably won’t bother trying to come back.

The good: Free Nice cement picnic tables Clean vault toilets Quality covered horse stalls which we used for shelter Dark sky area of the State so some of our party got a great view of Neowise

Notes: No water or cell service Not every site has picnic tables and fire pits No gas in the general area so fuel up before you get there.

Laura S.
Reviewed May. 24, 2020

Perfect for a quiet weekend!

A beautiful little campground of solitude was found if you drove on just past the Mills Canyon Campground. Not very much available in terms of hiking, but what there was went along the Canadian River, and yielded some interesting, crumbled old structures. Definitely take the time to read a little bit of the history once you have a signal again! Campfires weren’t allowed while we were there, but they are allowed when the fire danger isn’t so high. There are vault toilets (which were well maintained), but no running water. There is no cell service. Bring trash bags, as there are no trash cans or dumpsters. No bear lockers, though there are bears in the area. Recommend 4 wheel drive to access the Canyon itself. Many of the primitive roads have been closed to motorized vehicles, but still make for a nice hike! We could hear owls every night, and saw a mountain lion one morning.

  • Review photo of Mills Canyon Campground by Laura S., May 24, 2020
C
Reviewed Mar. 2, 2019

Classic climber campground, nothing but the basics, very scenic

Free, pack-in pack-out site with vault toilets, picnic tables and fire pits. The Rim campground is perfectly nice, but if you can manage it roll on down the rocky, rough dirt road to the canyon campsite. We wanted to stay at the bottom, but decided not to risk getting stuck down there given that snow was coming in overnight (my 2wd is not snow-proficient, especially on steep roads).

Seemed to be mostly other climbers at the site, and lots of dog-friends. Really beautiful, quiet place, though beware you likely won't have cell service at the camp or anywhere near (including in the town of Roy).

Month of VisitMarch
  • Review photo of Mills Canyon Campground by Chloe H., March 2, 2019
  • Review photo of Mills Canyon Campground by Chloe H., March 2, 2019
K
Reviewed Jul. 10, 2018

Free Primitive Camping with Fire Pit, Picnic Tables, and Bathroom

Multiple camp sites for primitive camping with flat areas for tents, and each site has a fire pit, sturdy table, and space for parking. The campgrounds also have clean brick & mortar bathrooms without running water; all for free! This campground is first come first serve so reservations aren’t necessary. Pretty secluded area that is mostly vacant during the week days, and mostly visited by climbers. Both upper rim and lower canyon campsites are fairly close to some great boulders and there’s plenty of hiking to do.

This area is still pretty unknown to the mass public so crowds aren’t an issue, which is really nice, but the canyon is overflowing with awesome boulders for climbing so it’s only a matter of time until it starts to become more popular.

Month of VisitFebruary
  • Review photo of Mills Canyon Campground by Kristen W., July 10, 2018
  • Review photo of Mills Canyon Campground by Kristen W., July 10, 2018
  • Review photo of Mills Canyon Campground by Kristen W., July 10, 2018
  • (4) View All
Che M.
Reviewed Jun. 27, 2018

Hidden Gem

Loved it here! Is a hidden gem with a rich history. Lots of hiking and riding trails. The river runs right by the campground so we were able to swim every night. We stayed Memorial weekend and only had two other campers in the area.

  • Review photo of Mills Canyon Campground by Che M., June 27, 2018
  • Review photo of Mills Canyon Campground by Che M., June 27, 2018
  • Review photo of Mills Canyon Campground by Che M., June 27, 2018
George B.
Reviewed Jun. 19, 2018

Good little spot

You wouldn’t expect seeing a place like this in the flat land that it rests in. Mills canyon is a nice litttle camping spot with fun little secrets. Can you find them? There is a fire pit per site with a few restrooms between sites.

  • Review photo of Mills Canyon Campground by George B., June 19, 2018
  • Review photo of Mills Canyon Campground by George B., June 19, 2018
J
Reviewed May. 17, 2018

Decnet campground, but go to the bottom of the canyon if you can

This is a nice campground, but if you can go to the bottom of the canyon please do! It's a relatively mild 2-mile road that any stock SUV, Subaru, Rav4 etc can do, and probably any sedan when it's dry.

If you look at other reviews or videos of this location some say that trailers are not allowed on the road to the bottom. Officially as of April 2018, they were not recommended. I was in a Expedition with an 8' pop up and it was no problem….just for reference.

The sites are nice and spaced out, nice pit toilet and a couple of horse paddocks if that is your thing.

Be aware there is NO WATER at all and no trash service, so pack it out!

See my review of the Mills Canyon Campground for more info!

J
Reviewed May. 17, 2018

A must see!

This is a great location. Getting there you are driving through the middle of NM ranch land and slowly the topography starts to change as you get closer, and it is very cool!

The road down the canyon is about 2 miles and any stock SUV, Subaru or the same can make it when it's dry. But, if it's wet be careful, the mud is super slippery….just take your time! You could probably even do it in a sedan as long as you aren't too low to the ground.

If you read other reviews or see videos on YouTube you may hear that trailers are not allowed on the road down. As of April 2018 the warning at the top say not recommended. I was in a Ford Expedition with an 8' popup trailer (probably 11' with the tongue) and it was no problem. I wouldn't take a 5th wheel or a huge camper down there, but smaller trailers are ok. The sharpest turns are near the top.

The campground is very nice, the 12 spots are spread out, two nice pit latrines, tables, fire pits, and charcoal grill stands. THERE IS NO WATER except for the river, and no trash service, so pack it out!.

The valley is gorgeous and you can see the ruins from the old homestead….be sure to stop and read the info signs on the way down, it's a very neat story

I went at the end of April, the days were great and the nights were cool, I can see how it would get very hot in the summer. There is some shade but be sure to bring an easy up or something.

The first river crossing is a concrete bottom, the second is river bottom but not too deep, the third one is much more rough and very wide, use common sense. Lots of opportunity for hiking and biking.

Hunting is allowed so don't be surprised if you hear shots during hunting season. We saw several turkeys and deer. The signs say bears and cougars are in the area as well.

I think there are fish in the rive but we didn't get any. There is a lot of 'grass' in the water to be prepared to get snagged.

Take a good map with you and explore some off the roads in the grasslands area that take you to the rim of the canyon, it's a great view.

I drove from Denver, about 6 hours, and it was worth the drive. Highly recommended.

There is also a campsite on the rim if you don't want to venture down, and they have some horse paddocks you can use.

Month of VisitMay
  • Review photo of Mills Canyon Campground by Justin R., May 17, 2018
  • Review photo of Mills Canyon Campground by Justin R., May 17, 2018
  • Review photo of Mills Canyon Campground by Justin R., May 17, 2018

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Mills Canyon Campground have wifi?

No, according to campers on TheDyrt.com, Mills Canyon Campground does not have wifi.

Is there cell phone reception at Mills Canyon Campground?

According to campers on TheDyrt.com, Verizon signal is poor, AT&T is unknown, and T-Mobile is poor.