Brett H.

The Dyrt Pro

Houston, TX

Joined September 2020

We sold all of our stuff and are hitting the road starting Spring 2021.

The quieter side of Navajo Lake

The quieter side of Navajo Lake State Park, this is a nice, clean campground with pull through and tent sites (elec and non) close to Sims marina. Nothing spectacular and a bit remote, so not a place I would seek out necessarily. Keep in mind that this requires a little more driving to get to, so if you’re just passing through, be mindful that it’s ~17 miles from highway 64.

Pros:

  • Quieter, seems less crowded than reg marina side of park
  • A good mix of pull through and tent sites with plenty of room to drive in. Tent sites are multi level in a few cases (tables and pits are a short level below parking spot)
  • Lake views for some spots (seem to be partial as trees do block some parts of view)
  • Reasonably spaced, not super private but that is pretty much any paid campground
  • Cleanish bathrooms and pit toilets, a little smelly on our visit and had no soap to wash hands (not in peak season, so think campgrounds are a little understaffed with no camp host until mid may)

Cons:

  • A bit of a haul/remote if you’re just stopping through on way west through NM
Great campsite to access Bandelier

Really nice campgrounds right inside entrance to Bandelier National Monument. Self serve/first come, so get here early to snag a spot. We stayed in Bear Loop and found those sites the nicest for vans, car camping, tents.

Pros:

  • Relatively quiet for a three loop campground, esp at night
  • A good mix of pull through and tent sites with plenty of room to drive in. Our site did not have partial shade, though there are plenty of trees in the loop to help with that
  • Frey and other hiking trailheads accessible near camp (lived this)
  • Firewood for sale at pay kiosk (cash donation, $1 per log)
  • Kiosk was pretty easy/took cards, just be mindful of searching for a spot before you pay
  • Nice bathrooms, no showers available at time
  • Was really awesome launching point for exploring Bandelier; easy to drive or walk right into the thick of things

Cons:

  • $12/night may be too pricey for some, but we found it reasonable
Dispersed near Bandelier

Drive up is a bit winding and steep, but we managed just fine in our Subaru and saw a ton of passenger cars heading up the mtn. Not sure I’d want to drive it in any inclement weather though. Dispersed sites to the right of entrance and a few when you first pull in. I wouldn’t advise going down left road, as it gets really tight and not many places to turnaround. Didn’t see sites that way, but we didn’t get far before turning around.

Pros:

  • Location to Los Alamos and Bandalier is great/easy to get to
  • Sites are spaced out and pretty large, so privacy shouldn’t be an issue
  • Views looking out toward Los Alamos and highway 4 are solid

Cons:

  • Like many dispersed sites, dumbasses who came before leave a little trash, so bring gloves if you feel inclined to lessen the impact. Wasn’t as dirty as some spots though
Clean, secluded USFS campground

Gem of a USFS campground in the Cibola National Forest near Corona, NM. Can get crowded on weekends and most especially during Fall hunting season.

Note that directions from Maps/Dyrt tries to send you the wrong way off County Rd 22, so follow the brown signs to the campground and you can’t miss it.

Pros:

  • Road in is reasonably well maintained and accessible (we saw a mix of trucks, RVs and vans all making way easily, even a few passenger cars; go slow)
  • Several dispersed sites also available near entrance to campground and down road passed campground
  • Pit toilets were fine and seem to be maintained; trash bins also available
  • Reasonably spaced sites with tables and fire pits (no water to my knowledge, so pack in)
  • Beautiful views up the road on way to a fire tower and a zone that’s still pretty bare from previous fires
  • Family of livestock roam the area which is entertaining (just watch out for the giant cow pies)

Cons:

  • Might see some dirt bikes/UTV traffic, which can get noisy
  • Can get really crowded during hunting seasons and likely near holidays, so be aware (talked to a local and got the scoop from their many times staying here)
Nice/central to White Sands

Good, clean state park campground central to Alamogordo and White Sands.

Pros:

  • Location/easy to get to
  • A good mix of pull through and tent sites with plenty of room to drive in.
  • Views on both sides are spectacular
  • Reasonably spaced, not super private but that is pretty much any paid campground
  • Clean bathrooms and pit toilets (showers still closed)
  • Sites are relatively spacious and very well kept with tables and fire rings; some have partial shelter

Cons:

  • Seems to get a little crowded, which is to be expected due to its proximity to White Sands
Living Well in Leasburg

Been here for two days and moving sites for our third. Overall, this is a great camping spot for cars, vans and RV. Location feels a bit random driving in, but that ends up being an advantage as it partially secluded the park from outside traffic.

Pros:

  • Several pull through sites with partial shade
  • Close to I-25, so easy to locate/access
  • Clean, well-maintained, including main bathrooms near entrance (these are closest to the Cactus and Cholla loops, both with hookups and pull through available)
  • Short walking trails with great views and extra access to back end of Cactus loop, Greasewood and bathrooms
  • Sites are reasonably spaced out for some privacy, very quiet during our stay
  • Mountain and desert views

Cons:

  • No showers, which isn’t their fault (COVID obviously)