Damon T.
Albuquerque, NM
Joined June 2016
Great access to Trampas Lakes trailhead

The Trampas Trailhead campground gets 4 stars not because it's a great campground (it's good, don't get me wrong) but because it provides great access to an amazing trail.

I used the Trampas Trailhead campground as a staging area for an overnight to the Trampas Lakes. It's a "short" 2 hours from Albuquerque to the trailhead, so I was able to get up there on a Friday night after work for a Saturday/Sunday overnight at the lakes. The campground isn't exactly "dispersed", but there are no official (as far as I could tell) campsite. Folks have set up rock rings in a number of places and there are a few picnic tables. I could see 4 or 5 campsites, depending on if you group one site that was maybe 100 yards down FR 207.

Access is either from FR 207, a well-maintained dirt road, or FR 639 which requires high clearance, good shocks, and would be difficult after rains because of some muddy areas.

Smaller campground, best for Camper/ATV crowd

Trampas Medio campground is about 1/4 mile from the Trampas Lakes trailhead and perhaps 1/2 mile from the San Leonardo Lakes trailhead where FR 207 and FR 639 meet. If you're coming from 207 (a much better road), you must cross a stream. When I was there in July it was running about 18"-24". Coming from 639 requires a high-clearance vehicle and good shocks, and if it's been wet you may encounter serious mud.

The campground has 3-4 campsites. Though there's not a ton of separation between the sites, you're not on top of each other. This seems to be a favorite for folks bringing truck-bed or tow-behind campers, ATVs and motorbikes.

The sites are right along the Rio de las Trampas, which provide good water (as always, treat before use) and great white noise.

Camp on the moon!

If you do one thing in New Mexico--and it would be a shame if you only did one thing, but I digress--full moon camping at White Sands National Monument might be it. As the sun sets on the Sacramento Mountains, the valley is lit orange and red as the dunes fade from white through amazing hues of tan. The full moon then lights the sand bright white and the Organ Mountains to the west loom as black teeth in the west. Sunrise repeats the process.

Camping at White Sands takes a small amount of planning, but is well worth it. You must claim a spot the of your arrival and pay a small fee. This is done at the visitor's center which has a great museum. My advise is to get there early to get a spot then head up to Cloudcroft to the east for a cooler hike in the pines then return an hour or two before sunset.

Once at the trailhead, the camp sites are 1/4 to 1/2 mile of hiking away. This is sand hiking, so plan on a slower pace. The trail is a lollipop marked by posts every couple hundred yards with camp sites in the valleys between camp sites. No campfires are allowed, and you must camp by the post with your campsite number. You must bring all of your water (plan on at least one gallon per person per day) and pack out all of your waste. The trailhead has dumpsters and pit toilets.

Bring a camera and tripod for amazing moon shots and a decent bag because it can get cold at night.

Camp on Mercury... or just feel like it

Valley of Fires is a great state park with both RV- and tent-friendly spots. It's developed with covered, powder-coated picnic tables and flat, raised tent pads, a bathroom, and if my memory serves me correct (because I can't quite remember) showers.

Valley of Fires wouldn't be the best place to spend a full day as the black, volcanic rock holds a lot of heat. However at sunrise and sunset, the views are not to be missed. Use Valley of Fires as a good stop-over for trips across New Mexico.

Beautiful area, but not much as far as camping

This place seems like more of a day use area that has some fire rings and picnic tables. As best we could tell, there weren't any great tent camp sites, so we just pulled up onto a ridge and dragged a table up. Perhaps better for campers & small RV's.

That said, the lake is gorgeous and there's a great hike up the riverbed.

Great campsite with climbing

Headed out to Luna Park for an overnight with my wife and dogs. While I'm a climber, she only does it occasionally. This seemed like it'd be a good spot to hang out and climb a little without being too much of a "climbing trip".

Access is possible from the south via FR139 and Luna Park Road, but Google Maps won't show you that because it requires a high clearance vehicle or very careful driving.

There are 2-3 camp sites here and a handful of both sport and trad routes. A pit toilet is available. There was some scrub juniper to burn but not much firewood otherwise. The view back east is spectacular.

While relatively secluded, we did not have the campground to ourself. At night there were some "kids" driving around making some noise, but once they realized they couldn't have the run of the campground they wandered on.

Clean campground with access to great fall foliage

The Fourth of July Campground provides a starting point for hiking 4th of July Canyon, which is a must-do for anyone in NM in the fall.

The campground itself is pretty standard: gravel pad, fire ring and a picnic table. The sites are a little close together, so don't expect too much privacy. We found one that had a flat spot up the hill a bit so we almost felt like we were alone, but the neighbors barking dogs when I went to the bathroom in the AM brought me quickly back to reality.

Great primitive campground with plenty of shade

Pulled into Redondo a few weeks ago on a last-minute weekend trip to the Jemez mountains. We'd thought about just driving a forest road to get more seclusion, but since it was already getting dark we figured we'd set up for the night then move on Saturday. Fortunately that wasn't necessary!

Redondo is in a stretch of tall pines in the Jemez. The sites are somewhat hilly, but have the basic Forest Service amenities: picnic table, fire ring, and pad. The site we found actually had some flat space back in the trees a bit so we set up there for the weekend.

For being a warm weekend in May, there weren't many folks at this campground.