If Jacks Creek campsite is all booked, this is the next one you should try. Iron gate is ok too but it’s a lot longer drive than you think and might need all wheel drive since the road to Iron gate gets bit tricky road every now and then. Holy! This campsite offered me a lot more than I expected! Nice trail heads nearby (not only one) and each campsite was spaced out well enough so you still get a privacy. Of course the site by the creek gets filled first. Be aware of skunks! Do not leave food unattended and keep your dogs under control ;) Overall, a decent campsite but only 3 in nation but I would give 4 in New Mexico!
So… luckily we have Jeep. The road up to the lake is pretty rocky so we had to air down our tires so that we don’t get back aches after our day 4x4 goose lake trail getaway. The road is not tricky but just too many sharp rocks/pebbles. We were able to find a dispersed campsite by the cliff and had an amazing view of valley (not the lake). A short hike to the lake was pleasant. Nothing spectacular during late October. Bathroom at the parking lot was definitely a plus. Be ready for all wheel drive.
Chama canyon is our weekend go-to place. Only 2 hrs from Albuquerque. Many campsites available (some are dispersed) along the river. Almost every single site here offers a nice shade and shelter for strong sunlight during the day and strong wind at dusk (it gets really windy at dusk!). River is very soothing and birds are always chirping. You can find a Andy beach access to the river from some campsites. It gives you more private, primitive, and exciting camp feel to it compared to stay at the Amphitheater campsite nearby.
An epic campsite. Schnebly Hill Rd. was a bit bumpy but was nothing but an amazing experience with aired down Gladiator. We saw tons of all wheel drive driving up to the Merry-go-round. After passing the Schnebly Hill Vista overlook where you can start seeing some dispersed campsites, we went up the road for about 1 mile or so and found an amazing campsite overlooking the Sedona red rock mountains!!! Sunset from there was just a breathtaking and stars at night were sparkling clear and shiny. Very quiet until 8 am when you start to see Polaris every now and then. A must to go campsite! You won’t regret it!
Starting from the Views and excitements of crushing on the Independence Rd, this camp site is a portal to another dimension! I would recommend going to this camp site by 4x4 so you pass the actual portal campsite and find a primitive site by the river and valley with an outstanding view. There are about 25 campsites before you get to the portal camp site, but highly recommend driving a bit longer to get to the campground. A Phenomenal view of the lake and mountains is unforgettable!
The park is HUGE and just so beautiful. 10,000 acres of aspens and ponderosa pines only one hour away from the town of Taos. All sites offer a fire pits and some come with nice picnic tables under roofs by the clear river. Only $25 a day you can get to enjoy the nature. We didn’t take our TRD pro Taco coz we thought our All wheel super handling SUV would be good enough but definitely there are some off-roading you can enjoy. Be sure to bring your truck or Jeep to enjoy more. No cell phone reception. There are no water available and porta potties were not ready yet. The lake was closed but we still had so much fun hiking and exploring the acres of wonderland. Will definitely go back there!