Best Tent Camping New Mexico  by Monte Parr

Best Tent Camping: New Mexico Guide Book

by Monte Parr (Menasha Ridge Press)
Best Tent Camping New Mexico  by Monte Parr
From Canjilon Lakes in the north to the Valley of Fires in the south, camping in New Mexico has never been better. The Best In Tent Camping: New Mexico is a guidebook for tent campers who like quiet, scenic, and serene campsites. It's the perfect resource if you blanch at the thought of pitching a tent on a concrete slab, trying to sleep through the blare of another camper's boombox, or waking or find your tent surrounded by a convoy of RVs. This book guides you to the quietest, most beautiful, most secure, and best-managed campgrounds in the Land of Enchantment. Whether you are a New Mexico native in search of new territory or a vacationer on the lookout for the dream campground, this book will unlock the secrets to the best tent camping that New Mexico has to offer.

© 2014 Monte Parr/Menasha Ridge Press. All Rights Reserved.

Trails from the "Best Tent Camping: New Mexico" Guide Book
Displaying trails 20 of 50.

Displaying trails 1 to 20 of 50.

Perched high in the foothills beneath the towering cathedral spires of the Organ Mountains, beautiful Aguirre Springs Recreation Area is a must for those seeking a Chihuahuan Desert camping experience. This is the only high-country campground in the area, and it’s conveniently located 17 miles east of Las Cruces. There are five campsites, three along the loop and two more tucked back in the woods. Four of the five campsites have picnic tables and fire grates. The campsite to the right as you turn in is not very appealing (it will catch a fair amount of dust from the road), but the other four sites sit back from the road. This is a popular campground, and there are many areas to set your tent up by the grassy streambed. There is a beautiful site across the stream, an easy 50-foot walk from the end of the loop. It sits apart from the other campsites and could be considered a “honeymoon suite,” not visible from the campground loop.
Las Cruces, NM - Campgrounds
Juniper Campground is an awesome place for a getaway. The campground is atop a volcanic mesa, dotted with juniper, piñon, and ponderosa pine trees.
Los Alamos, NM - Campgrounds
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Santa Fe has some really pretty campgrounds, and the most attractive is Black Canyon Campground. Black Canyon is 7.5 miles from downtown Santa Fe, and the drive there is gorgeous. A winding road works its way from high desert yucca- and sage-filled hills to a deep, lush canyon filled with ponderosa pine, blue spruce, fir, aspen, and tall cottonwood trees. The Black Canyon is so named because the canyon is steep and deep. While Santa Fe is waking to the early morning rays of sunlight, the canyon remains dark until the sun crests over the mountain. While the city basks in its sunlight at dusk, the canyon darkens an entire hour before the sun goes down—wonderful for campers who want a few extra winks of sleep.
Espanola, NM - Campgrounds
When people think of lake camping in New Mexico, Elephant Butte Lake is the first place mentioned. But Elephant Butte is crowded, overdeveloped, and party central. A quieter choice is lovely Caballo Lake State Park, just 16 miles south of Elephant Butte. Caballo is New Mexico’s thirdlargest state park and much more serene. Caballo campgrounds fill rapidly on the holidays, but tent campers always seem to find a space.
Caballo, NM - Campgrounds
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Canjilon (pronounced can-heeloan) Lakes is a beautiful and remote campground located several miles west of the tiny community of Canjilon, along the very bumpy Forest Service Road 129.
Canjilon, NM - Campgrounds
How would you like to camp within a few steps of ancient Anasazi cliff dwellings? If so, Chaco Culture National Historical Park is the place.
Nageezi, NM - Campgrounds
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Many southern New Mexico state parks are designed more for RV enthusiasts than tent campers, but the 2,000-acre City of Rocks State Park is an exception. This park, set among gigantic boulders (some more than 50 feet high), is a geological wonder.
Faywood, NM - Campgrounds
In the pristine mountains above the town of Cuba, two pretty campgrounds 1 mile apart are a must-stay for the tent camper. Although smaller in size than the other Jemez Wilderness camps in this book, Clear Creek and Rio de las Vacas (see page 75) are for those who want more remote camping with the benefits of an established campground.
Cuba, NM - Campgrounds
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Cochiti Lake Campgrounds offer ideal desert-lake camping experiences for many reasons. Cochiti Dam is the 11th largest in the United States, using 65 million cubic feet of earth and rock. Construction took 10 years and was completed in 1975 at a cost of $94.4 million. There are two campgrounds, the main campground at Cochiti Lake headquarters and Tetilla Peak Campground on the opposite side of the lake. Shoreline camping is not available at either campground.
Pena Blanca, NM - Campgrounds
It is ironic that one of New Mexico’s prettiest campgrounds sits right across the highway from one of the state’s worst environmental disasters—the Molycorp Molybdenum Mine.
Questa, NM - Campgrounds
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When Louis L’Amour wrote his novel The Sacketts, he admitted his inability to describe the beauty of the Mora Valley. Words cannot do it justice. You have to experience it for yourself.
Guadalupita, NM - Campgrounds
This comfortable little camp is a historic stop along the old Magdalena cattle trail. Datil Well is named for the town of Datil, 1 mile to the west. This is the location of one of 15 water wells spaced 10 miles apart along the old Magdalena Cattle Trail. This trail was established in January of 1885 and stretched 120 miles from Springerville, Arizona, to Magdalena, New Mexico. The campground is scenic and shaded with a mix of juniper, cedar, and pinon trees. Most campsites are rather small, but plenty of trees between the sites provide adequate privacy.
Datil, NM - Campgrounds - Trail Length:
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Deerhead Campground was recently renovated, and they did a great job with the landscaping. It is just like camping in a woodland paradise and is very conducive to tent camping. Blue jays are common, as are hummingbirds, so bring your feeders.
Cloudcroft, NM - Campgrounds
While driving in the Gila Wilderness, my wife, Susan, made the comment, “God has kissed New Mexico, and New Mexico is smiling!” The monsoon seasons are often inconsistent. When they do arrive, they bring this lovely mountain wilderness back to health after a long period of little moisture. Panoramas of lush green ponderosa pine, fir, spruce, and oak forests and meadows filled with wildflowers of myriad colors greet you.
Reserve, NM - Campgrounds
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El Caso Campground is shaded by ponderosa pine, piñon, cedar, cottonwood and juniper trees. This lovely campground is primitive, with some grassy areas for tents, and slightly to mostly shady, depending on where you set up your tent. Due to its location away from the lake, El Caso experiences less traffic and is more peaceful than nearby campgrounds.
Quemado, NM - Campgrounds
On the hunt for off-the-beaten-path, peaceful, and remote tent-camping areas, my wife, Susan, and I stumbled upon this quaint little campground that has it all. Ancient native people and the Spanish conquistadors must have agreed—they camped here as well.
Ramah, NM - Campgrounds
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Set up on a hillside, this lovely campground is beautifully terraced with large campsites. Elephant Rock offers the privacy that Junebug or Fawn Lakes Campgrounds do not.
Questa, NM - Campgrounds
Fawn Lakes is a beautiful campground just 3.5 miles from the town of Red River. Like nearby Junebug Campground, it fills quickly most weekends.
Questa, NM - Campgrounds
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Fenton Lake State Park was one of the most beautiful state parks in New Mexico until the Lakes Fire of August 27, 2002. Fenton Lake is still a delightful state park; loved by many who continue to call this place home for the weekend. The campground itself remains beautiful, despite the surrounding areas devastated by the fire. The campground is set in a deep forest of ponderosa pines. The campground is active with Stellar’s jays, various woodpeckers, and many hummingbirds. Birdwatchers spot raptors regularly here, including the peregrine falcon. There is a large population of chipmunks, which love campers and can almost be fed by hand. Fenton Lake is home to several species of ducks and geese, turkey, mule deer, muskrat, elk, bobcat, mountain lion, and black bear. This state park does a good job separating RVs from tent campers. Loops A, B, and C are day-use areas. Loop D is the RV loop and is large. A sign beyond loop D prohibits RVs from entering the tent camper’s loops. Loops E and F are the areas we tent campers call home.
Jemez Springs, NM - Campgrounds
If you want a little slice of heaven, Field Tract Campground is a great choice. Located off NM 63, just a scant 10 miles north of the historic little town of Pecos, this camp is easy to access. Field Tract is the first developed campground you will come to after entering the Pecos River Wilderness. The Pecos River runs past this campground at a thundering pace, cascading over boulders and filling the entire campground with its lovely music. Despite its location along NM 63, Field Tract is peaceful, and the river drowns out the road noise nicely at most campsites.
Pecos, NM - Campgrounds - Trail Length:
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