Where to Camp in the Land of Enchantment
New Mexico is a unique state with its own kind of magic. It’s no wonder so many artists and writers have been inspired by its landscape.
New Mexico’s diverse geography makes it an exciting place to visit any time of year. Whether it’s the fascinating history of Santa Fe, the great skiing in Taos and Ruidoso, the majesty of the Rocky Mountains or the beauty of White Sands, there’s something for everyone in this state.
Here are our favorite places to camp in New Mexico.
The Santa Fe National Forest offers beautiful camping areas that range from low to high elevation, high desert to forested and primitive to developed. Developed campgrounds offer ammenties ranging from electrical hookups for RV or trailer camping, to only a toilet. Learn more.
2. Elephant Rock Campground – Red River
Elephant Rock Campground has excellent fishing access to the well-stocked Red River, nearby Eagle Rock Lake and hiking into the surrounding high country. This campground is close to the highway with plenty of large pine trees. The campground rests at 8,400 feet above sea level. Learn more.
3. City of Rocks – Faywood
Located about halfway between Silver City and Deming, City of Rocks offers camp sites, hiking trails, excellent mountain biking, wildlife viewing, birding, stargazing, picnic areas and a desert botanical garden. The uniquely designed, new Visitor Center includes a large display area and modern restrooms with hot showers. City of Rocks State Park is your official sponsor of adventure! Learn more.
4. Heron Lake State Park – Los Ojos
A picturesque lake set among the tall pines of northern New Mexico, Heron Lake State Park has been designated a “quiet lake” where boats operate at no-wake speeds only, making it an excelent locaction for all types of paddle craft. Heron also has amazing sailing, cross-country skiing, and hiking. Heron is a fisherman’s pardise with record-size trout and kokanee salmon. Ice fishing is very popular in winter. Several campgrounds line the shore of this scenic lake with primitive and developed campsites are available for every taste. Learn more.
5. Storrie Lake – Las Vegas
This serene lake offers great opportunities for fishing, bird watching, and windsurfing. Choose from a variety of campsites with utility hookups for RVs.
The park is conveniently located near historic Las Vegas. Learn more.
6. Apache Campground – Cloudcroft
Apache Campground offers 25 sites. Mixed conifer/aspen forest sites at 8,900′ provide southern NM escape from summer heat on the desert floor. Tables, fire rings, parking spurs, gray water sumps, toilets, central garbage depository, plus interpretive trails. Learn more.
7. Oak Grove Campground – Ruidoso
The campground has 30 campsites with vault toilets, a parking area, fireplaces, tables, and trash cans. Oak forest surroundings are close to mountain vistas of Sierra Blanca. Learn more.
8. Cebolla Mesa Campground – Questa
A campground right on the edge of the Rio Grande Gorge. Watch the sun set on the Taos mountains, then go to sleep to the sound of the rapids 800 ft below. Wake up and watch the sun descend into the canyon, then descend into the gorge yourself on the Cebolla Mesa trail. Learn more.
9. Big Horn Campground – Glenwood
The Bighorn Campground is a convenient campground just one-tenth of a mile northwest of the town of Glenwood. It is a campground that is typically used more for short-term stays (1 or 2 days) than long-term camping (14 days). It is within walking distance to the town of Glenwood and the closest designated campground to the Catwalk National Recreation Area. The landscape is mostly pinon and juniper trees. Learn more.
10. Camino Real Ranger District – Taos
The Camino Real Ranger District is managed for many multi-use purposes; hunting, fishing, hiking, biking, skiing, snowmobiling, camping and personal firewood cutting are among the activities. The District manages many acres of the Carson National Forest. The District has more than 252 miles of trail, offering diverse terrain and dramatic landscapes for the skilled hiker. Learn more.
Do you have a favorite camping spot in New Mexico that wasn’t included on this list? Let us know in the comments!
And be sure to check out the rest of our Best Campgrounds in the US series.