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#5751651 - 05/19/15 11:16 PM Best place to tent camp in New Mexico???
TurkeyWhisperer Offline
Tracker

Registered: 01/28/08
Posts: 801
Loc: Aledo, Tx
Looking to take my 13 year old son on a daddy/son camping trip in early July. Wanting to get to the mountains for a change of scenery. Thinking New Mexico would be the closest place.

Anybody have any recommendations on where to tent camp in New Mexico? Hoping for mountain scenery, elk and deer spotting, hiking, streams. Would be fine with an established "camping" area with bathrooms, water, etc. But also don't want to be crowded by RV generators all day either.

Thanks for any suggestions you may have!
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#5751740 - 05/20/15 06:53 AM Re: Best place to tent camp in New Mexico??? [Re: TurkeyWhisperer]
Western Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 04/20/11
Posts: 23584
Loc: Wise County Texas
I would say go towards the south east part of the state, maybe around Cloudcroft, or Ruidoso. May PM Dogcatcher on here, he has place in Ruidoso and knows the area good.
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#5751766 - 05/20/15 07:25 AM Re: Best place to tent camp in New Mexico??? [Re: TurkeyWhisperer]
Sparky45 Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 08/02/12
Posts: 2235
Loc: Big Country


Also, north of Ruidoso take the turn off like you were going to Ski Apache Ski Resort, Road number 532, there is forest road 117 just a few miles from the main highway that turns to the right that takes you up into the national forest to the Monjeau Fire Tower at the top of the mountain. Only a very few houses scattered along the way and lots of places to camp along the streams and near the top.


Edited by Sparky45 (05/20/15 07:37 AM)
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#5751793 - 05/20/15 07:46 AM Re: Best place to tent camp in New Mexico??? [Re: TurkeyWhisperer]
Dry Fire Offline


Registered: 06/15/09
Posts: 2730
Loc: Huntsville, AL
Pecos River. Camp at the last campground. Remember to stop in Pecos and buy firewood if campfires are allowed.
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#5751858 - 05/20/15 08:25 AM Re: Best place to tent camp in New Mexico??? [Re: TurkeyWhisperer]
EddieWalker Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 08/06/14
Posts: 1175
Loc: Tyler, TX
I can tell you that the Florida Mtns isn't the place to go. The winds there where horrible and after a week, my tent was destroyed and I ended up sleeping in the back of my Ford Bronco.

I've always thought the area near the Colorado boarder is really nice. I've only driven it a few times, but every time I saw plenty of wildlife there and would consider it as a place I might possible move to when I retire.

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#5751987 - 05/20/15 09:42 AM Re: Best place to tent camp in New Mexico??? [Re: TurkeyWhisperer]
BuckRage Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 20512
lots of places in the Gila. Might look into the Gila Cliff Dwellings. Plenty of camping in the general area, wildlife, lakes and camping. Thats in the Mimbres area. Cibola is also great country. One thing about NM is they have plenty of public camping areas in pristine areas.
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#5752131 - 05/20/15 11:02 AM Re: Best place to tent camp in New Mexico??? [Re: TurkeyWhisperer]
Beaubien Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 02/18/15
Posts: 473
Loc: In the mountains east of ABQ
Try the Gila near Lake Roberts. Head up North Star rd about 15 miles.
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#5752144 - 05/20/15 11:07 AM Re: Best place to tent camp in New Mexico??? [Re: TurkeyWhisperer]
BuckRage Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 20512
Lake Roberts is just Roberts for the last year or more lol. Its drained while they are working on the dam. Still a nice area just no lake. Closer to town further north you can check out Bear Lake. They have a waterfall but its private camping.
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#5752260 - 05/20/15 12:14 PM Re: Best place to tent camp in New Mexico??? [Re: TurkeyWhisperer]
dogcatcher Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 07/17/06
Posts: 77414
Loc: Abilene or on the road...
For the Ruidoso area, this one is closed as of now, but I read somewhere it is supposed to be reopen this summer. The Little Bear Fire that was 2 years ago still has things up in the air as to when they will open.

http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/lincoln/recarea/?recid=34200

Lincoln National Forest website. http://www.forestcamping.com/dow/southwst/linc.htm

I would also suggest calling the Ruidoso Chamber of Commerce. (575) 257-7395

Be aware of any of the fire restrictions, and keep track of them daily.
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#5752304 - 05/20/15 12:50 PM Re: Best place to tent camp in New Mexico??? [Re: TurkeyWhisperer]
Theringworm Offline
Bird Dog

Registered: 03/02/13
Posts: 322
I'll second the Gila cliff dwellings and the surrounding eastern portion of the Gila national forest. Plenty of water access and trail hiking unless it's the raining season then the multiple River crossings can get a little deep.

Another place I really enjoyed was camping in the Jemenez National Recreation area and driving over to hike in the Bandeleier Natl monument. Some amazing scenery and incredible cliff dwellings/Indian ruins. This is just north of Santa Fe and South, SW of Los Alamos.

As others have mentioned, Carson, Cibola, Lincoln national forests. Just have to be cognizant of where water is or is not. Some seasonal rivers/streams but hopefully with El Nino this year there will be plenty of water.

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#5752373 - 05/20/15 01:34 PM Re: Best place to tent camp in New Mexico??? [Re: TurkeyWhisperer]
TurkeyWhisperer Offline
Tracker

Registered: 01/28/08
Posts: 801
Loc: Aledo, Tx
Thanks everyone! Great suggestions and I'll check into them all!
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#5752412 - 05/20/15 02:03 PM Re: Best place to tent camp in New Mexico??? [Re: TurkeyWhisperer]
dogcatcher Offline
THF Celebrity

Registered: 07/17/06
Posts: 77414
Loc: Abilene or on the road...
I was wrong the Bonita Lake South Fork campground might open in 2016, not 2015.
http://www.ruidosonews.com/news/ci_27797...ty-set-for-2016

There are still the other Lincoln National Forest campgrounds in the above link. Rains have been pretty good this spring so they should have them open, but that can change in a heartbeat because of fire dangers. There are also campgrounds in the area around Cloudcroft, but I am not familiar with those.

A favorite place of ours that is not in New Mexico but in Texas, check out the FT Davis State Park in the FT Davis Mountains. You will also be close to Big Bend area, with the national park and state park in there. But I would chose FT Davis and definitely make a side trip to Balmorhea State Park's swimming pool.

http://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/davis-mountains

http://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/balmorhea
_________________________
Combat Infantryman, the ultimate hunter where the prey shoots back.
"Illegitimus non carborundum est"

_______ Old style calls for today's outdoorsman_________

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#5753170 - 05/20/15 09:29 PM Re: Best place to tent camp in New Mexico??? [Re: TurkeyWhisperer]
rattler03 Offline
Tracker

Registered: 02/22/14
Posts: 760
Loc: Richardson - Archer County
I'll second the Gila NWA, I've only been in the area just north of Silver City but it was very nice.

If I had to pick one place though, I'd go to somewhere around Chama, in NW New Mexico. It's a great area, check it out and I bet you'll agree.
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Someone strums a mandolin, soft gulf breezes blow
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#5753206 - 05/20/15 09:50 PM Re: Best place to tent camp in New Mexico??? [Re: TurkeyWhisperer]
huntwest Offline
Pro Tracker

Registered: 09/17/10
Posts: 1762
Loc: Albany
The Valle Vidal north of Questa has everything you mentioned. It was actually part of the famous Vermejo Ranch that the government took in to cover a tax lien about 20 years ago. Tons of elk, mule deer, bear. Great stream fishing and several lakes with world class trout. It is the prettiest place in New Mexico as far as I am concerned. Usually not overrun by people.

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#5753808 - 05/21/15 11:26 AM Re: Best place to tent camp in New Mexico??? [Re: TurkeyWhisperer]
Sparky45 Offline
Veteran Tracker

Registered: 08/02/12
Posts: 2235
Loc: Big Country
from what I have read and heard personally, the Lake Bonita area looks like a nuke went off there after the fires. I wouldn't go there for camping expecting to see much in the way of scenery. The lake is toxic from the ash and may never return to normal.

Very sad, I've caught trout out of there, sat on the bank and listen to Elk bugle in the fall.
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