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Old 03-23-2006, 12:21 PM   #1
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Cheap or Free in New Mexico

NEW MEXICO
Abiquiu Dam (30 miles north or Santa Fe on 84) Campsites without Electricity, Showers, Restrooms, Drinking Water, Sanitary Dump Station, Picnic/Day Use, Launch Ramp

ALAMOGORDO: (south central NM)N edge of town on US-54, county fairgrounds. Easy access, paved parking lot. No hookups, free boondocking.

ALBUQUERQUE: Giant Service Station (Conoco): I-25 exit 230 (this is 4 miles north of I-40) east to San Mateo Blvd which turns and runs south, south 0.5 miles then east on Academy Road (there is a McDonalds on NE corner of this intersection) 0.7 miles to station which is on the west side of road. Dump station is on west side of station and easiest approach is to enter second driveway and circle right in front of store. Access with big trailers may be tight. No water available.

BELEN: Giant Service Station: I-25 exit 191 or 195 puts you on the business loop through town. Station is located north of the down town area on the west side of the street. Dump station is on the north side of the gas pumps. Circling in front of the store puts you in the correct position to dump. No drinking water available.

BLOOMFIELD-BERNALILLO: SR-44, a beautiful scenic drive across the high desert NW of Albuquerque, runs between Bernalillo and Bloomfield with many places for o/n parking. Rest areas at MM50 & jct with SR-537. Historic markers, abandoned sections of old road, & hwy dept gravel storage areas all suitable for large rigs are located at MM10, 20, 22, 25, 76.5, 124, 134.2.

BLOOMFIELD: (NW corner of NM) San Juan Co Arch Library & Museum Salmon Ruins, about 3 mi W of town on US-64 has paved secluded parking lot ideal for o/n parking. Ruins accessible 24-hrs daily. Museum open 9-5 daily. Employees arrive about 7:30 a.m.

CARLSBAD: CityPark. From 62 & 180 E of town(Greene & Muscatel Sts), follow signs to cg & golf course. 5-day limit. $4/day. Water. Dump in town. On banks of Pecos Riv.

CLAYTON: Rest/picnic area on N side of US 56/64, 1 mile E of town. Free overnight parking area on lightly traveled route. Dump, water, picnic tables, BBQ grills, trash barrels.

Cochiti Lake southwest of Santa Fe, Campsites with Electricity, Campsites without Electricity, Showers, Restrooms, Drinking Water, Sanitary Dump Station, Picnic/Day Use, Launch Ramp, Marina, Visitor Info. Center


CLINES CORNERS: Picnic area, about 3 miles S on US-285 at MM 239. Both sides of hwy. No facilities. No length limit.

COLUMBUS: PanchoVillaState Park. At intersection SR-9 & SR-11. $6-$7. Site 5 is nice for 2 rigs. Electricity avail.

CUBA: Rest area on SR-44, 20 mi N. Water.

DATIL WELLS: BLM campground now charges $5/night. 7-day limit.

DEMING TO LORDSBURG: Especially nice rest areas set up for O/N RVers. For eastbound travelers, rest area is at mile marker 53. Westbound travelers mile marker 60-61. Road from rest area goes behind the main parking area. Covered shelters, water, and dump. Sites large and level. Stay limited to 24 hrs. RR tracks run close to
westbound rest area, but no tfc at night while we were there.

DEMING: Road Runner Ranch. 4 mi south of K-Mart on Country Club Rd, then west on
paved road. drycamp free 1 night, $1/night thereafter. Hookups for small fee.

DEMING: O/N parking even if no one is home.Take NM-11 S. Turn right(west) at John
Deere dealership. Go 3.3 mi to Spanish Trail. Turn left(south) on dirt road 1600 ft to first
place on left. SKP logo in front of property. Be sure and read the caution signs posted. Dump avail.

DEMING: Low-Hi RV Ranch. 505-546-4058. Located 4 mi S of Deming. Exit 82, take Hwy-11 S to Okelley. We are at the corner of Country Club and Okelley. Drycamp $1, 1st night free. Weekly & monthly rates avail- daily rates $6-$7.

ENDEE: On I-40, eastern NM, on N side is a modest cafe & motel, service station, lots of parking, any size rig. Ask cafe manager for permission first.

EUNICE: StephenMunicipalPark 4 mi W of Eunice on SR-176. Go past rest area toward pond. Toilets, picnic tables w/shelters, water. 3-day limit. Open all year.

FT SUMNER: Ft SumnerValleyPark, 3 mi E of town on HWY-6, turn right (S) to grave of Billy the Kid. Park behind graveyard. Good roads & turnaround.

GALLUP: On I-40, 17 mi E at exit 39 is Giant Truck Stop on N side. Room for all sizes of RVs. Excellent restaurant, general store, etc. Open 24-hrs.

JAL: (vicinity of Carlsbad Caverns) Jal city park, 45 miles southeast of Carlsbad in the very southeast corner of the state. There was free electric, water, and dump station, all next to a pleasant pond.

LAS CRUCES: BLM Aguirre Spring Campground is located on the east side of OrganMountains, east of Las Cruces in DonaAnaCounty. Take U.S. 70 for 14 miles east of the I-25/U.S. 70 interchange in Las Cruces, then turn south on the Aguirre Spring Road (1.1 miles after San Augustine Pass) for six miles. At mile 4 the road becomes a one-way loop and climbs steeply. Day pass is $3 and camping is an additional $3.

LINCOLN: Boca camping area. 5500-6000' elevation. N.W. of Lincoln on HWY- 380, & 5 mi to rest area on right. Immediately past rest area is sign "Baca Camping Area". 5.8 mi on gravel rd to undesignated spots. Many shade trees. Large concrete pad, flowing spring, 2 portable toilets. "Billy the Kid" pageant 1st week in Aug in Lincoln.

LORDSBURG: VisitorCenter on I-10, W side of town. Check in and they will leave rest rooms unlocked O/N for you.

LORDSBURG: Free BLMGilaLowerBoxCanyon near Lordsburg , Camping, boating, wildlife watching, fishing, hunting, hiking. No Facilities. Location To access the Gila Lower Box Canyon, take U.S. 70 West from Lordsburg 1.5 miles to New Mexico 464. Go North on NM 464 for 14 miles, and turn West on the bladed County Road. There are three access points to the river -- by turning North off the County Road at 3.5, 6, and 8 miles. The first road (3.5 miles off NM 464) goes North 3.5 miles to the river at Nichol's Canyon, where you can park and camp under majestic cottonwood trees. Motor vehicles are limited to three access routes to the river in Nichol's Canyon, and off-road use is prohibited. The other access roads (at 6 and 8 miles off NM 464) take you to the canyon rim at Fisherman's Point and Spring-on-the-Bluff, where you will need to take fishing access trails down to the river.
LOS ALAMOS: EntrancePark. Dump, phone, restrooms, RV parking allowed, no hookups. City park. On HWY-402, Main Hill Rd, at top of hill at entrance to town. Caution: Los Alamos is at the end of a 1500 ft climb. Best route to town is the truck route, then back thru town to EntrancePark

LOS ALAMOS: free RV parking area on route 502 just on the outskirts of the city. It appeared to be offered by the city. Nearby is the BandelierNational Monument. Santa Fe is about 35 miles southeast.

PILAR south of Taos about 20 miles, on the road to Santa Fe turn west and travel along the Rio Grande River going northwest. Several campgrounds located with the first 7 miles. Varying prices for camping.

PIETOWN: Pietown, on US 60, has a park with free RV spaces, but no hook ups. Jackson Park and free cg right off Rt-65. Very primitive.

RED HILL: Rest area near MM 8 on Hwy-60, approx 26 mi W of Quemado. Several pull-thru sites, picnic tables. Very little tfc noise. No facilities. Free O/N.

RUIDOSO: (July 21, 2000) BonitaLake in National forest. Free site on road going in. PhiladelphiaCanyon...first one you see. There are 3 good sites for Motorhomes and then many more on up canyon. Primitive but beautiful site.

SANTA FE30 MILES northeast of Santa Fe is Santa Cruz Lake Recreation Area on BLMLand. Elevation at the lake is 6,285 feet. Santa CruzLake offers two campgrounds, the North Lake Campground and the Overlook Campground, each with picnic shelters, grills, and overnight camping facilities including restrooms. Drinking water is available at the North Lake Campground. There is a 14-day stay limitPlease do not hook RVs up to water spigots.Fees range from $2 day use to $16 depending on number of vehicles and which campground. Location: About 30 miles northeast of Santa Fe on US 84/285 to NM 503.

SAN JON: Free O/N parking in town park. Picnic tables. Hwy-469 S off I-40, 14 mi from Texas line. Also,Mile Marker 251 on I-40, between Santa Rosa and Cline's Corners, is a quiet and spacious rest stop, dump station. Supposed to have water, but not observed. The bathrooms are filthy, the mens locked up and the women's having no running water .
Dir.: I-40 Exit 356, go S 5 blocks on NM 39/NM 469/4Th St Comments: Yes, the city park with "Free Overnight Parking" on the sign is still here. There's a Phillips 66 mini-mart/fast food/gas station and a Shell on this side of I-40, only 2 blocks walk back N towards I-40 from the park. The Country Crossroads Gifts store is well worth the stop.

You can also boondock along I-40 at Glenrio, Endee and Bard, small, now-abandoned towns of Rt. 66 fame. It's erie here in ENM, the late-20th Century ghost towns now dead, I-40 bypassed them. Tucumcari has a lot more to see, including 2 museums, with blacktop boondocking at K-Mart (Exit 333), the Alco (E on Rt. 66 from Exit 332) and a number of other places possible. A couple of the Rt. 66 RV parks have full H-Us for $15. You can dump at the Cactus RV Park for $4

SILVER CITY: BillEvansLake is 25 mi NW of Silver City. 14 day limit. Any size rig.

TAOS:

TEXICO: US-84 E of Clovis on TX/NM border. NM welcome station on NE side of hwy, W edge of town, has 7 RV parking spaces behind building. Toilets inside welcome center. No length limit.

TUCUMCARI: (east side of state on I-40)WailesPark off I-40 at E end of town. Parking with police permit. Water available.

TUCUMCARI: 20 mi N. on Hwy-18. Left on Mine Camp Rd. Turn right into camp area when shelters are visible. Large open space on shore of UteLake. 14 day limit.

TULAROSA (north and east of Las Cruses north of Alamagordo) The Three Rivers Petroglyph Site Activities: Hiking/back-packing, camping Just up the road from the petroglyph site is Three Rivers Campground and an entry point into the Lincoln National Forest. The site offers 6 shelters, grills, and trash cans. Restrooms and drinking water are available. Day use is $2 and the 2 hookup RV sites are $10 ea. per night, There are 10 dry camp sites for $2 per night. Location The site is located 17 miles north of Tularosa, NM, and 28 miles south of Carrizozo, NM on U.S. 54. Turn east off U.S. 54 at Three Rivers onto County Road B30 and go 5 miles on paved road, follow signs.

VAUGHN: Rest area on US-60 E of Vaughn between MM 298 and 299, N side of hwy. Large flat parking area. No length limit. No facilities.

WAGON MOUND: Rest area on I-25 approx 13 mi S (MM 374/375). All facilities including dump.

WAGON MOUND: I-25 at exit 387 for Wagon Mound in northern NM. On E side of highway, next to the Chevron Station, a nice wide level place that appears to be an old city park or rest area with picnic table and large trees. No otherfacilities. Good quiet spot for any size RV to O/N.
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Old 11-06-2007, 12:39 PM   #2
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Great list Bob. got it all copied to go in our camper. We just boondocked over in New Mexico at Gila Cliff Dwellings, about 35 miles north of Silver City. NF campground, paved parking, no charge. Also some very resonable commercial camping in the area and hot springs
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Old 03-23-2008, 08:07 PM   #3
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LORDSBURG: Free BLMGilaLowerBoxCanyon near Lordsburg , Camping, boating, wildlife watching, fishing, hunting, hiking. No Facilities. Location To access the Gila Lower Box Canyon, take U.S. 70 West from Lordsburg 1.5 miles to New Mexico 464. Go North on NM 464 for 14 miles, and turn West on the bladed County Road. There are three access points to the river -- by turning North off the County Road at 3.5, 6, and 8 miles. The first road (3.5 miles off NM 464) goes North 3.5 miles to the river at Nichol's Canyon, where you can park and camp under majestic cottonwood trees. Motor vehicles are limited to three access routes to the river in Nichol's Canyon, and off-road use is prohibited. The other access roads (at 6 and 8 miles off NM 464) take you to the canyon rim at Fisherman's Point and Spring-on-the-Bluff, where you will need to take fishing access trails down to the river.


Just got back from this one. We took the first turn off. The road is pretty hard on vehicles and this is a massive understatement. We made it as far as the Y junction, right drops down a very steep road to the river, straight, well could not tell you first hand, the truck would not make it. We were able to find some level ground at this junction and set up camp. Very remote, took some nice hikes. Dragged the back rub rails on the way in and the front spare tire and the back end on the way out. Lots of big rocks to massage your tires and keep your knuckles white.

The whole problem is that once on the road, you can not turn around, period. I would highly recommend no longer than 22' to be safe, 4x4 TV, and don't pay too much attention to your paint and absolutely do not go past this junction. We hiked down to the river, that road would tear up your rig. Truck alone would be OK.

Yes I towed my 34' with a 2WD, but had the wheels spinning good at one point and if I had lost forward momentum I would not have gotten out without a large wrecker and a lot of $$$$. Also, as metioned, practiced a little rust removal on my rub rails and the back tray is a little bent.

But hey, it was FREE! The LUVs in Lordsburg has free H2O and dump, water pressure is no good. I can't wait to see the repair bill at Oasis for my FREE experience at camping.

Ended up dumping again at Mr. T's in Tucson, not the TTT, they are exactly next to each other, but technically TTT does not have an RV dump, The water and dump is just behind the fuel island of Mr. T's good water pressure. We wanted to do a good clean out, so needed the additional dump.

Used our Honda EU2000i, very good size. You can just barely run the microwave if everything else if off and you turn off the eco throttle. Otherwise, plenty to power everything else sans AC and MW.

Met the rancher who holds the grazing lease, very nice guy, just wants to make sure you pack out what you pack in.

So to conclude this critique of one of Mr. Thompson's recommendations, very remote, absolutely did not have to worry about the neighbors making noise since as far as we could tell the nearest neighbor was at least 20 miles away, decent weather, road is far too rough and risk of damage too great for this particular BLM spot, maybe stay at a Silver City RV park instead. Or leave the TLR behind and take a tent.
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Old 03-23-2008, 08:36 PM   #4
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Here is a pic to give you an idea.
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Old 03-23-2008, 08:41 PM   #5
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Here is a closer shot looking at our rig from up the road a bit.
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Old 03-23-2008, 11:06 PM   #6
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elolson, Thank you for your detailed comments. I had been considering this location. Based on your experience, I think I would scratch the 3.5 mile turn off as being too rough. Did you go on to look at the 6 or the 8 mile turn off?
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Old 03-23-2008, 11:27 PM   #7
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Free Campgrounds and stopovers

This site can be helpful.

Free Campgrounds for RVs
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Old 03-24-2008, 09:25 AM   #8
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Wild Rivers Recreation Area

One place you missed in the list is the campground at the Wild Rivers Recreation Area, located up north of Questa. (It's nearest to Cerro, as if anybody could find Cerro on a map.)

Here's info from their site:

Quote:
Camping/Picnicking – Wild Rivers has five developed campgrounds and a picnic area, each with tables, grills, drinking water and restroom facilities. 22 developed campsites are along the Gorge Rim. Four trails access 16 designated primitive r iver campsites, requiring a hike in, also are available. Park in a designated day-use parking area located at each trailhead. Camping is permitted in designated sites only. To protect vegetation, please use hardened tent sites only. No disorderly conduct or motor vehicle freeplay allowed.

Camping: $7.00/night for one vehicle, $10.00 for two. Maximum 2 vehicles and 10 people per site. (Additional vehicles may park in day use parking areas at $3.00/day.) Change is available at the Visitor Center or from a Park Ranger or Camp Host. Annual day use passes do not apply to camping fees.

River Campsites: $5.00/night.
Group Shelters: $30.00 per day, $40 per night.
Here's their site:

Wild Rivers Recreation Area


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Old 03-24-2008, 09:34 AM   #9
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What a list...
You have gone there, in each campgrounds ?
If yes, you ought to create a sort of "trip advisor" for campgrounds... it'ld be very interesting to get informations and notes on each visited camps.
Congratulations for the sharing work.

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Old 03-25-2008, 12:01 AM   #10
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Hi Bruno, the list came to exist when I started researching places to stay for a trip I was planning. The list(s) (Cheap or Free) contain many places where we have been, however we have not stayed in at least half of the places. Many places cannot accommodate a 34' trailer, but a 25' trailer does fine! Also, by definition, most boondocking locations are remote and can require some very careful driving to access them. That, of course is why they are quiet, off the beaten path, and free. We average spending about $150 total for camping fees for a month of traveling. We frequently stay in National Forest campgrounds, we boondock when we can, and if we need to have hookups we use commercial campgrounds.

We love to travel in the western part of the United States because there is so much undeveloped land and there are many places to boondock. Plus, the scenery is usually new and exciting, the food and life styles are new and refreshing, and there are fewer rules and regulations. In many places in the west, RV'ers are warmly welcomed.
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Old 03-25-2008, 08:22 AM   #11
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The rancher we talked to said the 3.5 mile turn off was the best road of the three with the one at 6 and 8 being a bit worse.

We took it real slow, 5mph, it was an hour drive in and out, and other than that one hill where we bottomed out, slow driving did the trick. But there is lots of brush and you *will* get scratched up.


The quiet, remoteness, and general atmosphere was great.
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Old 03-26-2008, 03:41 PM   #12
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Map of Wild Rivers Rec Area

I have made some local area maps in anticpation of my summer travels and thought that this map of the Wild Rivers Recreation Area might be useful to someone.
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Old 03-26-2008, 06:22 PM   #13
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Ah, see there? Cerro IS on the map! Just don't blink as you go by, because you're liable to miss the place!

The neat overlook is right down at the very tip, where you can peer into both gorges. There are also trailheads all over the place, including one down at the tip.

A friend who stayed there said that there are some petroglyphs someplace in the area. You'd have to ask at the BLM ranger station.


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Old 06-02-2008, 08:33 AM   #14
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Ruidoso/Philadelphia Canyon update-

I'm camped at a dog kennel/horse rental a mile from Phili Canyon. The National Forest closed 1 May (2008) due to extreme fire hazards as the area is a inder box. There is even a $500 fine for smoking outside in Ruidoso.

I arrived in Jan of this year and there was almost no snowpack, and we've had little rain.

The area is really nice, I've seen turkeys, bears, lions, deer, and elk. Call before you drive out. The entrance to Bonito Lake has a Ranger stationed there keeping traffic out (the 15 dollar sites run by the City of Alamogordo are closed), the entrance to Philadelphia Canyon is fenced off.

From here I think I'll head to Valley of the Fires. I was there yesterday driving out to the VLA. There are many $15 sites with power and water and a community station. (The tent sites are nicer.) Also bathrooms and showers are included, a decent visitors center with books and the obligitory Smokey Bear dolls. The terrain can only be described as boring, unless you are a geologist.
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