We like to swing through Santa Fe on our bi-annual travels between Houston and Steamboat Springs. Finding good campsites in Santa Fe is difficult. Both in this forum and in others, there's general agreement that its tough to find good locations.
If you're willing to dry-camp (I really can't call it boondocking), we whole-heartedly recommend Black Canyon campground. Its about 8 very scenic miles NE of Santa Fe, so the best parts of town are a short drive away.
I think this is a U.S. Forest Service park. You can get reservations at www.recreation.gov
. The campsite is only $10 per night, but the reservation fee is an additional $9. However, you can reserve your spot online, so maybe the fee is worth it during crowded periods.
We reserved spot #23 (see pic below) - this was at the very end of the park, and was very quiet. The reservation site lists the maximum unit length for each campsite, and these seem accurate. Most can accomodate 30' trailers like ours, but you should be aware of the limits.
The sites are all paved, have massive picnic tables (ours had two), well built retaining walls surrounding each site, and campfire pits. The area is heavily treed, so you'll be camping in the shade in most cases.
We could not get cell phone reception at our location, but connected again at the entrance to the campground. We also couldn't get satellite connection for TV (who cares!) because our site didn't have a view of the souther sky. More importantly (for us) our Sirrius satellite radio wouldn't connect either. So we spent the evening out by the campfire, which was fine with us!
This park was completely rebuilt in 2007-2008, so everything is new. There are clean bathrooms and garbage dumpsters at regular intervals.
As mentioned at the beginning, there are no hookups at any sites. We have a Honda EU2000 and had just come from two weeks of boondocking, so it didn't bother us. We saw a water faucet on the side of the road a few campsites away - I assume it was potable water, but we didn't need it.
It was peaceful and beautiful. The only negative was the jerk with the ancient SOB about 75 yards away that had an old Briggs & Stratton powered (non-camping) generator that ran at high decibles until the 10 p.m. quiet-time.
[one additional comment: nearby is Hyde Memorial state park. It has about 10 sites with full hookups. These site are about 10 to 15 feet from the road with almost no vegetation screen. Since the beauty of the location is important to us, we had absolutely no interest in this location. Other online reviews also commented negatively about the sloped parking sites. We drove by - it was not inviting to us.]