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Old 12-03-2015, 11:53 AM   #1
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Chaco canyon camping

We are planning on visiting Chaco canyon next Spring. I realize that there are campgrounds near Chaco and really do not want to take my trailer down a dirt road to get in there.

Has anyone come up with another solution to the problem?

Any dry camping along the main road?
Make a long day trip from Albuquerque?

Thanks for the input. Rich
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Old 12-03-2015, 01:00 PM   #2
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I suggest Angel Peak Recreation Area. I have been there a bunch of times and there is hardly anybody there. It is on 550 south of Bloomfield. It sits on a mesa overlooking a canyon. The drive in is 7 miles on a gravel road. There can be washboard, but it sure beats the road into Chaco. It is also close to the Bisti Badlands which is an undeveloped area with interesting geological formations. Bisti is on Navajo land. Angel Peak is in an active natural gas area so there are some wells in the area. It is dry camping, and vault toilets. It's also free!

There is also a commercial RV Park with hookups called Angel Peak RV Park on the west side of Bloomfield. Never stayed there.
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Old 12-03-2015, 02:56 PM   #3
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No dry camping along the main road, and no campgrounds close, as I recall.


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Old 12-03-2015, 02:58 PM   #4
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You might also check with the Chaco ranger station shortly before you arrive (a few days.) Sometimes that road isn't too bad, other times is can be a real bone rattler. We are also hoping to visit Chaco again in the spring and would really prefer to stay on site. At night it's a magical place to be. If the road is in good shape, the dirt issue is not really a big deal as you can always go to a truck wash on your way out but if it's wash-boardy, then staying off site is definitely the way to go.
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Old 12-03-2015, 03:24 PM   #5
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We were there at the end of August. Weather was dry and the road was fair to bad. In places if you got to about 40mph things smoothed out. But many places you couldn't come even close. We did not take our airstream in.
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Old 12-03-2015, 03:48 PM   #6
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Drove the road into Chaco last year and it was rough as a cobb, but we went slow and moved from one side of the road to the other trying to find the smoothest path. Also, check the weather because there are a couple wash areas that you have to drive across. We went through maybe 50 to 60 yards of solid mud almost a foot deep, with no way to wash it off once we arrived at the campground. Chaco is a wonderful place to camp, hike and see the sites. You can get fresh water at the visitor center. The Ranger lead stargazing was very interesting. Great place for photography
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Old 12-03-2015, 04:18 PM   #7
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There is also the Apache Nugget Casino on 550 south of the entrance to Chaco. I understand they now have RV parking with hookups.
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Old 12-03-2015, 06:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
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There is also the Apache Nugget Casino on 550 south of the entrance to Chaco. I understand they now have RV parking with hookups.
Ah, the Apache Nugget is in Dulce, not that close to the road to Chaco. Maybe some other casino?

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Old 12-03-2015, 06:20 PM   #9
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Apache Nugget Casino is on rt 550 22 miles west of Cuba on the Jicarilla Apache reservation. Maybe there are 2? We stayed there a few times overnight before they had hookups
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Old 12-03-2015, 07:04 PM   #10
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Ah, I just looked it up. The casino /hotel /restaurant place is in Dulce (capitol of rez); the casino / truck stop is down along 550.
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Old 12-03-2015, 07:39 PM   #11
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The casino in Dulce is called the Wildhorse Casino....home base of the Alien Reptoids.
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Old 12-03-2015, 09:31 PM   #12
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Nix on Angel Peak RV Park in Bloomfield. There's another on the east side of town (can't remember the name) that is much better. Our plan was to leave the Airstream in town and tent/truck camp in Chaco. But it was cloudy with occasional rain, so we stayed in town and drove the hour or so into Chaco for the day. Still it was a great experience.
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Old 12-03-2015, 11:52 PM   #13
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We stayed at the BLM Angel Peak CG in 2007. It was nice, but a little weird in that there was a lot of active oil pumping going on in the area. It is not all that close to Chaco Canyon, but it was the best we could do. We tried to camp in the park and at the entrance station the ranger told us there were still spaces available, but by the time we got to the campground it was completely full. It was a long drive in and out of the park, and another long drive to and from Angel Peak.

Chaco is a really cool place, with some nice hikes on the slick rock. I think the inaccessibility must be part of a management strategy to limit the number of visitors to protect the ruins. Just a hunch.
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Old 12-04-2015, 12:17 AM   #14
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I don't have campground recommendations

I have only backpacked and tent camped in that area.

But I would suggest that you adjust your game plan to include un hitching.

There are just too many wonderful places that are tough to get to even with just a car.
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