9 Rustic Spots In New Mexico That Are Extraordinary For Camping
Campgrounds used to be basic affairs but, in recent years, many have been upgraded to offer a host of amenities. While these “glampgrounds” appeal to many, other people prefer to keep things simple. If your idea of camping involves a dramatic or beautiful location and few frills, read on. Here are nine spots for
primitive camping in New Mexico where you can get back to nature.
1. Cosmic Campground, Glenwood
Cosmic Campground, 33.4792463100206, -108.92268895185092, Glenwood, NM 88039, USA
The Cosmic Campground is literally a one-of-a-kind place to stay. It’s the only spot in the whole of the U.S. to be declared an International Dark Sky Sanctuary. In other words, the low levels of light pollution make the star-gazing opportunities here unparalleled. Campsites for both tents and RVs are available. Read more about
You can also check out this video by
2. Angel Peak Campground, near Bloomfield
Angel Peak Campground, Bloomfield, NM 87413, USA
If you’re looking for a primitive campsite in New Mexico with awesome views, the Angel Peak Campground more than delivers. Angel Peak rises above the striped Kutz Canyon Badlands, which lend an otherworldly feel to the nine tent campsites available. Each spot comes equipped with a picnic table, but you need to bring your own water. Learn more about
Angel Peak Campground.
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3. Fenton Lake State Park
Fenton Lake State Park, New Mexico 87025, USA
Fenton Lake State Park lies in the Jemez Mountains. This beautiful, often overlooked lake, is great for a little kayaking or fishing. There are 43 campsites, including both tent and RV camping spots. Although some of the sites are close together, Fenton Lake State Park tends to be less crowded than the nearby San Antonio or Jemez Falls Campgrounds. It's a low-key place to pitch a tent in the Jemez.
Check out more about
Fenton Lake State Park.
4. James Canyon Campground, Mayhill
James Canyon Campground, Mayhill, NM 88339, USA
Teeny campgrounds, like this one in the Lincoln National Forest, help you feel like you’ve got away from it all. This campground offers five spots that are suitable for tents or small RVs (under 16 feet in length). Amenities include picnic tables and grills.
Find out more about
James Canyon Campground.
5. Maverick Campground, near Cimarron
Maverick Campground, Ute Park, NM 87749, USA
There are several campgrounds within Cimarron State Park to choose from. The Maverick Campground abuts the Cimarron River and boasts 44 campsites. Amenities include grills, picnic tables, water hydrants, and proximity to fishing ponds.
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6. Quaking Aspen Campground, near Fort Wingate
Fort Wingate, NM 87316, USA
This remote campground has 20 campsites suitable for either tents or RVs that are under 22 feet in length. You can’t make reservations, so it’s first come first serve. For some of the best tent camping in New Mexico, you can come here between May 15 and October 15. Read more about
Quaking Aspen Campground.
7. Bluewater Lake State Park, Prewitt
Bluewater Lake State Park Road, Bluewater Lake State Pk Rd, New Mexico 87045, USA
Bluewater Lake State Park is conveniently located off I-40, next to the wilderness of Cibola National Forest. Despite the campground’s proximity to the freeway, you won’t feel hemmed in. This part of New Mexico is sparsely populated — McKinley County has a population density of 14 people per square mile.
There are 149 developed campsites available, plus beach camping. This campground is slightly less rustic than the others on this list since there are showers. Popular activities in this park include fishing, boating, and birding.
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8. Echo Amphitheater Campground, near Abiquiu
Echo Amphitheater, US-84, Abiquiu, NM 87510, USA
Most people haven’t heard of the Echo Amphitheater and fewer are aware that you can camp there. Only 10 single sites are available, so it can’t get too crowded. This is an ideal spot for primitive camping in New Mexico. The vivid rocks of this natural amphitheater are certainly a dramatic view to wake up to. Check out more about
You can also watch this beautiful video on the Echo Amphitheater by
9. Oasis State Park, Portales
Oasis State Park, 1891 Base Line, Portales, NM 88130, USA
The 23 sites here can accommodate longer RVs (up to 45 feet) and 10 spots are designated for tent camping. Amenities here go slightly beyond basic. In addition to grills, picnic tables, and water, there are now also showers. Still, despite being in a state park, this campground is unusually peaceful.
Find out more about
Oasis State Park.
What’s your favorite place for primitive camping in New Mexico? Are you a fan of water-based places or desert areas? Let us know in the comments. And here are some additional suggestions for
camping in New Mexico.
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More to Explore
Primitive Camping in New Mexico
Which state parks should I visit in New Mexico?
New Mexico is full of natural beauty. There are lots of places where you can go to check out the best nature has to offer, and we’ve put together a list of the
best state parks in New Mexico for you to visit. Among the best state parks are:
The famous Elephant Butte is well known for its lake and beautiful formations. It’s a great place for swimming and relaxing on the beach.
For an amazing place to appreciate the landscape, head to City of Rocks State Park to see some epic volcanic rocks you won’t find just anywhere.
What are the best lakes in New Mexico?
Some of the
best lakes in New Mexico include:
Heron Lake for its lovely blue water and tranquil atmosphere. No power boats are allowed, so it stays nice and quiet. It’s the perfect place to get away and enjoy an idyllic environment.
For those looking to fully experience the water, check out Lea Lake for scuba diving or stay above the surface and enjoy the panoramic views.
Are there any natural wonders in New Mexico?
There are so many
natural wonders in New Mexico that it can be hard to tell which one to start with. Some of our favorites are:
Capulin Volcano, which many do not even know exists.
Shiprock is a gorgeous rock formation that is the star of the surrounding area.
Explore New Mexico