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Old 01-14-2022, 03:32 PM   #1
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Default New Mexico

I'm thinking about heading to New Mexico for a few days for some escape. I've been to Chaco Canyon twice and I'd like to avoid the high elevations where it's colder. Not too interested in Santa Fe itself.

Can anyone offer some recommendations as to things to see or places to camp?

Much appreciated.glenn
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Old 01-14-2022, 03:46 PM   #2
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I much enjoy the drive across US Hwy 60
( all of it, all the way to Virginia Beach)

Pie Town

The Very Large Array radio astronomy observatory


I have no suggestion for destinations or campgrounds


We had friends visiting us this week who after camping in our Phoenix driveway headed for NM and found it crowded.
Backtracking to Bisbee for a few days then back here for some tech time ( his ac/dc conveter failed and we ordered one delivered here) before they headed for California


I'm interested in seeing what suggestions come up


Mike
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Old 01-14-2022, 04:49 PM   #3
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A post of mine from a few years ago over at Sprinter-Source:

Drive up to Los Alamos and visit the place where the end of the world started. Then continue up into the Jamez Mountains toward Jamez Springs. It is one of the world's great drives. Visit Bandelier National Monument and Valles Caldera National Preserve. Between Valles and Jamez Springs there are several gorgeous National Forest campgrounds (small fee). I'm sure there are also places where you can do dispersed camping for free, but we've never done that here. It is worth the drive all the way to quirky little Jamez Springs. Take in a spa soak, or better yet hike up to one of the "secret" free hot springs up in the mountains on the left before you get to Jamez Springs. There are National Forest parking areas and trails up to several of them. As you enter Jamez Springs, stop at Jemez Historic Site and tour the ruins. Then you can continue along Route 4 to Tent Rocks National Monument and on to ABQ.
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Old 01-14-2022, 06:20 PM   #4
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White Sands National Park. You can go sledding in the sand.

Then driving further west on US 70 towards Las Cruces and on the west end of White Sands Missile Range Museum there are the Organ Mountains - Desert Peaks National Monument with a gem of a small campground called Aguirre Spring CG. On the other side of those peaks is Las Cruces.

View from our campsite.
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Old 01-14-2022, 09:14 PM   #5
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Rockhound State Park near Deming NM offers some spectacular sunsets.
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Old 01-14-2022, 09:39 PM   #6
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Much of New Mexico has low temps around/below freezing this time of year. (including Jemez, Chaco, Gallup, Pie Town, further north, etc.) I second the suggestion of Aguirre Springs BLM CG in the Organ Mtns, east of Las Cruces and south of White Sands. It is FCFS, and likely fills up on weekends. https://www.blm.gov/visit/aguirre-spring-campground
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Old 01-14-2022, 09:41 PM   #7
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Also suggest a few of the out-of-the-way NM State Parks with campgrounds in southern NM, such as Rockhound SP. https://www.emnrd.nm.gov/spd/find-a-park/
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Old 01-14-2022, 10:08 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NAZCamperVan View Post
Much of New Mexico has low temps around/below freezing this time of year. (including Jemez, Chaco, Gallup, Pie Town, further north, etc.)
You make that sound like a bad thing.

It does get chilly, but IMO the high desert sunshine makes winter in northern New Mexico one of the most pleasant climates anywhere.
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Old 01-14-2022, 10:25 PM   #9
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Avanti, I totally agree with you. I live in Flagstaff AZ and have extended family near Taos, so know all about high elevation winter sunshine and camping in sub-freezing temps. Just a heads-up since some folks prefer to avoid those conditions.
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Old 01-15-2022, 01:38 AM   #10
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Ah you northerners (even AZ). Today it was near 70 in Phx. I took a walk wearing a t-shirt, a long sleeve t-shirt and a pennelton. I'm too acclimated to the heat of the desert. You guys would be all wearing shorts and a t-shirt. Maybe it's that I'm old and my circulation is bad. But I hear you. The desert sun is certainly a warmer.

You've all given me some great ideas. Thank you all very much for your suggestions. Hopefully I'll get out of here soon.

best.glenn
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Old 01-15-2022, 04:35 AM   #11
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Pancho Villa State Park is right on the border. Relatively warm. Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument near Silver Springs is a great place to visit with a campground and there are some hot springs campgrounds on the road to the Monument. City of Rocks state park and Oliver Lee State Parks were both good spots. Coronado State Monument in Bernalillo has a municipal campground right outside it. Its an sub-urban setting with brew pub adjacent and casino down the road. There are lots of places to go in New Mexico depending on what you are looking for.
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Old 01-15-2022, 04:38 AM   #12
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We were in Tuscon during one of your "cold" snaps. We were getting out of an elevator and one of the people getting on (in a down jacket) took one look at us in our summer clothes, laughed and said "You aren't from around here are you?"
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Old 01-15-2022, 04:54 AM   #13
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thx, Ross

appreciate the suggestions.
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Old 01-15-2022, 05:32 PM   #14
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Y'all got me yearning for a southern New Mexico camping trip. But central Arizona will do for my monthly camping outing next week.
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Old Yesterday, 01:41 AM   #15
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Default Some more ideas for southern NM trip

We've lived in northern NM for about 20 years and often choose southern NM for our winter season trips. We agree with previous posts that Aguirre Springs campground outside Las Cruces in the Organ Mountains Desert Peaks National Monument is great! Check out the BLM NM or BLM Las Cruces website for details,hiking trails,maps , etc. Also, there are several boondock camping area on the west side of the Organs, closer to Las Cruces, that have great views.

A visit to White Sands National Monument is nice (day use or backpacking only) as is a visit to the space museum in Alamogordo. One of our favorite sites north of Alamogordo is the Three Rivers Petroglyph site. There is a small BLM campground there and a trail through some nice rock art. However, if you have the time & energy, hike north about 1/2 to 3/4 mile past the visitors center to the end of the hill where every boulder is covered with petroglyphs- truly spectacular!

From there, it's a quick trip to Capitan (Home of Smokey Bear State Park), Fort Stanton( a frontier fort with a BLM campground), and Lincoln ( made "famous" by Billy the Kid, now a state park). Next, drive to Roswell where you'll find the Alien Museum, Bottomless Lakes, and a National Wildlife Refuge before heading to Carlsbad Caverns. The park doesn't have a campground but there are several private ones in the area, a Corps of Engineers site north of Carlsbad, but our favorite is the campground at Guadalupe National Park, about 1/2 hour south of the caverns. You can then loop around the mountains towards El Paso then head back to Las Cruces, Arizona or whatever works best for you.

We do this trip every couple of years and always enjoy it. Have fun visiting "the land of enchantment"!
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Old Yesterday, 02:08 AM   #16
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thx.joe. your ideas are much appreciated.glenn
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Old Yesterday, 03:02 AM   #17
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While I don't really care for what I consider the lack of things to do and see in the Carlsbad area, the Caves can still be toured by on-line reservation so long as the roads in and out are not experiencing flooding or icy conditions. And of course, the cave temperatures are pretty constant throughout the year.

https://www.recreation.gov/ticket/23...icket/10086811
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Old Yesterday, 02:53 PM   #18
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Guadalupe Peak is one of my favorite hikes anywhere.
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