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BLM camping in New Mexico


bigboomer

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Bigboomer,

 

I was born and raised in Las Cruces but have been gone a long time... and the Feds just snatched up much of the really good remaining land near and around the Organ Mountains east of Las Cruces. Here's a link to the NM BLM's site for with links for the various recreational areas:

 

http://www.blm.gov/nm/st/en/prog/recreation.html

 

Rob

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Elephant Butte and Caballo Lake State Parks are not far North of Las Cruces. I believe both still allow dry/dispersed camping in areas along the lake shores in addition to their campgrounds. If I was going to boondock in an RV in the newly created Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument, I would get clarification of what the statement on the website means as far as RV camping along roads as to how far off the road one can pull and whether obvious previously used boondocking sites can be used. The website states:

Until the Management Plan for the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument is completed, motorized vehicle use is limited to existing roads and trails. This is consistent with existing land use plan decisions for the Monument lands delineated in the Mimbres Resource Management Plan. The Monument Management Plan will revisit this decision and will identify specific designated roads within the Monument.

 

 

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If you are looking for just an overnight, instead of a place to recreate for a few days try this... About 5 miles after entering NM from AZ on I-10, take exit for NM-80. Visible as you begin south on 80 is an abandoned truck stop. Plenty of room for an overnight. I've seen rigs there; but not sure what the deal is. Walmart in Deming is another possibility for an overnight. I don't know of any BLM boondocking land along that route.

 

BTW, the dry camping at Caballo Lake is 67 miles north of Las Cruces; wouldn't call that close. Leasburg Dam SP on the other hand is 19 miles. They have what they call a Primitive lot, true dry camping for $8 per night.

 

Hope this helps.

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I don't know of any dry camping in the immediate area of Las Cruces (other than truck stops), but between Deming & LC just off I-10, here are some possibilities for just an overnight parking stop:

 

exit 102 Akela, on the north frontage road is a small Indian tribe restaurant with a large parking lot, they allow 18 wheelers & RV's to overnight. the tribe is still fighting the state for a gambling permit at this site, so right now its just a smoke shop & 24 hr restaurant.

 

exit 120 eastbound, is an official rest area (with the large roadrunner metal sculpture) and NM allows one overnight parking of self contained RV's at rest areas

 

exit 127 - has the southern NM state fair grounds just south of I-10, no official camping area, but a very large parking lot where no one would bother you, except during the actual fair held in the fall. there is also a stock car race track next door, not sure what their schedule is, if you happened to stop on a race night it would be very noisy.

 

exit 132 Loves truck stop

 

there is a lot of BLM land south of I-10 , My winter ranch is 20 miles SE of Deming at the base of the Florida Mtns, surrounded by 10,000 acres of BLM land, but its not that easy to get into and involves lots of sand traps, single lane cattle guards and cattle gates, not suited for big rigs. its mostly raw desert, better explored by ATV. for an overnight I think one of the large lots along I-10 is more practical.

 

Deming itself has several options for overnight stops.

 

if you're ready to stop sooner than Deming, I-10 exit 24 Lordsburg is a small Flying J truck stop that allows overnight parking. I haven't been there in several yrs, just assuming its still open. There was also a Loves truck stop in Lordsburg a few exits before Flying J.

 

 

 

"We will be heading back from Quartzsite shortly to Livingston and are looking for possible dry camping areas in the Las Cruces area of NM. Any suggestions?

Even on the border of AZ and NM?"

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  • 2 months later...

There is a whole desert of BLM land on New Mexico/NM border north of Silver City. We spent two weeks out there a year ago about 4 km south of Gila River with friends. We only saw the rancher in that time and he waved each time he passed (both times).

 

There are also a lot of places north and south of I-10 between Las Cruces and Deming (Rough and Ready Hills is great). There is also good boondocking along Baylor Pass Road and University Avenue on road out to Las Cuevas. The parking lots at Baylor Pass Trail (a well known foot race every year) and the trail south of University Avenue have been used by friends. There are a number of rugged 4x4 roads going over Baylor Pass road that a 5th wheel can be placed within 20 meters of Baylor Pass Road (roads to Topp Hut and Modoc Mine - you cannot go very far off unless you are using a pickup/camper.

 

We are spending the Mothers' Day Weekend at water side on Elephant Butte Lake. Have a lot of solar and, having nothing much to do, left the fridge and hot water heaters on electric (electric heater will draw 1 kW) and "harvested" 7100 W-hours.

 

Now if we do not get stuck in sand on way out tomorrow, things will have been perfect.

Reed and Elaine

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City of Rocks State Park is one of our favorite spots. The full service area is fairly grim with the sites in a line a very close together. The boondocking sites are excellent. Need to drive around to find the best fit for one's purposes. Some are nestled among rock spires and one will only get half a day of solar.

You should check out their site at http://www.emnrd.state.nm.us/SPD/cityofrocksstatepark.html

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Also, Rock Hound SP near Deming & not too far off I 10. $10 a night to dry camp. $14 for electric sites. We just spent a few days there. Very nice little park. We bought the camping pass & plan to spend all summer & part of fall in NM. NM state parks are the best!

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malone2go

 

Ssh, don't let it out.

 

Try dispersed camping at Caballo and Elephant Butte but be sure you don't get stuck in the sand. As noted above, we were there over Mothers's Day weekend and noted a 6 x 6 deuce-and-a-half driving about to help pull folks out. Percha Creek is a fun place but we just dry camp there. Storrie Lake, Villanueva and Coyote Creek are nice in northern NM. We have not been to Rockhound in a long time and found the sites cramped and not terribly level even with the 28' TT we had at that time.

 

Called the folks at Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument and they said that dispersed camping should be no problem whatsover. Much of it remains Taylor Grazing permit for ranching and there are definite protocols in using such land: close cattle gates, do not park with 200 meters or so of water troughs etc. Again, drive the route in tow vehicle before driving in with rig. Want to make sure you will no get stuck in sand or high sided in an arroyo, and can turn around and not have to back up 5 miles or so.

 

This last happened to us near La Paz in Baja about six or seven years ago. The road had been changed to get to Tecolote Beach since the atlas and GPS were bought and we were headed the wrong direction and the road was getting worse. Fortunately, Elaine is great at backing up, and she had to do so for half a mile or so. The locals headed for the beach looked askance at us for:

 

1. Why were these Gringos headed in the wrong direction

2. Why were these Gringos driving backwards.

 

Reed and Elaine

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Oh, yes. We got the chance to meet the nice couple with the 6 X 6 on our last trip to E B. I still have their biz card. The first pull out is on the house but you'll pay for the next. Don't ask me how I know this.

I think R H is finishing up a big renovation. The bathrooms looked brand new & all the sites had been improved. We stayed in non-electric #5 & it was a very level pull thru. Most all sites looked like they had been graded recently.

Thanks for the info on the northern parks. We're headed that way. In a lazy sort of way.

 

Jenny

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Jenny

 

Figure they were not hauling folks out purely from altruism.

 

Check out the northern New Mexico Parks on the New Mexico State Park blog-site

 

Santa Rosa, Conchas Lake, and Clayton Lake State Parks are normal reservoir parks with full service to dispersed camping. Bottomless Lakes State Park near Roswell is a treat.

 

Villanueva is really lovely along the Pecos. There are not to many full service or even partial service sites. This is where the Texas Freebooter Expedition of 1842 surrendered to the local militia, primarily leather armored lanceros. It was not the full up blue-clad army with a lot of artillery shown in "Dead Man's Walk". It is about mid-way between I-40 and I-25 on New Mexico 3. The map makes it look like a twisty nightmare but it is not bad at all. We have done it hauling a 34' 5th wheel with no problems

 

Coyote Creek is on NM 434 about 15 miles from Mora. You turn onto 434 (good signage) in mid-town (mid-village) Mora. Heading onto 434 heading north is harder then heading south. Mora revolted against Spain and/or Mexico and against the USA in 1847. It was invaded by another Texas freebooter group for alleged Comanchero dealings. They killed a few men in the village, took over 10 women and children to be slaves, and all the horses/cattle they could round up. The locals who had been out ranching caught up with them, released their enslaved family members, took back their livestock and belongs as well as those of the Texans, relieved them of their boots and let the survivors walk back barefooted to Texas. I do not believe this is found in Texas history books. The locals were ranchers, buffalo hunters and Comancheros (experienced Indian fighters).

 

From Google

"...In 1843, there was a raid on the town by Texas freebooters under Colonel Charles A. Warfield[4] claiming that the people in Mora had purchased stolen beef from the Comanches. The Texans killed five men and took eighteen women and children captive as well as 75 horses. The people of the Mora Valley convened a posse, overtook the Texans, and sent them back to Texas on foot. It is also a popular local for Louis L'Amour's Sacket series

 

Morphy Lake State Park is nearby but all you could get in would be a pickup or small Class B.

 

Finally, there is Sugarite which we think is the best State Park in NM. The lower full service is a zoo with no room between rigs. The dump station is there but it is a gymkhana to get there. Woodall's RV camping guide has written that the upper campground of Soda Pocket is among the top 10 public campgrounds in the US. Soda Pocket is at 7900' and the sites are large and reasonably secluded with a great view of the valley. There was a water point there the last time we were there. If you have a NM State Park year pass, it costs nothing to use the upper CG. Soda Pocket was nearly burned through in the big fire of several years ago that closed I-25 for a few days

 

There are 35 state parks in NM. These are the ones we have enjoyed

 

We are currently hanging out for a number of weeks at older son's place at 7800' in the mountains above Las Vegas, NM. He has 38 acres of forest adjacent to 200 more acres belonging to in-laws. It is 3 to 5 miles from the boundary of Pecos Wilderness.

 

Reed and Elaine

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Thanks so much for all the great info. It's fun to discover the history of an area. We plan to hit as many parks as we can & probably come back next year to re-visit our favorites.

 

We'll probably be in the L V area at some point. We almost moved there 20 years ago but jobs took us to Page AZ instead. I have sweet memories of the short time we spent there.

 

Headed to E B today & will be staying away from the soft sand. Hope to find a nice spot up on the bluff & hang out for a week...or two.

 

Jenny

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We were out at Rattlesnake Island a year ago but that is under 40' of water. Long Point should be good. The bluff where you turn off pavement to Rattlesnake Island has some decent dry camp sites. The full service sites at the CG are probably filled on the weekend.

 

We did pick up the DVD for the Dead Man Walking through Streets of Laredo a while back and finally started watching them last night.

 

Reed and Elaine

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