A composite of several posts on camping and sightseeing in Southern New Mexico & Arizona.
Boondocking/Dispersed Camping NM-AZ
Aguirre Spring BLM Campground -LasCruces
City of Rocks State Park Campground
HIstoric and on Mexico border Pancho Villa State Park
South of Deming, in Columbus.
Rest Area West Bound Mile Marker 61 -West of Deming, New Mexico: Rest Area
The Welcome Center/Rest Area on West side of Lordsburg has a nice area to park overnight as well.
Chiricahua National Monument
PS: One can ByPass El Paso/Las Cruces by going over to the Carlsbad Area using US 285 from Fort Stockton to Roswell; then US 380 to I-25. At San Antonio, take I-25 S to Hatch; NM 26 W to Deming & I-10. Things Along This Route
Vally of Fires BLM Campground
and Cloudcroft, Lincoln/Capitan, Carrizozo/White Oaks
Or US 380 all the way to I-25 at San Antonio & the Bosque del Apache
. I-25 N to Socorro, take US 60 towards Datil, Passing the VLA
before you get to Datil & a very Nice BLM Campground
. From Datil make your way to Glenwood to Silver City, City of Rocks to Deming & I-10. Or Silver City to Lordsburg using NM 90. Or Glenwood to Safford, AZ using US 191. Then US 191 to I-10.
Or I-25 S to just past T or C, take NM 152 at exit 63 to Hillsboro Clicky
& on to Silver City. Then to City of Rocks, to Deming & I-10. See :C Geronimo Trail Scenic Byway below.
A NM Byways Link
and more NM Byways
Ft. Selden, the boyhood home of Gen. Douglas McArthur, is just north of Las Cruces. FORT SELDEN STATE MONUMENT
was the last fort Abe Lincoln signed into existence.
If in Las Cruces, Southern NM style Mexican Food is the best you will find anywhere. IMHO.
Las Cruces area NM Mexican food
plus camping and attractions in the area. Leasburg Dam State Park near Las Cruces, nice desert camping above the Rio Grande if needing a different place to stay in the area. Fort Selden State Monument is just next door as well. Ft. Selden was the boyhood home of Gen. Douglas McArthur.
Links to White Sands-Cloudcroft/Ruidoso-ByWays-Carlsbad-Valley of Fires-Plus
If you are looking for things New Mexico, just to the west of Las Cruces is Historic Old Mesilla. If you will be looking for Indian jewelry or other crafts, Mesilla may have better buys than up north, mostly the same stuff. Shopping in Mesilla
*Silver City Videos
:C Geronimo Trail Scenic Byway
or NM Rte. 152 - Into Silver City
is a neat drive, with a nice viewing area into an open pit copper mine. Road to Emory Pass
with great vistias at the top
. On the east side of Emory Pass there is Kingston
; a neat ghost town, but one which still has people living in it and building new homes as well. Hillsboro
is just down the mountain from Kingston as well. It is one of New Mexico's Ghost Towns
with people still living there. But Lake Valley
is not too far from and south of Hillsboro and it has almost no one living there anymore. On the western side of Emory Pass down at the "bottom" of the decent is a neat distinctive ridge with a very western descriptive metaphor of a name, the Devil's Backbone. A few campgrounds and areas to hike down in the "valley" along with a stream. Such as Lower Gallinas Campground
, Upper Gallinas Campground
, Wright's Cabin Campground and Iron Creek Campground
which is in the middle of this recreational corridor spanning from the Mimbres Valley to Hillsboro, along NM Hwy 152 a great drive, very scenic.
Lake Roberts, NM-- Upper End Campground and Mesa
Campground at the Lake Roberts Recreation Area recent upgrades. The upgrades include new picnic tables, grills, and fire rings. In addition, 12 units received water and power hookups with two of those sites upgraded with improvements for people with disabilities which include a sidewalk from the site unit to the restrooms. The Upper End Campground also recently received upgrades to many site pads that will eliminate issues during heavy rain. Both campgrounds also have a full-time campground host on site. Fees at Upper End Campground are proposed to increase from $7 to $10 a site per night. Fees at Mesa Campground are proposed to increase from $7 to $10 a site per night for most sites and $15 per night for sites with both water and electric hookups. A $3 charge for each additional vehicle is also proposed for all sites. Both the Upper End and Mesa Campgrounds are open to camping year-round on a “first come first serve basis” with a self-pay fee station available at each campground. Wilderness Ranger District Office in Mimbres - (575) 536-2250
On State Route 35, are two campgrounds that are a bit more RV-friendly - Mesa and Upper End. These campgrounds contain pleasant, sunny sites for RV, motorhome, car, and tent camping enthusiasts on or overlooking Lake Roberts. Stocked with rainbow trout, the lake also has Brown trout and catfish to challenge the fishing enthusiast.
For some really hard drives:
There are some nice boondocking/dispersed sites by two of the forks of the Gila River (after desending down into the Gila canyon with a nice bridge over the River) a few miles before you get to Dr. Campbell's store at Gila Hot Springs. There is a road down to the river by the bridge to the East Fork of the Gila with trees and shaded sites. After crossing the bridge, there is a mesa-like area with another road down to the Middle/West Fork joined Gila River with dispersed sites by the river, large cottonwoods, etc. These were very nice places to camp (I have not been there in years). It is a fairly long drive back into this area from Lake Roberts. Some very steep roads to desend and climb out of, but paved. It is up into the Wilderness area, just off the road. There was camping near the Gila Cliff Dwellings, mainly just a parking lot & tables. To camp by the Gila River, one must desend from the paved road down steepish hills, but there is some dispersed sites on the upper "mesa" above the River. This is near the site of two forks of the Gila meeting/joining to form the Gila River. There are 3 forks, the MIDDLE FORK AND the WEST FORK join closer to the Cliff Dwellings, near the vistor center. It seems the stream becomes the Gila River when they join up. At the Bridge where the camping sites are near the EAST FORK joins up. There are hot springs up the Middle/East Fork Gila just off the river, but if you walk up to them, DO NOT get the water up the noise. There can be deadly amoebae in them (a killer water-borne amoeba known as naegleria fowleria). Video
Over by the Lake Roberts area, there is a forest road which skirts or borders both the Gila Wilderness and the Aldo Leopold Wilderness with many despersed sites along the road. Take North Star Road
off NM 35 which will later turn into NM 61 with leads to Wall Lake and Beaverhead area and a paved hwy NM 59 which leads one to the Winston
and Chloride Area with many more despersed sites. Or angle to the west and one can go to Snow Lake
& Willow Creek area and over to Mogollon and to Glenwood.
Up at the top/north of the Gila on US 60 towards Datil, there is the VLA before you get to Datil & a very Datil Well
BLM Campground. From Silver Cityl go to Glenwood; then to Reserve. At Glenwood there is the Catwalk (Clicky)
as well as a short side trip to Mogollon an old gold mining Ghost Town
:C New Mexico ~ Land of Enchantment
ˇSí, hablamos inglés!
Or off US 285 N. of Carlsbad, you can take US 82 at Artesia to Cloudcroft to Alamogordo; then US 54 to Carrizozo & pickup US 380 to I-25. It is a nice drive with some scenic parts. You will be climbing up to about 9,000 feet to get to Cloudcroft on US 82 with some curvy areas most of the way and mostly two lane. It is more of a steep descent down from Cloudcroft to Alamogordo with curves and very scenic. Cloudcroft Route Report
Mainly flat to Carrizozo.
White Sands Nat'l Monument - Alamogordo Area
Cross Roads at Las Cruces, NewMexico
: At the start of I-25 and I-10 (west to Tucson); the Las Cruces Area
Using I-25: Around the T or C area, three state parks, Elephant Butte SP
and Caballo SP
with Caballo being closest to the interstate as well as Percha Dam State Park
a nice place on Rio Grande, near Caballo Lake. Elephant Butte Lake State Park headquarters are 5 miles north of Truth or Consequences via I-25 exit 83. Caballo Lake State Park is 16 miles south of Truth or Consequences via I-25 exit 59 and NM 187. Percha Dam State Park is 21 miles south of Truth or Consequences via I-25, exit 59.