The San Juan’s Attractions – Campgrounds
San Juan Public Lands
New Mexico Sangres de Cristo
The Sangre de Cristos Mountains
Ridgway State Park
The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad was originally constructed in 1880 as part of the Rio Grande's San Juan Extension, which served the silver mining district of the San Juan mountains in southwestern Colorado. Like all of the Rio Grande at the time, it was built to a gauge of 3 feet between the rails, instead of the more common 4 feet, 8-1/2 inches that became standard in the United States. The inability to interchange cars with other railroads led the Rio Grande to begin converting its tracks to standard gauge in 1890. Railroad
We have spent more time at Heron Lake State Park near Chama, NM going back several years in the summers. We did have a canoe and enjoyed canoeing on it. Chama is a neat place with a very nice steam train ride up into Colorado. The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad. Chama would be about 95 miles from Taos. It is a very neat drive between Taos & Chama. State Park
Tierra Wools of Los Ojos near the turn off to Heron Lake. Wool
Take SR 17 out of Chama towards Antonito, CO at about 4.6 miles from the state line take a forest road on the left. There should be a forest service campground and perhaps disperse camping as well if my memory is correct. There is a small lake in there as well. Very pretty country, much higher area than Heron Lake. This would be about 12 or 13 miles from the Depot in Chama. This will be in the Cumbres Pass area 10,022'. It will be cooler at night as well as in the day.
At Chama one is not far from the Jicarilla Apache Nation (Pronounced hek-a-REH-ya)
Abiquiu Lake -US Army Corps of Engineers campground, we have driven by but not stopped, they say it has excellent facilities surrounded by red sandstone cliffs and mesas of "O´Keefe Country." Lake Abiquiu
Echo Amphitheater - Natural rock formation is nearby with a campground as well. Close to Ghost Ranch & the Ghost Ranch Piedra Lumbre Education and Visitor Center, located on U.S. Highway 84 just one mile north of the main Ghost Ranch entrance, has exhibits and a gift shop. A very nice museum in "O´Keefe Country." Ghost Ranch also has camping. Ghost Ranch
Navajo Lake State Park at Navajo Lake near Farmington,New Mexico
& also in Colorado
Area around Creed, CO is, near the head waters of the Rio Grande River. Creede
Cimarron Canyon State Park is three miles east of Eagle Nest along US 64. Cimarron
Eagle Nest is a neat area as well. It would be about a 60 mile drive from Raton to Eagle Nest (a neat little town) to see Cimarron Canyon SP. You would be driving along or in the Cimarron Canyon much of the way. The village of Cimarron is a neat historic place. Village
If you do make it to the Eagle Nest Area, be sure to see the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, one of the first Memorials of its kind in the United States dedicated to Vietnam Veterans. A very moving place.
By driving 30 miles from Eagle Nest, one could go to Taos a very historic area. The neat Rio Grande Gorge Bridge is near Taos as well on the way to Chama. Taos
A Veterinarian in Raton told us to drive SR476 to see wildlife. It was fun. We saw deer, elk, turkeys and a bear.
We also did a day trip to see Capulin Volcano National Monument from Raton area. Cone
When we woke up to snow one morning in June at Sugarite Canyon State Park, we also drove over to see Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site in La Junta, CO to find a warmer area for the day. Bent's Fort
Both were neat to see, but Capulin was the neatest. But our young children at the time liked Bent's Old Fort. Capulin seems to be closer to Raton. We also did a drive to the Maxwell National Wildlife Refuge. But this would be better in winter to see more birds. Refuge
We made thes day trips from Sugarite State Park near Raton. Sugarite
We spent a few days in the Telluride
area of Colorado, camping at a National Forest Campground on the Dolores River. It must have been West Dolores Campground
On our way to Creede from the north via Hwy 149, we stayed over night at Silver Thread Campground along the Rio Grande. Camping
A very lovely area.
We then spend a night at the Great Sand Dunes Nat'l Park which has the tallest sand dunes
in North America at the Park's campground. Pinyon Flats Campground
Fenton Lake State Park is a small out to the way Park surrounded by beautiful ponderosa pine forests. We camped there for 2 or 3 once, a very nice place. Fenton
Carson National Forest - my only personal experience has been camping up by Taos on the Hwy going to Eagle Nest such as La Sombra 8 miles east of Taos along US Highway 64 at 7,800 ft. elevation or Capulin & Las Petacas. One of these can serve as a base to visiting Taos. Find near Taos
No personal Photos, we were at these places PDC or Pre-Dital Camera.