New Mexico

State Park Campground Guide

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New Mexico is one of the best states for camping with its sheer diversity of landscapes, including mountains, deserts, sand dunes, caves, canyons, lakes, and a clear night sky. Its state parks highlight this varied terrain and provide outdoor opportunities to suit a range of campers, from families with small kids to solo backcountry adventurers.

New Mexico’s state park campgrounds have some of the best deals to be found, with surprising amenities for the cost. Sure, New Mexico is full of amazing free camping opportunities on public lands, but if you’re looking for a paved site with hookups, ranger programs, and a store—or just access to modern restrooms and showers—the state park system has plenty to offer in the Land of Enchantment.

The state parks are one of seven divisions managed by the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department, created in 1987. One of EMNRD’s goals is “to improve the state park system into a nationwide leader that protects New Mexico’s natural, cultural and recreational resources for posterity and contributes to a sustainable economy statewide.”

City of Rocks State Park

Reservations

Reservations can be made online at newmexicostateparks.reserveamerica.com/ and by phone at 877-664-7787

Reservations can be made up to 6 months in advance. First-come, first-served sites are available in addition to the reserved inventory. Although these sites cannot be held, you can contact the campground directly for information on current openings.

Campsite sizes

Most campgrounds in New Mexico state parks can accommodate all RVs, however, site sizes vary within each campground.

The reservation system allows you to search for sites by minimum RV length, as well as by pull-through if preferred. Search results display the site length and maximum vehicle length. View “Campsite List” under the search results for the length per site at a glance.

Accessibility

ADA-accessible sites can be searched for under “More Options” in the reservation system. A disability placard or license is required upon check-in.

Hookups

Most campgrounds offer developed sites with partial or full hookups. Sites with hookups are searchable on the reservation website. 

Connectivity

Several New Mexico parks have WiFi available, although this is not specified on the reservation website. If connectivity is a priority, call the campground to ask about WiFi or cell service.

Maximum stay

The maximum stay is 14 days within a 20 day period. Guests must vacate for at least 6 days before returning to the original campground.

Additional facilities

New Mexico state park campgrounds are surprisingly developed for their cost. Shelters, picnic tables, and grills are included at most sites. Many have restrooms, showers, potable water, and central dump stations in addition to visitor centers, playgrounds, and activities. View “Campground Details” on the reservation website for specific amenities.

Cost

Current fixed prices are $10 for a site with no hookups, $14 for electric or sewer, and $18 for electric and sewer. Water hookups are free of charge wherever available. Specific hookups and pricing is displayed per site/per date on the reservation website. 

Additional Fees:

Reservation fee: $4 per night, up to a maximum of $12. This is nonrefundable regardless of cancellation.

Change fee: $5

Cancellation fee: $5 up to the day of arrival. Cancellations on the day of arrival also forfeit the first night’s fee; cancellations made after arrival are nonrefundable.

New Mexico offers an Annual Camping Permit at $180 for state residents, or $225 for nonresidents. This pass waives the basic $10 campsite fee per night. Reservation fees and any additional surcharges for hookups are not included, but the pass is worth considering if you’re spending time in the state. An extra vehicle, in addition to your RV and tow vehicle, is charged $10. 

Pet policies

Pets are allowed as long as they’re kept on a leash no longer than 10 feet. And of course, campers should always pick up after their pet.

Additional regulations

  • Maximum occupancy per site: 7 people and 1 or 2 vehicles (specified in reservation system).
  • Check-in time: 4 p.m. Check-out time: 2 p.m.
  • Quiet hours: 10 p.m. to 7 a.m.
  • Alcoholic beverages: Allowed at the campsite. Check campground rules for restrictions in other areas of the park.
  • Generator use: Restricted during quiet hours.
  • Campfires: Allowed only in provided campfire pit or ring at the site, following local restrictions.
  • Drone use: Check with specific parks for any local restrictions.
Cimarron Canyon State Park

Featured Campgrounds

City of Rocks State Park

327 New Mexico 61, Faywood, NM 88034

Located in the Chihuahuan Desert region of southwestern New Mexico, this park is named for its stunning volcanic rock formations. Boulders and pinnacles rising up to 40 feet are separated by natural paths resembling city streets. A popular park for day-tripping hikers, bikers, and picnickers, City of Rocks is also a magical place to camp overnight. The most desirable spots are nestled amongst the rocks. Out of 50 total sites, nine have water and electricity, five are reservable online, and the rest are first come, first served. There are sites for larger rigs, and the main campground loop is easily accessible, but the smaller the rig, the more options you have. Note that the sites are not very level and there is no dump station. Potable water, vault toilets, and a visitor center with restrooms and showers are all part of the park. Despite its remoteness, cell service is reportedly decent. If you’ve been waiting to try boondocking, this is a perfect place to start.

Cimarron Canyon State Park

28869 US-64, Eagle Nest, NM 87718

Tucked into the Rocky Mountains in northern New Mexico, this river valley near Taos and Eagle Nest is an idyllic place to camp along the Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway. The Cimarron River flows through a dramatically deep, forested gorge. Beautiful views, intriguing geology, and abundant wildlife viewing are all part of the experience. The river and ponds are popular for fishing, and you can also get your heart pumping on the hiking trails up the canyon. Note that there are no hookups, only potable water and restrooms. A few sites can fit bigger rigs but most are suitable for those that are 25 feet and under.

Oliver Lee Memorial State Park

409 Dog Canyon Road, Alamogordo, NM 88310

Only 26 miles from White Sands National Park, this beautiful state park is a convenient base and a destination in its own right. Set in the foothills of the Sacramento Mountains, Oliver Lee Memorial State Park has expansive views of peaks and desert, a cactus garden, hiking trails, a visitor center, and a historic ranch house. The 5.5-mile Dog Canyon National Recreation Trail climbs over 3,000 feet into the hills. Hikers are rewarded with an oasis of pools under a stand of cottonwood trees. Campsites are gravel, some with electric and water hookups. Most of the 40 sites can accommodate rigs over 30 feet and are located on an easy-access loop road. Restrooms, potable water, and a dumping station are all available. This low-key, highly regarded state park near the U.S.’s newest national park is a hidden gem.

New Mexico state park campgrounds that accommodate RV camping

Bluewater Lake State Park

Bottomless Lakes State Park

Brantley Lake State Park

Caballo Lake State Park

Cimarron Canyon State Park

City of Rocks State Park

Clayton Lake State Park and Dinosaur Trackways

Conchas Lake State Park

Coyote Creek State Park

Eagle Nest Lake State Park

El Vado Lake State Park

Elephant Butte Lake State Park

Fenton Lake State Park

Heron Lake State Park

Hyde Memorial State Park

Leasburg Dam State Park

Manzano Mountains State Park

Navajo Lake State Park

Oasis State Park

Oliver Lee Memorial State Park

Pancho Villa State Park

Percha Dam State Park

Rockhound State Park

Santa Rosa Lake State Park

Storrie Lake State Park

Sugarite Canyon State Park

Sumner Lake State Park

Ute Lake State Park

Villanueva State Park

For more information on New Mexico state park campgrounds, visit emnrd.state.nm.us/SPD.

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