New Mexico Campground Reviews

Here you will find reviews of campgrounds in which we have stayed in the state of New Mexico.

For details on how we choose a campground and our review criteria, go to our Main Campground Reviews page.

The reviews you find here will be from most recent to oldest since the older the review, the less relevant it may be. The "Overall Rating" is on a scale of 1 - 10 with 10 being the best.

Also, you will notice that each listing shows a corresponding "Journal Site" number. This refers to when our stay occurred in our journey and the number on the Map Of Our Travels on our daily Journal. By going to our Journal for the dates indicated in the review, you may be able to find out more about the campground and the area - but no promises. :)

Direct Links To New Mexico Reviews Below

Sunny Acres RV Park, Las Cruces, New Mexico - October 2009

Mom & Pop RV Park, Farmington, New Mexico - November 2008

Blanco Campground, Heron Lake State Park, Los Ojos, New Mexico - June 2008

Gladstone Mercantile & RV Park, Gladstone, New Mexico - June 2008

Cactus RV Park, Tucumcari, New Mexico - May 2008

Rio Bravo Campground, Orilla Verde Recreations Area, Pilar, New Mexico - May 2008

Sky City RV Park, Acoma, New Mexico - February 2008

Bosque Birdwatchers RV Park, San Antonio, New Mexico - February 2008

Host Site, Lake Valley Historic Site, Lake Valley, New Mexico - February 2008

Navajo Lake State Park, Cottonwood Campground, Navajo Dam, New Mexico - June 2007

Riana Campground, Abiquiu Lake, Abiquiu, NM - June 2007

Ghost Ranch, Abiquiu, NM - June 2007

Cottonwood RV Park, Espanola, NM - June 2007

Santa Fe Skies RV Park, Santa Fe, NM - June 2007

Sumner Lake State Park, Fort Sumner, NM - June 2007

Brantley Lake State Park, Carlsbad, NM - May 2007

Journal Site 131: Sunny Acres RV Park - Overall Rating: 7

Dates: October 1, 2009 - October 2, 2009
Location: Located just off I-10 in Las Cruces in the south central part of New Mexico.
Our Site: 43
GPS Coordinates: 32.31111, 106.7988
Reason Selected: A good stopping point on our way from northern California to Kerrville, TX for the 2009 Rally. Due to some RV issues, we had to hustle across the southwest and choose convenient places rather than the public campgrounds we'd normally pick. We chose this one based mostly on Passport America and a few of the reviews.
Setting: An "in town" RV park, but except for the traffic noise and occasional siren, you wouldn't know it. It's a small park with reasonably large sites, grass, and trees. It was a pleasant surprise. :)
Guidebooks: None used, but selected mostly because of Passport America.
Big Rig Friendly: The entrance is a little hard to spot and the entrance road is somewhat narrow. But once in the park, there is lots of room to maneuver.
Hook-ups: Full hook-ups with 50-amp electric.
Laundry: Nice little laundry facility.
Price & Discounts: $35 a night including tax. Escapees, Family Motorcoach Association, and AAA discounts. Also, Passport America 50% discount for two nights (we paid the $17.50), but not available December through April and not allowed on 15 pull-through sites. $210 weekly including tax. $425 per month or $450 per month for a site with a carport.
Other Factors: Satellite depends on site you are given, but we got it just fine in our site. The owners, Paul & Lynn, are very nice folks. Website is limited, but fair. Popular for seasonals in winter.
OVERALL RATING: 7 (out of ten)
This RV park was better than expected. It was probably a 6 or 6.5 but I bumped it up because of the Passport America discount, because the sites were larger and better spaced than we thought they would be, and because the owners were sweet. :) Again, we wouldn't normally choose this kind of "campground", but we would stay again if hustling through the Las Cruces area.

Sunny Acres RV Park

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Journal Site 109: Mom & Pop RV Park - Overall Rating: 4

Dates: November 12, 2008 - November 13, 2008
Location: Located just off U.S. Hwy 64 in Farmington in the northwest corner of New Mexico.
Our Site: 32
GPS Coordinates: 36.72007N, 108.1873W
Reason Selected: A good stopping point on our way from Pagosa Springs, CO to eastern Arizona. Gallup, New Mexico would probably have been a better stop from a distance standpoint, but having been through Gallup, we try to avoid staying there. This park was closest to our intended route through Farmington.
Setting: A small 40 site RV park near busy roads in an industrial section of town. A single loop with back-in sites around the perimeter and a few very long pull-through sites in the center. A few trees, but basically a place to park.
Guidebooks: None used.
Big Rig Friendly: Lots of room to maneuver. Wide road through the little park. The pull-through sites are very long, but there are only a few of them. The back-in sites can hold larger fifth wheels, but there is not much room to park a tow vehicle. Roads getting in and out are fine.
Hook-ups: Full hook-ups with 30-amp electric.
Laundry: None.
Price & Discounts: $20 a night including tax. Forgot to ask about discounts.
Other Factors: Satellite is no problem. Pop is a very nice guy and gave us a map of the area, directions to attractions and restaurants, and made recommendations. If you like model trains, there is a big set-up outside the office and one inside as well. No website. Shower house is old, but clean and functional. Looks like there are several folks in the back-in sites that may be living in the park temporarily while working locally - that makes for noisy mornings with trucks starting, doors slamming, etc.
OVERALL RATING: 4 (out of ten)
This place served our purpose for a night. The friendly host and the easy in-and-out were nice. But it is certainly not a place we would stay for a week or so. I would have given it a 5 if not for the noise from the surrounding area and roads. But that is certainly a factor when just looking for a place to sleep.

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Journal Site 106: Blanco Campground, Heron Lake State Park - Overall Rating: 7.5

Dates: June 23, 2008 - June 26, 2008
Location: About 10 miles off of U.S. Hwy 84 south of Chama in north central New Mexico.
Our Site: 55
GPS Coordinates: 36.69125N, 106.66190W
Reason Selected: A good stopping point on our way to Pagosa Springs, Colorado for a summer job. We always look for public campgrounds on our routes that are between 100 and 300 miles from our starting point on travel days.
Setting: There are about 10 campgrounds in Heron Lake State Park, but only two have hook-ups - Blanco & Willow Creek. Those two campgrounds are near the lake but do not have lake views. They are in high desert scrub. However, the sites are huge and there is great privacy. If you have a smaller rig, and don't mind being without hook-ups, some of the other campgrounds have spectacular lake views.
Guidebooks: None used.
Big Rig Friendly: There is plenty of room in the Blanco and Willow Creek Campgrounds. I wouldn't take a larger rig into most of the other campgrounds.
Hook-ups: Water and 50-amp electric hook-ups in Blanco and Willow Creek. In those campgrounds there are 60 sites. Of those, 52 have water/electric, 4 have no hook-ups, and another 4 actually have full hook-ups. There is a dump station on the way out of these two campgrounds. And there is one shower house shared by the two campgrounds.
Laundry: None.
Price & Discounts: Water/electric sites are $14. Full hook-up sites are $18. No hook-up sites are $10.
Other Factors: Satellite is no problem. The New Mexico State Parks websites aren't very helpful as far as campgrounds. If you like fishing or boating, Heron Lake is large and the park road also leads to a boat ramp on El Vado Lake. The Chama River connects the two lakes.
OVERALL RATING: 7.5 (out of ten)
We really liked the size of the sites and the privacy. However, there was no view. Unfortunately, we didn't have time to check out the hiking trails or explore the park very much. The electric sites are a bargain at $14. We would stay there again.

Heron Lake State Park

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Journal Site 105: Gladstone Mercantile & RV Park - Overall Rating: 3

Dates: June 22, 2008
Location: On U.S. Hwy 56 in the northeastern corner of New Mexico.
Our Site: 3
GPS Coordinates: 36.30418N, 103.974W
Reason Selected: We missed our turn to stop at Clayton Lake State Park. Rather than turn around we continued on toward our summer job in southern Colorado. We were low on gas and this store/gas station happened to have RV sites. We stayed because the electricity was out and the gas pumps weren't working. We couldn't go any farther with the Jeep, so we had to wait until the electricity came back on.
Setting: Parking lot in a field next to a U.S. Hwy.
Guidebooks: None used.
Big Rig Friendly: No problems for any rig except there are low hanging tree limbs at one entrance.
Hook-ups: Water and 30 amp electric. No dump station and no bathhouse.
Laundry: None.
Price & Discounts: $20
Other Factors: If you need to stop, this will do. Owners are very nice people. They have gas/diesel but it is very expensive. Satellite is no problem. No website.
OVERALL RATING: 3 (out of ten)
It worked for an overnight stop. It just happened to fit our needs, but we certainly wouldn't plan with a stay here in mind.

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Journal Site 98: Cactus RV Park - Overall Rating: 6

Dates: May 18, 2008
Location: Just off of I-40 in Tucumcari near the New Mexico/Texas Border.
Our Site: 1
GPS Coordinates: 35.17092N, 103.7107W
Reason Selected: A good stopping point on our way to Palo Duro Canyon State Park in Texas. Just wanted to get through eastern New Mexico and this Passport America park was just the ticket for an overnight stop.
Setting: In town in the parking lot of an old hotel. All gravel with small trees between sites. It ain't pretty, but it's better than other Passport America parks we have stayed in.
Guidebooks: Passport America website.
Big Rig Friendly: No problems for any rig. Most sites wouldn't require any unhitching.
Hook-ups: Full hook-ups with 50/30 amp electric. No dump station and no bathhouse.
Laundry: None.
Price & Discounts:Website shows range of $19 - $22 based on whether you want 30 amps, 50 amps, or cable. The regular price is really $24 which is knocked down to $12 for Passport America members. But they add on $3 if you want 50 amps. If you are not a Passport America member, they discount $2 for Good Sam, and other memberships.
Other Factors: Owners are very nice people. Satellite is no problem. They do have free Wi-Fi. Their website has good information all on one page.
OVERALL RATING: 6 (out of ten)
This is just not our kind of place at all. But for the Passport America rate, it filled our needs. It's not a place we would ever stay for any length of time and certainly not at the regular rates.

Cactus RV Park

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Journal Site 97: Rio Bravo Campground, Orilla Verde Recreation Area - Overall Rating: 7.5

Dates: May 13 - May 18, 2008
Location: About 30 miles north of Espanola and about 16 miles south of Taos just off NM Hwy 68 on NM 570
Our Site: RV-3
GPS Coordinates: 36.29216N, 105.7813W
Reason Selected: Wanted to visit the Taos area on our way to Missouri without staying in an RV park. Many national forest campgrounds are in the area, but they weren't opening for another couple of weeks. So we thought we'd check out this BLM recreation area on the Rio Grande River.
Setting: Sits in the Rio Grande River Gorge with cliffs on both sides. Right next to the Rio Grande River with just enough cottonwood trees to give the campground character. Sits close to NM 570, but the traffic is not too heavy. All gravel.
Guidebooks: None used.
Big Rig Friendly: NM 570, which is the only way to the campground, is very narrow and requires caution around curves. Once at the campground there is plenty of room to get into any of the four pull-through sites. All the other sites are only suitable for tents, truck campers, or small trailers.
Hook-ups: Water and 50/30 amp electric. No sewer and no dump station.
Laundry: None.
Price & Discounts:$15 per night. $7.50 with an America The Beautiful Senior Pass.
Other Factors: Nice quiet campground during the week. It fills up on weekends. All sites are first come, first served. Bathhouses had flush toilets and showers. But the showers are coin-operated at 3 minutes per $1. Restrooms were clean. NO dump station. Each site has a picnic table and fire-ring. Our rooftop satellite was no problem from our site, but it might have been at the other 3 RV sites. Even with our amplifier, we could not get cell service. But we could about five miles away.
OVERALL RATING: 7.5 (out of ten)
This was a decent little campground and the price was right for hook-ups and flush toilets. The showers were a bit expensive and it would have been nice to have a dump station. To dump you have to go north into Taos or south to Espanola. It's not the most scenic place we have ever been, but it's not bad. Great place to stay if you want to float on the Rio Grande River, but it is pretty inconvenient if Taos and the Enchanted Circle are your primary targets to spend time. I wouldn't hesitate to stop there again, but I wouldn't go out of my way to do it. If you want one of the four RV sites, you better get there early in the week.

Orilla Verde Recreation Area

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Journal Site 92: Sky City RV Park - Overall Rating: 7

Dates: February 26, 2008
Location: About an hour west of Albuquerque just off I-40.
Our Site: 26
GPS Coordinates: 35.08063N, 107.5576W
Reason Selected: Good stopping point on our way to Utah through western New Mexico.
Setting: A wide open RV park with all pull-through spaces. No trees. Views of the San Mateo Mountains and the 11,300 foot Mt. Taylor to the north. Views of the Sky City Hotel & Casino and I-40 to the south. Wide open spaces to the east and west.
Guidebooks: None used.
Big Rig Friendly: Plenty of space for rigs of all sizes. Very easy in and out. Lots of room to maneuver. Sites big enough for our truck, fifth wheel, and Jeep (if we don't unhitch).
Hook-ups: Full hook-ups with 50/30 amp electric.
Laundry: None, but laundromat at the travel center 1/4 mile away.
Price & Discounts:$15 per day plus tax. But they give you a coupon to get $5 in the casino - at least they did during our stay. :)
Other Factors: This is a new RV park having opened in May 2007. It is affiliated with the Sky City Casino & Hotel. No amenities really. But really nice, large, easy-in & easy-out sites. Shuttle comes through the RV park often to take campers to the casino. Free use of the pool and hottub in the casino hotel. There is a clubhouse under construction that will house showers and bathrooms. Casino website talks about the RV park catering to Class A RVs. It seems to indicate that it is for Class A motorhomes only, but that's not the case at all. Rooftop satellite was no problem at all. Free Wi-Fi.
OVERALL RATING: 7 (out of ten)
Now this is not really our kind of place. But, for a parking lot out in the middle of nowhere, it's pretty nice. The price is right for sure, and the view of the mountains is great (especially in February when we visited because there was snow on the peaks). It's not the type of place you are going to sit outside and enjoy, but for a stopover or a base to explore the area, it ain't bad. If things don't change much, I think the casino has a winner with this one. :)

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Journal Site 91: Bosque Birdwatchers RV Park - Overall Rating: 6.5

Dates: February 22, 2008 - February 26, 2008
Location: About an hour south of Albuquerque just off I-25. Just outside the entrance to the Bosque Del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.
Our Site: 16
GPS Coordinates: 33.87422N, 106.8752W
Reason Selected: Wanted to visit the Bosque Del Apache National Wildlife Refuge and this was easily the most convenient place.
Setting: A gravel/dirt parking lot in the high desert. Can see mountains to the east and west, but this is not a very appealing campground.
Guidebooks: None used.
Big Rig Friendly: Plenty of space for rigs of all sizes to maneuver.
Hook-ups: Full hook-ups with 50/30 amp electric.
Laundry: None
Price & Discounts:$23 per day according to their price list, but I think they give just about everyone the senior price of $20. :)
Other Factors: You have to ask for the key for the one shower. One men's and one women's restroom. Train tracks across the road, but they were spaced far enough apart to not be too annoying. No website. Very friendly owner. Rooftop satellite was no problem at all.
OVERALL RATING: 6.5 (out of ten)
Now I would ordinarily have given a place like this a 5. But it is really convenient to the wildlife refuge and it does have full hook-ups. And we had one of the three sites on the western edge next to the desert vegetation. Those sites allow for more privacy and the birds came right to our door to feed. I'd probably drop the rating at least a point if we were out in the middle of the campground.

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Journal Site 90: Host Site, Lake Valley Historic Site - Overall Rating: N/A

Dates: February 19, 2008 - February 22, 2008
Location: The middle of nowhere. About 40 miles northwest of Hatch off of I-25 and about an hour northeast of Deming in southwestern New Mexico.
Our Site: N/A
GPS Coordinates: 32.7210N, 107.5676W
Reason Selected: We were invited by the current property stewards/caretakers on our way to Utah.
Setting: Valley in the Upper Chihuahuan Desert.
Guidebooks: No factor.
Big Rig Friendly: Yes.
Hook-ups: Full hook-ups with 30 amp electric
Laundry: None
Price & Discounts: N/A - Though this is a federal Historic Site on BLM land, there is no camping for the public. You must either be the contracted steward or an invited guest of the stewards.
Other Factors: Our hosts were wonderful and took good care of us with food, tours, and friendship.
OVERALL RATING: N/A (out of ten)
This was a unique opportunity and a wonderful invitation. It just fit into our plans and we certainly appreciated our time there. Again, this NOT a public camping spot.

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Journal Site 70: Navajo Lake State Park, Cottonwood Campground - Overall Rating: 7

Dates: June 20, 2007 - June 25, 2007
Location: In northwest New Mexico 40 miles northeast of Farmington. One mile from the intersection of NM Hwy 511 and NM Hwy 173. West one mile to gravel/dirt road drive.
Our Site: 36
GPS Coordinates: 36.81231N, 107.67610W
Reason Selected: We were looking to visit some RV-Dreams readers in the Farmington area before we headed north to Colorado. This was the only place in the area we thought would be to our liking.
Setting: The campground sits a mile and a half back a rough road. It sits in a valley between rock walls with the San Juan River running around the campground. The sites don't sit on the river but it is a short walk. It is a single loop with sites on the outside and inside of the loop. The inside sites are separated by a large cottonwood grove.
Guidebooks: No factor. Just web research and a couple referrals from RV-Dreams readers.
Big Rig Friendly: Can handle big rigs, but the rough road getting to the campground might scare off most of them; Some sites can accomodate tow vehicle or toad end to end with RV, but most would require parking crossways for the biggest rigs
Hook-ups: 30 amp electric in some sites, but most had no hook-ups; There is a community water spigot between electric sites so you can fill up fresh water tank with hose after you park with a long hose. May need to fill up before parking if you take a no hook-up site. There is a dump station, but access is tight from one direction, so need to come in the other way if you have a large rig
Laundry: None.
Price & Discounts: $14 for electric site, $10 for no hook-ups
Other Factors: Several sites offer easy satellite access; Staff was friendly on the phone; The website has limited information about the campground - there is a little more detail if you go through the online reservation process without actually reserving; The bathhouses weren't great - a bit old and in need of updating - no showers; The road getting back to the campground is terrible and folks we talked to said it is usually worse
OVERALL RATING: 7 (out of ten)
During our stay, it was extremely hot and buggy. But it was the type of place we would normally like a lot. We didn't get a chance to fish in the San Juan River which has a great reputation for fly-fishing. We did have more hummingbirds at this campground than anywhere we have stayed to that point. We might have to come back some day at a better time of the year - our only hesitancy would be that blasted mile and half road to get to the campground. :)

New Mexico State Parks - Navajo Lake State Park

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Journal Site 69: Riana Campground - Abiquiu Lake (Corps of Engineers Project) - Overall Rating: 8

Dates: June 17, 2007 - June 20, 2007
Location: About a mile off U.S. Hwy 84 in northcentral New Mexico 30 miles north of Espanola
Our Site: 3
GPS Coordinates: 36.2448N, 106.4279W
Reason Selected: We were visiting Ghost Ranch about nine miles away and we drove into this campground to take a look. It was beautiful with the view of the lake and mountains. So we decided to park here a few days before moving north.
Setting: This campground sits on a 150-foot bluff above Abiquiu Lake; It slopes down toward the lake so all campsites have a view; The only noise you can hear is from the distant motorboats on the lake
Guidebooks: I had seen this campground in "Frommers Best RV & Tent Campground in the USA", but the drive-through was the deciding factor.
Big Rig Friendly: Plenty of room for the biggest of rigs
Hook-ups: Water and 30 amp electric - no sewer hook-ups; dump station is not the most convenient in the world, but at least there is one
Laundry: No laundry facilities
Price & Discounts: $14; half-price with America The Beautiful Senior Pass
Other Factors: All sites offer easy satellite access; Contracted campground hosts were fabulous and very friendly; The website has limited info, but the reservations site at least gives information on size of the sites; Bathhouses had flush toilets and showers, but they are in need of updating; there is no lake access from the campground, but there is a day use area and boat ramp nearby; Odd number sites are reservable and even numbered sites are non-reservable; Site #1 is fantastic if you can get it, but the shelter is a little close to the pad, so it's a little tighter than it needs to be and you have to make sure your slideouts clear. Site #2 and #4 are great non-reservable sites.
OVERALL RATING: 8 (out of ten)
This campground had incredible views and gorgeous sunsets. There is no shade and I suspect the wind could get wicked, but we REALLY liked this campground. There is nothing around and it is just a great place to relax. Well, there is fantastic scenery just a short drive away that you will see nowhere else, but there are no cities for miles. I don't know if we will ever find ourselves on that stretch of U.S. Hwy 84 again, but if we do, we will know where to stay. :)

Abiquiu Lake - Riana Campground

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Journal Site 68: Ghost Ranch Campground - Overall Rating: 7

Dates: June 14, 2007 - July 17, 2007
Location: About 40 miles north of Espanola on U.S. Hwy 84 in north central New Mexico in the middle of some of the most beautiful scenery you will ever see
Our Site: 69 (I think)
GPS Coordinates: 36.33394N, 106.4742W
Reason Selected: While in Santa Fe at an RV "Resort" we were looking to get away from it all. I happened to find Ghost Ranch on the internet. It looked like our kind of place.
Setting: Ghost Ranch is fabulous and the campground sits in a pretty valley. However, Ghost Ranch has a lot of cabins, dorms, and casitas for conferences and the campground (at least the RV part) is sort of plopped down behind them. There are only four sites for rigs over 30 feet and they are just side-by-side gravel spots that have not been very well kept. I had to do some weed pulling to get to the hook-ups.
Guidebooks: No factor.
Big Rig Friendly: Like I said, there are only four sites for rigs over 30 feet. And the 1 mile gravel road is not much fun to get from HWY 84 to the campground.
Hook-ups: Full hook-ups with 50/30 amp electric
Laundry: On-site laundry in the single bathhouse used by the entire campground
Price & Discounts: $26 per day with full hook-ups and $19 for electric only; no discounts
Other Factors: Ghost Ranch has beautiful scenery and some fabulous trails to hike. It is where the artist Georgia O'Keefe fell in love with northern New Mexico. It is a place to relax and connect spiritually with the earth. The Ranch is owned by the Presbyterian Church. However, the campground is old and it is not really made for RVs and it is next to sort of a high traffic area for a ranch out in the middle of nowhere. The campground is great for pop-ups and tents that can get further back into the valley away from the activity. The website has very little information about the campground, and once there, I had to drag information out of the staff - they seemed pre-occupied with the groups at the Ranch which was understandable.
OVERALL RATING: 7 (out of ten)
I'm giving this a 7 simply because of the uniqueness of the terrain, the fabulous hiking trails, and the beautiful scenery. Oh yeah, and the full hook-ups. :) But the campground itself is not much and probably deserves something more like a 6 or lower.

Ghost Ranch

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Journal Site 67: Cottonwood RV Park - Overall Rating: 6

Dates: June 11, 2007 - June 14, 2007
Location: About 25 miles northwest of Santa Fe on U.S. HWY 84 just south of Espanola
Our Site: 36
GPS Coordinates: 35.98482N, 106.04737W
Reason Selected: Selected as a base camp to visit Bandelier National Monument and to play a little golf before heading farther to the northwest.
Setting: The RV park sits back off the highway and is basically one long row of pull-through spaces. The park sits between two farms so it is fairly quiet the further you go back. There are several cottonwood trees in and around the park. The gravel sites are pretty close together.
Guidebooks: No factor. I just relied on internet research.
Big Rig Friendly: Big rigs can get in pretty easily, but the six sites at the very back of the park are the best. Even those pull-throughs are not long enough for end to end parking of tow vehicles or toads with the RV
Hook-ups: Full hook-ups with 50 amp electric, water, and sewer
Laundry: On-site laundry with two washers/dryers in office building at very front of the park
Price & Discounts: April - October $23.95 (includes $2 surcharge for air conditioner; November - March $19.95 + $4 for electric heater; Weekly - stay six nights get seventh night free; Monthly - $400 plus electric
Other Factors: Satellite access is fine as long as you get site that doesn't have one of the tall cottonwood trees; No one in the office most of the time, but the young lady running things was polite and accomodating. Bathhouse was all the way at the front of the park with the laundry. Bathrooms, including showers, looked brand new. Only a mile away from a fabulous golf course - Black Mesa. Several casinos a short drive away as well.
OVERALL RATING: 6.0 (out of ten)
This is not a place we would normally stay with the side-by-side pull-throughs and close together rigs. But it served its purpose, had full hook-ups, and was reasonably quiet. It has its share of permanent rigs but those few pull-throughs in the very back are not too bad. This place would never be more than a 6 for us, but it could fall to a 5 with just a tiny bit of neglect.

Cottonwood RV Park

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Journal Site 66: Santa Fe Skies RV Park - Overall Rating: 6.5

Dates: June 7, 2007 - June 11, 2007
Location: Just south of Santa Fe about a mile west of I-25
Our Site: Aster - 5
GPS Coordinates: 35.58904N, 106.0444W
Reason Selected: Easy access to Santa Fe area attractions and a top rated RV Park for beauty in "Frommers Best RV & Tent Campgrounds in the USA"
Setting: Several rows of close together gravel pull-through sites. Only a few sites have enough room to put out awning and sit outside. Sites with a concrete patio cost more according to the website. RV Park sits on top of a hill and has no trees. Sites are terraced, but only a few sites have good views of the surrounding mountains - of course those sites are the most exposed to the weather.
Guidebooks: Used Frommers, but was quite disappointed in this RV Park that is WAY overrated for beauty
Big Rig Friendly: Plenty of room for all size rigs
Hook-ups: Full hook-ups with 50 amp electric, water, and sewer
Laundry: Nice on-site laundry with several washers and dryers - a bit pricy though
Price & Discounts: Rates range from $30 - $35 plus tax. Ten percent discount for Good Sam & FMCA members
Other Factors: Easy satellite access and staff was friendly. Website is pretty good. Bathhouse is immaculate - like a fine hotel. Easy access to interstate.
OVERALL RATING: 6.5 (out of ten)
I really disliked this RV Park. It was claustrophobic. It did have good amenities, full hook-ups, and easy access to area attractions. It probably deserved a 7, but I knocked it down because of price. I'll try to avoid this one unless we have a need for a quick overnight stop.

Santa Fe Skies RV Park

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Journal Site 65: East Side Campground, Sumner Lake State Park - Overall Rating: 7.5

Dates: June 4, 2007 - June 7, 2007
Location: East central New Mexico; On NM State Road 203; Six miles east of US HWY 84 between Fort Sumner and Santa Rosa
Our Site: 34
GPS Coordinates: 34.61439N, 104.3773W
Reason Selected: Looked like a nice stopping point on our way from Carlsbad to the Santa Fe area
Setting: Beautiful & private campground on Sumner Lake; The East Side campground is all first-come, first-served and it is before you get to the State Park main entrance and main campground. Combination of open and treed areas, but mostly open
Guidebooks: None used
Big Rig Friendly: It's not the best for big rigs, but if you go slow and are careful, big rigs can get in.
Hook-ups: Some water & electric sites; no sewer and no dump station - the dump station is in the main campground four miles away; Also, hook-ups were in unusual locations near front of sites, so an extension cord was needed.
Laundry: None
Price & Discounts:$10 for no hook-ups and $14 for electric
Other Factors: This campground is shown on a map on the website, but there is no information. We only knew about it because of a call to the state park and an informative discussion with a ranger. It was the better of the two campgrounds in my opinion even without the dump station. Also, pit toilets only - no flush toilets or showers. Nice adobe-style shelters at the electric sites. Satellite was no problem. Lake access and boat ramp at the campground.
OVERALL RATING: 7.5 (out of ten)
We really enjoyed our brief stay at this campground. It is very remote, quiet, and beautiful with lake views and sunsets. It's not the easiest place to get in and out of. Also, with only pit toilets and having to drive to four miles to the dump station, I had to knock it down a half point. We had some unbelievably windy weather and didn't get to enjoy our brief stay as much as we would have liked. This place is way off the beaten path which is how we like it.

Sumner Lake State Park

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Journal Site 64: Brantley Lake State Park - Overall Rating: 7.5

Dates: May 28, 2007 - June 4, 2007
Location: Southeastern New Mexico, 12 miles north of Carlsbad on U.S. HWY 285 then east 4 1/2 miles on Eddy County Road 30
Our Site: 42
GPS Coordinates: 32.56332N, 104.3826W
Reason Selected: Closest campground to Carlsbad Caverns National Park that we thought we would like. Also, had just been visited by readers that thought we would like it.
Setting: This is a high desert campground that sits on a bluff above Brantley Lake and Dam. Though it is mostly open, there is vegetation between some sites for a little privacy. Each site does have a nice shelter. There are lots of birds and wildlife in the campground. My only complaint about the setting is that the campground is terribly exposed to weather, especially high winds
Guidebooks: None used.
Big Rig Friendly: Plenty of space for rigs of all sizes though it can be tight on weekends and holidays when locals have boats parked alongside the loops. The toughest part for big rigs is making it past the visitor center/office where the driveway is narrow and there is a very tough left hand turn where it's hard not to go scrape a curb
Hook-ups: Three sites have full hook-ups with 50 amp electric; All the rest have water and electric, but only 19 of the 51 total sites have 50 amps
Laundry: None
Price & Discounts:$14 per day
Other Factors: Website is lacking with respect to the campground as most New Mexico State Park websites are. Staff was very courteous and helpful. No problem at all for satellite. Two of the three full hook-up sites are non-reservable. The campground is divided into two loops. The northern loop has 26 reservable sites and the two non-reservable full hook-up sites. The south loop has 22 non-reservable sites. Both loops have plenty of great sites with wonderful views. The bathhouse is very clean but they have the institutional stainless steel toilets and the push button showers that go off quickly.
OVERALL RATING: 7.5 (out of ten)
We loved this campground and our site. We had the choice of a full hook-up site, but chose a water/electric site instead for its view, privacy, and size. The campground was well maintained and the mix of landscaping and the natural desert habitat was done well. Birds, including roadrunners, were all over as were jackrabbits and cottontails. But you do have to watch for the occasional snake, too. The only reason I didn't give this campground an 8 was because of the long 4 1/2 mile drive to get to it and the bathroom fixtures and showers. It is a good hour drive to Carlsbad Caverns. But we still loved it and would stay there again.

Brantley Lake State Park

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