Best Dispersed Camping Near Santa Fe, New Mexico

Last Updated on March 16, 2022 by Ted Mosby

The dispersed camping lifestyle is one of the best reasons to look for the best dispersed camping in New Mexico. In addition, many individuals go to New Mexico in RVs to escape the severe northern winters.

Santa Fe, which is located in New Mexico, has to offer everything if you are looking for dispersed camping in New Mexico.

Apart from that, there’s another reason why RVers flock to New Mexico.  Dispersed camping is available on BLM and National Forest Service land throughout the state that happens to be a liberating experience.

If you want an off-the-grid existence while yet being close to the amenities of a city, New Mexico has a variety of places where you may spread your snowbird wings.

dispersed camping near santa pe

In this article, the best dispersed camping near Santa Fe, New Mexico, is discussed.

Best Dispersed Camping Near Santa Fe, New Mexico

1. American Spring Dispersed Camping

American Springs has many sites scattered around in the vicinity for dispersed camping. The sites are nicely spaced, and there were always available spots throughout the weekend. Camping is permitted throughout the full length of the road.

Dispersed camping isn’t allowed until you’re about a mile in if you head to the left (high clearance is recommended, but 2wd will suffice).

If you plan on mountain biking or running/hiking, there are some fun single-track routes (Water Canyon and Perimeter Trail) accessible from the campsite.

About a 15-minute drive away, Bandelier National Monument is a fun spot to visit and climb in some cliff houses. In the mornings and evenings, you may see and hear coyotes howling, so keep pets leashed and little children close!

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2. Sante Fe National Forest BLM-Road 62 Dispersed

This is a large area of dispersed camping. You never know how far the camping spaces stretch, but there are always over 100, with roughly a quarter of them taken at any given moment. Many of the places are level. However, not all of them have this luxury.

On the other hand, the roads differ depending on where you’re going. The cell service is excellent, and there are numerous breathtaking views. Stores and gas stations are merely a couple of minutes away.

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There are a lot of campgrounds there, and if you have a high-clearance vehicle, you’ll have even more possibilities. If you have a low-clearance RV, take the first route on the left after passing through the livestock gate. This route circumnavigates the majority of the campground, allowing you to avoid the steep entrances on the side roads.

It is located near a dump, which is intriguing, yet there were no flies or odors in October. The place seemed safe and remarkably tidy for a free camping area adjacent to a metropolis.

3. Santa Fe BLM

The Santa Fe BLM is conveniently located just outside of Santa Fe. Because it is BLM dispersed, there are no facilities at all, and it has a Nomadland feel to it. You’ll be able to choose a site with enough privacy but not too much isolation, though you could certainly go deeper.

Visitors periodically turn the field into a shooting range, so you might hear gunshots nearby.

In mid-December, it can get very cold. Overall, this is a nice place to set up camp. It’s easy to find, and there’s lots of room for dispersed camping. It’s also a really tranquil spot.

4. Aspen Basin Campground

The Aspen Basin Campground is situated next to the Santa Fe Ski Basin’s huge parking lot. Ten units, picnic tables, and fire rings are included. You can always find a toilet at the extreme west end of the parking area.

This campground is less established than most, and it caters largely to individuals looking for somewhere to stay overnight before beginning on a Pecos backpacking trip. You will have plenty of room for trailer/RV camping. However, there is no disposal station.

The whole place is breathtakingly beautiful, and New Mexico 475 is declared as the Santa Fe Scenic Byway. The site is quite populated, especially in the summer and during the fall aspen viewing days, due to the beautiful qualities and easy access from Santa Fe.

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Because the Aspen Basin Campground provides access to a breathtakingly beautiful environment, it can be quite busy during the days of summer and fall aspen viewing days. Please know that you will be required to bring your own water.

5. Borrego Mesa Campground

The Borrego Mesa Campground exists adjacent to multiple trailheads leading into the Pecos Wilderness. Picnic tables, fire pits, and small corrals suited for one or two horses are available at each location. Currently, the Vaulted toilet is not in use. The Rio Medio Trailhead, one of the primary trailheads within the Pecos Wilderness, lies adjacent to and south of the campground.

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The campground is rustic and underutilized, and it is far less developed than most. Locals from adjacent settlements use it largely for picnicking, but it also serves those who stay overnight before starting a horseback or backpack trip into the Pecos.

You will have plenty of room for trailer/RV camping. However, there is no disposal station. The place lacks access to potable water.

6. Fenton Lake State Park

You’ll enjoy the campground’s modest environment. Fenton Lake State Park doesn’t seem to be interesting from the outside. However, as you pull in, it’s pretty enormous. Although there is occasional traffic noise, it becomes calmer as you get farther into the campgrounds.

The breathtaking canyon view is spectacular, but owing to fallen trees, camping is inaccessible occasionally. Also, even in a non-roaring vehicle, the road is steep and washed out right now, so drive carefully.

7. Rancheros de Santa Fe Campground

Only minutes from Old Town Santa Fe, quiet, woodland camping. Rancheros de Santa Fe is famous for its gorgeous, natural setting, attracting visitors worldwide. Rancheros de Santa Fe is a magnificent destination for your visit, located on Historic Route 66 and near the Santa Fe Trail.

Camping is not free; it costs $30 per night for a tent and $43 per night for an RV. Although the parking lot is windswept, you will conveniently find a silent area. A pool is available, but you must arrive early to get a spot. Check-out is strictly at 11 a.m., and the administration begins cleaning the showers and restrooms at that time, so you must leave early, which can be frustrating.

They close the office at 6 p.m., but if you arrive later, they will have a list of available places on which you can leave money in an envelope labeled with your spot number.

8. Holy Ghost Group Area

Within Holy Ghost Canyon, the Santa Fe National Forest’s Holy Ghost Campground is located on the outskirts of the Pecos Wilderness. Holy Ghost Creek borders this dispersed camping area. Hikers and horseriders can access the adjacent wilderness via a number of paths at this place.

The most loved ventures at Holy Ghost Campground are hiking and horseback riding. The campground’s trailhead connects to a 350-mile network of Pecos Wilderness trails, including Holy Ghost Trail, connecting to Skyline Trail and scenic Stewart Lake. Fly-fishing is popular on Holy Ghost Creek. The chilly waters are home to brown trout and stocked rainbow trout.

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In the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of New Mexico, the campground is set amid pine and fir trees, just where the aspen trees will start to appear. During the summer, the landscape is blanketed in vibrant wildflowers.

The campground is bordered by Holy Ghost Creek, which provides picturesque views of the forest and mountains. The entire area of Holy Ghost Creek is home to a variety of fauna and birds.

9. Forest Service Rd 268 Dispersed Site

The Santa Fe National Forest has a variety of lovely camping places that range from high to low altitude, from high desert to forested, and from basic to develop. The amenities at established campgrounds range from electricity hookups for motorhomes to just a toilet.

Unless otherwise noted, primitive camping is permitted practically everywhere on the Santa Fe National Forest. These regions usually do not have any amenities, though you may occasionally encounter a toilet building or a picnic table and grill.

To help maintain the riparian environment (the river banks or area close to a body of water) healthy and safeguard sensitive species and plants found here, please keep your campsites at least 100 feet away from lakes and streams.

Conclusion

This article discussed everything about best dispersed camping near Santa Fe, New Mexico. We hope you’ve found all you need to plan for an amazing dispersed camping vacation near Santa Fe, New Mexico, and we’re confident you’ll find the right spot for your next adventure!

FAQ

Where is the best dispersed camping site near Santa Fe?

Following are enlisted some of the best dispersed camping sites near Santa Fe, New Mexico:

  • American Spring Dispersed Camping
  • Sante Fe National Forest BLM-Road 62 Dispersed
  • Santa Fe BLM
  • Aspen Basin Campground
  • Borrego Mesa Campground
  • Fenton Lake State Park
  • Rancheros de Santa Fe Campground
  • Holy Ghost Group Area
  • Forest Service Rd 268 Dispersed Site

Is dispersed camping allowed in Santa Fe National Forest?

Unless notified otherwise, dispersed camping is permitted practically everywhere at the Santa Fe National Forest. These regions usually do not have any amenities, though you may occasionally come across a toilet building or a picnic table and grill.

About Ted Mosby

My Name is Ted Mosby from Cleveland, Ohio. I am a freelance Architect. I live in New Jersey, USA right now and I take my RV every alternate weekend. As I am a Freelancer I can work anywhere so most of my work is done inside my camper remotely.