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Best Van Campgrounds in New Mexico


Are you looking for great van campgrounds in New Mexico that offer unique appeal and activities that are fun for the whole family? New Mexico’s diverse landscapes and vast history is home to the oldest capital city. Visitors to the state can enjoy cliff views of volcanic rocks, dinosaur quarries and even areas that are perfect for getting a panoramic view of the night sky. Here are our top ten RV destinations for the historian, astronomer and adventurer in you.

Clayton Lake State Park and Dinosaur Trackways

Address: 141 Clayton Lake Road Clayton, NM 88415
Located in northeastern New Mexico, Clayton Lake State Park and Dinosaur Trackways is an oasis state park where you can enjoy the great outdoors at an elevation of 5,186 feet. Its’ biggest features are the dinosaur tracks and Lake Observatory. They have 5 campgrounds and 9 W+E 30 Amp RV sites.

  • Bird Watching
  • Boating
  • Education Programs
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Visitor’s Center with Exhibits

Elephant Butte Lake State Park

Address: 101 Hwy 195 Elephant Butte, NM 87935
Elephant Butte Lake State Park is perfect if you love the outdoors. They offer both full and partial RV hookup sites and a wide range of outdoor recreational activities, including a beach, boating, fishing and hunting.

  • Educational Programs
  • Historic Sites
  • Interpretive Trails
  • Mountain Biking
  • Picnicking
  • Restrooms and Showers
  • Scuba Diving
  • Volleyball
  • WiFi Available
  • Wildlife Viewing

City of Rocks State Park

Address: 327 Hwy 61 Faywood, NM 88034
The City of Rocks is a unique state park in that it’s home to an incredible number of volcanic rock formations that rise as high as 40 feet into the air. The formations resemble skyscrapers and city streets. The state park encompasses one square mile and sits at an elevation of 5,200 feet. They offer reservation and non-reservation sites that have either 30 or 50-amp electric service. Water is located in the park, but not necessarily at the campsites.

  • 5.5 Miles of Hiking Trails
  • Bird Watching
  • Education Programs
  • Exhibits at the Visitor’s Center
  • Mountain Biking
  • Observatory

Carlsbad KOA

Address: GPS N32 degrees 35.198’/W104 degrees 24.987′
The Carlsbad KOA is located near the Carlsbad Caverns where you can explore an underground wonderland. This KOA is van and big rig friendly and located just minutes away from several attractions, including Living Desert Zoo, Gardens State Park and Roswell’s International UFO Museum.

  • 50 Amp Service
  • Cable TV
  • Dog Park
  • Firewood
  • Giant Chess
  • Laundry
  • Nightly BBQ
  • Outdoor Trails
  • Playground
  • Pool
  • Propane
  • Snack Bar
  • WiFi

Cosmic Campground International Dark Sky Sanctuary

Address: The Cosmic Campground is part of the Gila National Forest. It is located at Latitude 33.47994614 and Longitude -108.9228668.
For RVers interested in stargazing, you can’t go wrong with a stay at the Cosmic Campground, which was the first International Dark Sky Sanctuary in North America. This unique spot doesn’t have any artificial light. In fact, the nearest artificial light is located 40 miles away in Arizona, which means visitors can enjoy 360 degrees of stargazing. To aid in stargazing, the park does ask that all visitors use red filters over their flashlights and arrive before dusk. Visitors should also not park or start fires on the stargazing pads, and there is a quiet time between 10 PM and 6 AM where generator usage is not permitted.

  • 14-day Maximum Stay
  • Four Telescope Observation Pads
  • Information Kiosk
  • Maximum Camping Trailer Allowed is 36’
  • No Water or Electric Available
  • One Pit Toilet Available
  • Open All Year
  • Primitive Campground With Little Shade
  • Reservations Are Not Needed

Ghost Ranch

Address: 280 Private Drive 1708 Abiquiu, NM 87510
Ghost Ranch is situated on 2100 acres and boasts stunning views of canyons and cliffs as well as plains and grasslands. There’s even a dinosaur quarry on the path leading to the Kitchen Masa Trail. For RVers and van campers, the ranch offers electric and non-electric RV camping from May through mid-October. However, it’s important to note that there are only a few full-service hookups available. Most sites are without RV hookups, so it’s best to plan ahead. Meal tickets can be purchased in the welcome center for RVers who would prefer to eat in the dining hall.

  • Archaeology of Ghost Ranch Tour
  • Camping
  • Commercial Photography
  • Dining Hall
  • Full-Service RV Sites
  • Georgia O’Keefe Landscape Tour
  • Massage and Bodywork
  • Non-Full Service RV Sites
  • Numerous Hiking Trails
  • One Library
  • Trail Rides
  • Two Museums
  • Water and Dumping Available
  • Welcome Center

Rancheros de Santa Fe Campground

Address: 736 Old Las Vegas Highway Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505
The Rancheros de Santa Fe Campground is known for its scenery and luxury RV campground. It’s just minutes from Old Town Sante Fe and located on iconic Route 66. The campground is officially open from March 11 to November 1, but the adventurous can stay in the off-season via back-in sites if they have a fully off-grid RV as water hookups may not be available in the off-season.

  • 22 Wooded Acres
  • 50 Amp Service Available
  • Dog Park
  • Free Cable TV in Full Hookup Sites
  • Full Hook-up Sites for Large Trailers, RVs and Vans
  • Grocery Store
  • High-Speed Internet
  • Hiking Trails
  • Movies from May to September
  • Near Sante Fe Trail
  • Playground
  • Propane
  • Restrooms and Hot Showers
  • Swimming Pool

Camp Washington Ranch

Address: 18 Rattlesnake Springs Rd, Carlsbad, NM 88220
Camp Washington Ranch is located on more than 4,000 acres. It’s well-known for its beautiful scenery while maintaining a rustic appeal. In fact, lots of couples have their weddings at this beautiful and stunning oasis in the desert.

  • 30 Amp Electrical Service
  • Water and Sewer Dump
  • Pets Permitted
  • Tours of the Grounds
  • Bird Watching
  • Group Events
  • Wedding Packages

Hyde Memorial State Park

Address: 740 Hyde Park Road Santa Fe, NM 87501
Hyde Memorial State Park was New Mexico’s first state park. It is located in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and offers stunning views and a wide range of outdoor activities.

  • 30 Amp Service
  • 4.2 Miles of Trails
  • Bird Watching
  • RV Dump Station
  • Trails Guide
  • Visitor’s Center
  • Volleyball
  • Winter Recreational Activities

High Desert RV Park

Address: 1300 Frontage Rd SW, Albuquerque, NM 87121
High Desert RV Park boasts 76 RV sites with picnic tables. It is a gated RV park and a gate code is needed to enter. Located just off I-40, it’s known as one of the most peaceful parks in the state of New Mexico.

  • 3 Pet Areas
  • 30 and 50 Amp Electrical Service
  • Activity Center
  • Close to Casinos
  • Dump Station and Dumpster
  • Free WiFi
  • Laundry and Shower Facilitates
  • Office and Store
  • Paved Roads
  • Propane

Adventure and Amenities Await in New Mexico

Whether it’s s rustic RV adventure, stargazing, dinosaur tracking or just relaxing in a desert oasis, New Mexico has it all for those who want to make the most of van life. Just remember to call ahead and make reservations if you want the best spots.