We were heading to Chaco canyon, New Mexico the next day and were looking for boondocking spots near that area to camp & relax. For us a perfect campsite should be secluded, with scenic surrounding, must have privacy and most importantly it should be Free! While planning for this trip, we were searching for free camping spots near Chaco Culture National Historical Park and we had this particular site in our list. Found it in campendium.com. GPS : 36.051906, -107.030678 . Its approximately 2 miles from the Hwy 550 on Forest road 88.
When we reached the campsite, it was already occupied. Bummer!! Fortunately, we already knew that there are more such dispersed campsites on the same road. So, we decided to find some other spot for us to camp. One option is to go further through the forest road and find another campsite or turn around and pick one of the spots that we saw on our way in. You should know that this forest road is uneven, sandy and narrow (Could even become bad if it rains). We even had hard time turning our trailer around after checking this site. Considering that we have to leave the next day very early (before sunrise) to Chaco canyon, we decided to pick a spot closer to the hwy 550.
On our way in, we saw a cave that we wanted to come back and explore once we had settled on the boondock site. Now that the planned site was unavailable, we decided to check out that cave area for feasibility. To our surprise, it turned out to be an amazing spot to camp. Actually even better than the originally planned spot.
From Hwy 550, there are two roads that lead to these campsites through USFS Rd 88. We took the second one as its shorter and road condition was much better for taking our trailer through.
- Official start point- USFS road 88: GPS : 36.071456, -107.009566
- Road we took – GPS : 36.071620, -107.028296 – suitable for RVs
Free & Secluded Camping spots near Chaco canyon, New Mexico
Camping spot location:
GPS : 36.057208, -107.032713
The first thing you find in this site is the cave like rock formation with campfire pit underneath. The whole site is surrounded by tall trees, gorgeous view and it is private. Also it is not very far from the highway.
We set up our camp here for the day, then took a little hike up the hill, enjoyed a beautiful sunset, had bean taco and went to sleep. Overall, we had an amazing quiet time here. No phone calls, no internet, no work, just us enjoying the nature peacefully. This is our kind of fun and happy life.
Be aware of the thorn plants in this locality. Little ball of thorns are on the ground everywhere. These thorns are very sharp, long and easily poke through the shoes. When you explore the surrounding places in this area, don’t forget to wear shoes with thick sole. And do not try to remove the thorns with your hand. Use a small wooden stick from around. We learnt it the hard way.
The roads here can be unpredictable and sometimes very bad during rainy days. Its more sandy and not a gravel road. It could become marshy even with a small rain. So, prepare yourself and your vehicle accordingly. Do you know any other free camping spots near Chaco Culture National Historical Park area. Let us know!