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Old 10-03-2011, 11:07 AM   #1
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boondocking in northern NM

I'm thinkin about heading down to the Arroyo Hondo/Taos or Santa Fe/Jemez Springs area this weekend to tryout the rig and its improvments thus far. Maybe hitting some hot springs (more than likely), maybe some mtn biking/hiking but a whole lot of relaxing i think. anyone have any suggestions for some boondocking locations around those areas?
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Old 10-03-2011, 01:43 PM   #2
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Re: boondocking in northern NM

I'm just replying to this post so I can get updates when other people with knowledge of the area do reply. I plan on going to the Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, New Mexico next summer and was thinking of going a few days early and doing some SMB camping in NM beforehand. So I'm looking forward to responses to this post. Thanks!
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Old 10-03-2011, 05:20 PM   #3
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Re: boondocking in northern NM

I'm a bit rusty on the 4wd side of that neighborhood but some ideas include:

Cabresto Lake (FR134A) is fairly short but rough. It's off FR134 from Questa, approx. 6 miles by my quick & dirty with Topo!. FR134 continues east and has some old mining roads off it, particularly at Lagunita Saddle, 16 miles. About halfway, you'll pass FR 597 from Red River. It also has old mining roads. You might stop in Red River; there are some jeep rental outfits that could give you some ideas. It's the center of that type of activity in northern NM. FR77 out of Red RIver also gets you into the Lagunita Saddle area.

From Red River, FR 486 goes to Goose Lake, a very nice (I'm told) tarn at the end of this popular road. I've never driven it; usually been on the ridge above the lake at Gold Hill, which is muscle-power only. Gold Hill has some of the best views in northern NM, IMHO, and appears to be an easy walk-up from Goose Lake based on the folks I've seen coming from that direction. I think FR486 one way, reversing morning and afternoon, but don't take my word for it.

On the other side of Cabresto Lake and the Latir Wilderness is the Rio Costilla Cooperative Livestock Association, which lets you into its country for $20/day. The main road is rough and long, there are good hikes and guided ATV options but I don't think they let you 4-wheel solo.

Santa Fe has limited 4wd options. Jémez has lots of back country roads but I don't recall the old mining routes that are around Red River. It has several hot springs (Spence, San Antonio & McCauley; the town of Jemez Springs has pools; Ojo Caliente on Hwy 285 north of Española (or south of Alamosa, if you prefer) has upgraded since I last went there and gets good reviews; the leader of the pack though not a 4wd destination is 10,000 Waves in Santa Fe.)

I'd volunteer to join up with you but have birthdays in Rio Rancho that have to be attended. As always, all of the forest country has back roads that will be enjoyable if not so challenging.

Philmont is a whole 'nother world. It's close to Red River for mountain travel but also on the edge of the plains, limestone canyon country, old volcanoes, Folsom Man & dinosaur remains. Most of that territory is ranched but it tends to be BLM so there are options. I'll offer thoughts later unless someone beats me to the punch. My computer time-limit clock went off a while ago.
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Old 10-03-2011, 08:07 PM   #4
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Re: boondocking in northern NM

Just south of Questa there's a dirt road (bunch of mailboxes at the turn off) heading west towards the gorge. It's called Cebolla Mesa. Follow it til you hit the canyon rim for a beautiful camp site with pit toilet and a great trail to the river below.
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Old 10-04-2011, 05:53 PM   #5
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Re: boondocking in northern NM

wow--thanks guys--hopefully we can make it to 1 or more of these--thanks a ton
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Old 10-05-2011, 07:56 AM   #6
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Re: boondocking in northern NM

The Frugal Shunpiker website has boondocker guides available for download and one of them covers New Mexico. There is a small charge and you have to provide the paper if you want to print them out but we've found them to be accurate and helpful.
http://www.frugal-rv-travel.com/RV-Travel-Guide.html
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Old 10-05-2011, 11:20 AM   #7
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Re: boondocking in northern NM

Bring a jacket. It may (finally) be cooling off. Maybe even some snow.

--don
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Old 10-05-2011, 01:37 PM   #8
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Re: boondocking in northern NM

i hear ya, and we may actually push it back/off since i have a ton of work to do all of a sudden as well, and maybe spend the weekend installing my propex instead
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