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Old 12-31-2020, 09:46 PM   #1
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Quick camping trip-central NM

Needed to get a few camping days in before the end of the year, so my son and I packed the teardrop and hit the road. We settled on Valley of Fires Recreation Area in central New Mexico, primarily because they were allowing campfires while some of our other options (Three Rivers campground and Fort Stanton - Snowy River Cave National Conservation Area) were not.

We expected, and prepared, for cold but damn it was COLD. Long story short, the teen-to-twenty degree temperatures coupled with double digit winds made for cold days to the point were it wasn't even fun to have a campfire. A couple of military surplus Extended Cold Weather Clothing System (ECWCS) sleeping bags made sleeping comfortable though.

Valley of Fires Recreation Area is an interesting place where a 5000 year old lava flow is between four to six miles wide, 160 feet thick and covers 125 square miles. The campground is on a ridge top, so the wind was relentless.

https://www.blm.gov/visit/valley-of-fires


We did do drive-throughs of the other campgrounds and really liked the Snowy River cave campground (the cave system is closed due to White Nose syndrome that has killed a lot of bats) though it is very small (part of the appeal). There is associate boondock camping as well.

https://www.blm.gov/visit/fort-stant...river-cave-nca


The Three Rivers campground wasn't that exciting, but the location was pretty nice. The nearby Three Rivers Petroglyph site was amazing though. There are over 21,000 documented petroglyphs in the area.

https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/linc...a/?recid=34202
https://www.blm.gov/visit/three-rivers-petroglyph-site


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Old 01-01-2021, 04:47 AM   #2
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Cool trip. Or should I say, cold trip? Looks like fun despite the cold and wind. Good for checking how gear works. One more place to put on my list, thanks.
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Old 01-01-2021, 09:21 AM   #3
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Guessing you were just glad to get out and away from everything. We've found Petroglyphs fun to view & examine - always interesting how some are so elementary while others extremely creative and captivating.
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Old 01-01-2021, 01:25 PM   #4
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Thanks for the information and pictures.
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Old 01-01-2021, 07:45 PM   #5
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I've been through there a lot of times and never knew there were petroglyphs! I'll have to make a run down to check them out.
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Old 01-01-2021, 08:10 PM   #6
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I've been through there a lot of times and never knew there were petroglyphs! I'll have to make a run down to check them out.

The petroglyphs are just a few miles east of Three Rivers Trading Post (off Highway 54), if you're familiar with the area.


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Old 01-02-2021, 03:48 PM   #7
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Looks awfully close to the glyphs. Didn't get tased, did you?
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Old 01-02-2021, 06:12 PM   #8
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Looks awfully close to the glyphs. Didn't get tased, did you?

No tasing, thankfully. Good thing too, because I think I left my ID in the car.



They are all along the trail, but there seems to be no indication that you can't walk off the trail and inspect them closer (and discover some that aren't immediately visible from the trail.


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Old 01-03-2021, 08:43 AM   #9
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Actually, Three Rivers is BLM rather than NPS. Saved the day.

We have plenty of pics of grandkids in the Petroglyphs National Monument posing next to glyphs. Hopefully before it became a NM. Some of us might even have crawled in the old cones looking for warmth back in the day.
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