Although there are numerous wonderful areas throughout the state in which to camp, hike, and just generally get away from it all, if you are looking for some of the greatest camping sites in New Mexico, you don’t need to go much farther than Albuquerque or Santa Fe.
To the south of Albuquerque, in the Manzano mountain range, is Red Canyon, a ponderosa pine dual-campground of 50 camp sites available annually April through October. The campground is seldom completely full, and part of it is a horse camp with corrals. Head further south to the Magdalena Mountains near Socorro for Water Canyon campground, a small area popular with mountain bikers and birdwatchers.
Just north of Santa Fe are a few locally favored camping areas, including Jemez Springs and Juniper Campground at Bandelier National Forest. Jemez is one of the greatest natural wonders of New Mexico, Jemez Sprimgs is home to breathtaking landscapes of red rock mesa, forests, and internationally renowned hot springs, from which its name is derived. Camping is available in the Santa Fe National Forest at Las Conchas, Jemez Falls, and Redondo Campgrounds. Juniper Family Campground is a beautiful, tree-laden area located near the entrance to Bandelier National Monument. A picnic table and grill is located at each camp site.
Also outside of Santa Fe is Hyde Memorial State Park, a popular camping destination in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The park has more than fifty camp sites available year-round, seven of which include electricity for RV camping, though there are no water or sewer hookups. Area picnic tables are sheltered, and some have fireplaces, which is a plus when the north central New Mexico snows start to fall. Hyde is located next to Black Canyon Campground, which is one of the Santa Fe area’s most pleasant and serene camping destinations.