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Old 03-26-2013, 08:56 AM   #1
pilo OP
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Need NW NM Camping / hiking advice

ADVr's,

Picking up a new camper trailer near Durango this weekend with the family and we'd like to go exploring in New Mexico. We've been to Chaco before but never with the kids so that is one place we'd like to go. Anything else that we should not miss? We have bicycles with us and would even dig some smaller towns to explore, eat, etc. Off grid camping is best and a KOA type place would be the last resort. We have a week to bum around and will take any advice. The more potential for warmth, the better.

Thanks,
-Phil
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Old 03-26-2013, 09:38 AM   #2
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Aztec Ruins National Monument in Aztec is nice for an afternoon. Not sure if there is camping there, though.
Most of the land in NW New Mexico is Navajo Nation. There is some great trails and, probably camping, north of Farmington and North and East of Aztec.
If I had the choice I would head back through SE Utah. Warmer, more to see, etc.
Looks like it's warming up anyway. I was at my sons soccer games last weekend in Farmington and it was cold.
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Old 03-26-2013, 09:43 AM   #3
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Canyon de Chelley not too far away, not New Mexico, though.
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Old 03-26-2013, 10:18 AM   #4
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Also, not New Mexico, but canyon of the ancients outside of cortez is awesome this time of year and is mountain bicycle friendly. Stop by the Guy Drew winery while you're out there.
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Old 03-26-2013, 12:39 PM   #5
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Question Camping

Go to Tx or Az. There is a reason that they film Breaking Bad and 90% of COPS in NM.
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Old 03-26-2013, 12:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hook0924 View Post
Go to Tx or Az. There is a reason that they film Breaking Bad and 90% of COPS in NM.
I'm not sure what sort of positive response you expect to that comment. Am I missing an inside joke?
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Old 03-26-2013, 01:14 PM   #7
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We love the Jemez area of NM. Great hot springs.
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Old 03-26-2013, 01:52 PM   #8
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+1 re Jemez. I think DirtDad kows some trailer friendly spots. The Chama area is great, too. El Vado, Heron and Navajo lakes if you want some water ambiance. Not sure what it's like this time of year, or if there's primitive camping, but Vallecito in CO is nice.
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Old 03-26-2013, 02:00 PM   #9
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+1 re Jemez. I think DirtDad kows some trailer friendly spots. The Chama area is great, too. El Vado, Heron and Navajo lakes if you want some water ambiance. Not sure what it's like this time of year, or if there's primitive camping, but Vallecito in CO is nice.
there is primitive camping at Vallecito, under a few feet of snow
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Old 03-26-2013, 02:05 PM   #10
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Old 03-26-2013, 02:41 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by VxZeroKnots View Post
Also, not New Mexico, but canyon of the ancients outside of cortez is awesome this time of year and is mountain bicycle friendly. Stop by the Guy Drew winery while you're out there.
From Canyon of the Ancients you can continue west through Blanding or Bluff and check out Butler Wash and Comb Ridge.
Great primative camping and good kid hikes up the ridge from the east. Lots of ruins.
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Old 03-26-2013, 06:03 PM   #12
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Thanks so much for all of the responses. We're not wedded to NM, just somewhere in the vicinity. We don't usually have a reason to plunk around the 4 corners area since we are usually an hour or two north in UT.

DirtDad - I got the PM. Thanks very much.

This is going to be great. Sounds like there is plenty to explore in the area.

Any recommendations for little towns with restaurants/cafes not to be missed? I don't want to drive by any winners (by happy to slither on by the losers).
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Old 03-31-2013, 11:20 AM   #13
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Ok. We're on the road. Thinking of hitting mesa verde before heading further south. Anyone know of a place close to Durango or Cortez that might have a more primitive camping but we could still pull our 20 footer? Rv parks are not too fun...
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Old 03-31-2013, 12:30 PM   #14
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did a search and found this info:

There are lots of several pay campgrounds on Nat Forest land (McPhee Reservoir, 15 mi north or Cortez; Target Tree, 25 miles east; and several others). However, these are also not open this time of year.

The one pay campground that I found was north of Mancos at Mancos State Park. It's $15 per site (2 cars), plus 5 bucks if you don't have a state parks pass. The Mancos SP campground looked nice.

It seems that Cortez doesn't really get cranking until Summer when the tourists come through to go to Mesa Verde. I suppose this explains why they are in no hurry to get the campgrounds open.

Hope this helps; have a great trip!
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Old 03-31-2013, 09:09 PM   #15
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Borque. Thanks for taking a look. Mancos so looks great but I think it may be a little snowy. We're going to wander over tomorrow and take a look.
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