A very relaxing and pretty National Forest campground next to Lake Roberts in the Gila Wilderness in SW New Mexico.
- Site Quality = 5/5
Really lovely sites here with easy access even for “beast size” RVs. All are very flat, large paved sites with lovely and large ”sitting areas”, picnic table, fire-pit, grill and personal trash cans. Selection of back-in, pull-in and pull-throughs as well as ~12 hookup sites (30Amp/water). All sites have excellent separation and lovely views of open hills and trees. Select sites in front of the loop have lake views (#15, 16 and 19/20).
- Facilities = 3.5/5
Very decent facilities for a Forest campground. Flush toilets, kept nicely clean (no showers). Also, on-site dump station (not mentioned on the NFS website, but it’s there!). Boat ramp and fishing piers by the lake as well as picnic areas.
- Location = 5/5
This is a lovely and remote location. You’re ~21 miles up on Hwy 35 deep within the Gila Wilderness. The campground has pretty views and access to lovely Lake Roberts as well as several cool hiking trails. You’re also only ~40 mins from Gila Cliff Dwellings.
- Pet Friendliness = 5/5
Very, very dog friendly park. Lots of space to hang out and relax, plus plenty of hiking both around the lake and near the campground (big bonus is that many trails allow “voice control”). Locals and host are very dog-relaxed. While we were there we even had a daily visitor, Booger a dog that lives ~4 miles away, who made the trek everyday to visit the campers and campground (Polly had alot of play-fun!)
Overall Rating = 4.6
BONUS ALERT = Relax with a view of the lake and hills deep in the Gila Forest!
Summary: If you’re looking for relaxation and forest it really doesn’t get better than this. Lake Roberts is located ~21 miles up Hwy 35 deep in the gorgeous Gila National Forest at ~6,000 feet. It’s a bit of a narrow (and sometimes) bumpy road coming up, but the location is beautiful. There are actually two campgrounds within ~1 mile of each other -> Upper End (which is on-level with the lake, but doesn’t have any views of it) and Mesa (which is above the lake and some sites have views). Both campgrounds are big-rig friendly, but we thought Mesa the prettiest. Sites are wonderful paved, flat with picnic table, fire-pit, grill, great separation and even a selection of electric/water hookups. Several sites near the front (#15,16,19, 20) have lake views. We chose #16 which was non-hookup, but enormous (huge) and our choice for the nicest in the loop. There’s lots of activity to keep both you and doggie happy including hiking, fishing and sight-seeing (Gila Cliff Dwellings). During the week this place is completely empty, but it does fill up with locals (and kids and dogs!) in the week-end. A simply lovely campground and we’d definitely come back.
Extra Info: NO Verizon coverage (zip, nada, zilch)…need to drive ~15 miles back towards Mimbres before you get a signal. Sites cost $10/night for non-hook-up, $15/night for water/30Amp electric (~12 sites). First-come-first-serve only. On-site dump station in Mesa campground.
Extra, Extra Info (BOONDOCKING): For those looking for a cheaper alternative Gila Forest allows camping anywhere you can legally drive. We saw an easy, flat forest service road between mile-markers 18 & 19 on left-hand-side leading to an open field with several big-rigs. Also, there is a free campground (Forks Campground) a few miles south of Gila Cliff Dwellings for those brave enough to make the drive (Hwy 15 can be somewhat hairy). Forks is mostly for tenters or small rigs, but we saw at least one site at the very top (near the road) which would certainly fit a big rig.