A lovely forest campground next to a running stream near Questa on the Enchanted Circle in NE New Mexico.
- Site Quality = 4/5
Very nice site quality here, especially for a National Forest. All sites are paved with a good selection of larger and relatively flat ones. The entrance to the campground has a small circle of 8 large, perfectly flat open sites easily accessible to big rigs, but with limited shade/privacy. The remainder of the campground runs away from the main road up alongside a creek and has more private and dispersed forested sites of varying size/flatness. On left a selection of back-ins (#10-17 or so), with pull-throughs on right (#21 onwards), several of which can accommodate larger rigs. All sites have good separation, lovely “sitting areas” with picnic table and fire-pit, while some even have direct stream-access (e.g. #26/27). No hookups.
- Facilities = 2/5
Very basic facilities here. There are several sets of pit toilets, kept nicely clean and several water spigots. Access to the stream and many (many) miles of hiking directly from camp. No showers or dump station.
- Location = 5/5
Another lovely location. You are deep in the woods here, shielded from the wind and right next to miles of wonderful hiking. Short drive to popular Red River as well as to visit other sights (e.g. Wild Rivers BLM).
- Pet Friendliness = 5/5
Great pet playground. The stream provides wonderful refreshment, plus there are literally days worth of hiking in Carson National Forest on the trails directly from camp.
Overall Rating = 4
BONUS ALERT = Camp deep in the woods next to the calming song of a running stream!
Summary: There are 5 forest campgrounds on the Northern End of the Enchanted Circle between Red River and Questa, but Columbine Canyon is by far the most accessible, quietest and nicest in our opinion. Set beautifully in the forest right alongside a running stream, the campground has both fully open sites as well as more private forested sites. All are paved with good access, nice separation and a selection large and flat enough for bigger rigs. There are lovely “sitting areas” and even a few sites with direct stream access (we thought our site #26 by far the nicest of the lot). The surrounding area has plenty to do and see including Red River, Wild Rivers BLM and literally days worth of hiking (there is access to at least 40 miles or so directly from the campground). This is a typical primitive forest campground with no hookups and no dump station but it feels wonderfully peaceful and secluded. It also has full protection from those famous New Mexico winds, a rarity in the area. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay and would most certainly come again.
Extra Info: Verizon extended network with a few bars, so you’ll get a slow 1X connection, but no more. Sites cost $15/night (no hookups). All 27 sites are first-come-first-serve. Several on-site water spigots, but NO dump station.
Extra, Extra Info: More Remote? If you’re looking for something more remote El Aguaje Campground at Wild Rivers BLM has plenty of room for big rigs and allows camping right on the upper rim of the gorgeous Rio Grande Canyon for $7/night (no hookups). Very few people seem to go there.
Extra, Extra, Extra Info: Boondocking? There is aparently a lovely boondocking spot nearer to Taos off Forest Service road 9 at Cebola Mesa. Official RV size limit is 32′, but we weren’t able to make it over there to check if they take bigger. If anyone goes, let me know!