CARSON NATIONAL FOREST
CARSON NATIONAL FOREST
208 Cruz Alta Road
Taos, New Mexico 87571
Some of the finest mountain scenery in the Southwest is found in the 1.5 million acres covered by the Carson National Forest. Elevations rise from 6,000 feet to 13,161 feet at Wheeler Peak, the highest in New Mexico. Big game animals roam the Carson. They include mule deer, elk, antelope, black bear, mountain lion, and bighorn sheep. There are also many species of smaller animals and songbirds. Almost every animal calling Northern New Mexico home can be found at Ghost Ranch Living Museum.
Agua Piedra Campground
Agua Piedra, located in the Carson National Forest, is nestled near the Rio Pueblo and Agua Piedra Creek. The campground contains many shaded areas to camp, relax, and enjoy the outdoors.The campground includes 40 single sites each with a table and fire ring, two double sites each with two tables and a fire ring, and two group shelters located west of the....more
Cimarron Campground is located in the scenic Valle Vidal within Carson National Forest in northern New Mexico, at an elevation of 9,300 feet. The sites are tucked among spruce, aspen and fir trees, and the camp offers an open range feel.
Visitors have opportunities to enjoy a variety of recreational activities in a picturesque setting. Viewing....more
Columbine Campground is located between Questa and Red River, New Mexico. The Red River flows past the campground and a trailhead leads into the Columbine-Hondo Wilderness area. Columbine Campground sits at 7,900 feet in elevation.The Columbine Twining hiking trail can be found at the south end of the campground and gives access to 14 miles of hiking....more
Elephant Rock Campground
Elephant Rock Campground has excellent fishing access to the well-stocked Red River, nearby Eagle Rock Lake and hiking into the surrounding high country. This campground is close to the highway with plenty of large pine trees. The campground rests at 8,400 feet above sea level.Elephant Rock Campground is a single loop that meanders up a hillside with....more
Fawn Lakes Campground
Fawn Lakes Campground is located in Carson National Forest, one of a few campgrounds located along the scenic canyons of Red River. Visitors enjoy fishing and exploring nearby hiking trails.The campground contains 18 family overnight sites, of which three are tent-only sites. Vault toilets and drinking water are provided. Firewood is available for purchase....more
Leave No Trace! : Thousands of visitors to Carson National Forest have a tremendous impact on the land. It's up to all of us to minimize our impact, to travel softly, leaving no trace of our visit so that future generations can enjoy the woods and mountains we all love.
You Don't Have to Camp in a Campground. National Forests mean room to roam. You can camp anywhere in Carson National Forest. Some restrictions apply. Pleasecheck with the local Forest Service Office.
How Long Can I Camp in Carson National Forest? : Stay limit is 14 days.
Your Campsite, Look for a site that:
Is at least 200 feet from water. This will help protect water quality and minimize pollution.
Has a good place for a tent, where you will not have to destroy vegetation. Try using a hammock and a tarp instead of a tent.
Is out of sight of the trail, unless you are at a designated site.
Wear sneakers or light shoes around camp to avoid trampling vegetation.
The high ridges of the Carson National Forest tend to be steep and densely vegetated. Allow plenty of time to find a good campsite.
Your Campfire : Campfires can cause unnecessary signs of human presence and ugly scars on the landscape. Please use a portable stove instead.
If you must have a fire : Use only fallen, dead wood. Don't cut down snags, since animals rely on these for homes. Keep your fire small. Clear away duff and forest litter to prevent the fire from spreading. A fire ring isn't necessary! Never leave your fire unattended. Be sure it's dead out and leave no trace of your fire when you leave. Remember, a candle can be a focus point for a group instead of a campfire!
Can I Drink the Water? : The answer to this question is an emphatic yes - and no. No matter how clear or pure the water may look, it's a good idea to purify all unprotected water. Water-borne parasites, including Giardia Lambia, have been found in Carson National Forest water. Purification methods include chemical treatment, filtration, and boiling.
Garbage : Pack out everything you pack in. Burying, scattering or burning food scraps will only attract animals and leave a mess for other people.
Human Waste : Dig a hole 5 or 6 inches deep into the humus layer of soil, at least 200 feet from water. After use, cover the hole and microorganisms will do the rest.
Group Size : Keep your group size below 10 people. Larger groups have a much greater impact on the land and on other hiker's enjoyment.