Coal Mine

No short text A campground in a ponderosa pine forest with a stream and meadow nearby. This campground is part way up the road to the peak of Mount Taylor. Some maps call this Coal Mine Canyon campground.

Campground data:

Controlling agency: Cibola National Forest; Mt. Taylor Ranger District
Official URL:Forest service campground web page
Region: West-central; Mount Taylor.
CG elevation: 7440ft; 2268m
Campsite count: 17.
Visual density: 0.00. visual density not recorded.
Fee: $5.00. A sign indicated it was a fee area; when we camped here in 2000 we could find nothing indicating the fee to pay. The sign was blank where the amount should have been. Not all sites are numbered so filling out the fee area form might be interesting.
Season: May 01 to September 30. Snow and budgets might affect the season.
Dogs: Yes. on leash
Horses: Unknown.
Handicapped accessible: Unknown.
RV max length: 22ft; 7m
RV parking surface: dirt
RV pull-through spaces? Yes.
RV parking notes: Only some sites are pull-through.
General notes: A friend reported to us that when she stayed here, they had problems with people coming up from Grants to this campground at all hours of the night (including 4:30am) to drink, play loud music, disappear into the bushes to re-arrange clothes together, etc. You might either call the ranger station ahead of time (505-287-8833) or consider using a different campground on summer weekends.
Campground facilities: trash can(s).
Campground attractions: scenery.

When we visited it:

Date: 2000-05-13
Cleanliness: 5. Beer cans and bottles, some broken.

Waypoints:

Waypoint Type Description
COALCGCampgroundCoal Mine campground

Maps:

Paper maps:
Map name Cartographer Year Scale Topo map? Online access Notes
Albuquerque New Mexico USGS 1983 1:100000 Y from sar.lanl.gov (free)
El Malpais Recreation Map and Guide BLM 2008 1:100000 Y from Amazon (purchase) Great overview map for El Malpais area, including showing land ownership.
Guide to Indian Country of Arizona Colorado New Mexico Utah Automobile Club of Southern California 1998 1:0 N from Amazon (purchase) Good overview road map for northwest NM. No scale is given on the map. The corner coordinates are approximate.
Wildernesses of New Mexico US Forest Service 1981 1:1000000 N No online copies. Base map with national forests, wilderness areas and highways.

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Getting to the campground:

In Grants, take NM 547 approximately 11 miles. Watch out for the turns that this highway takes while in Grants, but once you are out of town, it is easy. The campground will be on the right.

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About the campground:

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This campground was a wonderful place to camp. The campsites are well-spaced which gives the campground a nice, open feeling. There is not much underbrush, and this adds to the open feeling.

There is evidence of lots of beer drinking, as we picked up several cans which had been tossed on the ground by prior campers. There were also some glass from broken bottles. In spite of this, the campground was not too trashy. However, see the note above about a friend's experience with the party crowd.

We and our friends shared the campground with one other car of people. With 17 campsites, this made for lots of room for each of us. The picture here shows campsite 8 with our truck parked in it.

If you cross this bridge across from the large restroom block you will find an old nature trail. There are some signs remaining. Some of the plants they are pointing out have apparently died. In other cases, the signs are unreadable. However, there also is a nice meadow over here. Kids will probably enjoy playing over here as well as in the stream.
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Plants we saw around the campground:

Reader comments about this campground:

On Wed Dec 8 15:11:50 2004 John from Louisiana said:
Had the same problem with young folks and lots of noise. They know that they are causing problems too because as they left they yelled general obscenities at the campground about keeping us up.

On Thu Jul 22 21:30:27 2010 LC from Somewhere said:
Stayed here on a Sunday night- July 11, 2010. Aside from one other family on the far side of the campground, we were the only ones. We used this as our home base to hike Mt. Taylor the next morning. We had to make our own firering/pit, but there was a grate to cook on. Sites seemed pretty clean. The restrooms were clean, not smelly, no bugs, adequate TP- the best I've ever been to at a basic campsite. During the afernoon and evening there were several cars (sometimes the same ones) who would come into the campground and drive the loop and leave again. I assume they were locals looking for their friends (this campground is pretty close to Grants). Although we heard of noise problems, we didn't have any, perhaps because we were there on a Sunday night. I would stay here again, but I think I would steer clear on a weekend or any holiday.

On Tue Sep 6 20:52:18 2011 Anonymous from Somewhere said:
There were 2 families that went up Labor day weekend, And we had a great time. The campground is very nice and clean, and not very crowed. we will be back for sure.

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