|A small, clean campground with excellent access to the Pecos Wilderness such as Iron Gate to the Rio Mora. This campground is one of the highest-elevation campgrounds in the state, making it a nice refuge from the heat in the summer.|
|Campground data||Waypoints||Maps||Getting to the campground||About the campground||Plants around the campground||Comments|
When we visited it:
|Cleanliness:||8.||7. Water bottle, candy wrappers, bottle tops, and car window glass (was someone broken into?)|
|General notes:||The toilets were smelly and had not been cleaned recently. They were also low on toilet paper; bringing your own might be a good idea.|
|IRNGT||Campground||Iron Gate campground|
|Map name||Cartographer||Year||Scale||Topo map?||Online access||Notes|
|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.|
|Pecos Wilderness, Santa Fe and Carson National Forests||US Forest Service||2004||1:54000||Y||from Amazon (purchase)|
|Santa Fe||BLM||1996||1:100000||Y||from Amazon (purchase)|
|Santa Fe||USGS||1954||1:250000||Y||from sar.lanl.gov (free)|
|Santa Fe National Forest||US Forest Service||2004||1:126720||N||from Amazon (purchase)||East half|
|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:
From I-25, take exit 299: Glorieta/Pecos. Follow the signs to Pecos. At the stop sign, turn left. A sign here indicates the turn will take you to Colwes and Terrero.
Follow the winding road through part of the town of Pecos. Mind the speed limit or add to the village revenue. Continue up through the Pecos River Valley. This road will take while to drive; don't be in a hurry. It can easily take most of an hour to get to the campground.
After the Terrero General Store, the road deteriorates some. You continue for several miles, then watch for a sign for Forest Road 233 and Iron Gate. Take this road. The sign says that this is a limited use road: not suitable for low-clearance vehicles. They are correct. I would not recommend taking a low-clearance car up this road.
Beware summer thunderstorms. Besides the danger of lightning strikes, heavy rains can make the road impassable.
Follow the road about 5 miles to the Iron Gate campground.
About the campground:
This campground is used by many people who enter the Pecos Wilderness at the trailhead here. Many bring their horses with them; the campground has a corral. A photo of our friend Michael Wester in site 14 is to the left. You can see an overview of the campground in this photo.
Sites 2 and 5 looked like the nicest to stay in. Here is site 2. It is somewhat separate from the rest. As a result, it has more trees around it. Somebody obviously appreciated this, as they had set up their tent there.
Site 5 is in the island formed by the loop road. However, it also has many trees around it and looks like a pleasant site to stay in.
Plants we saw around the campground:
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