|A pair of campgrounds in a ponderosa pine forest with a (often dry) stream near the upper camp. With plenty of campsites, this campground will only be full on the busiest of weekends. This campground is the trailhead for three trails which can be used to make two loops. One of these loops is the Red Canyon/Spruce Spring loop.|
|Campground data||Waypoints||Maps||Getting to the campground||About the campground||Plants around the campground||Comments|
When we visited it:
|Cleanliness:||9.||7. I found 24 small pieces of litter in site 18 and 16 in site 34.|
|General notes:||Vault toilets were smelly. In the horse camp, the only occupant was playing LOUD music (maybe explaining why they were the only occupant of the campground?).|
|RCCGHC||Campground||Red Canyon horse campground|
|RCCG||Campground||Red Canyon 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.|
|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 Albuquerque, take Interstate 40 East to exit 175 for South NM 337. Take 337 south. From the stoplight, head 28.7 miles south on NM 337 through Chilili until the road ends at a T intersection with NM 55. Turn right (west) and continue another 12 miles passing through Tajique and Torreon to the town of Manzano. Watch for a sign (and then follow it :-) which says: Manzano State Park; Red Canyon Campground; NM 131. After going 2.4 miles on NM 131, you are at the entrance to Manzano Mountains state park.
Turn right; you are now on a one-lane paved road. 0.5 mi down the road you get to the forest boundary and the road turns to gravel. A few small side roads branch off, but remain on the main road for 1.8 miles, where you will see a sign for the Red Canyon campground.
You have two choices for places to camp. If you choose the (upper) horse camp, you will be camping at the trailheads for three trails. If you choose the lower camp, you add about 0.4mi to your hike. RV camping is at the lower campground. Otherwise, (unless you have horses) there is little to distinguish the two campgrounds.
About the campground:
The campsites are in a ponderosa forest. This is campsite 2. It is listed as a tent site, but we really did not see much difference between the tent and RV campsites. The tent sites did not appear to be any better suited for tents than many of the others, although a few of the non-tent sites were not very flat other than the parking area.
Here is a photo of campsite 4.
Here is campsite 9. Somebody left with a campfire still burning.
Sites 19 and 20 have parking right beside each other. Great for friends camping together.
About 0.4mi away from the main camping area is the horse camp with campsites 39--50. Many of the sites are close together. This would be great if you are with some friends at the neighboring campsite. What looks like the best campsite is at the end of the loop on the right, right as you begin turning to the left to go around the loop. The picture shows a campsite with our truck parked in it. You can see the van in the neighboring site as well. There are three campsites in this photo. At the horse camp, but not a part of the fee area is also a picnic area with six picnic sites and a group area with four tables and one serving table. The trail between this part of the campground and the non-horse campground leaves from this picnic area. Two of the trailheads are near the picnic area as well. A stream runs along the edge of the campground. It was dry when we were camping.
Plants we saw around the campground:
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