Cebolla Mesa

No short text A campground right on the edge of the Rio Grande Gorge. Watch the sun set on the Taos mountains, then go to sleep to the sound of the rapids 800 ft below. Wake up and watch the sun descend into the canyon, then descend into the gorge yourself on the Cebolla Mesa trail.

Campground data:

Controlling agency: Carson National Forest; Questa Ranger District
Official URL:Forest service campground web site
Region: North-central; Rio Grande Gorge.
Between Taos and Questa
CG elevation: 7398ft; 2255m
Campsite count: 5.
Visual density: 2.00.
Fee: $0.00.
Season: May 01 to October 31. There is no gate, so the season is probably dictated by the weather more than the calendar. This campground is probably hot in the summer.
Dogs: Yes. on leash
Horses: Unknown.
Handicapped accessible: Unknown.
General tent notes: Most campsites had good places for tents. The tents will be on dirt containing gravel.
RV max length: 32ft; 10m
RV parking surface: dirt
RV pull-through spaces? Yes.
General notes: The picnic tables looked new 2006-09-03.
Campground facilities: vault toilet(s) (The toilet looked new; it was clean and not smelly 2006-09-03.), fire pit (Most fire pits were full of ashes, rocks, or both.).
Campground attractions: hiking, wildlife, fishing (Down at the bottom of the gorge.), 4wd (In the event of rain, the road to the campground could be impassable.), scenery (Both views down into the gorge as well as the Wheeler and Latir Wildernesses to the east.), river (Down at the bottom of the gorge.).

When we visited it:

Date: 2006-09-01
Cleanliness: 7. Most sites were clean, but two had beer cans and one had a half-full disposable propane bottle.
General notes: On Labor Day weekend, we saw one couple who came to hike. Otherwise we had the campground to ourselves.


Waypoint Type Description
CEBOLLACGCampgroundCarson National Forest Cebolla Mesa campground


Paper maps:
Map name Cartographer Year Scale Topo map? Online access Notes
Carson National Forest US Forest Service 2002 1:126720 N from Amazon (purchase) Camino Real and Questa ranger districts and Valle Vidal Unit side of the map
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.
Wheeler Peak BLM 2001 1:100000 Y from Amazon (purchase)
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 Taos, head north on NM 522 (this highway starts out as US 64, but on the north edge of Taos, 64 goes left and 522 continues north). Between mile markers 15 and 16 you will see a sign about Forest Road 9 and Cebolla Mesa. Take Forest road 9 west (left) abour 4 miles. The road goes to the campground and a rougher road continues past it.

This is the view as you approach the campground.

There is no sign along the road to indicate you have arrived.

When we visited, the road had ruts indicating that it becomes slick and muddy when wet.

No short text

About the campground:

The easternmost campsite
The easternmost campsite has its table away from the parking area. It would be a good tent location. This site is isolated from the other sites.
This is the sunset view.
Sunset on Taos mountains
The westernmost campsite is on a point of land, with the gorge on one side and a smaller canyon on the other.

Plants we saw around the campground:

Reader comments about this campground:

On Thu Mar 20 09:10:43 2008 paula from Boulder, CO said:
We camped here about 12 years ago. Found it magical. Want to go back this summer. High on Mesa with hikes down to Rio Grande. Camping among sage..probably hot in midsummer.

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