Fawn Lakes

campsite 8

A nice campground along the Red River in amongst spruce and ponderosa pines. This campground has a separate loop for tents, providing a separate place for those who want to be farther from the RV generators.

Campground data:

Controlling agency: Carson National Forest; Questa Ranger District
Official URL:campground web site
Region: North-central; Sangre de Cristo Mountains.
CG elevation: 8556ft; 2608m
Campsite count: 19. The forest service says 22.
Visual density: 7.50. In each loop, you can see the whole loop. I counted a visual density of 11 in the RV loop and 4 in the tent loop. The only reason that the visual density in the RV area was not higher is that near RVs can block viewing farther ones.
Fee: $15.00. $5.00 for an extra vehicle in the campsite.
Season: May 01 to October 31. According to the campground host in the Columbine Canyon campground in 2004, Fawn Lakes is the only campground in Red River canyon that is open year-round. However, the Forest Service web page for the campground says it is closed in winter.
Dogs: Yes. on leash
Horses: Unknown.
Handicapped accessible: Yes. Site 16 and restrooms are accessible.
General tent notes: All sites in the tent loop have good tent areas, but not tent pads.
RV max length: 65ft; 20m
RV parking surface: gravel
RV pull-through spaces? Unknown.
General RV notes: RV max length unknown.
General notes: The campground is close to the road, so road noise might be a problem.
Campground facilities: water, trash can(s), vault toilet(s), fire pit (with cooking grates).
Campground attractions: fishing.

When we visited it:

Date: 2004-07-15 2011-08-06
Cleanliness: 9. 9. Only a few small pieces of litter in our campsite.


Waypoint Type Description
FWNLKCGCampgroundFawn Lakes CG


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
Valle Vidal Unit, Carson National Forest US Forest Service 1999 1:63360 Y from Amazon (purchase)
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 the stoplight in Questa where NM 522 and NM 38 meet, head east on NM 38, toward Red River. After about 8.3(?) miles, you should see the campground on your right.

Note that the campground is not located where the 1995 Carson National Forest map (nor the 1995 USGS Red River quad) says it is; it is after Elephant Rock campground as you head from Questa to Red River.

campground sign

About the campground:

site 16
The campground is close to the highway, as you can see in this photo (that Suburban is on the highway, not in a campsite).

Plants we saw around the campground:

Reader comments about this campground:

On Fri Aug 12 13:06:23 2005 cindy from Somewhere said:
Fawn Lakes was the only campground in the area (including the state sites in Cimarron Canyon) that had one tiny five-site loop disallowing RVs! For tent campers who adore silence or simply the wind and river sounds, the generators of RVs are a nightmare. More campgrounds need to set aside areas where huge mobile homes cannot set up next to tent campers. And Rvers need to rethink their abusive running of motors!

The camp host, although working for a private contractor (United Land Management) and not a Forest service person, was very nice, knowledgeable about the area, and nonintrusive.

The lakes were lovely and the Red River was wonderful. There are lots of interesting dirt roads in the area for excursions.

On Sat Jul 29 20:08:26 2006 Sherrie from Llano, Texas said:
Our family just returned from a camping trip in Red River. Out of all the choices in Red River, and we checked them all out including Columbine, Fawn Lakes is by far the best for tent campers! There are only 5 campsites in the tent only area, but four of them are fantastic. We were right next to the beautiful Red River, and our teenagers caught enough trout right off the bank to have a wonderful meal one night. No generator noise, and the area is away from all the RVs. Red River is RV city Ive never seen so many in one place before! All the campsites are clogged with them. The area is beautiful, with lots of trees. The campsites are very clean the vault toilet isnt so great but its better than nothing. People were very friendly. Lots to do in town. We were very impressed with this beautiful place, and will try to return soon. If you can snag one of these sites, youre in luck. They dont last long, other campers are usually waiting for your site before you leave.

On Tue Sep 5 22:03:09 2006 Scott from Fort Worth, Tx said:
My Family and I really enjoyed our say at the Fawn Lakes tent site #11. What a beautiful setting and a perfect escape from the hot muggy weather in the Ft. Worth Tx. area. Temperatures ranged from low 40's at night to low 70's in the day. My two Boys, under the age of 6, really enjoyed camping. They spent their time fishing, playing chase and throwing pine cones. Since the tent site is right next to the river, my sons were able to have a great time; and my wife and I were able to relax, with the boys never leaving our view. It did rain on us twice. Both of the thunder showers lasted about 30-45 minuets. One of those times we just so happened to be ridding the ski lift in the town of Red River, we were soaked and cold but the view from the lift was Amazing to behold. We left our camp site every morning to go fishing, hiking or window shopping in town. Our tent site and belongings were never bothered or tampered with while we were away. The Camp Host was very friendly and informative. The camp ground did have a vault toilet which was a little stinky. It would have been nice if there was a Shower Facility. Also... Camp Fees have gone Up from $10 to $15 per night. We had a wonderful time and plan to vacation there again next year.

On Mon Jun 16 18:14:23 2008 Fred from Larkspur, CO said:
We drove in from the west on Hwy 38, so we checked out Columbine Canyon and Elephant Rock campgrounds first. All the good creek sites were already taken at CC and ER just had too many RVs for our taste (plus no creek going through ER).

The "tents only" area at Fawn Lakes turned out to be perfect. We had site #8, first site on the right of the 5 tent sites. Beautifully situated right on the river, but the tent pad sees a lot of sun until about 3:00 p.m. in June/July. Site #9 is probably the best of the 5 tent sites - good shade and very nice spot on the river - but it was taken. #10 and #11 are on the river as well with #11 tucked against the hill which would block road noise (usually drowned out by the river anyway). #12 is next to the stinky vault toilet and not on the river.

My daughter caught a small rainbow on her first cast, then a decent size (10-11") later on.

On Mon May 25 18:52:23 2009 Austin from Lubbock Tx said:
Very Good Place ,,!! I hope nobody reads this!! It gets booked,, We stayed there the last week of June 2008,This is one of the best places in the valley!! Sure the toilets stink some , there toilets, But over all I give it a A,, Not an A+ , because we didn't catch a fish,-( the creek was running to fast)- This is close to Red River & a nice place to camp !

On Mon Jul 13 09:07:58 2009 Former tent camper from New Mexico said:
I like peace and quiet too, but as with pets and even children, it's the UNEDUCATED UNCARING OWNER/PARENT, not the MACHINE (PET or CHILDREN) itself that makes the noise or problem so don't classify everyone in one lump sum! New Mexico winds are horrendous and we've busted 3 different tents (metal poles) trying to deal with them. We now have a 'metal tent on wheels' (RV) which is 23' long and we deserve the right to use the very same areas you do. We are respectful (as we'd like to be respected), helpful (when your tent falls down from a heavy downpour or blows apart, we're there to help you out) and watchful, (can't be seen from inside so if there is a prowler going in to slice open your tent and steal your belongings, we're there to prevent it). There's an old adage, keep your friends close, but keep your enemies closer! In other words, make friends with people and you'll be more likely to have someone help out and/or they'll be more approachable about an issue vs a complete stranger telling another complete stranger to keep it quiet! I'm not saying go for the potluck approach like in the movie RV, but you'll do better and go further if you don't alienate others from EVERYONE'S National Forest!

On Tue Aug 4 20:03:24 2009 Austin from Lubbock said:
another Great stay at Fawn Lakes,, We stayed ,9th & 10th of July 2009. We should have stayed the 11th too!!The place was bizzy.!!! The creek was perfect!! caught fish & ate them too! This year the fee was $15,, but that's OK , & I guess this year you could buy a site & put a milk jug in the parking spot and it was reserved ,that was not cool! I thought it was first come first serve, Set Up!! But, as always ,, A Great time.!!!

On Tue Aug 5 08:48:56 2009 the webmaster from Albuquerque said:
A milk jug seems a bit small. However, some people (like Diana and I) camp in our truck and there's not much to leave when we go for a day hike somewhere. We normally leave our stove or a cooler.

On Wed Jan 13 07:51:04 2010 Max from Montgomery, Tx said:
I have been going to this campground since 1974. My kids grew up going to this place and camping and today, they are grown with kids and they continue to visit this wonderful place. When we first started visiting this campground it was called Elephant Rock because you could look across Hiway 38 up on the mountain and see the rock that looked like an elephant. They changed the name sereral years ago.

I still refer to it as Elephant Rock. My dad and mom camped there for years before they got where they couldn't do it anymore. We had family reunions there with all of my

family, brother and sister's family, and we are carrying on the tradition. Take care of all the campgrounds, keep them clean and protect them.

On Wed Jul 27 15:22:42 2011 Bill from Broken Arrow, OK said:
My recent stay at the Fawn Lake campground was fabulous. I'm a tent camper so I pitched my tent in the back of the campground that is reserved for tents only. Most of these sites have a river running right by them which makes it very peacefull and heaven if you love to fish. Make sure your tent is waterproof as a small afternoon storm is common. For most of my stay I was the only camper in the back section which added to the peacefulness. Fawn Lake is at the camground and also available for fishing. The campground is well run with a great sponsor.

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