El Rito Campground

Carson National Forest

write a review
County Road 280
El Rito, NM 87530
505-581-4554
505-758-6200
Official Website

GPS: 36.4004, -106.2537

Last Price Paid: $0
Number of Sites: 11
Open Seasonally: April-Nov.
Elevation: 7644 ft
Tent Camping: Yes

2 people have reviewed this location.

Ratings Summary

Access
Location
Cleanliness
Site Quality
Noise

Cell Phone Coverage

2bars
Verizon 4G/LTE
2bars
AT&T 4G/LTE
3bars
AT&T 3G
0bars
Sprint
Weboost
Thumb 66badfab f2c7 4219 8a89 9343fca0f6b5
WanderWithTheWork...
ID
23 Fleetwood Mallard 23D
1993 Ford F250
23 reviews
Nightly rate: FREE!
Days stayed: 1
Site Number: Dispersed camping
“Beautiful campgrounds and creek but a rough ride in”

Reviewed Oct 02, 2018

Overall Rating

The roads to this campground were all paved, but they were terribly bumpy. (Think a paved version of a washboard road). My husband, who usually does not get motion sickness, is feeling awful right now because of the ride.

So there’s that. :(

I think it’s worth it, though; it’s really gorgeous up here. We got into cacti country on the way, and were thinking that it was going to be desolate desert, but then WHAM! You’re up in pine trees and there’s a creek running through and it feels almost like Montana or something.

The internet is here, but not strong. With AT&T (hotspot), we had three bars and 4G, but no LTE. With our booster, that bumped it up to five bars, but still no LTE.

With Verizon on our phones, we had three bars and 3G without the booster; with the booster, we got another bar but not LTE internet. So expect to be able to browse the internet and get work done, but don’t expect to stream videos.

We have a Sprint hotspot also; no service there with or without the booster.

The description says toilets and picnic tables; I’ll admit that we haven’t explored much yet, but I haven’t spotted anything like that. There’s just random fire rings marked out with stones scattered throughout. The particular spot that we’re camped at was as level as a yardstick but some sites didn’t look that level, so YMMV.

There’s supposed to be trout in the creek that runs past here, so I know what my husband will be doing this evening!

Driving through El Rito...I kinda get the other person’s review of this place. El Rito is...interesting, and not in a positive way. It’s not a place I’d want to be after dark, that’s for sure. I haven’t had anything stolen, but El Rito does seem sketchy. Definitely come with water, groceries, and gas in your tank, because none of that is available locally.

Overall, it’s gorgeous up here and there is SOME internet, so it works for us! We’d stay here again for sure.

Edit: Well, I take most of what I said back, lol. We ended up only staying one night instead of two because I’m like 95.2% sure that there are drug dealers selling drugs up here. There’s no other explanation for what the locals were doing. Old beat-up cars from the 80s and 90s; minivans that have seen (a lot) better days...these are not toads for RVs. These were locals, out for a cruise in the middle of...nowhere? Yeah, they’re doing something they’re not supposed to be. We didn’t see a single RV or tent camper the entire time we were there. All other vehicle traffic (and there was a LOT of it) was locals. Driving back and forth at all hours of the night and throughout the day. Who goes for a pleasure cruise through a national forest in the dead of night in a thunderstorm?!

Also, turns out that we were on roaming AT&T internet, not regular AT&T internet, so by morning, we’d used up all of our roaming data and our hotspot had basically become a paperweight at that point. Verizon went between 3G and LTE according to my phone, but it felt like it was alternating between 1x and 3G. We never had real LTE, I’m positive of that.

There were also herds of cows wandering through and cow patties everywhere, which we’re from Idaho so that doesn’t bother us, but I thought I’d warn y’all in case cows aren’t your thing.

To be clear, we never had anyone threaten or even interact with us at all. But it just wasn’t a good feeling up there. Also, we did do some exploring, and we never found picnic tables or vault toilets. So, the listing for this area is totally not accurate.

Personally, even though it’s pretty, we’ll never stay here again. The beauty doesn’t outweigh all of the negatives. (Oh, and no fish in the streams!)

Access
Location
Cleanliness
Site Quality
Noise
2bars
AT&T 4G/LTE
0bars
Sprint
2bars
Verizon 4G/LTE

This review is the opinion of a Campendium member and not of Campendium.com


1 review
Days stayed: 4
“horrible”

Reviewed Dec 31, 2015

Overall Rating

Great campground, but as you drive to it you will notice the local area. Locals constantly driving by. I lost $1200 dollars worth of equipment that was locked up. Be ware of theft!!

Access
Location
Cleanliness
Site Quality
Noise
3bars
AT&T 3G

This review is the opinion of a Campendium member and not of Campendium.com


Have you written a blog post
about El Rito Campground?

Share it here!

Hookups:
  • dry camping
Recreation:
  • fishing
  • picnic area
  • recreation trail
Site Amenities:
  • fire ring
  • picnic table
Facilities:
  • restrooms: vault
Pets:
  • pets

Nearby

Canjilon Lakes
National Forest
Canjilon, New Mexico
Ojo caliente mineral springs resort and spa rv park
Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort & Spa
RV Park
Ojo Caliente, New Mexico
Ghost ranch
Ghost Ranch
Campground
Abiquiu, New Mexico
Rio chama abiquiu dam
Rio Chama-Abiquiu Dam
BLM
Abiquiu, New Mexico
Riana
Riana Campground
Army Corps Of Engineers
Gallina, New Mexico
Echo campground
Echo Campground
National Forest
Abiquiu, New Mexico
Trout Lakes
National Forest
Tierra Amarilla, New Mexico