Rio Chiquito Road Dispersed Camping
Santa Fe National ForestWrite a Review Rio Chiquito Road Cordova, NM 87523 505-438-5300 Official Website
GPS: 35.9963, -105.8662
Location submitted by: Nathan @ Wand'rly
Overview of Rio Chiquito Road Dispersed Camping
Accessibility is not guaranteed, always scout ahead before driving down dirt roads. Learn more: Boondocking101
Last Price Paid: $0
Reported by Nathan @ Wand'rly on 6/29/2020
Number of Sites 10
Pad Type dirt
Elevation 7,185 ft / 2,189 m
Max Stay 14
Tent Camping Yes
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Reviews of Rio Chiquito Road Dispersed Camping 1 person has reviewed this location.
“Reminds me of Old Mexico...”
As a young child, I had temper issues. So, I had to work hard to keep my head level. Later, I'd enjoy video games, in which it was often required to beat levels to win. Now that I'm an adult, I use a level to try and get things straight as I work with wood and metal.
That said, there is absolutely nothing level about any spot on this road.
Nor is it going to be of much value to anyone with a rig larger than a van or truck camper (there may be some spots where Cundiyo Road and 306 meet.) I don't have four wheel drive, but I am a fool and don't mind driving really, really slowly, nor am I particularly concerned about changing a tire way up on a dirt road mountain. If any of those situations don't apply to you, this may not be your jam.
It may not be your jelly, either, because despite coming across this beautiful slice of rolling hills just outside of Española, after several other public campgrounds in the area were closed, the road in--and many of the sites along the road--is absolutely trashed. No yogi vandwellers with a few garbage cans are going to help either, as much of the trash is straight dump truck material. It's like every home in nearby Cordova was gutted, drywall, pipes and all, driven out here and left as some type of experiment to see how destroyed nature can be made.
Even still, I found a beautiful spot and no doubt there are others. If you're coming to the GPS coordinates, you'll either hop onto this road (officially County Road 360, but there are no signs except--currently--a "NO CAMPFIRES" sign) from south of the High Road to Taos, along 503, or after you pass through the adorable little village of Cordova, you can access it via a shorter route that way.
I only discovered this spot because of the No Campfires sign, which was accompanied by a set of papers that declared the various laws which indeed prohibited fires, but also made clear that camping was allowed along the road. There are additional signs as you get back further indicating when exactly you are in the national forest.
At first the entire place felt sketchy. Maybe it was the trash, the massive loads of trash, maybe it was the fact that I didn't see this on any websites, or maybe it was the massive deer carcass that had been gutted, its bones ripped wide open to make the beast look like a baby mammoth, head removed, skin left in tact. Once I found a decent spot, I picked the trash up around that particular spot and, with Cordova's lights in view, I started feeling better about the place. At one point an old farmer passed with a massive smile, and not the Pennywise sort of grin the place would warrant, but a genuine look of happiness.
Storms thundered in the distance, the sun put on a show just before calling it a day, and though I heard some coyotes, an ATV at one point, and the occasional vehicle in the far off distance, I never saw any other campers. The peace was quiet and the quiet was only rivaled by the moon and stars once 11pm or so came around.
I could have downloaded half the Internet during my stay, since the Verizon LTE was 3 bars thick and likely me and no one else were on the tower.
The area around here, from Cordova into Española, is exactly perfect for me.
Hay muchas personas que hablan español aquí. The roads are narrow, the homes something out of Central America with their bright paint, mix n' match styles and proximity to the streets, and the streets meander between them as a clear afterthought, built years after the village was, apparently. You can almost imagine dirt paths where burros pulled the daily haul of whatever people lived off of here a hundred or two years ago.
It's a tragedy what the land has been used for, and at this point a pickup truck would really be required to clean the place up, or a massive desire by the locals to do so.
Nathan @ Wand'rly would stay here again
This review is the opinion of a Campendium member and not of Campendium.com
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- dry camping
- Dispersed Camping
Great views, large private sites with a shelter, picnic table and fire ring
- Dirt Roads & Sunsets
Great once youre there
Does Not Feel Safe
Espanola-agree with 'warning'
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