Terry Canyon

Gila National Forest

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Highway 35 Scenic
Silver City, NM 88061
Official Website

GPS: 33.0031, -108.0961

Last Price Paid: $0
Pad Type: dirt
Open Seasonally: Yes
Elevation: 6344 ft
Max Stay: 14
Tent Camping: Yes

Accessibility is not guaranteed, always scout ahead before driving down dirt roads.
Learn more: Boondocking 101

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Brake for Nature

30 Northwood Arctic Fox 25Y
2016 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD
9 reviews
Nightly rate: FREE!
Days stayed: 6

Brake for Nature would stay here again

“Spacious Boondocking in the Forest”

Reviewed Jul 12, 2017

Overall Rating

We thoroughly enjoyed this free and peaceful campsite in the Gila National Forest. Terry Canyon is easy to find, following the GPS coordinates above, and easy to access. There are multiple large sites with fire rings. All sites are under ponderosa trees, but the canopy is open enough to charge the batteries with solar, if that is your energy source. (If you are in a large RV or towing a trailer, do take Route 61 to 35 to get here. Do not take Route 15 from Silver City or Route 152 from Hillsboro.)

We originally planned on camping at Mesa Campground or Upper End Campground, but we figured why not camp for free if Terry Canyon turned out to be a good option. We checked it out on our way up to Mesa Campground and found it to be empty and spacious. The Forest Service (presumably) had even stacked up ponderosa logs and branches at each site for campfires. We headed up to Mesa Campground to check it out and fill up our fresh water tank. The campsites there were small and cramped, confirming our decision to camp at Terry Canyon. Unfortunately the dump station there did not have potable water, so we had to pull into a campsite to fill up on fresh water.

We selected a large circle that was close to only one other campsite. We parked so that our solar panel would be in the sun most of the day. We enjoyed evening campfires, a symphony of birds, the vanilla scent of the ponderosa on the breezes, and even our hammock in between a couple of the trees. From here, we explored the Gila Cliff Dwellings, Lake Roberts, and Silver City.

The only downside to this campsite is the possibility of noisy neighbors, as is the case with any dispersed camping. It can be the most remote and peaceful experience, but a rowdy group can change the experience completely. We had several peaceful nights, but on a couple of nights we could hear loud music coming from our distant neighbors. The day before we left, a group with their horses began arriving. We were told that 70 people and their horses were expected! It seems like a Forest Service permit and some form of notice such as a sign would be necessary for an event like this. In any case, this has been one of my favorite campsites on our yearlong travels, but you do take your chances with dispersed camping.

Site Quality
Verizon 4G
Verizon 3G
Verizon Extended

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

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  • dry camping
  • Dispersed Camping
Site Amenities:
  • big rig


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