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A lovely, remote $5/night BLM campground with easy access to the VLA and Pie Town in Central NM.
- Site Quality = 3.5/5
Very decent site quality here, especially for a BLM location. All 22 sites are basic, firm dirt with picnic table, grill, fire-pit and cute, individual trash cans. The sites are set on a loop, with outer sites being pull-throughs and inner ones back-ins. The main ding is size and levelness. All kinds of variation here, but we thought 8 of the sites large and flat enough for rigs up to 40-feet (esp. #8,11,13,15,17,19 and 20, with #17 & 19 as the largest of the lot). You might get something in slightly larger than 40-feet, but turns start around the campground loop start to become an issue. Good separation with high forest views.
- Facilities = 2.5/5
Basic facilities here. There are pit toilets, kept very nicely clean plus a large wood-pile (for free use) and camp office with info on the area. Several water spigots around the campground. No showers or dump station however.
- Location = 5/5
You come to this place to experience remote beauty and for that reason it’s just perfect. The campground is set beautifully in a lightly wooded valley with lovely hiking trails to overlooks on the surrounding hills. Only ~15 miles to VLA in one direction and Pie Town in the other on Hwy 60. Nearest grocery is at Magdalena ~30 miles away, so come prepared.
- Pet Friendliness = 5/5
Another lovely place for doggie. Lots of space to hang out and ~4 miles of hiking trails to walk around.
Overall Rating = 4.0
BONUS ALERT = Remote high forest views, pies and the Very Large Array!
Summary: We chose this campground primarily to visit the nearby VLA and Pie Town, and truly ended up enjoying the stay. This is a remote and gorgeous area, set in a high forest valley with hiking trails to overlook the area. The campground is ~1 mile west from Datil and ~1/4 mile down a wide, firm dirt road from Hwy 60. All 22 sites are compacted dirt with quite a bit of variation in size/level, but we counted at least 8 big and flat enough for our kind of size. Lovely developed “sitting area” at each site with picnic table, fire-pit, and grill. This is a primitive campground and it’s basic pit toilets and no hook-ups , but several water spigots on-site. We arrived on the week-end and only 3 campers were there (none of which were in our line of sight) so we essentially had the place to ourselves. You’ll get dusty coming in, but for those who enjoy remote beauty and relaxation this is just fabulous. We loved our stay and would definitely come back.
Extra Info: Believe it or not Verizon access was good here! Smartphone had very decent 3G. Aircard benefitted from antenna/amp,but connected fine. Sites cost $5/night all first-come-first-serve (officially there is a 7 day camping limit, but I’m guessing the very relaxed hosts would work with you). No hook-ups, but several water spigots on-site.
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