White Sands National Park, with its surreal landscape of glistening gypsum sand dunes, is an ideal destination for nature enthusiasts and campers alike. Although the park itself only allows backcountry camping, there are several fantastic campgrounds in the vicinity that cater to different preferences and needs. In this article, we'll introduce you to some of the best campgrounds near White Sands National Park, along with their pros and cons, to help you make an informed decision for your next camping adventure.
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Oliver Lee Memorial State Park
Distance from White Sands: 22 miles
Pros: Nestled at the base of the Sacramento Mountains, this state park offers picturesque campsites with electric and water hookups, restrooms, and showers. Hiking trails, such as the Dog Canyon National Recreation Trail, are easily accessible from the campground.
Cons: The park can become crowded during peak season, so it's advisable to make reservations in advance. The campsites are relatively close together, offering limited privacy.
Aguirre Spring Campground
Distance from White Sands: 43 miles
Pros: Located in the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument, this scenic campground offers stunning mountain views and well-maintained sites with picnic tables and fire rings. The area is perfect for hiking, bird watching, and wildlife spotting.
Cons: There are no electric or water hookups available, and the access road is steep and winding, making it unsuitable for large RVs or trailers.
Alamogordo Roadrunner Campground
Distance from White Sands: 18 miles
Pros: This privately-owned campground in Alamogordo offers full hookups, laundry facilities, Wi-Fi, and a swimming pool. It's conveniently located close to White Sands National Park and other local attractions, making it an excellent base for exploring the area.
Cons: The campground is located close to a busy highway, which can result in some noise.
Cloudcroft Mountain Park
Distance from White Sands: 40 miles
Pros: Situated in the cool, pine-scented mountains of the Lincoln National Forest, this campground offers a refreshing escape from the desert heat. Hiking trails and fishing opportunities are available nearby, and the campsites feature picnic tables and fire rings.
Cons: There are no hookups available, and the campground operates on a first-come, first-served basis, which can make securing a site during peak season challenging.
Holloman Lake Recreation Area
Distance from White Sands: 25 miles
Pros: This campground, located on the Holloman Air Force Base, offers a peaceful lakeside setting with full hookups, restrooms, showers, and laundry facilities. It's an excellent spot for fishing and birdwatching.
Cons: Access is limited to military personnel, retirees, and Department of Defense employees. Reservations are required, and a valid military ID is necessary for entry.
With a variety of campgrounds to choose from near White Sands National Park, you're sure to find the perfect spot to set up camp and explore the mesmerizing beauty of the gypsum sand dunes. Consider the pros and cons of each location and take into account your specific camping needs, preferences, and budget when making your decision. No matter which campground you choose, you're guaranteed to create lasting memories while immersing yourself in the captivating landscapes surrounding White Sands National Park. Happy camping!