Monday, May 13, 2013

Campground Review: Turquoise Trail Campground and RV Park, Cedar Crest, NM

Turquoise Trail Campground and RV Park is just 15 minutes from Albuquerque, NM, but it feels like another world. It's just off the Turquoise Trail National Scenic Byway (New Mexico Highway 14) and is nestled right up to the Sandia Mountains.

There are very few camping options along Hwy 14, in fact, this is the only place we could find. Dispersed camping is not allowed due to tough fire restrictions in the area.

The RV park is very rustic. Roads and sites are dirt/gravel. Some have picnic tables. Sites are pretty close together. Amenities include laundry (2 machines, must use a $2 token), restrooms/showers, recycling and wifi. Tent camping sites are nestled in the junipers, separate from the RV sites. Some full hook up sites and some water/electric only. The Museum of Archaeology and Material Culture is on site, for a fee.

There are a number of permanently occupied sites and some of those sites do look pretty permanent. The park was about 25% full during our stay, with several overnighters each night. Despite all the open sites, we were put in a site next to another rig. Our next door neighbor was not there very often, so that was not a big deal.

The park is very, very quiet day and night because it is set in the mountains, off of a secondary highway. The permanent/long-term folks we met were very friendly.

We paid $160 for one week. We used our own internet and had good Verizon 4G service. It's a good location for hiking in the Sandia's and visiting the small towns on Hwy 14.

There was an excellent variety of birds visiting the parks feeders, including Western Tanager and Evening Grosbeak.  We enjoyed our stay, but if the park had been packed I might have felt differently due to the closeness of the sites. If you just want to spend a day or two hiking in the Sandias you might find better camping options in Santa Fe, and just make long day trips for hiking.

Site #25. The neighboring rig was quite close, but he was rarely there.
View South East from our site.
Site 24 was very close, but was rarely occupied during our stay.

Beautiful Evening Grosbeak. Unusual for the area.

1 comment:

  1. A couple things... Saw in your last post that you were having trouble hiking in the higher altitudes. We spent two summers at 8,000' or over for 2-3 months and those climbing hikes never got any easier, much to our dismay!

    And have a question for you. We took a ride out to Saddlerock Canyon the other day. From the actual Saddlerock C. Road, we are assuming there is a turn off to the road that dead ends at the gate and sign? We just kept going and going on that road but it looked like it went on forever. We turned around, went off on another dirt road to the right but it just ended at a nice campsite. We hiked from there into the canyon but it involved lots of rock scrambling, which was fun, but we never found the area you described.

    Enjoy Santa Fe! There is so much great hiking in the area. Excellent pizza and beer at Marble Tap Room/Rooftop Pizza on the square.