Cave Canyon Campground Fort Stanton New Mexico Review & Info

We camped at Cave Canyon Campground, New Mexico in October 2021

Our previous stop: Brown Springs Campground New Mexico Camping Review & Info

Campground Info

Location: 33.506568, -105.492957
Cost: Free
Camping Limit: 14 Day
Amenities: Vault Toilet, Shade Structure, Picnic Table, Fire Pit, Trash Cans

Related: Save 50% On Campgrounds All Over The United States With Passport America

Essentials Nearby

Town: Capitan, NM – 7 miles
Gas Station: Brewer – 7.5 miles
Dump Station & Potable Water: Rob Jagger Campground – 4 miles ($30)
Grocery Store: Smokey’s Country Market – 7 miles

Cell Phone Service

Verizon – Excellent
AT&T – Excellent

Nearby Attractions

Fort Stanton5 miles
Smokey Bear Historical Park – 7 miles
Lincoln, NM (Billy the Kid) – 8 miles
Roswell International UFO Museum and Research Center – 65 miles
White Sands National Park – 100 miles
Carlsbad Caverns National Park – 160 miles

entrance to cave canyon campground near lincoln new mexico
Entrance to the free Cave Canyon Campground near Lincoln, New Mexico.

Cave Canyon Campground Camping Info

The most important thing to know about this free BLM campground is there are only 3 designated campsites.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t a few more random places to park and camp in the area. But in the campground itself, there are only 3 places you can technically camp.

The campground is about a mile from the highway down a small but decently maintained dirt road. There are a few washes you have to drive through that can be pretty bumpy for overall it was accessible.

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I don’t think I would recommend this campground to large Class A RVs but for most campers it’s doable.

The Cave Canyon Campground is just past the entrance to the Fort Stanton Snowy River Cave. The cave is fenced off and not accessible to the general public but it’s cool to look down into it.

picnic table, shade structure, and fire pit at the cave canyon campground near fort stanton new mexico
The last campsite in the Cave Canyon Campground has the largest fire pit and shade structure.

All three campsites have a shade structure and stone fire pits. Two of the structures have picnic tables and there are random picnic tables between campsites.

campsite 2 at the cave canyon campground in new mexico
Campsite #2 in the Cave Canyon Campground is a pull-though but it was pretty unlevel. It also doesn’t have a picnic table.

The first two campsites are pull-throughs but they aren’t very level. We had to drive up on blocks to get the front of our motorhome up and we still weren’t as far up as we needed to be.

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Leveling a travel trailer or a 5th-wheel might be easier though since they have the front jack that can move up or down a lot.

vault toilet and last campsite at the cave canyon campground
Vault toilet and last campsite at the Cave Canyon Campground, New Mexico.

The last campsite has to be backed into but it’s the most private. It’s also the closest to the only vault toilet in the area.

OHV road past the cave canyon campground near capitan new mexico
Road you should not take a camper down in the Cave Canyon Campground.

If you get there and all the campsites are taken I don’t recommend driving past the vault toilet. The road becomes very rough and is basically just the start of some OHV trails.

There is a small parking lot just past the cave and before the campground. It has a small day use area with a picnic table.

small parking area at the entrance to the cave canyon campground
Small parking area before the Cave Canyon Campground you may be able to stealth camp in for a night.

It doesn’t say anywhere that you can’t park overnight. So if you get there late and need a place to park for the night you may be able to stealth camp there.

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There are some small trash cans spread out in the camping area but there is no dump station in this campground. The dump station is located a few miles away in the Rob Jagger Campground that costs money to camp in.


middle campsite at the cave canyon campground in new mexico
Campsite #2 at the Cave Canyon Campground

Cave Canyon Campground Review

The area the Cave Canyon Campground is in is really beautiful and great for camping. You are right next to some awesome OHV roads and horse trails that will take you all over the area.

We did some mountain biking while we were there and some of the BLM trails aren’t super well made but still fun to explore.

We were able to bike all the way to Fort Stanton which is a must see in the area, and you can hike pretty much anywhere.

Even in October the campground only had one free site when we got there but by the time we left all of the sites were open.

There were some jeeps and side-by-sides driving by every day and a few late at night but for the most part, the area is peaceful and eerily quiet at night.

The road in was decent but I wouldn’t recommend it for big rigs. In some of the reviews, we read some people mentioned some boondocking sites further up the road but we didn’t find anything that was accessible to our Class C RV.

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For trailers and campers with decent clearance, you may be able to find a campsite here (click to see on Google Maps) if you really need a place to stay. The road to it is full of deep ruts and it’s not for large campers.

I think if you get there and all of the campsites are taken you should try the Rob Jagger campground. You do have to pay but it’s only $20 a night for electric and water hookups and it’s a good place to wait for the free campsites to open up.

At the Cave Canyon Campground, the data speeds on both our Verizon and AT&T phones was surprisingly good. We lost service on our way to Lincoln so make sure you know where you’re going next before you head out.

This is another well made free BLM campground in New Mexico that we enjoyed staying at. It’s in a beautiful area with lots to do and it felt safe when other campers were there.

Have any questions about the Cave Canyon Campground in New Mexico? Leave a comment below.

by Jenni
Jenni grew up in a small town in Idaho. With a family that loves camping, she has been towing trailers since a very young age.

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