Camping around Questa is some of the most beautiful of Taos and the Enchanted Circle!
Camping here ranges from forested sites in the mountains east of town to the wild riverside at the bottom of the Rio Grande Gorge, and the remote and beautiful valleys of the Valle Vidal to the north. Expect wildlife. Expect quiet, star-filled nights…and days of serene hikes and solitude.
Most of our campsites are accessible by car, and RV’s are welcome, though hook-ups are rare. (Hook-ups are available at in town, see listings below.)
Carson National Forest:
The Forest Service’s Questa Ranger District oversees campsites between Questa and Red River. Their area also includes Cabresto Lake just NE of town (with fishing, canoeing, and hiking), and also Cebolla Mesa just south of Questa, with trails leading into the ‘Wild Rivers’ area of the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument (though there is no bridge across the river here). They also oversee the beautiful Valle Vidal sites an hour and a half northeast of town; turn east off of hwy. 522 at the crossroads in Costilla, onto hwy 196.
Most Forest Service sites are first come-first serve, but Cimarron Campground in the Valle Vidal and a percentage of sites between Questa and Red River can be reserved online (at least 10 days ahead) through Reserve America. Find the link HERE. $18/night, as of summer 2017.
There is no fee though limited amenities and access at Cabresto Lake and Cebolla Mesa.
More Forest Service information can be obtained HERE, and year-round from the Questa Ranger District headquarters on highway 38, 2 miles east of the light in Questa, phone 575-586-0520.
Most campsites offer fresh drinking water and bathrooms.
Campgrouds generally open by Memorial Day. Schedules may vary due to weather and other conditions. Please phone Ranger Station if you are visiting in May.
- Cool, mountain hiking is a plus!
- The Valle Vidal is elk country; wildlife abounds!
Rio Grande del Norte National Monument:
The BLM (Bureau of Land Management) hosts the campsites at the Wild Rivers area of our new monument. This beautiful area with its river trails is accessed 2.6m north of Questa; turn west onto highway 378 and wind through the settlement of Cerro then into the open, splendid scenery of the monument.
Camping consists of sites on the rim of the river gorge suitable for tents or RV’s, at $7/night. Handicap-accessible overlooks, fresh water, shelters, grills, and bathrooms are available.
There are also idyllic campsites on the bottom of the gorge at river’s edge! These are a mile-long hike down, and also have shelters with grills, and bathrooms nearby. $5/night.
The monument, in effect, never closes, though campsites and trails may be snow covered in winter. The Visitors Center there is about 20 minutes into the park on the loop road. Find more information HERE, or phone 575-586-1150.
- Excellent hiking into the river gorge!
Rio Costilla Park:
This is private land under State Forestry auspices. It’s located forty-five minutes north of Questa and opens for the summer. Depending on the snow pack, access to Latir Lakesmay not open until mid-June or July. Turn east off of hwy 522 onto State Rd. 196 at Costilla and continue 1 mile to their main office at #72. The park entrance is 15 miles further (rd. will turn to gravel).
This park is striking for its purity and grandeur, with stunning mountain views, remote lakes, abundant elk, deer, and also bear and wild cats. 4-wheel-drive is recommended for some sites. RV’s welcome, though no hook-ups are available. Entrance fee for camping is $20/night; day use only fee is $10.
Find more information HERE, or phone 1-800-RIO-PARK.
–Plan for wildlife! Know the rules for bears in campsites at night, and cougars and bears on hiking trails.
Please be fire safe: Campfire embers should be left cold to the touch. Be aware of any special fire-season restrictions.
Sewage dump sites and water for RV’s are available in Questa at the Questa Lodge and at Sierra Hermosa RV Park. Both on the south end of town. More information below.
Showers are available at Questa Lodge cabin & RV Park ($5), see listing below, and also at Rael’s Market (old & new craft/art store) it used to be a gym and still has the shower stalls! ($5, but call ahead 779-9249)
Located on Lower Embargo Rd., one easy turn off the main rd. (hwy 522) on the south end of town. They offer RV hook-ups, and cabins in a park-like setting by the Red River. Daily, weekly, and monthly rates. Dump station, water, and Wi-Fi. Phone 575-586-9913. Find information www.questalodge.com
Sierra Hermosa RV Park
Located right on hwy. 522 on the south end of town. Open landscaping, mountain views. Daily, weekly, and monthly rates, dump station, wi-fi. Phone 575-586-1051 or 575-770-0121. More information at www.sierrahermosarvpark.com