Jemez Falls

A tent in site 25
This campground is in a wonderful ponderosa pine forest. If you stay here, be sure to take the short hike to Jemez Falls or go further to Battleship Rock. This campground is popular with people using both tents and RVs. Expect it to be full on summer weekends. If you arrive and find it full, check out the nearby Redondo campground.

Campground data:

Controlling agency: Santa Fe National Forest; Jemez Ranger District
Official URL:campground web site
Region: North-central; Jemez Mountains.
CG elevation: 7985ft; 2434m
Campsite count: 52. One site is reserved for the campground host. The sites are divided between three loops, some of which might be closed due to the season.
Visual density: 6.50. Visual density ranged from 3 to 11. Some sites are more isolated by trees than others. Site 47 is the most isolated, and might have a visual density of 0; it was occupied, so I did not check.
Fee: $10.00. fee is per vehicle.

Site 23 is a double site (and has double the fee).

Season: April 01 to October 31. The actual season depends on the weather.
Dogs: Yes. on leash
Horses: Unknown.
Handicapped accessible: Yes. Site 30 is designated for handicapped.
General tent notes: the campground has lots of flat areas that would be good for tents.
RV max length: 39ft; 12m
RV parking surface: pavement
RV pull-through spaces? Yes.
RV parking notes: Site 24 is pull-through, but most are back-in.
Campground facilities: vault toilet(s), cooking grill (in the accessible campsites; most campsites have a cooking grill over the fire pit), fire pit (Many are old and rust has made them a shadow of their former selves.), water, trash can(s) (A dumpster at the entrance. If the dumpster is gone, there are cans near the toilets that will be usable. The cans are bolted shut when a dumpster is available.).
Campground attractions: hiking, wildflowers, stream.

When we visited it:

Date: 2005-09-16
Cleanliness: 8. Lots of small litter in campsites.

Waypoints:

Waypoint Type Description
JMZFALLSCGCampgroundJemez Falls CG

Maps:

Paper maps:
Map name Cartographer Year Scale Topo map? Online access Notes
Albuquerque New Mexico USGS 1983 1:100000 Y from sar.lanl.gov (free)
Guide to Indian Country of Arizona Colorado New Mexico Utah Automobile Club of Southern California 1998 1:0 N from Amazon (purchase) Good overview road map for northwest NM. No scale is given on the map. The corner coordinates are approximate.
Los Alamos BLM 2003 1:100000 Y from Amazon (purchase)
Santa Fe National Forest US Forest Service 2004 1:126720 N from Amazon (purchase) West half
Valles Caldera Map and Geologic History of the Southwest's Youngest Caldera Kirt Kempter and Dick Huelster 2007 1:76875 Y from Amazon (purchase) Great map of the Valles Caldera area, including part of the national forest surrounding it.
Wildernesses of New Mexico US Forest Service 1981 1:1000000 N No online copies. Base map with national forests, wilderness areas and highways.

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Getting to the campground:

About the campground:

ponderosa pines and vehicles in campsites in the distance
The campground is in a primarily ponderosa forest, as you can see here.
This is site 30, one of the accessible sites.
site 30
a pop-up camper in site 34
Site 34.
Site 36
campsite

Plants we saw around the campground:

Reader comments about this campground:

On Thu Jan 19 09:44:42 2006 Bob from Carlsbad, NM said:
Great campground with many sites. Very well shaded and pretty clean. Campground is very busy or even filled on the weekends. During the week it is almost empty. Nice short hike down to the Falls. Highly recommend this site for a Monday to Thursday trip, otherwise it will be very crowded.

On Wed May 24 03:01:53 2006 Jake S. from Albuquerque, NM said:
My friends and I have camped around here many times before. It is almost very clean and we encountered friendly people. It is a very nice place for people who like to hike, because there is a trail along Battleship Rock that leads to a hot spring (though you are likely to see old hippies nude). The trails are nice and quiet, though, and if you are the adventurous type, you can climb to the top of Battleship Rock! Wonderful view.

On Wed Jun 7 18:35:06 2006 Jimbo from Albuquerque, NM said:
A great campsite for a few nights out with your family. Nicely shaded and pretty good temperature. A little cold through the night. Insects are not a problem most of the time. Campsite can be quite busy, however.

On Sun Aug 6 21:06:49 2006 Tim from Albuquerque, NM said:
Just returned from a weekend stay at Jemez Falls (8/4/06). This was an excellent campground, very clean, toilets alway had TP, no mosquitoes, even with all the recent rains. Arrived about 1:00pm on Friday and found it roughly half-full, filling completly by about 5 or 6. Lots of nice shade from the beautiful pine trees. Our loop(first) was not at all noisy even though it was full, however walking through the next loop over, Sunday morning around 8 or 9, there were a couple sites playing loud music and a generator running. We will definitely return to this campground. I like the fact that it is back in away from State Rd 4.

On Fri Aug 3 21:26:37 2007 Todd Birchfield from Rio Rancho New Mexico said:
I have camped in the campground 2 times and think its beautiful, as a matter of fact me and Fiancee are getting married there on Sept 2nd 2007

On Fri May 30 22:34:57 2008 Anonymous from Albuquerque said:
We visited 5/16,17/08. The campground was temporarily out of water w/ no information as to when they would have water. The campground was clean and quiet. Will definately return.

On Mon Jun 1 12:31:47 2009 J from Albuquerque said:
My wife and I JUST got back from what was looking to be a long weekend at this campground. The Falls walk has proven to be a wonderful experience. This time was no exception. Unfortunately, turns out it was one of the worst CAMPING weekends (holiday or non-holiday) we ever had. First off, there wasn't a campground host -as normally expected. There is a CRITICAL need for them in this location. Second, the bathrooms had NO toilet paper. The little we did find was located on loop 4, which was closed- but the bathroom were open.

What REALLY took the prize was an underage drinking party on loop 1 on Saturday at noon through Sunday 3 am. No Ranger made the rounds until 10am Sunday. The 6 cars and dozens of kids were in no mood to discuss being quiet as the hours of Sunday morning came. We both were relived that they left later on Sunday.

Not to be for long.

Two very young couples came to the exact location (spot 13) and proceeded to drink heavily and yell until the early hours of the morning. The worst part was hearing them engaged in LOUD romance. Your imagination in this would be most accurate. Likely this was heard into loop 2. Also they had 3 dogs (one was a pitt bull) that ran without leases and managed to terrify some other sites. Again, with no actual recourse, we endured a sleepless night - as likely many others did. If I a phone nearby, I would have called the police.

Basically these campgrounds NEED hosts that can be attentive to the activities of the visitors. These fine facilities are too close to Albuquerque and the riffraff that can travel from there. The hosts NEED to be there for that small percentage that ruins it for others. I will NOT go back to this site.

On Tue Jun 9 09:57:59 2009 Jen from AQB,NM said:
campground was very nice,though very clod at night even the first weekend in June.The bathrooms had no TP.We didn't see a ranger until Sunday at 4pm which if there had been any issues how would they have been dealt with?But all in all a nice experience!

On Sat Jun 20 17:05:46 2009 Kristin from Rio Rancho, NM said:
Great developed site! We stayed in spot 7 and really enjoyed it. Would defiantly recommend. Having toilets when camping as a female is always nice! No matter the condition.

On Tue Aug 25 12:32:40 2009 Daniel from New Orleans, La. said:
Stayed there in early July. As we were settling in on an early Thursday afternoon, the peace and serenity was broken by the arrival of a large group of boisterous teens who had just arrived. So we decided to move on to a quieter spot in another loop (site #50), which was very spacious. To be fair, the group quieted down and were very respectful when we met some of them later, on the trail to the waterfall. Also the campground host made numerous passes and was quite friendly. He informed us that he had an ally in the local police and assured us that any uncooperative guests who insisted on being bothersome to other campers were "asked" to leave the campground. He even said that he routinely closed the campground gates on weekends when the sites were filled to keep out locals who liked to party too loudly.

We look forward to returning there again on our next visit to New Mexico.

On Wed Aug 26 02:02:09 2009 Anonymous from Somewhere said:
We stayed at Jemez falls last September in campsite 25 and loved this camp. Lots of shade and the little meadow area behind the camp was great for the dog. There were several trees in our camp that some idiot had taken an ax to and cut scars into the treas. Lots of friendly people, yet quiet and relaxing.. one night there were a few teens partying but by midnite it was quiet. We take a porta potty so I was able to stay away from the vaults. There was an area in some rocks across the way where a group had been using it for a bathroom area.. NASTY.. but we told host about it and they took care of it right away

We are going back tomorrow for 5 days and Im so excited about it. Friends are meeting us on the weekend and I wouldnt suggest this place to friends if we just didnt love it. Plus I have a whole new tent to break in.. Happy Camping.

On Thu Jul 15 19:00:31 2010 Anonymous from Rio Rancho, NM said:
Stayed in a tent at campground 7/09-11. Rolled in at 11:30AM on a Friday and there was one spot left. Host said they've been filling fast on fridays for the weekend. Noticed a few people pulled out on Saturday morning though. It was relatively quiet, except for a couple large groups up until midnight. Host seemed very pro-active.

On Sun Aug 22 09:37:09 2010 Frank from Albuquerque said:
We camped at Jemez Falls on August 13 & 14. We arrived at 3pm and there were very few sites left, maybe 2 or 3. It was very noisy both nights. I would not camp here on a summer weekend again. On the positive side, the campsites are large and spaced generously. The toilets are new and very industrial strength - big improvement over older vaults. The falls are great, though it was a bit crowded. There are 2 falls and the upper,samller falls provides a great swimming hole. We also did the 2 mile hike to the McCauley Hot Springs. The trail is washed out in places and there are at least 3 places where a tree has fallen over the trail, but it's still a nice hike. There are 3 hot spring pools and the temp is 85 degrees. Algae is problem this time of year but it is still a nice place for a dip.

On Sun Oct 24 13:07:36 2010 Debra from espanola, NM said:
Last visit August-Sept 2010. We have camped here 4 different times and I keep coming back. Site 47 is the most remote and private camp and I try to go early in the week when the campground is virtually empty until the weekend just to secure this site as I take my rottweiler with me and its just best to keep him away from other campers as some see him as a threat although he is not. I love this campground but until this last visit had not seen any wildlife other than hummingbirds, jays etc., but as I was leaving my camp to go to water station one evening, I looked in my rear view mirror and there was an elk walking right thru the back of my campsite. LOVED IT! but then Elk season was to starting too and maybe he knew the campsite to be a safe haven. There was no camphost this last visit and I found the campsite dirty, the firepit still hot, and tp scattered all over the wilderness behind camp. Spent over an hour cleaning it all up..YUCK, but this is not the norm here and once cleaned up it was so great. Stayed 8 days and 5 of them I camped alone. I dont understand this tp thing as the vaults are very clean and odor free. Love this campground and will go back many times

On Sun Dec 12 19:17:24 2010 Erik from Rio Rancho said:
Jemez Falls is an excellent campground. There are plenty of spots and space between each. I took my Cub Scout Pack in July 2010 for a weekend. We had a great time. Not only are the falls near by but also a short two mile hike takes you to some wonderful hot springs. We love the is campground and will return.

On Sun Oct 9 18:47:30 2016 Becca from Albuquerque said:
We went in Sept 2016, full moon weekend, and arrived a little before sunset and we were able to find a site pretty easy. All the loops were open and our site had sun and shade and plenty of trees for hammocks. Depending on your loop, the noise can carry, but we had quiet neighbors. We look forward to going back in the spring and summer.

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