Pancho Villa State Park

First US Army grease rack

At the site of the last armed incursion into the continental United States, the state of New Mexico has a park on the site of Camp Furlong, containing a few of the original buildings and facilities. The park includes a museum commemorating the raid and the followup raid done by the US Army.

It also has a pleasant, xeriscaped campground and a native plant garden. In the Spring, the wildflowers are likely to be spectacular (depending on the winter precipitation).

Campground data:

Controlling agency: New Mexico State Parks; Pancho Villa
Region: Southwest; On the border with Mexico.
CG elevation: 3871ft; 1180m
Campsite count: 62.
Visual density: 21.50. The campground is very open. The range was 9 to 34.
Fee: $10.00. $8.00 for primitive sites. Electricity costs $4.00 extra. Sewer hookup costs an additional $4.00.
Season: All year. Summer will be hot.
Dogs: Yes. on leash
Horses: Unknown.
Handicapped accessible: Yes.
General tent notes: There is a nice grassy dedicated tent area.
RV parking surface: gravel
RV pull-through spaces? Yes.
General RV notes: Only a few campsites have sewer, whereas many have water and electricity.
General notes: The park also has a 7,000 square foot museum explaining the history of Pancho Villa's raid and the follow-up punitive raid launched into Mexico led by General Pershing. While they did not find Villa, this was the first US military expedition to make use of airplanes and other mechanized transport. The experience and training that General Pershing and his troops gained turned out to be valuable in World War 1.
Campground facilities: water, trash can(s), flush toilet(s), cooking grill, fire pit (All campsites have either a fire pit with a cooking grate or a BBQ.), showers, tent-only (no RV) camping area, electrical hookups, water hookups, sewer hookups (only a few), RV dump station, reservation sites.
Campground attractions: wildflowers, scenery, history, year-round access.

When we visited it:

Date: 2007-01-03 2005-07-27 2000-12-26
Cleanliness: 9. 9. 9.

Waypoints:

Waypoint Type Description
PVSPCampgroundPancho Villa State Park

Maps:

Geohack online map list

Paper maps:

Map name Cartographer Year Scale Topo map? Online access Notes
Coronado National Forest, Douglas Ranger District US Forest Service 1975 1:126720 N From the National Forest Store (purchase) Most of this map covers Arizona, so it is rarely listed as a NM map.
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:

From Deming, head south on NM 11 to Columbus. The town is small, and the park is on the southern side of town, at the intersection of NM 9 and NM 11. The entrance is on NM 9. Finding the park is easy, as it is well-signed.
No short text

About the campground:

Site 11
The campsites are xeriscaped---the park is full of native plants of all kinds, and they surround all of the campsites.
Campsites 1-25 are further separated; for these, the visual density is around 9.
Site 13
Site 48 and neighbors
Campsites 26-62 closer together and have fewer plants separating them. The visual density here is around 34.
The tent area is one of the best, if not the best I have ever seen.
grassy, smooth tent area
playground
The campground has a playground, with a nearby picnic area, and benches for the parents to relax on while the younger ones burn off excess energy. Note the sunshade to keep the kids from broiling in the summer.
Some of the campsites are near NM highway 11. You can see the car going past site 5 in this photo. This highway leads to the border crossing into Mexico, and during the day it has a steady stream of cars and trucks. We did not notice any highway noise in our truck in site 12 when we went to sleep.
a car passing near site 5
The walking trail up Cootes Hill

This walking trail leads up Cootes Hill. From the top, you can see the border crossing into Mexico.

The sign says, "Please do not handle plants". Given that most of the plants are cactus, I would think that fondling them would be a bad idea, whether or not it was allowed.

The flag is at half mast due to the death of ex-president Gerald Ford.

Plants we saw around the campground:

Reader comments about this campground:

On Fri Aug 1 17:35:35 2003 R Warner from Oregon said:
We loved this park. Quiet and very clean. The history of the area is worth spending some time here. Across the border in Mexico at the Pink House is the best guacamole ever also great margaritas This park will be on our lists of favorites from now on.

On Sun Apr 3 17:40:26 2005 pete and karen lanthorn from east berlin pa. said:
very nice---very close to dentists and prescriptions---reasonable priced---be sure and stock up on groceries and propane---local prices are VERY HIGH---great museum---very nice people in Columbus N.M.---pete

On Wed Nov 8 13:12:31 2006 Lorena Montesinos from Chaparal N.M. said:
I think that the Pancho Villa state Park needs more interesting things so that kids can have more fun. I think that it also needs showers so yha people can shower.

On Fri Jan 5 22:42:09 2007 The webmaster from Albuquerque, NM said:
To Lorena Montesinos, the campground has a playground for the kids, and it also has showers.

On Sun Jan 28 20:11:13 2007 Carl & Jean McMahon from San Angelo, TX said:
We visited the Pancho Villa State Park On January 8-10, 2007. We were very impressed with it. We will certainly go back when near the area. They have one of the best dump stations that we have seen. We enjoyed our trip to Palamos, Mexico for lunch and shopping. Pancho Villa State Park has a very interesting and well cared for visitors center/museum.

We would probably have stayed longer but the cold spell got us and we were looking for warm weather.

We did not have children with us but there is a very nice playground area for them.

We did not use the public bathrooms so I can't comment on them but I do know that one of the camp volunteers was cleaning/checking one out because we visited with her as she was finishing up. We were walking our dog. Jean & Carl

On Sun Feb 25 13:33:47 2007 Mike & Susan Moore from El Paso, Texas said:
The park is a jewel in the desert. People are friendly, the food in Mexico is tastey. We go to Columbus on long weekends. It's 60 miles from El Paso. We always stop on our way back from Arizona. Truley great park for the quite life.

On Tue Jun 19 14:54:51 2007 Joseph from Cincinnati, Ohio said:
I've never been, but I am curious. Is there a memorial to commemorate the American dead from this attack (one of three attacks on American soil since the war of 1812)? If you could get back to me that would be great!

On Tue Aug 28 21:46:21 2007 The Webmaster from Albuquerque, NM replied:
The park has a museum about the raid. In addition, there is also a town museum that covers town history and the raid. I believe that there is a marker of some kind also commemorating the raid. I do not know if it is for the people who died or not.

On Mon Dec 3 11:47:44 2007 Anonymous from Somewhere said:
THE TENT GRASY AREA IS NO LONGER FOR TENTS ONLY

People sleep in there cars, one fellow sleeps in his trunk, when I asked the park superintendent 12/02/2007 about it he said it was a primive area and shruggd me off. The area has irrigation sprinklers which he refuses to fix, nice fire pits and benches and a bermuda hybred grass. It used to be a paradise to tent campers. They don't even lock the gates

Must be a change in management/ It's a historical park. Word has it a fish a game 20 year fishermen took over/ It's a little tough catching fish in the desert, Seems like the wrong choice to run this park

Sunday 12/02/2007 wind blowing 20 to 25 mph and he has the staff burning brush

It's a accident waiting to happen

I hope not, and that comon sense will prevail

On Mon Sep 28 15:02:40 2009 Bob M. from Texas Panhandle said:
Stopped and looked the park over in Sept. 09. What a little jewel in the desert! Nice little Musuem. Everyone I came in contact with was very friendly and helpful. Everything was clean and well kept. Will camp here in the future.

On Mon Dec 28 08:04:56 2009 Gary & Connie from Alamogordo, NM said:
We have been coming to this State Park for over 15 years. It is great for "getting away". All the sites are well maintained. If you enjoy great Mexican food, the Pancho Villa Restaurant in the Pink House is really good. The only negative is the violence that Las Palomas has been experiencing over the last few years. (Mostly aimed at drug lords, police and city officials). Even if you don't cross the border, the State Park is great!

On Sun Jan 3 14:12:13 2010 Miss WATERTIGER from Far West Texas said:
Love the campground/surroundings. Very tidy, well-maintained, lots of dog lovers and very polite people. Thought i'd do some car camping and photograph the Blue Moon during New Year (you guessed it, i am a photographer). Visited the CG before (during day/early eve). At around 8pm i stoked a nice fire and was enjoying the beautiful clear skies/moonlight. Music was playing somewhere off in the distant (off park). At first, it was festive/fun/good beat - but then, it turned to a ground-shaking vibration/rumble that did NOT stop until 5am! Camping in my car, the vehicle picked up every vibration (minus the lyrics/tune). The windows shook and i actually felt sick to my stomach! iPod didn't do anything to lessen the incessant pounding. Personally, i felt like a Guantanamo Bay prisoner being tortured - this time, the music of choice was Norteno/Tejano. I like all kinds of music but my body couldn't handle the rumbling. I decided, since it was NY's eve, i'd give the town a "break"...however, the next night, around 7pm when i was sitting by a beautiful campfire, the rumbling returned and well, i drifted off and imagined being a Somalian Pirate going after the US Mersk Alabama - this time, being blasted by their noise generator. I surrendered quickly. Needless to say, i packed up and left.

Suggestion: Move your reserved sites away from town center (or wherever that horrid pounding was coming from). Work w/ the locals and get this issue under control. I can't imagine it being healthy for anyone!

Thanks for maintaining a beautiful/historic park - too bad the townspeople aren't respectful of their neighbors.

On Sun Jan 3 14:13:26 2010 Miss WATERTIGER from Far West Texas said:
Love the campground/surroundings. Very tidy, well-maintained, lots of dog lovers and very polite people. Thought i'd do some car camping and photograph the Blue Moon during New Year (you guessed it, i am a photographer). Visited the CG before (during day/early eve). At around 8pm i stoked a nice fire and was enjoying the beautiful clear skies/moonlight. Music was playing somewhere off in the distant (off park). At first, it was festive/fun/good beat - but then, it turned to a ground-shaking vibration/rumble that did NOT stop until 5am! Camping in my car, the vehicle picked up every vibration (minus the lyrics/tune). The windows shook and i actually felt sick to my stomach! iPod didn't do anything to lessen the incessant pounding. Personally, i felt like a Guantanamo Bay prisoner being tortured - this time, the music of choice was Norteno/Tejano. I like all kinds of music but my body couldn't handle the rumbling. I decided, since it was NY's eve, i'd give the town a "break"...however, the next night, around 7pm when i was sitting by a beautiful campfire, the rumbling returned and well, i drifted off and imagined being a Somalian Pirate going after the US Mersk Alabama - this time, being blasted by their noise generator. I surrendered quickly. Needless to say, i packed up and left.

Suggestion: Move your reserved sites away from town center (or wherever that horrid pounding was coming from). Work w/ the locals and get this issue under control. I can't imagine it being healthy for anyone!

Thanks for maintaining a beautiful/historic park - too bad the townspeople aren't respectful of their neighbors.

Add your comments about the Pancho Villa State Park campground.



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