2020 New Mexico/Colorado Circuit
Circuit Leader Needed
This circuit begins in the beautiful state of New Mexico at the Low-Hi Ranch in Deming. Gatherings will include nine NM state parks and several other locations in New Mexico. After about 10 weeks in New Mexico, the circuit will leave from Albuquerque to head up the west side of Colorado, starting in Durango and will circle around to the east side of the Rockies. The last stop in Colorado will be Colorado Springs. The route will then head back to New Mexico for three more stops, ending in mid-September in Las Vegas, NM. Locations will include Roswell, Santa Fe, Denver, and Leadville. There will be lots of hiking, biking, kayaking, and of course, sightseeing. Non-residents of New Mexico may purchase a State Park pass for $225, allowing free boondocking, or add electric for $4 per night. This circuit only happens if a someone or a team volunteers to lead it.
Do some rockhounding in Rock Hound State Park. Hiking in the Gila National Forest. Dancing to live cowboy music at Hatch, NM. Join the LOWs for activities at the Ranch.
Low-Hi Ranch, 1795 O’Kelley Rd, Deming, NM
From I-10 go south on Hwy. 11, to O’Kelley Rd, go right to park on left. Dry camp area or call if you want hookups. The beginning of the New Mexico/Colorado Circuit for the Spring and Summer of 2020.
N32.21214,W107.73634 – Click on link to see Google Map
Park and local museums capture the history of the Pancho Villa raid into the US. Travel to the Pink Store in Puerto Palomas, MX for lunch and margaritas.
Pancho Villa State Park, 400 NM-9, Columbus, NM
From Deming South on Hwy 11 toward Columbus, right on Hwy 9, left into park.
N31.82458,W107.64128 – Click on link to see Google Map
Leasburg Dam State Park offers several hiking trails and opportunities for fishing, kayaking and bird watching. Park elevation is 3,962. Hike the Dripping Springs Natural Area. Visit historic Mesilla where Billy the Kid roamed, the San Albino Church and the Basilica of San Albino. Tour the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum and the Museum of Nature & Science. Look for the murals on the water tanks. See a movie at the Fountain Theater, shop at the Farmers & Crafts Market of Las Cruces on Saturdays. See the Petrified Wood collection at the Zuhl Museum. Take a hike in the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument.
Leasburg Dam State Park, 12712 State Park Road, Radium Springs, NM.
From I-25 South, take exit 19 toward Radium Springs, turn right onto Fort Selden Rd, go .8mi and turn right onto Leasburg Park Rd, go .6mi and arrive at Leasburg Dam SP.
N32.49422,W106.91891 – Click on link to see Google Map
Visit the White Sands National Monument-hike one or all five of the established trails, take the self-guided native plant garden tour, join a ranger and explore the mysteries of this geologic wonder, and sled the dunes. Tour the New Mexico Museum of Space History, the International Space Hall of Fame, the White Sands Missile Range Museum, and the Tularosa Basin Museum of History. Visit the Toy Train Museum and the Alameda Park Zoo. Check the schedule for the Flickinger Center for Performing Arts and attend an event. Hike Dog Canyon Trail. Take a day trip to the Village of Cloudcroft. Take a tour of the Pistachio Tree Ranch and Arena Blanca Winery.
Elks Lodge #1897, 2299 Hamilton rd., Alamogordo, NM
From US 70 turn south on US 54. Continue to Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd turn left. Continue on MLK Jr. Blvd to Hamilton Rd turn left. Continue North on Hamilton Rd. Elks lodge is on the left.
N32.862237,W105.963430 – Click on link to see Google Map
Carlsbad Caverns self-guided tour free with Senior Pass. Book online to one of the other caves, space is limited so plan ahead. These tours are 50% off with Senior Pass. Hike Sitting Bull Falls in the Lincoln National Forest; fee $5 per car to park. Visit Living Desert Zoo and Gardens State Park, admission $5 per person. View art at Artesia and try out the Pecos Diamond Steakhouse.
Escapee’s The Ranch, 30 SKP Ranch Road, Lakewood, NM Call the Manager (Jan) when we know how many (575) 457-2303 You do not need to be an Escapee to stay.
From US-285 turn east onto Eddy County Rd between MM 55 & 56. The Ranch entrance is on the left. Dry camp fee $5. Water & dump.
N32.636411,W104.382008 – Click on link to see Google Map
Tour the International UFO Museum and Research Center. Bird Watch at the Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge. Take a walking tour of downtown Roswell and take your picture with an alien. Kayak the Bottomless Lake; hike the many trails, wildlife viewing and bird watching. Cinco de Mayo festivities on 5/5 and Old Timers Balloon Festival the first weekend of May.
Bottomless Lakes State Park, 545 Bottomless Lakes Rd, Roswell, NM 88201 (575) 624-6058. As an alternative Pkg:, the Elks Lodge, #969, 1720 N. Montana Ave., Roswell, (575) 622-1560. Call ahead if using the Elks Lodge.
Elks Lodge is $20 night donations with E/W.
N33.414378,W104.540955 – Click on link to see Google Map
Blackwater Archeological Museum, plus dig site. Alpaca farm, Daley windmill museum, Buddy Holly Museum in Clovis
Hide-A-Way non elec, or Indian Grass elec at Oasis State Park, 1891 Oasis Road, Portales, NM (575) 356-5331
6 miles North of Portales on NM-467, left at signs for park. There are some dry sites in campground or park in overflow area. Check in at office.
N34.25900,W103.35036 – Click on link to see Google Map
Visit the Billy the Kid Museum and his gravesite; visit the Bosque Redondo Memorial and the Old Fort Sumner Museum. Kayak on the lake.
Sumner Lake State Park, 32 Lake View Drive, Lake Sumner (575) 355-2541
From US Highway 60, turn right onto US 84 W (4th St.), then left onto NM 203 N. Turn right onto Westside Campground Loop and left onto Lake View Drive. Elevation 4,310 feet
N34.612359,W104.401175 – Click on link to see Google Map
Visit North American Wind Research and Training Center where students learn wind turbines in all aspects. Go into actual windmill. Take trip to Ute Lake. Memorial Day is May 25th.
Elks Lodge, 2118 S Adams St, Tucumcari, NM
From I-40 Exit 334, go north on Hwy 209 to Robison Ave., go right, park to left and rear of lodge.
N35.15892,W103.72234 – Click on link to see Google Map
This campground offers fishing and kayaking as well as abundant bird watching. Tour the Route 66 Auto Museum. Visit the Rock Lake State Fish Hatchery.
Santa Rosa Lake State Park, NM Hwy 91, Santa Rosa (575) 472-3110.
From I-40, exit 277, go west through town to Hwy. 91, go right, follow about 9 miles, cross dam, continue to Rocky Point campground. Loop A has electric, loop B is non- electric. $8/night Park elevation 4,751 ft.
N35.03567,W104.68822 – Click on link to see Google Map
Visit Old Santa Fe, old Fort Union NM, Rough Riders Memorial collection, Christo Rey Church adobe structure of 1761, custom tour (505) 438-7116, state capitol, San Miguel Church 1610.
Elks Lodge, 1615 Old Pecos Trail, Santa Fe, NM
From I-40W take exit 218 and turn right onto US Hwy 285N, go 41mi, turn left onto I-25S/285N, go 6mi and take exit 284 and turn right onto NM-466/Old Pecos Trail. Go 1.3 mi and turn right onto Old Pecos Trail, Elks Lodge is .4mi on the right. Driveway to Elks is hard to see on right, small sign. Park behind lodge in field. Donation
N35.66008,W105.93855 – Click on link to see Google Map
Take a ride on the Sandia Peak Tramway, visit the Science Center, ABQ BioPark Zoo, Biological Park, National Museum of Nuclear Science & History, and the Pueblo Cultural Center. Take a bike ride on the Paseo Del Bosque along the Rio Grande River.
Elks Lodge, 2430 Centre Ave SE, Albuquerque, NM
From Santa Fe, take I-25S, take exit 222A for Gibson Blvd E, merge onto Gibson Blvd SE, go .9mi and turn left onto Yale Blvd SE, turn an immediate right onto Centre Ave SE. As an alternative or additional parking there is a Moose Lodge on Skyline Rd NE.
N35.061009,W106.616808 – Click on link to see Google Map
Durango is a historic cowboy mining town. The center point is the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, through the San Juan Mountains and Animas River Gorge, and is rated one of the ten most exciting train rides. Parking at the fairgrounds provides easy access via a path by the river that follows the train tracks into town, or on a trolley. Every morning at 8:15, you can hear and see the magnificent historic Steam Engine 408 chugging by. Shopping, a melodrama at the Strater Hotel, breweries, a chuck wagon and show, “burn your own” dinner, lots of laughter, and, of course, the Durango & Silverton train trip will make for a wonderful visit to Durango.
Junction Creek Campground, 1499 FDR 171, Durango, CO 81301, (970) 884-2512
From US Hwy 550 take W25th Street West, which becomes Junction St, which becomes Junction Creek Rd, which becomes 204.
N37.3384,W107.9166 – Click on link to see Google Map
Visit the Mesa Verde National Park, and take a Ranger guided tour of Cliff Palace, Balcony House, and Long House ($5 per person – tickets sell out quickly but can be purchased up to two days in advance at the Mesa Verde Visitor Center, open 7:30 am to 7 pm). Visit the Cortez Cultural Center for a glimpse into the current Native American culture and the Hawkins Preserve to see the area’s native flora.
Elks Lodge #1789, 2100 N Dolores Rd, Cortez, CO (970) 565-3557
Use address or GPS. Water available at the Lodge, two 30amp sites, dry camping available. As an alternative, the American Legion in Cortez has dry camping.
N37.3715,W108.55304 – Click on link to see Google Map
Ride the free gondola from Telluride to Mountain Village. Hike the Bear Creek Falls trail, the Jud Wiebe Trail, Bridal Veil, and hike along the San Juan River – which also has white water rafting opportunities. Walk downtown Telluride, shop at the Farmers’ Market, and tour the Telluride Historical Museum. Take a day trip and drive to Ouray, the “Little Switzerland” of Colorado, over Black Bear Pass. Catch a performance at the Sheridan Opera House or Telluride Theater. Celebrate the 4th of July!
Lizard Head Pass Dispersed Campground, Telluride, CO Elevation 10,250 feet
East side of Lizard Head Pass, 10 miles south of the town of Telluride on CO-145.
N37.81150,W107.90572 – Click on link to see Google Map
Tour the Museum of the Mountain West and the Ute Indian Museum. The Montrose Water Sports Park is a must do afternoon for kayakers, beginners to expert, with six drop structures, and a gradient of 11 feet for 1/5 mile, supporting a leisurely run with natural obstacles. Catch a performance of the Magic Circle Players. Visit the Montrose Botanical Garden and the Montrose County Museum. Shop at the Montrose Farmers’ Market on Saturdays. There are several hot springs in the Montrose and Ouray area.
Elks Lodge #1053, 891 S. Hillcrest Dr. (970) 249-4852 $5/night donation.
Electricity and dump available.
N38.479638,W107.8599647 – Click on link to see Google Map
Blue Mesa Reservoir is Colorado’s largest body of water with 96 miles of shoreline and the largest Kokanee Salmon fishery in the United States. Let’s go fishing!!! Visit the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park for hiking, scenic drives, kayaking; rock climbing, and wildlife watching. Head down to the Gunnison Diversion Tunnel, a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark, that routes water from the Gunnison River through the mountain to Montrose and other farming communities. Visit the Morrow Point Reservoir at the beginning of the Black Canyon where visitors can take a ranger-led pontoon boat through the upper Black Canyon. Attend Ranger led hikes and Ranger campfire programs to learn about the area. Take a day trip to Crested Butte. Consider a day trip on the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad for a 64 mile journey through abandoned mining towns.
Elk Creek Campground on the Curecanti National Recreation Area. Elevation 7,540 feet.
16 miles west of Gunnison on US-50. (970)641-2337 Dump and water are available at the campground. $16/night for non-electric sites. Electric hookups in loop D only, additional $6/night. Loop D recommended for larger rigs. Reservations are strongly recommended and can be made up to 6 months prior to your stay. Must be made 4 days prior to arrival. www.recreation.gov or call 877-444-6777.
N38.46778,W107.17583 – Click on link to see Google Map
Hiking, fishing. Hot springs and rafting (with outfitters) nearby. Community pool with hot springs and showers in Salida, along with a river walk and cute shops.
Dispersed dry camping in the pines about 7 miles south of Buena Vista.
On US-285 going north toward Buena Vista, turn West on County Rd 270, drive several miles to County Rd 272 and go straight on hard-pack sand road to National Forest. Area called Raspberry Gulch. Water at Buena Vista Water Dept. and info center. Dump at private campgrounds. Verizon and internet are good here.
N38.693255,W106.138043 – Click on link to see Google Map
Leadville is a true western mining town, established in the late 1800’s, and is the highest incorporated city in North America, at an elevation of 10,151 ft. There are a wide range of sights, activities and experiences unique to the Rocky Mountains. Nearby locations are Twin Lakes, Aspen, and Turquoise Lake. There are numerous hiking trails around the area, bicycling, kayaking, and numerous downtown adventures. Visit a nearby community swimming pool and gym, a convenient place to get a hot shower and swim a lap or two, or soak in the hot tub. Dine out in the quaint historical buildings of Leadville for breakfast, lunch or dinner, with a little bit of history on the back of most menus to give background about the establishment and its previous owners. Visit the National Mining Hall of Fame & Museum, which is one of the finest of its kind, Tabor Home Matchless Mine and Baby Doe Tabor Cabin, Heritage Museum & Gallery, Temple Israel (a restored frontier synagogue and museum), Healy House & Dexter Cabin. Take Twin Lakes Inter-Laken boat tour to the historic Inter-Laken Resort, for historical tales, geology, gorgeous scenery, flora, fauna, the Leadville Nat’l Fish Hatchery and scenic hiking trail. Visit the Twin Lakes Gallery and historic town, and Delaware Hotel take a guided cemetery tour with a narrative of tales of some of the residents. Visit the Historical Tabor Opera House for an evening of very enjoyable music. Take a day trip to Aspen over Independence Pass (elev. 12,093 ft) to experience a place where the rich and famous live in a lovely little town with upscale shops and high dollar housing surrounded by majestic mountain beauty. Visit the John Denver Sanctuary Memorial Park and ride the gondola to the top of the mountain for spectacular views of the ski slopes and of the mountains and valleys below. Take a walking tour of the town visiting the various shops, eateries, galleys, churches and historical landmarks. Visit the ghost town of Independence to view the Old Mill site, and the Braille Trail that uses a rope to guide blind individuals down the trail.
San Isabel National Forestry campground
US-24 North to County Road 4 (McWethy Dr.) and turn left. About 5 miles where road forks at Sugar Loafin RV and golf course, take dirt road (Rd-48) in the center of the fork. The campground is approx. ¼ mile on left. Free. Water and dump available on corner of CO-91 and SR-300 for $5. Host and Co-Host arrive 2 days early to secure spots.
N39.247758,W106.358992 – Click on link to see Google Map
Visit the Rocky Mountain National Park, Grand Lake, and Granby
Arapaho National Recreation Area
Take County Road 4 south of town and Shadow Mountain Lake. It’s located just after the Grand Lake Tap House near Cutthroat Bay. Follow that a few miles back to national forest. Dump and water at Granby Kaibab Park.
N40.2251253,W105.8925259 – Click on link to see Google Map
Day trip to Boulder. Visit Estes Park and the Rocky Mountain National Forest from the eastern entrance. Tour Coors brewery, the Budweiser brewery, and many micro-breweries. Take the Celestial Seasonings tour and visit the Leaning Tree Western Art Museum. Ride the Rocky’s Bus to Denver for a baseball game. Visit Buffalo Bills grave. Shop at the Longmont Farmers’ Market. Visit the Longmont Museum & Cultural Center. Hike Rabbit Mountain. Hike and bike St. Vrain State Park.
Boulder County Fairgrounds, 9595 Nelson Road, Longmont, CO 80501, 303-678-6235
Follow I-25 to CO-119 in Weld County. Take exit 240 from I-25 and take CO-119 (signs for Longmont), go 7.6 miles Turn right onto Nelson Rd. Turn right toward Fairground Access. This is a first come, first served campground with 96 spots, $20/elec., $25/elec & water. Dump $10.
N40.154234,W105.126086 – Click on link to see Google Map
Tour the Denver Botanical Garden and the Denver Zoo. Visit the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. Drive the Mount Evans Scenic Byway. Tour the Colorado State Capitol, and the Molly Brown House Museum. Tour the Forney Museum of Transportation and the Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum. Attend an event at the Red Rock Amphitheater. Ride the Georgetown Loop Railroad. Attend a Rocky’s Baseball game. Dance at the Elks Lodge on Thursdays from 6-9 pm, $7; free on Fridays from 7-10 pm, and most Sundays from 2-4:30/$5. Tour the Lakewood Heritage Center.
Elks Lodge #1777, 1455 Newland St., Lakewood (303) 238-1307
From I-25S take Exit 210A and turn right onto US-40/US-287/Colfax Ave, go 1.7mi and continue straight onto I-70BL/W Colfax Ave, go 1.1mi and turn left onto Newland St, and Elks Lodge will be on the right. 12 RV space with W/E on east side $20/night; $100/Week. Dry camping available also. Dump is available. Laundry on-site.
N39.739392,W105.069982 – Click on link to see Google Map
Visit the Garden of the Gods, the Royal Gorge, the United States Air Force Academy, the National Museum of World War II Aviation, the mining towns of Cripple Creek and Victor, the Pike’s Peak Cog Railroad, Manitou Springs, Seven Falls, Cave of the Winds, the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum, and the Ice Skating Hall of Fame at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs. Hike or bike Red Rock Canyon. For you adrenaline junkies, there is the Rusty Wallace Racing Experience. Visit the Fountain Creek Nature Center and catch a performance at the Fountain Community Theater or the Pikes Peak Opry.
Colorado Springs Elks Lodge #309, 3400 N. Nevada Ave. (719) 633-1727
Electric hookups available. Water and dump ($10) on-site. Plenty of dry camping available/$10 night. For access from I-25 N or S., Exit 245 and turn east on Fillmore. Proceed approximately .7 mile to stoplight. Turn left on Cascade Avenue. About .3 mile turn right onto Commerce Street. Turn left next block onto Tejon. Rear of Lodge and RV parking on right. Please enter the Lodge through the back door on the north side of the pool. Take the stairs down near the rear door or the elevator located near the front door. Bar is on the lower level.
N38.880678,W104.819222 – Click on link to see Google Map
Catch a production at Shuler Theater; visit the Raton Museum; watch a movie at the El Raton Theatre; drive up Mt. Capulin for a view of the volcanic plains and hike to the volcanic cone.
Sugarite Canyon State Park (575) 445-5607, State Road 526
From I-25S take exit 452 for NM 72, turn left onto NM 72 E (E. Cook Ave), continue straight onto NM 526.
N36.941282,W104.379726 – Click on link to see Google Map
Great lake for kayaking, visit Taos, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Angel Fire, hiking in Cimarron canyon. Visit the Rio Grand Gorge Bridge and raft the Rio Grand.
Lakeview CG at Eagle Nest State Park, 42 Marina Way.
From I-25S, take exit 446 and turn right onto US-64W (Airport/Taos). For 60mi, turn left onto Elk Lane Rd and arrive at park. May not be a dump at this park (they were still working on building one), but there is water and toilets.
N36.53464,W105.26481 – Click on link to see Google Map
Take the Alpaca petting and feeding tour at Victory Ranch, $6; (reservations required 575-387-2254); tour the Las Vegas Museum and Rough Rider Memorial Collection; visit the Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge; soak in the Montezuma Hot Springs; shop at the nostalgic candy store – Clay’s Candy Bar; shop at the Home On the Range bookstore; eat at Dicks.
Storrie Lake State Park, NM 518, Las Vegas, NM (505) 425-7278
From Highway 64, turn left onto NM-434 S/Mountain View Blvd, go 11mi, turn right to stay on NM-434 S, go 26mi and turn left onto NM-518 S, go 26mi and turn right, the an immediate left and another left and the park is on the left. Boondocking on the beach or electric for $12.
N35.656011,W105.231856 – Click on link to see Google Map