Dark Canyon Road, Carlsbad, NM

Carlsbad Field Office

Bureau of Land Management

Free Camping Near Carlsbad, NM

Also known as County Road 408, this road runs through patches of BLM land and private land. There are a few previously-used campsites along this road and one spur road that are frequently used by visitors to Carlsbad Caverns and the City of Carlsbad. Dark Canyon Road itself is paved.


Carlsbad Field Office

Bureau of Land Management

Office Phone

Tel: (575) 234-5972


GPS: 32.2934, -104.3194

Reservations: First come, first served

Camping Fee: None

Permit: None

Max Stay: 14 days in a 30 day period

Amenities: None

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Camping on Dark Canyon Road

The campsite marked in the map above is a fenced lot with a BLM info sign. You can camp here up to the 14 day maximum. But the land all around it, including the other side of the road, is BLM land. There are also spur roads that lead to oil pumping stations which is leased land you cannot camp on. But there are other patches of bare land that are previously-used campsites that you are allowed to camp.

Other such previously-used campsites…

  • Empty lot along Dark Canyon Road (32.2924, -104.3134), located about 1/2 mile east of the above marked site along the same side of the road. This is larger site, but gets flooded in during rains.
  • Empty lot along Spur Road (32.2990, -104.3090), this is along a spur road running north, on the east side of that road, about one mile north of Dark Canyon Road.

Some of these other lots of previously-used campsites tend to have a lot of broken glass and shell casings from people target shooting. Most of the traffic running up and Dark Canyon Road are trucks serving the oil and gravel industries.

Keep in mind not all of this land is managed by the BLM. The map above shows the BLM land in yellow, and private-owned land as not colored.

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