El Caso Campgrounds, Quemado, NM

Quemado Ranger District

Gila National Forest

Free Camping Near Quemado Lake, NM

El Caso Campgrounds is a series of five, free, designated dispersed campgrounds operated by Gila National Forest. All five are located along Forest Road 13, about 1.5 miles east of Quemado Lake. All five El Caso campgrounds are grouped within a 0,5 mile distance together.


Quemado Ranger District

Gila National Forest

District Office

Tel: (575) 773-4678


GPS: 34.1373, -108.4716

Reservations: First come, first served

Camping Fee: None

Permit: None

Max Stay: 14 days in a 45-day period

Amenities: Picnic tables, vault toilets

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Camping at El Caso Campgrounds

The EL Caso Campgrounds are a set of partially developed campgrounds located at the east end of Quemado Lake, approximately .25 miles east of the Piñon CG. They are nestled in a valley stretching alongside an intermittent stream and are surrounded by Ponderosa pine and Cottonwood trees. These campgrounds are popular with hunters, groups, and campers desiring a more primitive camping experience from the two paid campgrounds located at Quemado Lake.

Because these campgrounds sit in the bottom of a canyon valley, with a stream that dumps into Quemado Lake, they get flooded during heavy rains. Keep an eye on the weather forecast and be prepared to vacate. Flash floods do happen through here.

The best way to get here is to start at the town of Quemado in the north, and head south along Highway 32, then head east along Highway 103 until you pass Quemado Lake. Highway 103 changes to Forest Road 13.

There is no drinking water at these campgrounds, and no designated campsites.

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