Johnson Mesa Campground, Las Vegas, NM

Pecos Ranger District

Santa Fe National Forest

Free Camping Near Las Vegas, NM

Johnson Mesa Campground is a designated dispersed camping area offered by Santa Fe National Forest. There are two vault toilets there, a few picnic tables and fire rings. But otherwise, you're allowed to camp anywhere as long as you remain within 150 feet of the forest road (as per the forest's Motor Vehicle Use Map).


Pecos Ranger District logo

Pecos Ranger District

Santa Fe National Forest

Pecos, NM Office

Tel: (505) 757-6121

Official campground webpage


GPS: 35.7017, -105.4674

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Reservations: First come, first served

Camping Fee: None

Permit: None

Max stay: 14 days in a 45-day period

Amenities: Vault toilets, picnic tables, fire rings

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Admin Staff

Admin Staff

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Camping at Johnson Mesa Campground

Forest Road 156 takes you up to Johnson Mesa Campground. The road starts in the town of El Porvenir, where the road intersects with State Route 65 (also known as County Road A27 and Forest Road 263). The distance from Johnson Mesa Campground to Las Vegas, NM is 23 miles.

There is a campground road that runs the circumference of Johnson Mesa, and you can camp anywhere within 150 feet of this road. This road tends to stay muddy due to frequent cloud cover at 9,500 feet elevation. It is still suitable to tow trailers up here, but we recommend 4WD because the road here tends to be soft when wet.

The Calf Fire torched Johnson Mesa in 2022, and today the area remains damaged, but open. On a clear night, this is a great place to observe stars due to its distance from light pollution. Very few people camp here, you can always find an open space.

Other Campsites Within 20 Miles Radius

Associated Documents

Santa Fe National Forest Order 10-494, Occupancy rules, camping limits, alcohol possession, public nudity, (eff: June 10, 2021, term: December 31, 2026)
Motor Vehicle Use Map, Espanola & Pecos Ranger Districts, Illustrates dispersed camping restrictions & OHV restrictions, (eff: January 1, 2024)

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