Dispersed Camping Near Carlsbad, NM

Completely surrounded by public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), US Forest Service (USFS), and the National Park Service (NPS), there are numerous places around the City of Carlsbad, NM where campers can set up for a couple of weeks while visiting Carlsbad Caverns, Sitting Bull Falls, or just visiting friends and relatives.

Avalon Lake, Carlsbad, NM

Avalon Lake is open to dispersed camping and fishing along its shoreline, particularly on the south end of the lake at Avalon Road (County road 602). There are no permits or reservations required. It's not exactly clear what the maximum camping limit is, but it's likely 14 days.

Dark Canyon Road, 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.

Goat Corral Canyon, Carlsbad, NM

Goat Corral Canyon is the name of the small canyon that runs just above the dirt road winding through BLM Land. The road itself has no name. There is a previously-used campsite right where this road intersects with US-62, then there are further sites as the road ascends elevation from there.

Sunset Reef Campground, Carlsbad, NM

This is a free developed campground managed by the Bureau of Land Management. Comes with covered picnic tables, fire rings, cooking grills, and trash cans, all on level, gravel ground. There are six spaces in the middle for larger RVs, six tent sites along one side, and some space along the fence for vans and small RVs.

Hackberry Lake Campground North

This is a developed campground intended for OHV riders, but is also used by RVers visiting Carlsbad Caverns and the town of Carlsbad. There are 12 campsites here, each with a covered picnic table. Some of the sites have cooking grills, and a few have a trash can. There is also a vault toilet here.

Hackberry Lake Campground South

This is a developed campground offered by the Bureau of Land Management for free. The BLM officially designates this for "Overnight Use", but most people here stay here over a weekend. There are about 8 to 9 campsites here with picnic tables, fire rings, and a vault toilet.

Chosa Campground, Carlsbad, NM

This is a large open space created by the Bureau of Land Management specifically for RV camping. It's located about 30 minutes south of Carlsbad, NM, and about 20 minutes south of Carlsbad Caverns National Park Visitors Center. The only amenity is a trash dumpster.