The Absolute Best Camping Near Albuquerque

Written by Niccoy Walker
Updated: September 27, 2023
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Albuquerque lies in the high desert of New Mexico and is the largest city in the state. Tourists from all over the country come to this cultural city for its rich history, vibrant Southwest art scene, and the annual International Balloon Fiesta. Did you know that Albuquerque also has some awesome camping spots where you can connect with nature? Check out these sites for the absolute best camping near Albuquerque!

Absolute Best Camping Near Albuquerque

the absolute best camping near Albuquerque

The International Balloon Fiesta is a major event in this Southwest state!

© Meland

1. Albuquerque KOA Journey

The Albuquerque KOA is right off route 66 and is an excellent base camp close to the bustling city and the Sandia Mountains. This KOA is great for those wanting a diverse camping experience as you can choose between RVs, cabins, and tents. 

The site is not off-the-grid camping and features many fun, family-friendly activities. Enjoy amenities like a swimming pool, jump zone, a hot tub, sauna, mini golf, bike rentals, a children’s playground, and dog parks.

Miles to Downtown Albuquerque10 miles (14-minute drive)
RV SitesYes
Tent SitesYes
AmenitiesCable TV, pool, mini golf, Wi-Fi, hot tub
What Makes it the Absolute BestProximity to special events and many amenities

2. Fenton Lake State Park

An hour drive outside of Albuquerque offers more remote camping sites.


Are you an adventurer looking for something a little more remote? Check out Fenton Lake State Park! This campsite is a year-round retreat perfect for those who love hiking, skiing, and fishing in a serene mountain escape. The Rio Cebolla River flows right through the campgrounds, and the Jemez Mountains are the backdrop to your adventure.

Spend your days fishing for rainbow trout, mountain biking next to creeks, and canoeing down the river. Fenton Lake provides tent camping and small RV sites with picnic tables and river access. You will also find restroom facilities and a boat ramp.

LocationJemez Springs
Miles to Downtown Albuquerque78 miles (1 hour and 44 minutes)
RV SitesYes
Tent SitesYes
AmenitiesPicnic tables, restrooms, river access with a boat ramp
What Makes it the Absolute BestBeautiful mountain setting within driving distance

3. Albuquerque North/Bernalillo KOA Journey

Bernalillo KOA is a centrally located campground close to downtown Albuquerque and historic Old Santa Fe. There is plenty to do within a short driving or biking distance, or you can relax at your campsite and enjoy views of Sandia Peak. 

The campground provides RV sites, tent camping, and rental cabins. Enjoy amenities like a swimming pool, dog parks, Wi-Fi, a general store, and laundry facilities. Slots fill up fast during the summer, so plan your trip in advance!

Miles to Downtown Albuquerque18 miles (20-minute drive)
RV SitesYes
Tent SitesYes
AmenitiesSwimming pool, Wi-Fi, laundry, dog parks
What Makes it the Absolute BestClose to Albuquerque and Santa Fe, features many amenities

4. Villanueva State Park

New Mexico

Camp in New Mexico canyons and enjoy fishing, hiking, and birding.

© Pavone

Villanueva State Park is in a canyon beside the Pecos River. This campsite is a little outside of Albuquerque but well worth the drive if you are looking for a more classic New Mexico campground. It’s an excellent spot for hiking, fishing, picnicking, birding, and other wildlife viewings.

Large cottonwood trees provide shade and offer beautiful fall foliage. The grounds provide 36 campsites, 12 of which include electricity. You will also find picnic tables, a playground, hiking trails, restrooms, and showers.

Miles to Downtown Albuquerque95 miles (1-hour and 33-minutes)
RV SitesYes
Tent SitesYes
AmenitiesElectricity, restrooms, showers, and a children’s play area
What Makes it the Absolute BestClassic New Mexico canyon camping

5. Turquoise Trail Campgrounds

Camp along the scenic route between Albuquerque and Santa Fe at Turquoise Trail Campgrounds. This campsite is nestled in mountain meadows overlooking the Sandia wilderness. It’s a tranquil spot for tent camping, RV sites, and cabin rentals. 

The area is perfect for hiking, wilderness viewing, skiing, and horseback riding. The site also has many amenities to suit your camping needs. Amenities include restrooms, showers, picnic tables, charcoal grills, Wi-Fi, and a gift shop. Experience this wilderness retreat within proximity to the best Albuquerque attractions.

LocationCedar Crest
Miles to Downtown Albuquerque22 miles (28-minute drive)
RV SitesYes
Tent SitesYes
AmenitiesRestrooms, showers, grills, Wi-Fi, gift shop
What Makes it the Absolute BestA wilderness retreat close to downtown

6. Coronado Campground

Elephant Butte Lake

Fish in the Rio Grande at campsites within a short drive from Albuquerque.


Coronado Campground is west of Bernalillo, along the Rio Grande, which flows in the valley below the campsite. The camp provides an unobstructed view of the Sandia Mountains and features a historical site where you can explore Native American ruins. 

Coronado Campground offers tent and RV camping with picnic tables, fire pits, restrooms, showers, and laundry facilities. Don’t forget to bring your fishing pole to catch your dinner in the Rio Grande!

Miles to Downtown Albuquerque21 miles (27-minute drive)
RV SitesYes
Tent SitesYes
AmenitiesRestrooms, showers, firepits, laundry facilities
What Makes it the Absolute BestCampsite next to the Rio Grande within a short distance from Albuquerque

7. Cochiti Recreation Area

Cochiti Campground is within the boundaries of the Pueblo de Cochiti Indian Reservation in Sandoval County. Enjoy scenic views of the surrounding mountains while you fish, canoe, or swim in one of the largest dams in the world (Cochiti Dam). 

This high desert environment is located in the foothills of the Jemez Mountains. The site provides tent and RV camping, picnic tables, grills, restrooms, and showers. Enjoy activities like swimming, fishing, hiking, biking, paddling, and wildlife viewing.

Miles to Downtown Albuquerque50 miles (53-minute drive)
RV SitesYes
Tent SitesYes
AmenitiesRestrooms, showers, grills, picnic tables
What Makes it the Absolute BestPerfect for water activities next to your campsite

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Sean Pavone/

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About the Author

Niccoy is a professional writer for A-Z Animals and her primary focus is on birds, travel, and interesting facts of all kinds. Niccoy has been writing and researching about travel, nature, wildlife, and business for several years and holds a business degree from Florida State College. A resident of Florida, Niccoy enjoys hiking, cooking, reading, and spending time at the beach.

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