Can I Camp Anywhere in Lincoln National Forest?

Lincoln National Forest is an area of public land in New Mexico and Texas, offering a wide range of recreational activities. It’s also a great place for camping, with numerous campgrounds and dispersed camping sites available. But before you set up camp, it’s important to know the rules and regulations for camping in the forest.

Campground Camping

Lincoln National Forest has several developed campgrounds that provide amenities such as picnic tables, toilets, and fire rings. Most of these campgrounds are open year-round and require reservations during peak season (May-September). Some of the more popular campgrounds include Bonita Lake Campground, Sugarite Canyon State Park, and Smokey Bear Ranger Station.

Dispersed Camping

In addition to developed campgrounds, Lincoln National Forest also offers dispersed camping areas where visitors can set up their own campsites. These areas are generally unmarked and provide no amenities or services; visitors should be prepared to bring their own water, firewood, and supplies. Dispersed camping is allowed in most areas of the forest except those designated as Wilderness Areas or Closed Areas; visitors should check with a local ranger station for more information about where dispersed camping is permitted.

Rules & Regulations

When camping in Lincoln National Forest, there are some important rules and regulations that must be followed: all fires must be attended at all times; campsites must be kept clean; pets must be leashed at all times; no hunting or Target shooting is allowed; no motorized vehicles are allowed off designated roads; campers must obtain permits for certain activities such as collecting firewood or using off-road vehicles.


Yes, you can camp anywhere in Lincoln National Forest if you follow the necessary rules and regulations – but it’s important to know where dispersed camping is permitted before setting up your campsite. Be sure to check with a local ranger station for more information about where you can go camping in this beautiful national forest!

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Alex Wright