Can You Camp in National Forests in New Mexico?

New Mexico is a great destination for outdoor adventurers. It has many national forests scattered throughout the state, offering a variety of camping opportunities.

Camping in national forests in New Mexico is allowed, with some restrictions.

The U.S. Forest Service manages the national forests in New Mexico, which includes over 18 million acres of land. Camping is allowed in most areas of these forests, however there are some restrictions to be aware of before you go.

Campers must obtain a permit from the appropriate ranger district office before setting up camp in any national forest in New Mexico. The permit is free and valid for 14 days of camping and must be displayed at all times while camping.

Camping Rules and Regulations

When camping in a national forest, campers must adhere to certain rules and regulations set by the Forest Service.

  • All campfires must be attended at all times and completely extinguished when not being used.
  • No open fires are allowed within 100 feet of any lake or stream.
  • All food and garbage must be stored securely away from wildlife.
  • Vehicles are only allowed on designated roads and trails.

In addition to these regulations, camping equipment must meet certain standards set by the Forest Service. This includes tents, sleeping bags, cooking equipment, and other items used during your stay.

Additional Restrictions


  • Camping is not allowed within 200 feet of roads or trails.
  • .

  • Discharging firearms or fireworks is not permitted.
  • .

  • >No pets are allowed on trails or backcountry areas
  • .




Yes, you can camp in national forests in New Mexico as long as you follow all rules and regulations set by the Forest Service. A permit is required for any stay longer than 14 days, so be sure to check with your local ranger station before heading out into the wilderness!


Photo of author

Chris Powell