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  1. #1

    Default San Antonio to Ruidoso NM in July - our first RV "Roadtrip"

    We're fairly new to the RV thing. We have a smallish hybrid travel trailer and we're planning what I would consider as our first real "roadtrip" (longer than a couple of hours) from San Antonio to Ruidoso, NM. We plan to stop and check out Carlsbad, Gudalupe Mountains, etc. on the way, and we'll be gone about a week or so.

    My wife and I have two young daughters (7 & 9), and we're looking for suggestions about things to do & see. We're also looking for good places to camp in or near Ruidoso. We'd like a campground that at least has electricity and dump station, with clean restrooms & showers. Otherwise, we prefer a park that is more spread out with larger campsites and lots of trees (more like camping - less like a parking lot). Ideally, we'd like something near water with places to hike and bike with the kids.

    Ruidoso appears to have a lot of things to do in the summer and the weather there seems pretty mild for mid-July. Please let me know if I'm mistaken.

    Thank you in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default West Texas

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    The western portions of Texas can be difficult to love. As one rises higher and higher onto the plains and deeper and deeper into the rain shadow of the Rockies, the land takes on similarities to the lunar landscape that Buzz Aldrin described as "magnificent desolation". To be honest, I love such landscapes. The geologist in me appreciates that the morphology of the land is laid bare to be appreciated, and the family historian in me wonders about the hardy souls who settled this raw land. There is a lot to do as you make this drive but it will not jump out and grab you. You will need to know where to look. So here are a few sites to consider. The Caverns of Sonora will be first up (or down?) followed by Fort Lancaster State Historic Park and then Balmorhea State Park (a bit off the direct route).

    Actually, the Fort Stockton/Balmorhea area would be a good place to stop for the night. Trying to do the entire 600 mile drive to Ruidoso in one day in an RV is really out of the question, so you might as well make two easy days of it with stops along the way both days. Also in Fort Stockton is the roadside curiosity Paisano Pete.

    Continuing on up to Ruidoso, you can take TX-18 for a slight detour up to Monahans Sandhills State Park and then use I-20 to return to US-285 up into New Mexico and Carlsbad Caverns. As with all national parks, be sure to inquire about the Junior Ranger Program. Your daughters are exactly the right age to get the most out of it. They'll probably also get a bit of a kick out of kitschy Roswell and its 'alien' culture. And be sure to check out the Museum of the Horse in Ruidoso.

    There are a couple of camping areas in the Lincoln National Forest which surrounds Ruidoso, and that's where I'd look first for camping sites. With two days driving each way, you'll only have 4 days or so to check out everything in south central New Mexico. Just be sure that while you do something every day, you also leave a little down time for both you and the girls.


  3. #3


    Thanks for the tips.

    We've made the drive through West Texas a number of times, but always on the way to somewhere else. Since the trailer will be slowing us down anyway, we might as well take some time to explore the sights.

  4. #4


    As long as you are going to be so close, do not miss White Sands National Monument - the kids would love it! You can rent snow coasters for the kids to slide down the dunes on and when we were there, the kids were having a grand old time doing so.

    At Carlsbad, be sure and take some flashlights for the kids - they'll really enjoy that.

    US 82 from near Alamagordo to Aretesia is an interesting and scenic drive. Along the way, Cloudcroft is an old mining town that has reinvented itself as ski area/tourist area and is a fun place to spend a couple of hours.

  5. #5


    Great - Thanks.

    We're thinking that the Cloudcroft/Lincoln National Forrest area may be a good place to find a campground that's not too crowded. There are several in the area, but its hard to find much information about any of them.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Lincoln National Forest

    You can find a listing of the campsites in Lincoln National Forest here and you can contact the reservations handler online here or by phone at (877) 444-6777. You can also call the district ranger headquarters in Cloudcroft at (575) 682-2551. Unfortunately, I could not find a map that would show you the campground locations except that the Forest Service will sell you their map of LNF for about $13, probably a good investment if you're going to be spending a fair amount of time in the forest.


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