Good Morning from New Mexico

21 04 2012

After departing around 2pm yesterday, we crossed the state line into New Mexico and arrived at Sugarite Canyon State Park about 6:30pm. Located just 6 miles northeast of Raton, the park encompasses about 4000 acres of hiking trails around 3 lakes, one of which straddles the CO/NM border. In 2012 the Track Fire, which started at the top of Raton pass, burned about ½ of the park and forced closure for 4 months. Reconstruction is still underway on the upper campground, trail systems and erosion control damns and ponds.

Site #3, Alice Lake, Sugarite Canyon

We’re in site #3 at the Lake Alice campground. This is first campground along the canyon road after the park entrance, ranger station and visitor center. There are 14 RV sites here all with electric and water, some with sewer hookup. Several tent sites are located at the lower end of the campground. There are pit toilets and a dump station here, but for showers, you need to return to the entrance a little more than a mile down the canyon. Some of the sites (#3 and #4) offer great privacy, while others are just a wide spot along the main loop road. The sites are gravel, generally level and have a picnic table, a fire pit, large tent pads and a BBQ grill. All of the facilities appear to be well maintained and very clean. The camp host is quick to make introductions, tell us a bit about the park and collect the $14 overnight camping fee. ($10 day use and $4 camping) The day use fees can be covered by an annual pass – $225 for non-residents and $180 for NM state residents.

The modern conveniences stop with water and electricity here, there is no cable TV nor over-the-air signal that reaches this deep into the canyon. And, of course we’re without cell service, which means no internet, email or ability to work. We’ll have a leisurely morning without high-tech interruptions, stop on the way out for a hot shower and get closer to Raton for a quick email check as we head to our next destination – Ojo Caliente, NM. More from “Hot Water” this afternoon or in the morning.

Sugarite Canyon State Park

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