Wednesday ยท October 25, 2023
Discover Wilderness Wonders at McCrystal Campground in Valle Vidal, New Mexico
Author: Admin
McCrystal Campground in New Mexico | Top Horse Trails

In the heart of the magnificent Valle Vidal, a place where nature reigns supreme and wildlife roams freely, McCrystal Campground stands as a testament to the untamed beauty of New Mexico. With 55 spacious campsites, McCrystal is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts seeking a taste of adventure in the heart of elk and bear country.

Gateway to the Wild

Nestled in the wilderness of New Mexico, McCrystal Campground is a gateway to a world of outdoor wonder. Located just a scenic 5-mile drive northeast of the charming town of Cimarron along Highway 64, the journey to this untamed paradise is an adventure in itself.

The route to McCrystal Campground guides you along Cerrososo Canyon, an awe-inspiring path that stretches approximately 21 miles until you reach the Valle Vidal Unit Boundary. Well-marked signs light your way.

From the boundary, the adventure continues as you travel 7 miles on Forest Service Road 1950. These gravel roads are not maintained during the rainy season, and access may be limited to four-wheel-drive vehicles. McCrystal Campground, secluded deep within this remote wilderness, offers a true escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

A Glimpse into History

At McCrystal Campground, history, and wilderness converge. This area, once part of the Ring Place Ranch, resonates with the pioneering spirit of the past. A self-guided trail leading to a historic pioneer cabin begins right at the campground entrance.

Step back in time as you follow this trail and explore the preserved cabin, a testament to the rugged individuals who once called this pristine wilderness home. It's an experience that allows you to connect with the rich heritage of the region while reveling in the rugged beauty of nature.

Nature's Bounty Beckons

McCrystal Campground offers more than just a historical journey; it's a launchpad for adventure. Whether you're an avid hunter, hiker, or angler, this is the perfect destination. Here, in the heart of Valle Vidal, you'll find yourself immersed in a world of natural wonders, with opportunities to explore pristine hiking trails, fish in tranquil streams, and partake in hunting in a wilderness teeming with elk and bear.

Valle Vidal's untamed terrain and diverse wildlife make it a favorite destination for outdoor enthusiasts. From the thrill of a successful hunt to the serenity of fishing along pristine rivers, the region offers an abundance of activities to enjoy.

A Wilderness Getaway Awaits

McCrystal Campground stands as an authentic wilderness getaway. It's an opportunity to immerse yourself in nature, disconnect from the modern world, and embrace the wild beauty of the Valle Vidal. The tranquility of nature, the thrill of outdoor adventure, and the rich history of the area create a unique and memorable experience.

For those seeking a true wilderness escape in the heart of elk and bear country, McCrystal Campground is a destination that will leave you with lasting memories and a deep appreciation for the untamed beauty of New Mexico.



From the town of Cimarron, drive 5 miles northeast on Highway 64 to Cerrososo Canyon. Follow this canyon approximately 21 miles to the Valle Vidal Unit Boundary. The route is marked by signs. From the boundary, travel 7 miles on Forest Service Road 1950.

36 miles northwest of Cimarron via US 64 &FR 1950


McCrystal Campground offers the following facilities and amenities:

  • Tent camping
  • Camping trailer
  • Picnic tables
  • Toilets
  • Fireplace


Cost Details:

  • Campsite (includes parking for one vehicle) $16/night
  • Campsite for Senior or Access pass holders $8/night
  • Horse group site (6 sites) $75/night
  • Horse waste disposal $5
  • Extra vehicle $8/night
  • Day use parking $6/day



  • First come, first served
  • The self-guided trail to a pioneer cabin starts at the campground entrance.
  • 55 campsites for tents and trailers
  • 6 campsites for horse campers
  • Water from the creek is not recommended for drinking.
  • Opens May through November. 55 campsites at elevation 8,100.


If you want to discover and explore other campsites and horse trails, here are some of them that you may visit:

PHILMONT SCOUT RANCH - Chase Canyon Turnaround to Dean Heck Camp


CARSON NATIONAL FOREST - Wheeler Peak via Williams Lake Trail

PHILMONT SCOUT RANCH - South Philmont: Zastrow Turnaround to Tooth of Time


McCrystal Campground does not require reservations for overnight accommodations. Please visit their page here on Top Horse Trails - McCrystal Campground for more information