Friday, September 6, 2013

El Malpais National Conservation Area, and an RVer meet-up

We're here in the El Malpais Campground - which is part of the El Malpais National Conservation Area - just a bit past the town of Grants, NM.  I did our Wal-Mart shopping on the way, and arrived here late morning on Wednesday.  I was surprised that many of the campsites were already occupied, but was lucky to get a good, level spot.  

I almost hesitate to tell you how much I like it here - next time there might be NO sites left when I arrive.  But...  someone told me about it, and I believe in Karma, so I'm passing it on.  Anyway, this is a BLM campground with a Camp Host and ten "no fee" campsites.  Three are designated as tent sites and they don't have much room for an RV, which leaves seven RV sites, half of which are not very level.  I was surprised that last night nine of the sites were occupied.  

Sunset at El Malpais Campground

Our site is a drive-through with large bushes/trees on three sides, so it feels very private.  The concrete pad is big with a large metal structure over half the area - it shades a big concrete picnic table - and the other half has a fire pit and a separate bar-b-que.  The campsites have recently been re-done, and are very nice.

Our patio area.

This is the view out the dinette side window.

The RV parking areas are gravel.  Lots of cactus, bushes and trees, and tons of grasshoppers and caterpillars in the grassy areas.  There is no water or dump, but there are bear-proof garbage receptacles.  The stay limit is 7 days out of each 30 day period.   If you stay in the wilderness areas, the limit is 14 days for each 30 day period. 

So far the weather has been beautiful, the nights quiet (except for coyotes), and the night sky full of stars.  I'm really happy to have found this very nice campground, and will come here from now on during my six days out of Bluewater Lake State Park.   And if I do get here and there are no sites, Wal-Mart in Grants is only 10 minutes away.

Yesterday a fellow blogger arrived in the campground.  Nancy has a blog, Wish You Were Here!,  which I've been following and she has been one of my followers, too.  She e-mailed that she was going to be in the area, and luckily we have been able to meet-up and have some really nice visits.  Nancy is a Lazy Daze owner, and her rig is beautiful and perfectly kept.  She drives a 24 foot C Class motor home with no slides and no toad, just like my set-up, and has been a full-timer for 3 1/2 years.  She'll be here a few days, and I look forward to visiting with her more.  Katie absolutely LOVED Nancy, as you can see...

... and Nancy was very sweet to put up with Katie's licking and snuggling and all-around shenanigans.  :)

As I said above, there are so many grasshoppers here, when you walk in the fields, they jump all over the place. 

And there are caterpillars everywhere, too.  There are black and yellow ones like the little guy below, and also TONS of plump all-black ones.  There are going to be a lot of butterflies/moths around here in the next couple of months.

 These cactus are still in bloom, with some beautiful flowers.


When I was taking close-ups of the flower below, I noticed a Praying Mantis on it.

One more flower photo - these are just so pretty.  We don't have nearly as many flowers in bloom here as there are right now at Bluewater Lake, but these were so pretty, I had to get a shot of them.

Here is last night's sunset photo:

From me and Katie, have a great Friday, everyone!  :)


  1. Katie really did take to Nancy so she must be a great person. Glad you found another location that you like.

  2. Glad you like it there, it looks very nice. It is wonderful that you have found a place to stay when out of Bluewater. Love the photos, especially the praying mantis.

    Enjoy your weekend and time with your friend! How nice!!

  3. So glad you found this wonderful park! I used to have a place a couple miles from there, right past the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary in Candy Kitchen, NM. If you get a chance you should visit the wolves. Don't know if this website will print, but you can find it at http://www.wildspiritwolfsanctuary(dot)org/directions(dot)php
    There is a great little café near Malpais, The Ancient Way Café. There is an RV park right there too, but probably a bit more expensive than BLM would be. Anyway, I LOVE reading about your New Mexico Journeys! Thanks for a great blog.
    Jool in North Texas

  4. We drove through there on our way to a hike in El Malpais and thought it was a nice campground, too. But we were staying at Bluewater SP at the time and haven't made it back there.
    We haven't met Nancy yet but also follow her blog. She's got to be alright since she has a Lazy Daze:)

  5. Looks like a great place to stay. The insect you show a picture of isn't a cricket. It's a grasshopper. They've gotten pretty thick around here and are even eating the blooms off my petunias. The leaves of the hollyhocks are pretty well chewed up too.

  6. Hi QuiltinLibraryLady,

    Thank you for letting me know that is a grasshopper, not a cricket. I wondered why they weren't making a racket in the evenings! I'll change the post. :)


  7. Love your new campsite. You got grasshoppers - I got frogs ! LOL

  8. I am so awed that you could take the pictures with the mantis and the mantis shows really well.

  9. I have been enjoying your blog for quite some time, but don't post very often. I really like your pictures of little Katie - she is so photogenic! I can't seem to get those special pictures of the two rescue chihuahuas I adopted about 6 months ago. They came from a really bad situation (my little 3 and 4 pound guys are from here in Phoenix, had always been kept outside, even during extreme hot summers). We are working on several "issues" and making great headway, trust being the number one priority. I'm here with my 95 year old father, but hope to someday join you out there as a full-
    timer - learning a lot from your blog.

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. It looks like you have a lovely and spacious campsite. The flowers are beautiful, but I can see the stickers on the plants and that just ruins them for me.

  12. Hi Y'all!

    Nice to meet y'all! Beautiful cactus flowers and sunset. Katie looks like a real sweetie.

    Y'all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

  13. My dad used to say that an animal knows when they've met a friend...apparently both you and Katie have!

    Love the photos of the flowers and bugs, but it is the last photo of the sunset that made me gasp. How beautiful!

  14. Thanks for sharing the info on this great campground. I have never been there but will definitely keep it on my list.

  15. Looks like you found a great place. Love hearing about your travels.

  16. We saw the sign for this area today as we traveled to Raton Pass. Thought of you as we made our way through New Mexico! Was pretty warm today and lots of downpours in spots.


Thank you for your comments - we LOVE them!