The Three Rivers area in New Mexico is home to two public campgrounds that have spectacular views of the Sacramento Mountain range and White Mountain Wilderness. Each campground has remote, quiet, spacious camp sites - all with beautiful views of the surrounding landscape. Three Rivers Petroglyph Site and Campground This archeological site and campground is maintained by the Federal Bureau of Land Management. The petroglyphs were created by the Jornada Mogollon people between about 900 and 1400 AD. The number and concentration of petroglyphs here make it one of the largest and most interesting petroglyph sites in the Desert Southwest. More than 21,000 glyphs of birds, humans, animals, fish, insects and plants, as well as numerous geometric and abstract designs are scattered over 50 acres of New Mexico's northern Chihuahuan Desert.
A short, easy interpretative trail 200 yards south of the petroglyphs leads to the remains of the Mogollon village. The site, which was partially excavated in 1976, was occupied for about 400 years. We started our visit at the small visitor center and talked to a very friendly host.
Then we spent about an hour walking a very easy interpretive trail (just behind the visitor center) and thoroughly enjoyed both the petroglyphs and the beautiful scenery. The petroglyph site and adjacent campground is in a grand, open arid plain surrounded by the Sacramento Mountain range and White Mountain Wilderness. The campground is just in front of the visitor center.
There are only two camp sites at the campground - both having electric and water hook-up and designed for any size RV. The campground also allows camping in the picnic area. The vista of the distant mountains and arid landscape is beautiful and the camp sites (including the picnic area) have totally unobstructed views of it. Amenities include flush toilets and water hook up. This is a real gem that looks like it is in the middle of nowhere. Three Rivers Campground Several miles east of the Three Rivers Petroglyph Site is Three Rivers Campground in Lincoln National Forest maintained by the National Forest Service.
This campground is very remote and quiet. The fourteen camp sites are very well laid out and well spaced with many having ramadas and picnic tables. Most of the sites have excellent views of the surrounding mountains and White Mountains Wilderness area. Although the surrounding landscape is arid, there is a lot of greenery. A river runs along the edge of the campground and can be heard from some of the camp sites. This is a very nice, well planned campground with very beautiful views.
Although this campground can accomodate large RVs, the only amenities offered are vault toilets and water spigots - but the trade off of amenities for the beautiful views is worth it. Getting to these campgrounds is easy. Eighteen miles north of Tularosa, NM, turn east onto Forest Road 579 at the sign that says Three Rivers Petroglyph Site. The roads to each campground are well marked but unpaved a good part of the way. The trip is well worth the effort - two campgrounds with beautiful views and a very interesting archeological site.
Carl Zimmerman is owner and webmaster of Camping with a View, dedicated to finding campgrounds with beautiful views. Visit the New Mexico Campground Reviews page for more information on Three Rivers Petroglyphs Site and Three Rivers campground.