Location: Bluff Springs Recreation Area, Upper Rio Penasco Road, approximately 3.55 miles east of Highway 6563.

We just got back from a week at Conchas Lake State Park.  Went to Bluff Springs a couple of days before we left…

bluff springs sign 2017 may 12

The 3.55 miles is a mix of paved and gravel with some potholes.  A couple of tiny springs on the hills above makes some of the potholes deep and wet.

Couple of blind turns.   Watch out for cattle and elk.  Several trailheads.

It’s a popular place and always had a couple of cars in the parking area.

There are no trash cans, picnic tables, or metal fire rings.  Just a vault toilet and parking areas along the river — some requiring 4×4.

The areas are usually occupied on the warm weekends.  Today, a Friday, a young family set up a couple of tents and a Class B van was in a farther area.  I was pleased to see a patient papa teaching his two girls how to camp.  Even more pleased when they didn’t turn on a radio and nobody was shouting or cussing.

Even though it’s flowing only about two gallons a minute, this tiny body of water is still a river.  Happily, it gets bigger as it accumulates from other springs and heads toward Mayhill.

bluff springs stream 2017 may 12I parked in one of the tougher to get to camping spots.  Stepped down to the water and had this to enjoy.  But it’s sneaky.  HappyDog sunk to her belly in stinky mud.

bluff springs from truck 2017 may 12

Looking to the west I saw this.  The sound of the water falling off the cliffs was most enjoyable.  There’s several trails if you pass over the bridge and follow the steps up to the top.  I’ll warn you now the steps are somewhat difficult.  Railroad ties every four feet filled with soil between.  The soil has since washed out in places so you might be stepping 16″.  8100 feet in elevation takes its toll too.

I looked for three geocaches hidden in the hills above.  Found nary a one.  I must be one of the worst geocachers ever.  My found to not found ratio isn’t good at all.

The prettiest places to camp are above the falls.  Few will slog their stuff up that high so you will have your pick of good places.

Unusual for me, I’d packed everything to spend the night.  Unfortunately, while in Cloudcroft I texted Margo to say I’d text her if I stayed.  Bad move.  There is no cell service for miles and miles and miles.  So I relaxed at my little camp area until dark then headed home.


About trekkingtess

Retired Industrial Arts and middle school computer teacher. Escaped Texas for the peace and quiet of New Mexico.
This entry was posted in Campgrounds, Geocaching, Hiking, New Mexico and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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