Monday, May 27 – Cochiti lake COE Campground, Pena Blanca, NM This campground is located within the boundaries of the Pueblo de Cochiti Indian Reservation. The COE leases the land where they built the dam and two public recreation areas. Cochiti is on the west side of the lake and Tetilla Peak on the east side. Cochiti seems to be more developed and has the boat ramp and a pueblo and beautiful golf course just a mile or two passed the campground. You can see this dam as you are driving up route 22 to the campground and it looks like just a wall of dirt. It is one of the ten largest earth fill dams in the US and World. The lake and dam are surrounded by a desert environment with scrubland. It is a wake free lake and sailing and wind surfing are popular. There are four loops two with electric and water and two without. Buffalo Loop with electric and water seems to be the most popular and was filled when we arrived on Memorial Day to our site. Checkout time is at 2, so we had to wait until our site was vacant. There are some sites that look over the lake and most have a view of some part of the lake and even the Tetilla Peak Campground across the lake. It is a nice campground and I know that many of the campgrounds in this area have posted for hosts to no avail. We never saw a host but it was Memorial Day and we never saw anyone at check in or clean the bathroom and showers. It was disgusting. I blame the campers as well as the campground because it looked full for the holiday weekend with a number of sites having more than two cars and ten people, so the facilities were overwhelmed. Toilet paper was thrown all over the stalls and the showers were moldy, hairy with tubes and papers on the floor. In five months of camping we have never seen the bathrooms look like this and I love COE campgrounds. I hope it was just because of the Holiday. One other camper told us that they have been there for a week and the bathhouses were wonderful. The Visitor Center was also closed. We camped here in a Motorhome.
Price reflects senior discount. We camped in the Buffalo Grove loop. All sites are paved and have electric and water hook-ups. There is a dump station in the park. The showers/restrooms are fairly new and very clean. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
This is one of the nicest places to camp. We try to come here every year. Sites are clean, paved, have covered tables and a light at night. Showers & rest rooms are clean, however the ladies showers in the Buffalo Grove loop were scalding hot and I couldn't use it. The site we reserved in advance was occupied when we arrived, by someone who removed our reservation and moved in when no attendant was on duty. The park said, "Sorry, but the occupant is nowhere to be found or we would kick them out." They wanted us to wait until the occupant returned but I talked them into putting us in another site that was available. The lake at this park is beautiful. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
We had a paid reservation for a specific site ( on ReserveAmerica) three months in advance. When we arrived someone else was camped in our site. The gate said the owners of the rig were nowhere to be found, and they wouldn't tow them out. Fortunately, they had another site to put us in. Also, the showers in the ladies room were scalding hot, and I couldn't use it. We've been to this camp before without these problems. The whole place has been redesigned, so maybe they"re still working out the bugs. It's a beautiful place. I especially like that the lake is a "no-wake" lake as I am a kayaker. In 2011 our reservation was canceled and refunded due to wildfires in the area.. They called our home to notify us, but of course we were out traveling and didn't get the call. Be sure to give cell phone &/or email contact info when reserving here. Or call before going in, as we do, now. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
Absolutely loved this park. It is right on Cochiti Lake so we were able to do some kayaking while we were there. We stayed in the newest loop that has large paved sites and 50 amp electric for big rigs. This loop stays booked and we just happened to luck out when someone else cancelled. The only thing that would make this place better is full hookups instead of the dump station. Even so, the dump station was very large and easy to get in and out of. We had good OTA TV signal here and good Verizon signal. We would definitely return. We camped here in a Motorhome.
Rate is for Senior Park Pass. Clean and big showers. Great view from our site. Good antenna reception with over 30 TV channels. Sites looked new and were level and large. Can be a bit noisy in the evenings with kids, but everyone settled down for the night. Great camping to go to the nearby tent rocks. We camped here in a Motorhome.
This is a great place if you are looking for peace and quiet. Only about 17 miles from Santa Fe and about 40 miles from Albuquerque. Paved large sights, almost all have view of the water or canyon. Large covered picnic tables and BBQ. 12.00 with water available, 20 if you want power and water. No sewer hook-ups, dump station available. I would definitely come here again. Great for star gazing! Love this place. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
The Buffalo Grove Campground of Cochiti Lake COE is designed for RV camping. It is above the west side of the lake, on a slope, in a Juniper Tree habitat. There is 50 amp electric and water at each site. The loop access roads are paved and each site is paved. There are a few pull throughs and the back-ins are angled to permit easy backing. Leveling a rig here is a challenge. Some sites are long enough for big rigs, but they may not permit proper leveling. The un-leveled sites is the reason for not providing the campground with a ten. Sites come with a ramada, a table and fantastic views. Each site is spacious with plenty of additional open space between sites. We like open space, spacious sites, endless views, isolated campgrounds and quiet. So this place was ideal for us. The only downside was the lake being closed for recreational use due to hundreds of floating logs. We stayed here for two nights and will return. We camped here in a Motorhome.
This is a great place to stay to visit Santa Fe and the Pecos Area. The Tent Rocks National Monument is close for hiking. The lake was closed while we were there because of all the debris in it from the fires. New restrooms and showers have been built and most sites have been repaved. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
The price reflects the discount for a Senior Pass. The views are wonderful and there is quite a bit to select from in the way of recreation. However the smoke (AZ fires) and wind prevented us from doing some activities. The sites and most roads are paved and very roomy. The staff is very laid back, but available if needed. We stayed for 5 nights and would camp here again. We camped here in a Motorhome.
New loop was fully booked, stayed 2 weeks in the Juniper loop. Actually nicer, as the view is fabulous, coyotes at night and road runners in the day. Other than some people letting their dogs run off the leash, it was a very pleasant experience. The electric and water are a distance from where you park, so make sure you bring extra hose and cord. Would stay again, if in the area. We camped here in a Motorhome.
This is a pleasant campground and close enough for either Albuquerque or Santa Fe for touring. It can be reached via I-25 and Exit 259 or Exit 264. The Corps of Engineers web site is not up-to-date. There are now three campgrounds, one group site and a future campground. Juniper and Buffalo Grove Loops have electric. Buffalo Grove is one of the newer loops and has very long sites suitable for the biggest of RVs. Elk Run Loop is also new with large sites but has no electric. Buffalo Grove has water hookups which Juniper has spigots along the camp road. There is a dump station at Juniper but it's small. A bigger, nicer one is near the fee station entrance/hosts when you enter the park. There is a swimming beach and a boat ramp. Our rate of $10 with electric reflects the Golden Age Passport. We would definitely stay here again. We camped here in a Motorhome.
The new loop at this campground affords fabulous lake and mountain views! The sites were easily accessible and level. My disability pass afforded the lower rate and I will be staying here again whenever I pass through the area! We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
Can't say enough good things about this park. We had site 51, a pull through and the view of the lake was incredible! The sites are all so nicely spaced and it is a great location for the area. Make sure you go to Tent Rocks Monument and take the cliff hike through the canyon. We also went to Bandslier Monument which was lots of fun and take the trail to the waterfall. This was a great location for exploring everything, yet very naturally beautiful. Would go back in a heartbeat! We camped here in a Motorhome.
We camped in the new loop with water and electric hookups: $10 with Golden Age. The regular price is $20. Its a great bargain and is close enough to I-25 for overnighters. Our only disappointment was that the Tent Rocks National Monument was closed due to road repairs. There are actually 2 new loops: one with hook ups and one without. There is a new dump site and new bath house. One of the older loops which has electric and shared water hookups is also open. It has larger and more private sites. People who aren't used to camping in NM may not like the lack of shade. This is high desert. Trees don't grow much taller than 10 feet. It is open, dry and hot. All sites have shelters. The new sites even have electric lamps in the shelters. The old entrance to the campground is closed. So don't turn left at the 4 way stop, continue to the next left. Once you get here you can see that it is obviously the entrance. A few signs would have been helpful but construction is still on going. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
Beautiful area; we have stayed here before. We used our Golden Age Pass for half price. Rates went up to $20 per night on April 15th or $10 with pass. They have added a number of new sites which opened on April 15th. Coming into CG is pretty confusing with the complete lack of signage; they changed the entrance to the park so you may want to scout things out before entering with a large rig. There was no water at our site so we had to fill at one of the available places in the park. We will stay here again in the future. We camped here in a Motorhome.
Campgrounds are fine, clean grounds, covered picnic tables, although one cannot see the lake from space #55 which we had. The sites are big and a group of 5-7 tents can be pitched without crowding each other. However, directions to get to the grounds are really bad, I copied them from the map along with coordinates and they were wrong. Since we arrived at night, it was very hard to find it and had to ask a passing car which luckily knew. One has to turn right from Hwy 90 (not 22, Hwy 22 turns into 90) when the view of the lighthouse is seen, and before the gas station. Then turn left at the first stop sign, from there one can see the entrance of the campgrounds. We camped here in a Tent.
I have reviewed this park before but am doing it again because significant changes have been made. We really like this place. We have always stayed in the A Loop at the top of the hill which has large spaces, some with water and electric and some with electric only. The placement of the utilities at some sites is some distance from where they should be so you might need extra hose or electric cords. The good news is that the COE has added a new RV and tent campground down the hill and closer to the lake. I do not know the number of sites but there are a lot of them and they look very nice. The RV sites have large concrete pads, tables with copper-colored metal shelters, water and electric. The bad news is that the new sites are not open yet. The park attendant did not have a date, but it should be soon. We camped here in a Motorhome.
We stayed on the Tetilla side of the lake. Quiet, peaceful, very few others camping there. Sites are not close together. It is a 9 mile drive from Hwy 16 back to the campground. It will take you about 30 minutes or more to get to Santa Fe and longer to get down to the plaza. We had great cell phone reception which surprised us. This is a COE campground so it is nothing extra however you can do laundry and there is a small store/gas station in the little town of Chochiti. Park attendant was rarely there and we hardly ever had a "ranger" drive through. We camped here in a Tent Trailer.
For starters the RV park was under construction! Nothing about this huge make over, on the website!! The spaces were really narrow. The soil outside your front door was a mixture of gravel, rocks, clay and dirt. Trash was seen stuck in the trees and bushes. The camp host was off duty for the 3 days we were here. (Sun-Tue). The playground was closed. A bummer because we had our 3 year old granddaughter with us. The lower larger primitive sites were closed with out reason (locked gates). On a positive note, the sites were fairly level well marked and I did see a local law enforcement officer in a marked police unit make a round through the park. The dam site road was closed. A loud alarm at the project building went off at night for about 1/2 hour or so, maybe longer. I never observed any one respond to the building that was very well lit up. There is a store about 3 minutes away that has everything you would need to get by. It looks like the place is going to be very nice once it is complete. The no wake lake is boring. Let the jet skis and motor boats in. More large family parking areas would be nice. Not everyone travels alone. I believe this lake is directed toward sail boats. But I did not see not a one on the lake hmmm. Oh yeah, the park was very empty. Cool because it was just us and a couple of others. These are just my observations and opinions on this particular trip. We will be back to see the new changes. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
[ 8 / 10 ]
This is pleasing campground located on a large COE reservoir between Santa Fe and Albuquerque. The RV sites are in "A Loop" on high ground overlooking the lake and the surrounding area but only a few sites have good lake views. Most are back-ins but there are some pull-throughs parallel with the road. Sites on the inside of the loop have water and electric hookups. Sites on the outside have electric only. There is a central dump station and a cinder block restroom/shower building. The restrooms and showers looked clean but were marred by peeling paint. Some of the sites are on a reservation system and others are first come, first served. Nearby recreation includes two pueblos and the Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument. We enjoyed our stay and will go there again. We camped here in a Motorhome.
We loved the location, but the campground has some flaws. The restrooms are old, and they show it - they need work, new fixtures, and fresh paint. More showers, and some *hot water* would be nice. Next, the outer ring of pull through sites don't have water. Luckily a back-in site became available and we relocated to it. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
This is an Army Corps Of Engineers Campground. Cholla Campground (aka Loop A) is comprised of nine acres. Facilities in this campground include 34 individual campsites, each with an electric hook-up, a concrete table, and a grill. Twenty two sites have shelters. Water spigots are located throughout the campground. The entrance road is paved. This campground has one sanitary dump station and large water borne restroom/shower building. That said, the campsites are missed marked with the reservation system. Site numbered stakes that have an R on them are designated as a reservation campsite. We pulled into a site without an R on the stake and found that it was on the reservation system. Very confusing mess. Some sites we found with an R were first come first serve sites. Hopefully they will get this mess straightened out. Nice sites, water at each site with the exception of site # 20. Tetillia Peak Recreation Area is on the west side of Cochiti Lake and less crowed. The reservation system information says Tetillia Peak Cholla CG has 50 amp service. It does NOT, it does have 20/30 amp. On the east side of the lake is Cotchiti Recreation Area and they have 50 Amp service. Some sites overlook the lake and valley. We enjoyed our stay and would go back. FYI. Next to Cholla Campground is Coyote Campground (aka Loop B): A partially paved road extends throughout this area. There are 10 camping spaces, each with a table and grill. There are no electric hook-ups. Water spigots are scattered throughout the loop. The restroom/shower building is centrally located for easy access. We camped here in a Motorhome.
We had reservations for 5 nights and only stayed 2. When we decided to leave there wasn't anyone around to let know we were vacating our site. We parked on an outside pull through and discovered it didn't have hookups so had to move to a site with less view. No view of the lake. Far view of the mountains. Very windy with no vegetation of any kind to break the wind. We would definitely not stay here again. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
$12 for electric sites and $8 without, half price for golden age pass. Water hookups are pretty far away, we filled tank and used that, need a minimum of 50', 100' is better. Not all sites have electric. A very nice Corps of Engineers Park, big roomy sites with plenty of room between them. We camped here in a Motorhome.