Saturday, June 2, 2012

Orilla Verde Recreation Area, Pilar, NM



We found a wonderful spot at the Pilar Campground in Orilla Verde Recreation Area, about 15 miles southwest of Taos, NM. This is BLM land, with 7 small campgrounds and miles of hiking trails along the Rio Grande Gorge. We are across the road from the river, but with all the vegetation there is no view of the Rio Grande.

We arrived on Thursday and there was one other RV besides the camp host. We figured the place would fill up by Friday evening, but only one trailer came in last night. Guess everyone is taking a break after the big holiday weekend.


Surprisingly, there is electric and water at some of the sites, so we are hooked up. For $7.50/night with Jim’s senior pass, we are happy campers. Since there is no shade here, and “only” 6100’ elevation, it is getting up in the low 90’s during the day so we are taking advantage of the AC.

The next campground down the road, Rio Bravo, also has a few hookup sites, but since it is right on the river that seems to be where everyone wants to be.


It is really beautiful here. We took a short hike the first evening, then yesterday rode our bikes along the river road.



Not sure why this is here, since there is nothing on the other side of the river, and a couple miles up the road is a bridge to the other side.



Although we are unable to use the phone, we have a good internet connection with the amplifier. Unfortunately Debbie’s connection is much worse, and after some troubleshooting she realized her Wilson antenna was broken. She is having a new one shipped to Taos next week so we plan to hang around here for awhile.

Last night we went to happy hour at the nearby Blue Heron Brewing Co. It truly lives up to the name microbrewery, but the beer was pretty good, as was the people-watching. Between the river rafters and the local artist types, there were some interesting looking folks. Too bad I forgot to bring the camera!


  1. It looks like you don't have any smoke from the fires to contend with anymore. That sure is a nice BLM area.

  2. Good to know about these places. I hope to be able to visit there later in the year. I'm having more solar added and also more batteries so I'm in CA right now.


  3. Seems to be a pattern of you and breweries. Have one for us.

  4. What a nice looking BLM site. I've got it on my list to check out. Are there any dump facilities in the area or at any of the neighboring campgrounds?

    Chris H

  5. There are 2 RV parks 15 miles away in Taos where you can dump. If you are heading southwest from the park the closest RV parks to dump are in Espanola, about 30 miles down the road.
    If you use the campground toilets (very nice flush and vault toilets), and the $1.00 pay showers at the Rio Bravo campground less than a mile down the road, you could stay a long time without needing to dump!

  6. Could that tower and cable be a zipline? Zip to the other side and walk 2 miles to the crossover bridge - perfect! Thanks again for sharing all of your sites and adventures.

    1. It's for gauging purposes - river depth and flow.

  7. My husband, a friend,and I stayed at the same Campground for 5 days in October. We stayed overnight at the Black Mesa Casino on the way to the Taos. Electric hook up only on fairly level gravel lot. Dump site with potable water. $20.00 a night.