N.M.’s Carlsbad KOA Called A ‘Desert Oasis’

A site at the Carlsbad Kampgrounds of America.

Editor’s Note: This article was written by William Flood for Mobile RVing’s blog The Buzz

Bats, UFOs, sand (lots of it), and really big holes in the ground draw visitors to this corner of New Mexico. You may know those better as Carlsbad Caverns, with its nightly bat flight, the sci-fi allure of Roswell and gypsum dunes of the White Sands National Monument. In the midst of it all is the Carlsbad Kampgrounds of America (KOA).

Located about 30-minutes from Carlsbad and 15-minutes from Artesia, the RV park is located just off U.S. Highway 285 between mile markers 51 and 52. Carlsbad KOA is billed as New Mexico’s No. 1 Family Campground – and rightfully so – the splendid park, built in 2000 earned a Trip Advisor certificate of excellence by 2015.

There are 110 RV sites with full hookups, 30/50-amp electric, free Wi-Fi, and free cable TV. Ninety nine sites are big rig friendly pull-throughs that can accommodate RVs up to 75 feet long. There are patio sites in various configurations: family sites which accommodate an RV and a tent on the same site; premium pull-through sites with shaded enclosures; and premium buddy sites designed for two rigs together featuring an extra-large covered patio, landscaping, and a swing.

Amenities include a pool, “fortress” playground for kids, horseshoes, volleyball and basketball. Banana and scooter bike rentals are available for tooling around the area.  Onsite, there’s a snack bar, camp store, and 2,000 square-foot community room with table games and commercial laundry housing nine coin-operated washers and six coin-operated dryers.

Owners James and Shelley Fugitt even have plans for making the park “green” with the help of a wind turbine.

There are kid’s crafts, movies in the community room, and nightly activities like stargazing with an 8” telescope or bonfires with s’mores. The park is pet-friendly (pets must be leashed) and sports a fenced dog park.

The Fugitts have continued a long tradition started by the park’s original owners – homemade dinner delivery seven nights-a-week. They smoke their own meats over mesquite and pecan wood and prepare traditional side dishes like potato salad and beans. Meals are delivered right to each campsite. BBQ beef and pork are available (their pork has been featured on “BBQ with Bobby Flay.”), as are smoked turkey and teriyaki salmon.

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