Take a moment from social media and your busy life.
You won’t find easy directions online, so follow the turn by turn directions below!
- From Artesia we head South on US 285 towards Carlsbad, NM.
- Make a right turn on to Queens Hwy (Hwy 137)
- (23 miles from 1st and Main Artesia, NM to Queen turn off).
- Further down this road you will see signs for points of interests such as Guadalupe Christian Camp, a Memorial for Flying Paper Boy (35.1 miles), and Queens Cafe and CampGrounds (35.5 miles), which has amazing burgers and homemade pie.
- A couple miles after passing The Queens Cafe you will make a left hand turn onto Guadalupe Ridge Road which is now a gravel road. (38.9 miles on to Cougar Road)
Here you can find some great campsites which are all part of the Lincoln National Forest. It’s common to see a wide array of wildlife such as deer, javelina, and elk, to name a few, along with hunters, ranchers, and cattle. Great hiking opportunities are found all along this road if you plan to make a full day out of it or camp overnight. Roadside or dispersed camping is allowed throughout the Lincoln National Forest. Roadside or dispersed camping is described as: you may drive to park your RV no more than 300′ from an open road designated for such use.
The road will “Y” and you will see Klondike Gap/ 540 to the left and Guadalupe ridge to the right ─ stay right. This is all open range so beware of cattle as well as wild animals on the road. Soon you will reach multiple overlook areas where you can see the vast openings and drops in the lower valleys. (First is Fox Vista which is at 46.8 miles.)
These points (Fox Vista, Buck Vista, Skunk Vista, Javalina Vista, Coyote Vista, Bobcat, Elk, and Five Point Vista, all within a mile of each other) are where most would hang back for a while, have a picnic, take in the views, and head on back home … but if you travel further down the road there is more beauty to be seen. The road ahead will require a high clearance vehicle due to rough terrain or you can park and go for a hike. Trust me, it’s worth the 2 to 2.5 mile hike. The overlooks on Rim Road are amazing but the view further up is breathtaking. (It’s 50.3 miles to the unmaintained road and a 4×4 vehicle is necessary after rain or snow.)
For the past several years this weekend cruise has been one of our favorite spots. The terrain changes a bit from flat, dry desert to rolling hills and mountain ridges tucked away in the Lincoln National Forest.
Once you have made it through the bumpy ride trailed with cattle, you are presented with this large opening with a breathtaking view of beautiful mountain ridges.
Article written by Tess Ortega and originally published in Focus on Artesia 2021 Summer edition.