Sunset Reef Campground

Sunset Reef Campground is a reclaimed well pad with 11 developed campsites; five RV spaces and six tent sites. Each site has a shaded picnic table, fire pit and grill for your camping convenience with a vault toilet on site. Visitors can dry camp at this campground for a maximum of five nights for free.

If on the hunt for a great place to camp while exploring the two national parks in the area, this is the place to stay! Carlsbad Caverns is a 25-minute drive (14 miles) to the north and Guadalupe Mountains National Park is a 35-minute drive (30 miles) to the southwest.

Adventure is at Your Fingertips



  • No Fees and No Reservations. First come, first serve. 

Stay Limit

  • Five Nights.


  • Open year-round.


  • Vault restroom.
  • 11 Developed Campsites (five for RV spaces, six for tents) each with a shaded picnic table, fire pit and grill.


Nearby Attractions

No need to drive all the way to a National Park when just four miles from the campground is an oasis in the desert, the Cottonwood Day Use Area. Cottonwood is a BLM Rec Site offering fishing, swimming and picnicking opportunities while maintaining a healthy river system and riparian habitat. This area along the Black River provides a viewing platform, five shaded picnic tables and a vault toilet. And if you are desiring more underground exploration why not visit Parks Ranch Cave only a few miles to the east.  

If you want to visit a less seen part of Carlsbad Caverns National Park, a short 3.5-mile drive southwest from the campground will land you at Rattlesnake Springs. This riparian ecosystem features a natural spring and a large grove of cottonwood trees planted by the Civilian Conservation Corps. Picnicking and bird watching can be enjoyed by visitors year round, but only during the day as the site closes as nightfall. Also no swimming is allowed in the spring so you will have to head back over to the Black River Recreation Area for that. 

 FLICKR Slideshow

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Iconograph of a tent


Carlsbad Field Office
620 E. Greene Street
New Mexico

Geographic Coordinates

32.11958, -104.43222


From Carlsbad, New Mexico head south on highway 62/180, after approximately 25 miles turn right at the large red Washington Ranch sign (between mile marker 10 and 11) onto Washington Ranch Road, be prepared to take the first right soon after accessing Washington Ranch Road, cross a cattle guard and continue on a dirt road for 0.7 miles.


No fees.

Stay Limit

5 nights maximum.