Paliza Group Campground is found north of the small community of Ponderosa, surrounded by ponderosa pines and views of the stunning cliff faces of majestic mesas. There are two group areas within the campground, with walk in and drive in sites found separately in each loop. The group campground generally opens in mid-May and closes in mid-October. It’s location is ideal for enjoying quiet, star filled nights as it is far away from major cities. The Jemez National Recreation Area is a short drive away and providesmany opportunities to enjoy the Santa Fe National Forest.
The Owl Loop sites have paved driveways along with standard campsite amenities like a fire ring grill, picnic table, lantern post, and gravel tent pads. There is a large outdoor picnic area for the Owl Loop and comes with pedestal grills, a ramada, picnic tables, and plenty of room for large gatherings. The Red Tail Loop sites are walk-in sites, but the parking is close by with additional parking for RVs and trailers available. Red Tail Loop sites have a picnic table, fire ring grill, lantern posts, and gravel tent pads provided, with a gravel walkway connecting all the sites. There are recently renovated vaulted toilets found in both loops.
The Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) will implement forest-wide Stage 2 fire restrictions at 8 a.m. Friday, April 22, to reduce the risk of human-caused wildfires. The fire restrictions are in place until Dec. 31, 2022, unless rescinded earlier.
Stage 2 fire restrictions prohibit the following activities on the SFNF:
• Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire or stove fire.
• Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, a developed recreation site, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is cleared of vegetation and flammable material.
• Blasting, welding, or operating an acetylene or other torch with open flame.
• Using an explosive of any kind. (Fireworks and other pyrotechnic devices are always prohibited on national forests.)
• Operating any equipment powered by an internal combustion engine, including chainsaws, between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
• Driving off designated roads. Visitors may park in areas cleared of vegetation within 10 feet of the roadway, or in designated parking areas.
Visitors may use stoves, grills and lanterns fueled by propane or other liquid petroleum gas (LPG) fuels that meet manufacturer’s safety specifications.
Learn more by visiting the SFNF website to view the fire restriction details.
The Santa Fe National Forest (SFNF) implemented a forest-wide closure order at 8 a.m. Thursday, May 19, 2022, prohibiting public access across the entire 1.6-million-acre forest due to active wildfires and extreme fire danger. The closure order will remain in effect until July 18, 2022, unless it is rescinded earlier. Fire information will continue to be posted on Inciweb, the SFNF Facebook and Twitter, SFNF website, and New Mexico Fire Information website. https://www.fs.usda.gov/santafe/.
Fire restrictions may exist. Check with the Jemez Ranger District if you are unsure.
No ATV/ORV use in the campground. Travel is restricted elsewhere on the forest.
There is no water.
The short driveway from Forest Road 10 to the group campground is scenic, with riparian trees changing to towering ponderosa pines as the road climbs in elevation. Spectacular views of the surrounding mesas and clear blue skies are hallmarks of this campground. The dark greens of the conifers stand out against the bright yellows of flowering chamisa in the summer, and the yellows and reds of fall foliage provide a variety of scenery through the seasons.
The East Fork of the Jemez National Wildand Scenic River can be accessed nearby. The Valles Caldera National Preserve is conveniently located north of Forest Road 10 on NM 4. An impressive geological formation known as Battleship Rock is worth stopping to look on NM 4, north of the town of Jemez Springs. The town itself has art created by locals, hot springs, and a restaurant for those not wanting to cook.
Paliza Group Campground is not far from NM Highway 4 and the popular Jemez National Recreation Area. Scenic day hikes, hot springs, and historical landmarks can be found nearby. Fishing is popular on the nearby San Antonio Creek with plenty of fishing sites available.
For campground inquiries, please call: 575-829-3535
From the town of Ponderosa, New Mexico, travel 5 miles northeast on Forest Road 10 to the campground.