The black bears are arguably the most celebrated wildlife in the area due to the fact that the original Smokey Bear was found here. While battling a fire in 1950, firefighters rescued a burned bear cub clinging to a scorched tree in Lincoln National Forest. The bear was adopted by the US Forest Service and became the real-life mascot for forest fire prevention.
Whether for a family reunion or a large social event, Black Bear is a convenient location for groups up to 70. No water is provided at this site, but it is available at Deerhead Campground from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
Set 9,000 feet above sea level in the Sacramento Mountains, Black Bear is in a pine forest area overlooking the desert valley of the Tularosa Basin. The basin stretches 6,500 square miles between the Sacramentos and the San Andres Mountains.
The campground is a mile from Cloudcroft, a quaint tourist village with New Mexico's only standing railroad trestle. It's also a quarter mile from the Rim Trail, which is popular for mountain biking, hiking, and horseback riding. Other nearby trails are open to ATV enthusiasts.
Evening skies are often clear of clouds - bring a telescope for stargazing. The campground is surrounded by a series of hiking trails. A popular hike is the Osha Trail, which is a 2.5-mile loop.
PO BOX 836 CLOUDCROFT NM 88317
For campground inquiries, please call: 575-682-7570
In southeast New Mexico, approximately 20 miles east of Alamagordo. From Alamagordo take US 82 east. Go 16 miles. Just before Cloudcroft, turn right (south) on NM 130. Go 1.4 miles. Turn left (east) on Forest Road 24B. Go .5 miles. Black Bear Group area is on right (south) side of road across from Aspen Group Area.