What's new

Kiowa Grasslands, Mills Canyon Campground

Jim

Member
Took and afternoon recon trip to the Kiowa National Grasslands southeast of Springer NM. Destination was Mills Canyon, a.k.a. the Canadian River Canyon.
https://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/regions/southwestern/MillsCanyon/index.shtml
https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/kiowa-national-grassland
The surrounding area is flat to hilly short grass prairie. The Canadian River has cut a 700 foot deep canyon in this area. Interesting to drive across a fairly flat short grass landscape and come up on a canyon of this size. The biomes change a lot as you drive into the canyon. At the rim it goes from grassland to pinyon juniper scrub. The upper part of the canyon has large ponderosa pines. Lower in the canyon it changes back to pinyon juniper and cottonwood.
There are two NFS campgrounds: Upper Rim and Canyon. Both are developed with gravel pads, fire rings and grills, picnic tables and latrines. I did not notice any water sources. Camping appears to be free (no pay stations) and no reservation.
Both the rim and canyon floor are very scenic. I like grasslands so I enjoyed the drive from Springer.
There are ruins in the canyon. Mills homesteaded it and planted 10,000 fruit and nut trees and raised cattle. A flood wiped out his orchards and he went bust.
I did not have a MVUM so don't know about opportunities for vehicular exploration in the area. Looks to be a great place to hike.
We intend to go back for an overnighter just to see the stars if nothing else. Mills Canyon is out there in the back of beyond.
The trail from rim to bottom could be handled by a high clearance 2WD when dry. There are some switchbacks and you would not want to pull an RV trailer to the bottom. RVs at upper rim campground are OK.
SPEED TRAP ALERT: Springer NM is on the route to Mills Canyon. Got the impression the town is a speed trap so be advised.
Some views from inside the canyon.

002_MILLS_CANYON_RS.jpg
004_MILLS_CANYON_RS.jpg
010_MILLS_CANYON_RS.jpg
 
Last edited:

Morris Yarnell

Well-Known Member
Sounds like a worthy trip. Looks to be about 300 miles almost due south. It's on my trip agenda now, thanks.

Just had a family chat and it is now in a trip planning stage. Have no plans between 14th and 26th so it will fit in there somewhere. Probably make a few days of it and do some hiking as well. I have been itchin' to get out somewhere.
 
Last edited:

Jim

Member
Morris
If you go to Mills Canyon. Let me know.
As it stands we have a conflict during that period but it may fall thru.
Jim
 

Morris Yarnell

Well-Known Member
So Mills Canyon is in your back yard. I'll see what days we can go and probably let you know. At least we might be able to stop by and say hello at your place since you are so far from meeting the rest of the gang. Not everyone even locally comes to every gathering. Mostly to catch up on events and have a beer. This forum is going to be your best bet to at least have some contact with the group so far from you.
I am still in contact with the group I was in in Seattle but the odds of me going to anything there are even more remote than you are with this group. My best bet to see the Seattle group would be the Overland Expo in Flagstaff, but even so there are things that pop up that keep me from going once a year so far away.
 

Jim

Member
Mills Canyon is about an hour from here. NOTE: Springer NM is on the route to Mills. We stopped there for fuel and the local cops were pulling people over right and left. Got the impression the town is a speed trap.
Thought of another option in this area. Cimarron Canyon State Park has 3 campgrounds which looked very nice. I have not determined if they are open this time of year. http://www.emnrd.state.nm.us/SPD/cimarroncanyonstatepark.html
I did check with USFS Carson Natl Forest. McCrystal and Cimarron (the federal one) campgrounds are closed Jun thru March.
 

Morris Yarnell

Well-Known Member
Thanks,
Looked at their site and I think the preference would be more toward the Mills Canyon area. Less populated, I hope. I have the LR set up to be able to exist off grid for at least a week if not more, so dispersed camping is more our style. Worst case is we run out of wine.
Nice for the heads up on Springer. Have been thinking about the stars.
We have 5 acres near Westcliffe, CO, totally unimproved that we go to just to not have city lights and noise from traffic. Only the sound of coyotes and the occasional deer that roams through.
 

Morris Yarnell

Well-Known Member
Jim,
Thanks for the thoughts on Mills Canyon. We did go there and it was a very beautiful campground. Went on a spur of the moment trip as we were going to Mesa Verde and just wanted to include it in our route for future adventures. We will go again, but later or earlier in the season so it won't be too hot. Also visited the site at the top of the canyon and found it to be excellent as well.
 

Jim

Member
Morris

Glad you visited the place, it is interesting.

Definitely a spring or fall destination due to the heat. Need to pay attention to the rain as well. We've been having quite a year for precip here with a lot of locally heavy downpours.

Jim
 

EpicksonTob

New Member
In my opinion it is obvious. Try to look for the answer to your question in google.com

---
I am sorry, that has interfered... This situation is familiar To me. It is possible to discuss. buy viagra generic online, viagra generic, viagra price costco viagra cheapest
 

Morris Yarnell

Well-Known Member
I find it difficult to imagine how this type of posting has any possible bearing on the original posting of camping, or even personal or the technical aspects of off roading.
This site began as a forum to discuss off roading and possible group endeavors in the realm of camping and social interaction and has since become a forum for the perpetuation of improper sales of illegal and questionable goods. I find this highly unethical and greatly disturbing on a personal level.
If possible it would greatly enhance the response of interested off roaders to engage in this forum if these types of posts could be somehow eliminated and if that is not possible to at least be translated into real site worthy conversation.

edit: perhaps this (viagra) type of messaging should be in a PM so as to not share it so openly
 
Last edited: