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- 7800 feet
El Caso Throwdown is a partially developed campground located just outside of Quemado Lake Recreation Area. It is primarilly for equestrian use since horses may not be taken into the Recreation Area. Corrals and water are not provided. Cottonwoods and ponderosa pines provide shade throughout the campsite.
SeasonOpen year round
Good camping area for equestrians that is close to the lake. It is also good for hunters after September 30 when Juniper and Piñon Campgrounds close.
ATVs generally are allowed on the Forest but they must be licensed and users must follow all state laws regarding use. ATV use is not allowed in Quemado Lake Recreation Area.
The closest general store is Snuffy''s, just west of the lake. Hunting and fishing licenses can be purchased. Snuffy''s has a restaurant and gas may also be available.
Ground is uneven and can be muddy after rain or snow. Plenty of room between sites.
No RV specific sites but there are sites suitable for self-contained RV camping. The nearest dump station is at Piñon Campground (May 1 to September 30). Dump fee is $5.00.
Bikes are allowed but no specific trails exist. However, dirt roads in the area provide good riding opportunities with views across the lake.
Quemado Lake is approximately two miles from the campsite. Boats may be launched from the boat ramps. Only boats with oars or electic motors are permitted on Quemado Lake. Boats may also be rented from Snuffy''s.
Nearby Quemado Lake is stocked with trout and tiger muskies. Muskies are catch and release only. New Mexico Game and Fish regulations apply.
Largo trailhead (Trail no. 14) is approximately 1.5 miles from the campsite towards the recreation area. Largo trail connects with other trails in the recreation area.
The campground provides a good base for horse riding in the area. Horse riding is not allowed in the recreation area
The campsite is located in Hunting Unit 15 which is known for its elk population. Hunting is not allowed within the campground and recreation area.
Slaughter Mesa Scenic Loop. Go east from the lake on FR 13 approximately 10 miles to Slaughter Mesa and continue on approximately 7 more miles to FR 214. At this point you can go north approximately 10 miles to the old town of Mangas and then 12 more miles to US 60. You can also go south on FR 214 for approximately 11 miles to NM 12. This road is rough. An alternate route from Slaughter Mesa is to go west on FR 93 for approximately 18 miles to NM 32.
Occasional elk may be seen. Be careful driving at night since elk are often on the roads. The upper end of the lake provides ideal habitat for wildlife watching.
Map + Directions
From turn off of NM 32 to Quemado Lake Recreation Area, continue along NM 103 past the lake. NM 32 becomes FR13 (gravel). Follow FR 13 and the campground is on the right approximately two miles after the lake and after crossing the cattle guard past El Caso III.