New Mexico - Carson National Forest - Valle Vidal Unit
The Carson National Forest has a 100,000-acre tract of land called Valle Vidal Unit. Donated to the people of the United States by the Penzoil Company of Houston, Texas in 1982, the Unit retains much of its original features. Valle Vidal is managed as a wildlife habitat where disperse camping permitted. (Dispersed is undeveloped camping and not included in this campground review. Contact the Carson National Forest for more information about this type of camping.) It is not quite a wilderness but does have seriously limited vehicle use. Cimarron and McCrystal are the only two developed campgrounds in the Unit. At either location, campers have the luxuries of a Forest Service developed campground while enjoying the vastness and openness of the Unit. However, the entire Unit is open to dispersed camping for those who want to experience how the West really was not to long ago. One of the more unique features of the Valle Vidal Unit is its lack of maintained trails. The Forest seems to encourage visitors to park their vehicle (in a designated parking area), and packing water, a compass, map, and whatever else might be needed, head out to explore the pristine Unit. The crystal clear rivers, rolling grass covered hills, and towering tree covered mountains will keep hiker or horseback rider entertained for many, many hours.