Whenever we've gone to a new state park, we've called up the information on the Internet, print out a map of the campgrounds, and read about the park in New Mexico Campgrounds, The Statewide Guide
by Christina Frain. She's usually pretty good about warning of roads or campgrounds where RVs aren't suitable. Sometimes she's even too cautious...like warning that the road to Soda Pocket Campground in Sugarite Canyon State Park wasn't suitable for RVs (if it hadn't been for the recommendation of some friends who had been there in an RV previously, we probably wouldn't have tried it).
There was nothing on the state park's website nor in Ms Frain's book warning about the main campground at Hyde Memorial State Park
. So, after packing everything up, we headed out for Santa Fe and the park blithely unaware of the predicament we were going to get into.
In order to get to the park, one has to travel through part of Santa Fe. We took the northern loop road, Paseo de Peralta. When we got to the point where we had to make a left-hand turn to get onto Hyde Park Road, we found a very narrow road with a concrete median in the middle. Earl made the turn just fine, but I wondered how many people in much larger RVs than we own have trouble making that left-hand turn without running over the median.
There is a campground at the northern end of the park that has 6 electrical hookups for RVs. But, since we don't really need electrical hookups, we turned into the main campground hoping to find a space available. Remember what I said above: there was no warning in anything we'd read about the main campground not being suitable for larger RVs...nor was there any warning sign at the entrance to the campground. What we found once we got into the campground were very narrow roads, which in themselves weren't much of a problem. The problem came when we encountered two steep sections of the road. We're talking about gravel roads and we're only doing about 5 miles per hour pulling nearly 15,000# behind us. We almost didn't make it up the second hill, and ended up overheating the transmission in the truck trying to do so. Once we made it to the top of the second hill, we stopped to give the transmission time to cool down.
Seeing that there were NO spaces large enough to get into, we continued on through the campground to the exit. At this point, we encountered a sharp left-hand turn with trees on either side...and a tire ripper at the end. We made it around the corner with just inches to spare between the trees and, fortunately, didn't have to back up to do so, because had we needed to back up, we would have ruined our two front tires on the tire ripper!
So a warning to anyone visiting this park: if you have an RV larger than a small Class C, DO NOT GO INTO THE MAIN CAMPGROUND!!!
At this point, it's almost 4:00 PM, we haven't eaten anything since our bowl of cereal in the morning, and we're really cranky! We drove back into Santa Fe and found an RV park to stay at (none of which are cheap). If we hadn't had mail coming into Santa Fe, we would have spent just the one night. Because of the mail, however, we signed up for four nights.
Once we got all settled in the RV park, we drove down to the Olive Garden for dinner.
Miles driven: 128.8
GPS coordinates: N 35° 38.892' / W 106° 00.335'