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Tent Camping for Balloon Festival

Frankfort...
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Tent Camping for Balloon Festival

I'm visiting Albuquerque for the first time to see the balloon fiesta. I'd like to explore the possibilities of tent camping for the event. I'm getting into town on Oct 10th and staying until the 15th. Does anyone know of a good camping sites that has showers? I'm not much of an experienced camper but want this to be an adventure.

I'd also like to rent a bike and do some biking in the area.

Any tips are appreciated!

Santa Fe, New Mexico
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for Santa Fe, Mesa Verde National Park, Boulder, New Mexico
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1. Re: Tent Camping for Balloon Festival

Look at the KOA campgroud in Bernallilo just north of the balloon grounds

Albuquerque, New...
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2. Re: Tent Camping for Balloon Festival

I don't think they have tent camping. We get our propane tanks filled there and have never seen tent camping, website also looks like it confirms this; it is a nice park though.

West Chicago...
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3. Re: Tent Camping for Balloon Festival

The Albuquerque North / Bernalillo KOA does in fact have tent camping available. http://koa.com/campgrounds/albuquerque-north/

Another choice would be the Albuquerque Central KOA. koa.com/campgrounds/albuquerque-central/ (Based on photos, I suspect that the KOA in Bernalillo is better in terms of its grounds and location.)

I have considered using the Turquoise Trail Campground and RV Park on a future trip. A bit (only a bit) further away, but quieter and more "woodsy" as far as the camping. However, they DO have hot showers, etc. so it's not entirely roughing it! www.turquoisetrailcampground.com/index.html

Keith

Albuquerque, New...
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4. Re: Tent Camping for Balloon Festival

I stand corrected about Bernalillo. I just called and nothing available after the 8th of October.

Frankfort...
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5. Re: Tent Camping for Balloon Festival

Thank you all for your responses! Looks like I should try Turquoise or Central KOA since Bernalillo doesn't have availability.

Is it pretty easy to bike from these camp sites to the balloon festival? I'm assuming there are places to rent bicycles. ?

Albuquerque, New...
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6. Re: Tent Camping for Balloon Festival

Turquoise Trail Camp Ground? That is a really long ways away. It is on the eastside of the mountains. You could take the Sandia Tram into ABQ and then ride. But that is costly.

The Central KOA is at least on the west side of the mountains, making it closer, but it is still quite far - 15 miles perhaps.

I take it you are a good cyclist in really good shape - the altitude here makes physical activities a bit challenging.

Also, you do realize that it gets pretty cold here at night. Do you have the right equipment for camping. The nights are already heading into the 50's and will drop more so over the next few weeks.

Yes, you can rent bikes here, I have no idea the cost.

West Chicago...
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7. Re: Tent Camping for Balloon Festival

I guess it depends on what you consider far! LOL. (I live near Chicago so something that's an hour away is considered close enough to me!)

The Turquoise Trail Campground is 27.2 miles/31 minutes away from Balloon Fiesta Park.

The Albuquerque Central KOA is 15.2 miles/20 minutes away. (Good estimation, Debits2000!)

Both these times are based on clear traffic, so they could be longer.

Keith

Albuquerque, New...
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8. Re: Tent Camping for Balloon Festival

LoL - 27 miles would take me 10 days!

Frankfort...
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9. Re: Tent Camping for Balloon Festival

I guess I don't really have the proper camp gear for cold weather. I didn't think about it being so cold. I'm also a decent cyclist but have never been in high altitude before. I called the KOA and they want $52 a night just to prop a tent up...no electricity or anything! Just to pitch a tent! I was shocked. The other one, turquoise, only wants $18 per night but I'm now concerned about the distance and the cold.

I think I've planned poorly by waiting too long. LOL

West Chicago...
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10. Re: Tent Camping for Balloon Festival

I'm sure the KOA price is jacked up because of the Fiesta.

I've been assuming that you are driving in to the area (rather than flying)? If you are you should be able to camp in the cold. I just returned from a week camping in the Black Hills of South Dakota. My camping gear is not rated for how cold it would get at night. No problem since I was car camping. I added two inexpensive rectangular "Coleman" style sleeping bags. Unzipped one to cover the floor of my two man tent (just me). Then had my Thermarest pad, sheet, and "comforter". On top of that I opened up my other cheap sleeping bag. Temperatures got into the mid-30's and I was never cold.

So just like the common advice for clothes in New Mexico is to think layers, perhaps the same advice would work well for sleep gear.

I've been assuming you're driving to the Fiesta? If so, then it's really not too far IMHO. But if you're planning on biking, then I'm with Debits on this.

AND if you're flying in…hmmm…

Keith

Edited: 26 September 2013, 03:38