I’ve been writing about Truth or Consequences, NM in the last few days, and several people have told me they now have T or C on their list of places to visit. It would hardly be fair to get folks excited about visiting the town and not tell them where they can stay.
The first time I visited T or C, I had the good fortune to spend a week in a motel. I stayed at the Rocket Inn (605 N Date Street), a small motor court with only nine rooms for rent. Built in 1948, and originally called the Red Haven Motel, the entire place has been restored. According to the website, the
fully modernized King Deluxe and Double Queen rooms…include fridge, microwave, WIFI and HDTV/basic cable. [The property is] family run, dog-friendly and walking distance to Main Street.
I chose the Rocket Inn because I could walk from my room to downtown where I was able to sample the wonderful hot springs bathhouses. Everyone working at the Rocket Inn, from the owners to the housekeepers, were exceedingly nice to me and made sure I had everything I wanted and needed. The rooms were impeccably clean, and I felt perfectly safe there.
The third time I visited Truth or Consequences, I stayed at the Artesian Bath House and RV Park (at 312 Marr Street) for two months. Nightly and weekly rates at the Artesian were reasonable, but the monthly rate was a fantastic deal.
According to the business’s Facebook page,
The Artesian Bath House opened for business June, 1930. For over 33 years the Martin’s [sic] have owned, operated, and maintained their commercial hot springs.
The Artesian is great for vandwellers, as there are restrooms on-site, and one can take a hot bath if one wants to clean up.
I have also had great success stealth parking and boondocking in the town of Truth or Consequences. I’m not sure if I’m actually as stealthy as I like to think I am or if no one in T or C cares about who’s sleeping in a vehicle in a residential area, but when I left in December of 2015, I’d never been bothered during my nights in the van. Lots of folks park overnight in the parking lot of the T or C Wal-Mart. I have seen everything from luxury Class A’s to old-school motorhomes held together with duct tape and prayer to stealth vans parked in that lot. On some nights I’ve counted a dozen vehicles parked there, then counted them all again in the morning as I walked toward the doors of the store. Sometimes I call that parking lot the Wal-Mart RV park.
For folks who want to get out of town and into nature, there’s plenty of that in the area too.
Truth or Consequences is very close to Elephant Butte dam and Elephant Butte State Park. According to Wikipedia,
Elephant Butte Dam…is a concrete gravity dam on the Rio Grande river near Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. The dam impounds Elephant Butte Reservoir, which is used for both recreation and agriculture. The construction of the dam has reduced the flow of the Rio Grande to a small stream, with high releases occurring only during the summer irrigation season, or during years of exceptionally heavy snow melt.
The Paseo del Rio Recreation Area is part of Elephant Butte State Park. The Paseo del Rio includes a campground I stayed at for a couple of nights during my first visit to the area.
When I was there, the campground did not offer water, sewage, or electrical hookups, but each campsite had a fire ring and picnic table covered by a ramada. There were flush toilets and sinks with running water on one end of the campground, near the day-use parking lot, and portable toilets at the other end. I believe the camping fee was $10 per night.
A 3/4 mile trail with “interpretive signage of historic interest” ran through the campground and along the Rio Grande, and there was a historic fish hatchery in the recreation area.
I found the campground peaceful. There wasn’t much traffic at night on the road closest to the campground, so there wasn’t much disruptive automotive noise.
I also spent a couple of nights at the Percha Flats camping area at Caballo Lake State Park. Percha Flats was a primitive camping area with no designated campsites, no running water, no electricity, and no hookups of any kind. When I visited, there was a pit toilet and a dumpster near the entrance to the camping area. The camping fee was $8 per night. There were no designated hiking trails in the area where I stayed, but I did take some nice walks along the edge of the lake.
The final campground I stayed in near Truth or Consequences was in Percha Dam State Park. The campground had many developed campsites, although mine only had a picnic table. My site had no ramada, and no hookups, although there may have been a water spigot there. (I can’t remember.) Many of the sites had electrical hookups, but I decided not to splurge on that. The campground also had flush toilets, sinks with running water, and hot showers that didn’t cost extra to use. I did enjoy a nice hot shower during my stay.
My last tip is a boondocking spot about 3o miles away from Truth or Consequences. Last time I was there, the cute little town of Hillsboro (population 124) allowed folks to park overnight in the community’s tiny park across the street from the Black Range Museum. There were a couple of pit toilets in the park, as well as a few informational placards, and campfires were not allowed. I think this spot would be a good place to spend the night on a trip between T or C and Silver City.
So there you have it. I’ve offered up several choices of places to stay as you start your adventures in Truth or Consequences and the surrounding area.
I took all of the photos in this post.
Love T or C and I enjoyed staying at the Artesian, too.
I can’t wait to return. did you take a ride up to Chloride? Awesome place, awesomepeople!
Cyndi, I never made it to Chloride. Thanks for the tip that I should go there. I’ll be sure to check the town out next time I am in the area.
Thanks for reading and commenting.
I was told by a resident I could stay free a few days by the river in town at Rotary park. It was posted no camping, but I was there 4 nights. A patrol care drove by one night and did not say anything. That was in my Prius of course so I dont know what other vehicle might be able to park overnight there. After that Wallmart a few nights. I rarely pay for parking but the penisula between lakes at Elephant Butte was so gorgeous I willng paid the $8 one night.
Thanks for the information, David. I spent a lot of time in Rotary Park, but never slept there. Some mornings I cooked my breakfast there, and some evenings I cooked my dinner there. Sometimes after dinner I sat in my van for a couple of hours there and worked on craft projects.
I too saw the no camping sign at the entrance to the area with picnic tables, which is why I didn’t try to spend the night. Perhaps the cops interpret “camping” to mean “sleeping in tent.” I am glad you were able to stay there with no trouble.
Many people park along the river just outside of the picnic area in order to fish. That may be a good place to park too, because cops/nosy people would possibly just think someone parked there was just waiting for the right time to fish.
Thank you for reading and sharing your T or C knowledge.
I’ve noticed electrical outlets down there, and wondered if they were live. Did you try them, by any chance?
Duck, if you are talking about electrical outlets at Rotary Park, no I did not try them. I did not even see them. Drats! Thanks for the tip. I will look for them (and try ’em if I find ’em) if I’m ever back that way.
Blaize, I think it’s that no one cares. I tell people that TorC is a vandweller’s paradise. Big, non-stealthy rigs parked on the street in the hot springs district.
I hope no one starts to care. I agree T or C = vandweller’s paradise.
Thanks for reading and commenting, Duck.