New Mexico State Park Robbing people with a bait and switch - Rip off!!!

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Well-known member
Jul 31, 2018
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I’m so spitting mad!!! I paid over 200 bucks for their season pass . Only to try to make a reservation and they want me to pay 12 bucks for a reservation fee !!!!!!! So that’s another 24 bucks fee every month!!!they want me to pay!?!, 

Is there anyone who can help me with advice I can’t afford that! I can’t return my pass and I already sunk to much money into this!!!!!!

I feel robbed I don’t know what to do... they only allow online reservation from what I’m reading on there website
I noticed the reservation fees a few days ago on their website. So I wont be playing that game either....

I bought one of their ACP's (Annual Camping Permit) a few years back, and it was a good deal back then.

I wont be buying another one until they go back to allowing us to camp without reservations, as they did in the past.

If that reservation fee ($4 per night) was listed on the website when you bought your permit...I'm not sure they would have any reason to refund your money. 

But, let us know if they do.
All indications I'm seeing (RV shows canceled due to lack of stock, shortage of RV storage and reserved sites full for months) say you better be set to boon dock or primitive camp on public land using the seasonal passes for day use dump/fill/trash and etc. It is going to be crowed in parks campgrounds most likely and fees will probably go up.
Ask for a refund and cancellation of your pass.

If you weren’t advised of the additional reservation fees, and paid with a credit card, contact your credit card company to discuss disputing the charge.

Good luck.
To minimize personel and in person contact the state park systems across the country began shifting towards online reservations with fees several years ago. Of course I am not happy about that one little bit.

But are you absolutetly sure they are charging $4.00 for each day when you make a reservation for a number of days? Or does that fee cover multiple days at the same czmp site? In Washington state last year I could reserve 20 days in one campsite for a single fee. Everyday did not have an additional reservation fee tacked onto it. In fact I could reserve more days during that same phone call at other campsites without paying an additional fee for the reservation. I never did get the online reservation system to work for me as it was overloaded so instead I paid an extra $2.00 to do it by phone. But doing it that way saved me more money in the end.
I just checked the New Mexico state park reservation fee statement. It is $4.00 per night but the fee maxes out $12.00. So if you are staying for 20 days you will be charged the maximum fee of $12.00. You will not be charged $4 for each and every night.

Still sucks to pay to reserve but at least there is a maximum amount for longer stays.
Well, that's what Urbankid said in the OP - it's an extra 24 dollars monthly. I've also been looking at that NM annual pass and agree that the extra 24 dollars has to be taken into consideration. I hope Urbankid will take this issue to the parks service and let them know the extra reservation cost is a deal breaker.
I remember years back when Reserve America first went live, and even a walk-up registration at participating public campgrounds included a $6 fee because RA software was being used.

It seemed ridiculous, but the fee was being charged by the private entity contracted with by these public campgrounds.

They must be making a mint off of us.
There is a phone reservation line I will try next time but im guessing they charge the fee on that as well..

I had already left La Posa and I'm just about into New Mexico already.. I had a major emotional breakdown at a rest stop last night. I deeply regret my life choices... deeply so..

I'm too far in to turn back and go to Nevada. Boondocking seems OK just finding places seems beyond confusing. For example, I checked out the place around Prescott and the rules of approved places and where and how to find them and if it was the 7-10 or the up to 14 days paces it just so overwhelming. I really wish I had a mentor or a friend who could have shown me the ropes. The caravans would have been a way to bug people into helping me plan Heck I even would have loved to pay somebody 200 bucks to just plan me a damn schedule! Like just put 6 pins for the first half of April options and 6 pins for the 2nd half of April until it's winter and I can park it at La Posa again and stay put!

Maybe I'm an idiot or I'm doing something wrong but, either way, my New Mexico State Park Season Pass now is gonna cost me $450+ Maybe somebody will learn from my mistake.

I don't say I disagree with them charging more for heavy users now that it's more popular.. but to slip in the extra fees under the table makes me lose all respect for their parks system. I really honestly thought they were a nice organization that I would be proud to be a part of. Turns out they are just another business trying to squeeze every penny out of me. They deserve no respect, I guess I'll continue to pick up after others in La Posa and be a good member of the community. But when it comes to NMSP, unless it's money they can clean up their own parks on my dime AND the extra dime they lifted from my pocket for charging me for letting them take the first dime!

This is how you lose the support of the community NMSP. I'd have half a mind to write them a letter but it cost me another 50 cents. You can't win....

Ok, another good cry and them it's time to hit the road.

Thanks for listening and Please Please Please if anyone takes about NMSP season pass please warn them about the ACTUALLY COST! I'd be more content if I was the last one to get screwed over by their new fee policy.
Yes, they will charge that fee regardless how you book a site, that’s the agreement with the private entity system, and they never tell you of it until you question the total at checkout.

Sorry to hear you are feeling so stressed, and I suggest finding a place where you can sit a little while to collect yourself and your thoughts.

We’ve all been there at some point at least once, and most of us more than that.

Strict planning doesn’t usually work, because you can get to a targeted spot and find it is closed for some reason or full.

Loose planning usually works better, in my experience, always having minimal basic needs with you so that you can care for yourself wherever you happen to land.

I had an experience last summer in South Dakota, I believe, where I ended up overnighting on a dirt forest road, for some reason, because where I had headed was not available.

Take some deep breaths, and recognize the growing pains you are experiencing.

Good luck, and you will find lots of support here if you need to vent.
You need to come with me when I head to Oregon in a month. You will learn all about boondocking.

BTW, Now that I think about it if anybody is interested let me know.

UrbanKid, if you are just 'venting' then this is a good forum for that...lots of people to listen and comment...but if you really want to rock the boat a bit, you might want to send a letter, or an email, or make a phone call, to the NM governors office and lodge a complaint. It probably wont do any good (she is not well liked in NM) but it's worth a try. You might mention that the money you are spending to camp and stay in NM is a good chunk of your income, etc. I would not say that you plan to live in the parks for extended periods of time. Just sayin.

If you contact '4 Investigates', KOB CH 4 in Albuquerque, you might get them to tell your story and put a little pressure on the State Parks division to refund your money:

These reporters do like to 'right wrongs' on Share a News Tip or Story...good luck!
^^^Boy, talk about bait and switch! I bet that offer involves a shovel at some point! LOL!!! Anyone taking up this offer be sure to mark the way out on your GPS! LOL!!!

The seven day restriction is just in areas near the City of Prescott.

Camping Stay Limit Order (1.9 MB PDF):

"Camping outside of campgrounds is allowed in many parts of the Prescott National Forest, but camping on the forest near the City of Prescott is limited to designated dispersed sites and has a 7-day stay limit per 30-day period. Camping outside of the Prescott Basin is limited to 14-days in a 30-day period."

Be aware that you have to leave a specific NF for the balance of a 30 day period before returning.

It's not just move x miles away from a site to another site in the same NF.
urbankid12 said:
I had already left La Posa and I'm just about into New Mexico already.. I had a major emotional breakdown at a rest stop last night.  I deeply regret my life choices... deeply so..
if there is anywhere on god's green earth that one can commune with nature, and be in awe
with their surroundings to heal your soul and get your head straight it's New Mexico. i hope to 
be down there again soon. good luck to you kid. ps. i love Silver City and the Gila Cliff Dwellings.
And if you’ve never been to Chaco Canyon, it is the most amaaaaazing place.

Little bitty campground, but not one of those places that is heavily visited because the road in is deliberately left rough to deter many.

Drive it slow, spend some time in there.
Sorry to hear you are at a low spot urbankid. Fingers crossed that something good will come to you soon. 

And thanks for sharing your experience with NMSP. Blessings. -crofter
You have an option to look for a work camping job either paid or volunteer. That can provide you with a long term camping spot for many months during various seasons. It also reduces your expenses.

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