Rio Grande National Forest

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About Rio Grande National Forest

If you’ve been searching for a secluded place with unreal scenery, then look no further--that perfect place is here, in the Rio Grande National Forest. Two of Colorado’s most scenic mountain ranges can be found within it’s boundaries. The Sange de Cristos and the San Juan Mountains are well-known for their lofty mountain peaks, gushing rivers, and overall postcard perfect scenery. It’s a haven for serious outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers of all kinds. Getting outside and diving deep into this Rocky Mountain paradise is definitely recommended, but the views that you can snag from the seat of your car are pretty darn impressive, too. And the best part? This region of Colorado isn’t all that crowded, making it a welcome relief from some of the more populated recreation areas. So what are you waiting for?! Come on out and discover why they call it “Colorful Colorado!”

Campgrounds in Rio Grande

Big Meadows Campground

1. Big Meadows Campground

We hope you have an impressive bike rack on your car, because you'll want to pack as much gear as possible for all the adventure available at Big...

Eva
Eva: Great spot! Bring shade though as there is none. Great trail loop around reservoir. Lower Loop Site #1 is truly the best there...
4 Saves
Zapata Falls Campground

2. Zapata Falls Campground

High on top of the hill, Zapata Falls campground is located 9,000 feet in Sangre de Cristo Mountains, painted with chromatically cohesive sunsets...

Ryan
Ryan: Awesome campground 10 minutes outside the Great Sand Dunes National Park. The Zapata Falls are a 1/2 mile from the campground...
4 Saves
Penitente Canyon Campground

3. Penitente Canyon Campground

“Climb on!” This should be a well-echoed dialogue while camping at Penitente Canyon Campground. Populated with over three-hundred “sporty” rock...

3 Saves
Lake Fork Campground

4. Lake Fork Campground

Lake Fork Campground is teeming with fantastic fishing in the Conejos river, often described as a "Gold Medal River" (angling jargon for a river...

3 Saves
Elwood Cabin

5. Elwood Cabin

Enjoy the perfect rustic escape at Elwood cabin. Not only do you get to kick back in your own private log cabin, but adventures are awaiting just...

2 Saves
Lost Trail Campground

6. Lost Trail Campground

A near-as much insular campground, Lost Trail Campground is tucked away in the solitude of Rio Grande National Forest. Here, all seven sites are...

2 Saves
Cross Creek Campground

7. Cross Creek Campground

Whether you're coming in the winter or summer, Cross Creek Campground hosts more activities than an over-involved PTA mom. Summer time boasts bike...

1 Save
Stone Cellar Campground

8. Stone Cellar Campground

Stone Cellar Campground offers spectacular viewing angles of the nearby La Garita Mountains―no filters needed. And, after a long-day’s hike,...

1 Save
Poso Campground

9. Poso Campground

Swaying with aspens and spruce trees, Poso Campground is both an anglers and mountain bikers recreational paradise. Here, you’ll be able to take...

1 Save
Buffalo Pass Campground

10. Buffalo Pass Campground

Yo Katniss, we know you're ready to put those fancy bows and arrows to good use. Hunt for big game like deer or elk near the Buffalo Pass...

1 Save
Aspen Glade Campground

11. Aspen Glade Campground

Snaking through the Rio Grande National Park’s wildlife-laden forest, Aspen Glade Campground is home to numerous pull-through style campsites, all...

1 Save
Storm King Campground

12. Storm King Campground

Despite its otherwise imposing name, Storm King is a tranquil string of walk-in style campsites, located in the cloud-touching foothills of Storm...

Jessie
Jessie: I camped at Storm King Campground on Memorial Day weekend 2017. My friend and I had the whole place to ourselves. It was...
1 Save
North Crestone Creek Campground

13. North Crestone Creek Campground

North Creston Creek Campgroundan arid oasis―"arid" alluding to the fact that there's no avaliable drinking water. Aside from water bottle...

1 Save
Brewery Creek Guard Station

14. Brewery Creek Guard Station

Snag this two bedroom cabin for an epic escape in this wooded aspen grove. At Brewery Creek Guard Station, you’ll enjoy sweeping views of the...

Linda
Linda: The cabin is sweet - clean, warm, and the propane lights make it cozy. Not quite as isolated as it looks as there are a few...
1 Save
Fitton Guard Station Cabin

15. Fitton Guard Station Cabin

Let your inner homesteader shine with full pride at this historical abode. Recently made available to the public after renovations, Fitton Guard...

1 Save
Alder Guard Station

16. Alder Guard Station

The Four Seasons of Rio Grande National Park, Alder Guard Station is just as well-equipped as it is historically charming. Built in 1910, Alder...

1 Save
Luders Creek Campground

17. Luders Creek Campground

With hunting, four-wheeling, biking, and fishing, Luders Creek Campground has got all your outdoor dreams served on a silver platter. Shine that...

1 Save
Platoro Cabin 1

18. Platoro Cabin 1

Gold and silver may have put Platoro on the map, but today the town’s precious stock in trade is peace, quiet, and unspoiled wilderness. Set high...

1 Save
Cathedral Campground

19. Cathedral Campground

Ever wanted to see if you could live off the land? Cathedral Campground may just be the place to try it out. Hunt for game such as deer, elk, and...

1 Save
Stunner Campground

20. Stunner Campground

Stunner Campground is just that―stunning. Sitting 10,000 feet on top of the Alamosa River, the area's tent-only campground offers a minimalistic...

Lower Beaver Creek Campground

21. Lower Beaver Creek Campground

Lace up those muddy boots, Gaston, Lower Beaver Creek Campground is where you're claiming your next prize elk. With big game hunting as well as...

Palisade Campground

22. Palisade Campground

Pack those old water shoes that have been sitting in your closet forever, because you've gotta enjoy all the waterfront activities at Palisade...

Park Creek Campground

23. Park Creek Campground

We all want a secluded area every once and a while, and gosh darnit Park Creek Campground has just the ticket. With light usage and spacious...

Upper Beaver Creek Campground

24. Upper Beaver Creek Campground

There's something fishy about Upper Beaver Creek Campground, and we mean that in a good way. Boat around Bear Creek Reservoir and catch some...

Marshall Park Campground

25. Marshall Park Campground

Eight-thousand-feet above sea-level, Marshal Park Campground is home to campsites all hugging the Rio Grande River. No nicotine fix could satisfy...

River Hill Campground

26. River Hill Campground

Located atop of the spruce-littered banks of the Rio Grande River, River Hill Campground is a string of campsites, all elevated 9,000 feet above...

Mogote Campground

27. Mogote Campground

Toss that 'pine' tree hanging from your rearview mirror into the garbage and be gone with it! Mogote Campground is perfumed by the area’s endemic...

Thirty Mile Campground

28. Thirty Mile Campground

The campground with a moniker that’d raise an eyebrow to even the most seasoned marathoner, Thirty Mile Campground isn’t just partial to...

Carnero Guard Station Cabin

29. Carnero Guard Station Cabin

You’ll feel like a true wilderness homesteader when you crash at Carnero Guard Station Cabin. Tucked away in an expansive meadow surrounded by...

Tucker Ponds Campground

30. Tucker Ponds Campground

So, you like the look of the Amazon but not that sweaty, sticky air? Tucker Ponds Campground has the look of the tropics with the feel of that...

Platoro Cabin 2

31. Platoro Cabin 2

Gold and silver may have put Platoro on the map, but today the town’s precious stock in trade is peace, quiet, and unspoiled wilderness. Set high...

Spectacle Lake Campground

32. Spectacle Lake Campground

Spectacle Lake Campground is just that―a sight to hold! Here, you’ll find “spectacular” fishing between both the appropriately named lake sitting...

Elk Creek Overflow Campground

33. Elk Creek Overflow Campground

Elk Creek Overflow Campground is located adjacent to the heavily frequented Elk Creek Campground. Here, you’ll find just a few mere campsites, all...

Bristol Head Campground

34. Bristol Head Campground

An area worth any National Geographic filmmakers’ time, Bristol Head Campground offers serene and tranquil confines in which to view the areas...

Rio Grande Campground

35. Rio Grande Campground

The well-given moniker to one of Rio Grande State Park’s best kept secrets is none other than Rio Grande Campground. Tucked away in the highly...

Road Canyon Campground

36. Road Canyon Campground

The helmet-end of the Road Canyon Reservoir, Road Canyon Campground is a frugal, yet enamoring string of campsites, all within access to the...

Silver Thread Campground

37. Silver Thread Campground

Tied together with a common, lustrous thread, Silver Thread Campground offers tent campsites, consisting of pull-in style and walk-in style sites....

Rock Creek Campground

38. Rock Creek Campground

It’s too hard not to get swept up in the charismatic confines of Rock Creek Campground. Here, you’ll be delighted by the area’s campsites, all...

Mix Lake Campground

39. Mix Lake Campground

A melting pot of recreational activities, Mix Lake Campground is located within an earshot of numerous freshwater bodies like the Conejos River and...

Highway Springs Campground

40. Highway Springs Campground

Grab those binoculars, Highway Springs Campground is perfect for wildlife sighting and scenic drives around the bendy Wolf Creek Pass and...

Upper Crossing Guard Station

41. Upper Crossing Guard Station

Get away from it all at Upper Crossing Guard Station, set in a remote section of the Rio Grande National Forest about 140 miles from Pueblo. As you...

Elk Creek Campground

42. Elk Creek Campground

Elk Creek Campground is nestled within the more private confines of Rio Grande National Park; where you'll find quite a few campsites nestled in...

Trujillo Meadows Campground

43. Trujillo Meadows Campground

Located within a water-licked breeze from the Trujillo Reservoir, the like-named campground offers campsites with all “tent camping” experiences....

Ivy Creek Campground

44. Ivy Creek Campground

Ivy Creek Campground has large, well-equipped campsites that offer picnic tables, fire rings, etc. . However, these heavily wooded sites aren’t...

North Clear Creek Campground

45. North Clear Creek Campground

North Clear Campground is yet another well-hidden gem in the conifes of Rio Grande National Park's conifers. Here, you’ll be within a river’s...

Alamosa Campground

46. Alamosa Campground

Alamosa Campground is located in the hydrophilic vicinity of both the Terrace Reservoir Dam and Alamosa river. But, with so much surrounding you,...

Comstock Campground

47. Comstock Campground

While you won't find any yellow brick roads here, Comstock Campground was remodeled in 2010 and now boasts some well-manicured campsites! Like...

Susan
Susan: The USDA website says Comstock is CLOSED during 2015 HAZARDOUS (Dead) TREES being removed.

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7 Reviews

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Hipcamper eva

Great spot! Bring shade though as there is none. Great trail loop around reservoir. Lower Loop Site #1 is truly the best there and worth the price. Fills up quickly with RVs in the weekend. Quiet and good fishing spot. Best vault camping bathrooms EVER!

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Hipcamper Linda

The cabin is sweet - clean, warm, and the propane lights make it cozy. Not quite as isolated as it looks as there are a few houses across the stream. The trail maps show hiking trails starting at the cabin, but they were so overgrown we couldn’t follow them. There are plenty of forest roads in the area and we had no problems in a 4WD SUV. Mining was huge here in the 1800’s and there are still old mills and mines around. There has been a huge cleanup but the water still looks a bit funky in the streams, not sure the fish would be good to eat. There aren’t any showers but if you want a good soak Joyful Journey Hot Springs is only about 45 minutes down the road. All in all we had a great time and would highly recommend it.

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Hipcamper Ryan

Awesome campground 10 minutes outside the Great Sand Dunes National Park. The Zapata Falls are a 1/2 mile from the campground and make a great quick hike before heading to the dunes.

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Hipcamper Susan

The USDA website says Comstock is CLOSED during 2015 HAZARDOUS (Dead) TREES being removed.

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Hipcamper Jessie

I camped at Storm King Campground on Memorial Day weekend 2017. My friend and I had the whole place to ourselves. It was fabulous. The campsites are big and spaced apart, with some on the side of the mountain and some overlooking the meadow. The toilets were fairly clean with plenty of toilet paper. The fire pits are deep and have nice movable grates on them for easy campfire cooking. The only downside was the ATVs cruising into the campsite and up and down the County Rd. 41 G early in the morning. The noise kinda killed the tranquil woodsy vibe we had going, but other than that it was a dream.

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Hipcamper Melinda

Let me start with the pros of this campground: It's tucked away with only a few sites and very little traffic. The sites are large and spread apart from each other. The creek runs through the back of every site. Sites are well-maintained. Now for the cons: I have literally never seen so many mosquitos in my whole life. The swarms were thick and you couldn't move without having a handful stuck to you. We covered up head-to-toe in loose-fitting clothes and I still walked away with over 30 bites on my ankles (where my socks were tight enough for them to bite through), wrists, hands and forehead. We were trapped in our tent the whole time we were there to avoid being eaten alive.

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Hipcamper Kate

Wonderful place close to one of my favorite places to visit, the Great Sand Dunes. This campground is relatively new so all sites and facilities are really nice. The views across the valley looking at the Dunes are incredible. Hiking to Zapata Falls and in the surrounding area is well worth the trip. When you turn off the highway heading to the campground the vegetation is really sparse but the road climbs quite a bit so you end up camping in an area with pinon and juniper trees. Hiking up to the falls gets you into pines.

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