The best camping near Grand Mesa National Forest

Discover the most magical spots to pitch your tent or park your rig on your next Grand Mesa adventure.

The best camping near Grand Mesa National Forest

Discover the most magical spots to pitch your tent or park your rig on your next Grand Mesa adventure.

Camping near Grand Mesa National Forest

94% (16 reviews)

Discover the most magical spots to pitch your tent or park your rig on your next Grand Mesa adventure.

Escape to a high elevation forest brimming with lakes, trails, and scenic views.  

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Community favorites near Grand Mesa National Forest

Top-rated campgrounds reviewed by the Hipcamp community.

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Public campgrounds in the park
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Stay at a public campground in Grand Mesa National Forest

Top-rated campgrounds near Grand Mesa National Forest

99%
(271)

Riverwalk Yurt, luxury on river

7 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents35 acres · Hotchkiss, CO
The House where we live is the corner stone of the Bruce Property and is on the Colorado Register of Historic Houses.The residence was constructed between 1905 and 1912, using red bricks made on the site. John and Sophia Bruce, early pioneers in the North Fork Valley, were first involved in cattle raising. The family later became successful fruit growers. Located along the West Elk Loop, a Colorado Scenic and Historic Byway, the large two-story residence features a steeply pitched hipped roof with prominent attic dormers.As a guest of Riverwalk you will have full access to the river during your stay. In addition, there is the Riverwalk Trail System that skirts the North Fork of the Gunnison River from the top of the property, by the Riverwalk Yurt, (available on this site) meandering downstream past the Riverwalk TIPI (available on the site) passing  the Grove Yurt (available on this site) and terminating at the bottom of the property with the sandy Riverwalk Beach. There is a trial that zigs through the Cottonwood Grove and zags back along the gentle Monitor Ditch skirting a newly planted grove of young trees.For RV Campers we provide 2- 30amp,1-50 amp and 1- 110-amp electrical services and potable water. There is a dump station available. There is also access to our heated shower house with running water and bathroom amenities (<3 min. walk, may be shared with other guests). The property is perfectly geared to groups of friends gathering in a central location between the onset of the Rockies and the termination high desert to the west. Friends or family will reserve both Yurts and the RV Site for a perfect reunion setting!
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$35
 / night
94%
(502)

Lakeside Camping, Water Time :)

7 sites · RVs, Tents22 acres · Clifton, CO
We moved here in 1997 The home has had major remodels done on it. The lake is an old gravel pit to make road base for local road construction. The buoys in the lake are scuba projects from the local college CMU, and hold lots of fish. Other nesting platforms are for our local Geese and they hatch out in April-June. We airbnb 2 rooms in our home as a shared facility and have airbnbs in Northern Ca and Baja. Our home is off limits for campers as we need to respect the space for our other airbnb guests. But in an emergence please call, cell service works fine. port-a potty is gone for the winter November-March. port-a potty is gone for the winter November-March.
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$30
 / night
98%
(150)

Lovely Vega Lake View

10 sites · RVs, Tents25 acres · Collbran, CO
Built in the 1960's this place has a lot of history, but has been kept a secret from many!  We have been told that the locals wanted to keep it for themselves so they didn't tell anyone about it.  But, we think you deserve a chance to come and check it out.  If you love hiking, biking, water sports, fishing, OHV, snowmobiles, and just outdoors in general you will love this place!  This is a remote location, the nearest town is 20 minutes away.  The nearest big box store is a little over an hour.  There is no cell phone service, except in a couple locations.  It is a true getaway.  We see families reconnect here, life long friendships are made here, and kids actually put down their devices and get dirty!!  
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$42
 / night
92%
(43)

River Side

1 site · RV4 acres · New Castle, CO
Learn more about this land:At River Side you will have an overlook of the Colorado River with river access. You will wake up to a breathtaking view of the river winding west towards the Anvil Points and Roan Plateau. The property is an easy 7 minute drive from old town New Castle where you can find a grocery store, gas and basic amenities. The town of New Castle is up and coming with several restaurants and a new local's favorite, Colorado Drifters Coffee and Fly shop. You can rent paddle boards, and book guided fishing trips on the river right there. A 20 minute drive from New Castle you can find a popular lake called Harvey Gap. The lake is great for paddle boarding and fishing. Ten minutes away from Harvey Gap is another beautiful area called Rifle Falls which is truly a hidden gem. Climbing and rafting are also available up Canyon. There are many great hikes around the area. Our favorite is Rifle Arch which is about 25 minutes away right outside of the town of Rifle. New Castle has mountain biking trails everywhere and is home to some of the best mountain biking trails in the Roaring Fork Valley. Glenwood Springs is 11 miles away and is the home of the famous hot springs. Aspen is about an hour from our property. Please note our home is located on this property as well. You will have an OPEN (no trees) grassy flat spot to the right of our home that overlooks the river with a view. Just realize you also have a view of our backyard to your west. Due to very high fire danger on the Western Slope we kindly ask you to refrain from using a fire while staying on our property. Please clean up after yourselves, your dogs, and be respectful of noise. Campers or self contained bathrooms are best. We ask that you come prepared and bring your own bathroom at this time. Please message or call when you arrive at our property. We are happy to answer any of your questions. Happy HipCamping to All!
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$33
 / night
98%
(191)

Sage View Ranch

24 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents11 acres · Paonia, CO
After traveling the US in our motorhome for almost 5 years my husband Scott and I know the value of a smiling face and a helping hand after a day (or week) of travel. Exploring and experiencing this amazing country, its diversity and incredible people enhanced our lives in so many ways. In mid 2017 we found out our first grandchild was on the way. Long story short we parked the RV and parked ourselves here in Paonia, CO. In December of that year, we moved onto this amazing property full time and started the long list of fix ups (the list is still long). lol We are blessed to have our two adult sons and (aforementioned) grandson living on this property with us. Our philosophy is to live in the moment as the present is the gift. Whether enjoying a sunrise or a sunset or anytime in between you’ll likely find us outside most days. In that, we love all that nature has to offer including fresh fruits and veggies, animals, beauty and fragrances. Sage View Ranch is being created with the desire to have people experience the natural rustic beauty and magic of Paonia. Scott and I look forward to meeting you :)
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$30
 / night
100%
(12)

Wild Abandon Ranch

1 site · RV, Tent50 acres · Paonia, CO
Wild Abandon Ranch is a gorgeous 50 acre property that we just acquired in March of 2023. Sadly, the property had been abandoned and neglected for over 20 years and we are doing our best to breath some new life into her. We are chasing those land dreams! This property has a wild amount of potential and an endless story of labor and we hope to bring a new vision and purpose to this very special place. The Hipcamp site is located down by the creek (on the SOUTH side of Minnesota Creek Rd) where you'll have total privacy and room to relax and explore. The deer trails are a great way to get lost amongst the trees and the rhythm of the creek. Just down the road further on Minnesota Creek Road is direct access to National Forest. Our property is only 3.5 miles from the town of Paonia so you're oh-so-close yet so far away from it all. Paonia is central to the abundant North Fork Valley and there is so much to experience in this area. From hiking, biking, camping, or swimming to touring the many vibrant vineyards or galleries. Your visit is directly contributing to this land's second chance. We hope you'll visit again and follow along in the evolution of Wild Abandon Ranch. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you!
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$35
 / night
98%
(93)

Zenzen Gardens

33 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents20 acres · Paonia, CO
We are now the official tasting room for Alfred Eames Cellars beginning May 15th. The tasting room will be open from 11:00am - 6:00 pm. Come sit under the veranda and taste some exceptional local wines. The property is also a music venue with two performance sites in the barn and a stage by the pond. We also offer farm-to-table dinners throughout the summer, and tapas on Thursdays. Check out our calendar for concerts and dinner dates at www.zenzengardens.com There is veranda seating to enjoy the beautiful flower gardens and where you can access the internet. At the turn of the century, this farm was a dairy operation with its huge old red barn built in the 1880's. The property is pastoral, relaxing, rural and beautiful! It is surrounded by hay and alfalfa fields. It is very quiet with wide open spaces. You might see deer, fox, Golden Eagles, Bald Eagles, Red Tail Hawks and Red Wing Blackbirds, just to name a few.
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$35
 / night
98%
(416)

Old Moon Acres Tipi Haven

7 sites · Lodging22 acres · Paonia, CO
Formerly known as the North Fork Tipi Haven, this 22 acres was once owned by International sculptor Lincoln Fox, and built by Mr. Wooten in the early 1900's as an apple orchard, Old Moon Acres is now home to Old Moon Acres Tipi Haven. The North Fork Valley of the Gunnison River, encompassing Crawford, Hotchkiss and Paonia, was an important fruit orchard area in the late 1800's and well into the early 1900's. The valley's climate is a banana belt, perfect for fruit with the cold air coming down from the mountains at night and the heat from the mesas warming up the valley during the day. Coal mines up the road in Bowie and Somerset paid better, so many of the orchards languished over the years. Since the closing of all the mines but one, today the NFV is home to the largest concentration of organic farms in the state of Colorado as well as becoming a state Creative District serving the multitudes of artist and creatives that call the valley home. There are many pick-your-own peaches, cherries, apples, pears, nectarines and if we are lucky, apricots, in the valley. Delicious Orchards, 1 mile down Hwy 133, is an excellent place to pick your own, drink local hard cider and listen to live music on the weekend over a wonderful brunch. It is all about the farms, cattle, art, music, outdoor adventure, fun and relaxation here in the North Fork Valley. The tipis are custom made by the Colorado Yurt Company in Montrose, Colorado where they have been making yurts, tents and tipis since 1976. The tipis are expertly designed and made with custom paintings invoking the animal spirits that inhabit our land. These are a Sioux design tipi as the Ute's mainly lived in wiki-ups until they were introduced to the tipi in the 1800's. The Ute's appropriated the tipi design from the Sioux or Plains Natives. We have solar showers (solar bags of water heated by the sun during the day) available for free. Showers are also available at the local laundromat in Hotchkiss. Our goal is to awaken your sense of wonder by sleeping out in nature and waking up to the Colorado blue sky in clean, clear air at 5500 ft. You can visit the many high altitude wineries, fruit orchards, organic farms, farm-to-table restaurants, great music, interesting movies at the community owned Paradise Theater, art at the Creamery Arts Center in Hotchkiss, stand-up paddle boarding, WSSUP, at Crawford reservoir, mountain biking in Grand Mesa, hiking in the West Elks, rafting down the Gunnison river in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, fishing up canyon in the coolness of the forest or relaxing in one of many hot springs within an hour of us. Colorado Detours is highly recommended by us to take you and yours on a hiking, farm, wine, or geology tour of the area. Aspen, Crested Butte (over Kebler Pass), Glenwood Springs, Gunnison, Ouray, Grand Junction, Ridgeway and Telluride all are about an hour or two away by car. Welcome to Colorado.
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$65
 / night
98%
(33)

A Great Story

11 sites · RVs, Tents5 acres · Clifton, CO
5.5 acres with views of Mt. Garfield and the Grand Mesa. Quiet and secluded feeling but close to wineries and restaurants! Our open field provides flat ground to camp or park. Surrounding areas have livestock that add to this farm feel. We as property owners live on the property and are here to help or provide directions or recommendations for tourist attractions.
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$25
 / night
95%
(144)

Tater's Black Canyon Campground

2 sites · RVs, Tents35 acres · Crawford, CO
Coming soon! Hot showers and toilets will be available end of May. 35 acres of mountain bliss shared with 2 humans, 2 dogs, 2 cats, 3 horses and 5 chickens. Eggs may be available upon request. Incredible views and dark skies make the perfect respite for just hanging out, climbing in the Black, foodie time in the North Fork Valley or pretty much whatever you like to do.
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$33
 / night
100%
(8)

Tongue Creek Ranch

3 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents70 acres · Austin, CO
Tongue Creek Ranch is beautifully situated at the base of the Adobe Buttes on the southern side of the Grand Mesa in Austin, Colorado. The 70-acre ranch has over 40 acres in hay and alfalfa with seasonal cattle grazing in the fall and winter months. Whether you come to stay at one of the rental properties, get married or host a special event, we welcome you to enjoy the beautiful setting of Tongue Creek Ranch and the incredible sites of the Western Slope! David and Barb Cocetti purchased the ranch in June 2019 to embark on a new life where they could cultivate the land and be more self-sustaining. By following Biblical guidelines for work and agriculture, this land has come to life! It is proving to be an oasis where people find peace while enjoying the serenity of the surroundings. The clamping Cabin sits behind the horse arena and in front of Tongue Creek. It's the cutest little cabin and we mean little, more like an expertly finished big shed. It is 10x14 with a 3x14 covered porch but finished inside like a 5 star hotel. AC, TV, Wifi, fireplace, comfortable queen size bed. Beetle kill tongue and groove ceiling, cultured barn wood wanes coating. It's super nice. The ranch itself may be the reason for the "glamp" booking. The yard is manicured and the 25 house, goats and chickens are fun to see. The big plus is we are only 20 minutes away from the Grand Mesa outdoorsman mecca. This is probably the cheapest base camp to the Mesa. The ranch is a great base camp to wineries, Moab, Telluride, Black Canyon of the Gunnison, fishing, boating, hiking, trails and hundreds of open BLM land for Razor riding. Check us out.
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$36
 / night
100%
(11)

The YURT at Screwball Ranch

1 site · Lodging80 acres · Cedaredge, CO
The YURT at Screwball Ranch sits on its own private 80 wooded acres only 20 minutes away from the western Colorado town of Cedaredge - Gateway to Grand Mesa. The YURT will comfortably sleep 4 - 6 guests and there's room for several tents within the fenced compound that includes The YURT, parking, corrals, & fire pit. You're within an hours drive of Grand Mesa (300+ lakes on the world's largest flat top mountain) The Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park and many, many other monuments and points of interest. Gold Medal fishing in the Gunnison River, North Fork of the Gunnison can keep you away from challenging golf courses in both Cedaredge and Delta (Devil's Thumb Golf Course.)A beautiful view across Cactus Park to the West Elks Mountain Range is the perfect setting for that evening cocktail or wine. Other than the occasional deer or elk walking by, a distant Coyote howl or Owl hoot - the silence can be almost deafening. We love pets - all pets.  A little over 2 acres surrounding the YURT,  Fire Pit, Corrals, Loafing Shed, and parking area is surrounded by a pet secure fence that allows guests to turn pets (children, guests) loose without fear they will get lost or bother any of the neighbor's livestock,  Just close the gate after you enter the YURT area.Part of Cedar Mesa - northeast of the town of Cedaredge, The YURT at Screwball Ranch is maintained by it's owners as a base camp for their own big game hunting each fall. Because of the unique setting, close proximity to the host's property and only one of it's kind of YURT (...full kitchen, 3/4 bath, loft, spiral staircase - WOW! - What a YURT!) the owners offer it for rental during the non-hunting seasons.Learn more about this land:You'll be camping(?) in a 30' diameter YURT with loft, enclosed entryway, large surrounding deck, solar energy (generator backup). loft with twin beds, spiral staircase, two full sized futon on the main floor, full kitchen (range, oven, refrigerator, microwave, slow cooker, coffee maker, pots, pans, dishes, utensils, etc.), 3/4 bath with hot and cold running water - all while off-the-grid and isolated on 80 private acres including hiking, biking, riding, ATV trails galore. You also have private access to 1000's of acres of BLM land not open to public access.  Base Price ($157.00 per night, 3 night minimum) is for double occupancy.   Children 12 and under stay free SO DO NOT ADD THOSE KIDDOS TO THE ADDITIONAL GUEST COUNT.  Additional guests over 12 pay an additional $15.00 per day (we're off-the-grid and additional guests consume more of all the stuff we have to haul in and stock for you - like water, generator fuel, firewood, etc.)  7.7% Applicable taxes will be added.The YURT at Screwball Ranch sits at the base of Grand Mesa, the largest flat-top mountain in the world.  Grand Mesa has over 300 lakes and hundreds of miles of Hiking, Bicycle, riding, ATV, Snowmobile, jeep trails.  With most of Grand Mesa's activities near 11,000 feet above sea level, the air is cool, crisp and clean, even during the hottest days of summer.  Find us on google maps.Treat yourself to Glamping (Glorious Camping) - not just camping.  You deserve it!
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$199
 / night

The best camping near Grand Mesa National Forest guide

Overview

About

Towering above the Colorado River’s Grand Valley on the western slope of the Rocky Mountains near Grand Junction, Colorado, the Grand Mesa National Forest sits on top of the world’s largest flat-topped mountain. Grand Mesa is filled with crystal clear alpine lakes, hundreds of miles of hiking, biking, and ATV trails, and numerous campgrounds and dispersed camping areas. The Grand Mesa Scenic Byway traverses 63 miles of that national forest’s most stunning scenery and passes by several trailheads and lakes. In winter, Grand Mesa becomes a playground for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, ice fishing, and snowmobiling adventures. There’s even downhill skiing at Powderhorn Mountain Resort.   

Notable campgrounds

Tips for snagging a campsite

  1. Online reservations can be made up to six months in advance for many of the Grand Mesa National Forest campgrounds. 
  2. All sites at the Crag Crest, Ward Lake, and Divide Forks campgrounds are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Many other Grand Mesa campgrounds have a handful of first-come, first-served sites available as well. 
  3. Grand Mesa National Forest also has two old Forest Service Guard Stations available for rent: Moose Manor and Black Bear Cabin. Cabins are fairly rustic and reservations are available on a six-month rolling basis. 

When to go

With hundreds of high alpine lakes to see, summer is the best time to hike and camp on Grand Mesa. The snow is mostly melted by June and wildflowers generally peak in the middle of July. Some high-elevation Forest Service roads may stay snow-covered well into July and may close for the season in early November. Many of the Grand Mesa National Forest campgrounds are only open from early June through September.      

Know before you go

  1. Stop at the Grand Mesa Visitor Center, located along the Grand Mesa Scenic Byway, for trail maps and camping information. 
  2. Grand Mesa National Forest is bear country. Make sure to store food and other attractants safely in camp. 
  3. When hiking in summer, get an early start to avoid afternoon thunderstorms. 
  4. Don’t forget your bug repellent. Grand Mesa’s abundant lakes and swampy areas attract quite a bit of mosquitoes especially in July. 
  5. Bring extra layers. Grand Mesa can get quite chilly at night even in the middle of summer. 

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