These campgrounds and the towns they surround are only a sliver of what the San Juan region of Southwestern Colorado offers, though. - National Park, National Forest, State Park, All the Best Camping in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado. Several of Colorado’s famous “14’ers” can be found in the Weminuche and Lizard Head Wilderness Areas. Campsite Selection San Juan National Forest State Colorado Country United States Phone Number 970-247-4874 Directions View on Google Maps Official Website View Website Coordinates 37.338° N, 107.917° W Unknown price Tent / RV / Trailer - Group: 1 Site The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad passes immediately behind United, but doesn’t run at night so you won’t have to worry about the whistle’s blow come bedtime. Thanks to a vast wilderness that enjoys federal designation, most of the public land in the national forests around the San Juan Mountains is available for dispersed camping, and there are numerous campsites that are ideal for staging an outdoor retreat. Nine years later, they’ve decided there’s really no better place to be in these United States, and are building a cabin as a place to rest between their future traveling ’round. Living on the forest (residential use) is prohibited. 501 13.2 miles to Vallecito Area Campgrounds sign (Forest Rt. Let’s take a trip north from Durango on the Million Dollar Highway, officially known as US 550 if you’re looking at a map. The forest occupies land in Archuleta, Conejos, Dolores, Hinsdale, La Plata, Mineral, Montezuma, Rio Grande, San Miguel and San Juan Counties. © 2020 Outdoor Project. Big Al Trail. The Durango KOA (not to be confused with Durango KOA North) is a great all around park, while Lightner Creek has the most vibe for your family’s dollar. The Best Winter Adventures in North America. It’s most noted for its staggering San Juan Mountains, some of the steepest in the state. It’s about nourishment and learning. It’s a short drive to town and otherwise, one of the more beautiful private parks you’ll find in the area. Haviland Lake, San Juan National Forest in Durango is rated 8.7 of 10 at Campground Reviews. Sometimes camping is allowed in Wildlife Management areas and state forests. Meanwhile, heading north from Durango on US 550, Alpen Rose RV Park is the first place available after leaving town. The San Juan National Forest, alone or when combined with the Rio Grand National Forest (to the northeast) and the Uncompahgre (to the northwest), cover a lot of the San Juan … The area features the San Juan Skyway, a Bureau of Land Management 4WD scenic byway, Alpine Loop Backcountry Byway and a National Forest scenic byway.The forest encompasses three wilderness areas: Weminuche Wilderness, South San Juan Wilderness, and Lizard … The San Juan National Forest is a U.S. National Forest covering over 1,878,846 acres (2,935.7 sq mi, or 7,603.42 km²) in western Colorado. Here’s a … Location Address: Bayfield, Colorado 81122 GPS: 37.4776, -107.5466 View on Map Local Directions: In Bayfield, CO, at the Vallecito Lake sign on US Rt. Contact Information Local Phone: 1-970-884-2512 Address: 2680 County Rd 243, Durango, CO 81301. While there are RV parks directly in town, Red Mountain Motel & RV Park being the most centrally located, the real beauty of this area lives in the forested mountain camping west of town. Note that cell service in all of Ouray is in and out, but more so at Amphitheater Campground than the other two parks. Luckily for those wanting a taste of the camping scene in the San Juan Mountains, much of the land in and around the range is made up of designated national forest, which includes a handful of awesome campgrounds throughout the region. Terrain ranges from high-desert mesas to alpine peaks, with thousands of miles of back roads and hundreds of miles of trails to explore. Dispersed camping is allowed in Bureau of Land Management areas and national forests. If you’re anywhere in the western United States right now, it’s hard to escape this year’s record-breaking wildfire season and... It’s no secret America’s natural spaces are becoming increasingly popular. Hours: 24/7. We’ve often written about the San Juan Mountains because of rugged alpine beauty, friendly mountain community, well-developed access, and the multitude of outdoor options available there. 603 and go 5.7 miles to campground on left. These days they’re not hauling ore from deep in the ground but serving tourists eager to drive their Jeeps across the mountain passes or dress up in 1870’s garb and have a fun family photo to take back home come the snowfall. Durango is home to a host of RV parks, but the real beauty of the area shines through with the sun’s rays between tall ponderosa pines and Douglas firs in the town’s surrounding national forest. History and nature blend together in the San Juan National Forest to give visitors a special forest experience. Interpretive signs point out flora and fauna in the area and there are benches when you need to rest. San Juan National Forest has a number of spectacular trails for all skill levels that wind through the wilderness. From Durango, head west to discover the cliff dwellings of Mesa Verde National Park or east to the visually different but equally gorgeous US 160 to explore the forests and mountains lining more delightful small towns like Pagosa Springs and Alamosa, Colorado, then go all the way to Great Sand Dunes National Park. Camping near San Juan national forest. The narrow canyon, which the town mostly fills, doesn’t allow for a ton of camping options. The San Juan National Forest abound with natural and cultural treasures. Dozens of campgrounds in the San Juan Mountains are available in the national forests, weather permitting. United Campground of Durango is as close to town as you can get, and it’s the last stop for the trolley that serves as the primary transportation around the downtown area. Home / Blog / All the Best Camping in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado. https://www.alltrails.com/parks/us/colorado/san-juan-national-forest/dogs 501), go north on Rt. If you’re more interested in the breweries and nightlife of Durango, you can’t beat United Campground of Durango (the city has a small local cab service, too, if you don’t make the last trolley.) Teddy Roosevelt created the San Juan National Forest in 1905, sources say, because it’s downright stunning. 603). In Colorado, state parks saw nearly a million additional visitors... © 2020 Campendium Inc. All rights reserved. These days, ski slopes dust powder all winter long, steam trains pull tourists through mountain valleys that are stuff of legends, and locals eternally continue the impossible debate over which is more beautiful, a columbine in spring or the aspens in autumn. It’s about protecting what sustains us. Related Information; What is a SOPA? Five distinct life zones range from elevations near 5,000 feet to above 14,000 feet. 501 for 18.5 miles to Vallecito campground sign (County Rt. In both cases: don’t expect cell service, expect nothing from the WiFi, and you just might be pleasantly surprised. After the 14 days, campers must move at least 3 air miles away. It’s difficult to say which of these is the absolute best RV park in Durango. Season: Year round. Just a bit further, and higher up the mountain, Ampitheatre Campground — part of Uncompahgre National Forest, but still a paid campground at $13 per night — gives you that more rugged experience, including picnic tables and vault toilets. This includes backcountry hikes, one of the country’s only via ferretas, ice climbing, and a vast network of four-wheel driving routes. If you’re dead set on having hookups, or just like the amenities private RV parks offer, Durango has a nice variety to choose from. Luckily for any white knucklers out there, the route is full of national forest and private RV parks to pull over, get some rest, and give it a shot come morning. 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