May Queen Campground is located at the far western end of Turquoise Lake in a shaded lodgepole pine forest. Conveniently perched near the Charles Boustead Memorial Tunnel, May Queen offers easy access to boating, fishing and hiking.
Incredible views of the Holy Cross and Mount Massive Wildernesses can be seen from the area, and visitors are likely to see native wildlife like chipmunks, beavers and porcupines.
The Charles Boustead Memorial Tunnel is a 5.5-mile tunnel that transports water from the Fryingpan and Roaring Fork River Basins through the Continental Divide to the Arkansas River Basin by emptying water into Turquoise Lake.
Explore the 6.4-mile Turquoise Lake Trail, which parallels the shoreline of Turquoise Lake from May Queen Campground to the dam. The trail offers moderate hiking with spectacular views and a variety of flora and fauna, as well as remnants of old mines. The Timberline Lake trailhead is 1/2 mile up the road. A 2-mile hike to this lake is rewarded with stunning views and high alpine lake fishing. The Colorado Trail can also be accessed from this trailhead. On Turquoise Lake, sailing, boating and canoeing are enjoyed. Anglers seek out mostly mackinaw and rainbow trout.
Drinking water is available and vault toilets are onsite. Each site comes with a campfire ring and picnic table. No electric hookups are available. Easy access to the lake is provided for canoes and other hand-carried boats. Trailered boats can use Matchless Boat Ramp located on the east side of Turquoise Lake.
The campground sits at an elevation of 9,900 ft. on Turquoise Lake. Most campsites are situated on a level, open field along a creek, feeding into the lake. Six first come-first, serve-sites are perched on the wooded hillside above the creek.
Nearby is the Mount Massive Wilderness area, a 30,540 acre expanse encompassing Mount Massive, Colorado's second highest peak at 14,421 feet. Much of the wilderness is above timberline with many alpine plant communities and permanent snowfields.
Nearby is the abandoned bed of the Colorado Midland Railroad, built in the 1890s. The trail is hard to trace, but visitors may find artifacts in the gulch it once crossed.
The town of Leadville, a historic gold and silver mining town, is a fun place to explore with the family.
Drive on the Top of the Rockies Scenic Byway to Independence Pass, one of the highest paved passes in Colorado. Continue over the pass to the town of Aspen, a well-known ski resort town.
ADA Access: N
It was a little farther from the lake than we’d have liked, so we prefer baby doe campground over this one. It’s clean and quiet, but there are no showers, and it has a hassle hauling all our stuff the several hundred yards to the lake.
We stayed here in Mid September, the last day the campground was open. Note about this spot compared to the other campgrounds around Turquoise Lake is that even after the campground closes for the summer they keep the gates open so you can still camp here.
The spots are large and set back against the forest with the lake at the end of the road. Each spot has a driveway big enough for a couple cars. There are some spots that offers areas big enough for a trailer. 2 bathrooms are located in the campground, one on either end. There is a campground host located in the middle of the grounds during open season, which runs from Memorial day to September 17th. All other campgrounds around the lake close on the Tuesday after Memorial Day.
Each site has a fire ring, picnic table and a standing charcoal grill. The spots had their numbers removed when we were there but we camped in the second spot on the left and we could have easily fit 5+ tents. The campground also allows dogs! the must be leashed up though. The opposite side of the campground is Butcher boy picnic area which offers grills and tables overlooking the lake for day use.
This side of Turquoise Lake is much less trafficked and quieter, but with less spots. Great camp spot for a night or a few. Leadville is at 10000+ ft so it gets chilly, dress warm.
We like the west side of Turquoise Lake better, due to less traffic and access to trails. The Timberline Lake trail is right near the campsite, which provides access to a smaller lake with grear views. There are toilets and drinking water. The campsite’s elevation is close to 10,000 feet, so make sure you have warm clothes for the evening. We found snow in June, which the dog was happy about!