Priest Lake Dispersed Camping Area is a popular spot with nine designated camping sites. A vault restroom is on site. Limited fishing is available at Priest Lake, while the nearby Galloping Goose Trail offers hiking. horseback riding, and mountain biking opportunities. Trailers are not allowed due to a lack of parking availability.
This is a dispersed site—pack in/pack out (especially garbage; the nearest dumpster is in the town of Telluride). There is no running water, one outhouse, no service, no electrical outlets or RV pumps. Bears (and moose) are extremely active in this area, so it is especially important to store food in bear canisters and tie up properly. This site is not for the faint of heart! That said, the campers at this site have been some of the most genuine and good-natured humans I have ever met. The views are spectacular, and it’s not far from some fantastic hikes!
Great location. Beautiful area. Some of the campsites lack privacy for not having much for trees and the restroom was long overdue for a service. But I loved my stay and would go back in a heartbeat.
This, like many of the areas around Telluride is dispersed camping. Down a winding path and into the mountains where you will have a view of some of the best vistas Telluride has to offer.
This is a smaller site perfect for tents but it is set apart from some of the other dispersed camping sites I have found in this area in that it has a vault toilet on the grounds. BIG UPGRADE!!
This site is not one of those I would want to find myself adventuring to late fall through early spring, the roads are not great for driving in during that unpredictable time of year and it is to far to hike in from the main road. Not to mention there is a requirement posted on the kiosk of the campground about storing food only in hard sided vehicles, so hiking in would be out of the question.
One of my favorite features of this site itself was that it is completely FREE!! Usually when you find any improvements at all they want to charge a small fee for use, however this site is one of the exceptions I found in this area. For this reason it is a first come first serve campground, but I cannot imagine it being so busy that you couldn’t find a space.
I loved the appearance of this site and how secluded it is. When I look at a campsite I look at it for a number of reasons based on what I enjoy and also what I believe that my blog followers might enjoy. I feel like this hits the nail on the head for me as a person who doesn’t require much in way of amenities but also suits my less adventurous followers in that they world doesn’t have to be their bathroom and they can feel like their are still camping within their comfort.
I also enjoyed that this site is a part of several small trail systems nearby and has a map located as you first enter the site so you can have an idea of the full potential of the area. I found several people were horseback riding in the area, however I never saw where they had parked their trailers so I assume there must be another area that is a bit larger and designed for that.
We camped here in a campervan and it was perfect! We arrived around 7pm and were able to find a place to park, but if you have a larger vehicle or need a spot for a tent, I’d try to arrive a bit earlier. Having the vault toilet is a nice perk for a dispersed camping site, and the views are second to none!
Priest lake is by trout lake. Not far from telluride. We pulled in shortly after lunch on a Friday and it was already somewhat crowded but by bed time it was packed. But, from our site, we couldn't tell. We could see the lake from our site, which is nice. We walked in to our site and the parking gets really full, come early! Plenty of fire pits to be had. There is one vault toilet, bring your own tp. Its not the prettiest vault but it works. We were there during monsoon season so it was raining when we got there and it started raining again at 11 the next day. But being so close to telluride, it's a worthwhile jaunt in. We could see tiny fish jumping in the lake but none swimming. Fished for a while with no luck at all. Finally we decided to rig up a bubble type bobber that you can put water in and it sets the hook when you get a bite, it's mostly for kiddos but allows you to use flies with a regular rod, put a wet fly on, a little young bug looking thing, and we got a bite. We switched to a smaller dry fly to mimic what was hatching and we caught one fish. A super small brook trout, very pretty and very feisty so that was fun, but overall, the fishing was not worth the energy. Of all the people we saw fishing, we only saw one other catch something. The kids enjoyed being able to fish though with little supervision since the lake is really quite shallow and it's very close to the sites. It's a pretty place with very scenic views. There are two abandoned cabins that were pretty cool to check out, although, we are pretty sure someone was living in the big one as there was a cot set up with a whole lot of clothes in the back room. Exploring was fun and watching the ducks and geese and the occasional deer, it was pretty cool. Temps were nice too, considering where we live it's HOT, this was a nice cool retreat.
We set up our tent here for 2 days. It is completely free, and you are able to get into the site with a 2WD car. We left our tent over night and had no problems. There were campers that also were able to get into the area. Fire pits were already there and there is pretty much unlimited space. You can hike down to the lake where we saw some fish!
Stayed one Saturday night. Found one of 2 places available to park at around 6pm on a Saturday in August. Most spots full and others further from the road also occupied. Small amount of wood nearby was damp but burned. Purchased two bundles of firewood from a gas station outside Telluride. Would recommend for anyone looking to car camp but bring everything you need, nothing provided here.
I love this campground. It is only 15 minute drive from Telluride, but once you are there you are immersed in wilderness. Great for car camping, solid fishing, bonfire pits and bathrooms available.