My friend and I made a fly fishing trip to Poage Lake. This land is part of the National Forest System and offers dispersed primitive camping.
The Poage Lake campsite consists of a large parking area, a short trail to the lake, and the lake itself. You can disperse camp next to the parking lot. There are no services nor amenities at this campsite, so Leave No Trace principles should be applied..
There is nothing special about the campsite area other than it is conveniently located next to the beautiful Poage Lake. The lake is secluded and pristine and surrounded by old growth forest. It is an excellent place for fly fishing for rainbow and cutthroat trout.
There are no towns nor stores near the campsite, so be sure to pick up any supplies you may need in the town of South Fork, CO. There are grocery stores, gas stations and outdoor gear and fly fishing stores in South Fork. Take any water that you may need or filter water from the lake.
If you like peace and quiet this site might be for you. If you like amenities, this site probably is not your style.
The staff was very friendly and helpful. We stayed in a cabin and initially only booked for one night but decided to stay another.
Campground is well maintained, clean restrooms and showers, a yard game area, and a nice pool.
The cabin was clean and had electricity! They also had a nice playground for the kids. Walking around the campground had some great views.
This area is a must visit! The Great Sand Dunes National park is unique and unlike any other. My kids and I had a wonderful experience!!! Highly recommend.
The road up is rough. We knew that based on reviews, however, based on the reviews I expected a payout of an awesome campground at the top with great views of the Sand Dunes. The campground did have views but it’s of the farming valley below not the Sand Dunes. The sites were not very level and while some what spaced out not in any way private. Most were along the road that comes in.
We ended up going back down disappointed. The National Park was full so we stayed at the Oasis. Not much in the way of level campsites again, but hot showers and a bit more private.
Truly fantastic view go along with this campsite. The sites are fairly primitive but the location is one of the greatest around. It’s a decent drive up here from Taos but you won’t be disappointed once you get here. The trail down to the confluence of the Red River and the Rio Grand is steep and gravel.
All sites sit have excellent access to the Red River. The vault bathrooms were adequate. Each site I saw had multiple tent options. Even if your pad does not have shade, each site has ample shade to the back of the site along the Creek. It is a bit exposed to the highway and road noise. The noise is not horrible but certainly noticeable.
All sites sit on a beautifully shaded Creek (Columbine Creek) that feeds the Red River. The vault bathrooms were extremely clean and even pleasant smelling. Pads are well maintained and each site I saw had multiple tent options. Even if your pad does not have shade, each site has ample shade to the back of the site along the Creek. Each site has more than expected space and offset to adjacent sites. Camp Host are doing an excellent job.
Stayed here for a weekend, this place is tucked away and quiet. Spots are well spaced and grass all around. The river runs through the park.
They have the park devided up well with space for even the bigger rv's they have a nice fenced dog park to let your dogs run free for a bit. Full hook ups shade trees and a fare amount of spots that back right up to the river, wifi throughout the park that is spotty at best and after one week they do charge for it Verizon was 4G the whole time.
Staff is super friendly and helpful, they have wood to purchase for fires but it is not covered and feels fresh cut so its not dried you will more than likely smoke out the camp site it's also 10.00 for a bundle which is pricey, but they deliver it to your camp. The gate coming into the park is tight so when the gentleman says make a lazy turn he means a REAL lazy turn. Would definatly come back here again
My roommate and I reserved two nights at this spot on a whim the day before we went there. Our expectations were so far exceeded when we arrived. The ranch is super out of the way from many buildings or even many other people for that matter. The uneven ground makes walking around the landscape seem like an optical illusion. We met two gorgeous Great Pyreneese dogs that hung out with us almost the entire time we stayed there! I cannot wait to come back here next year and spend more time in the most beautiful place I’ve ever been.
Very nice little campsites, a couple different lakes in the area. Only one outhouse by one of the lakes, the rest dont have any. Dirt roads on the way in, 4 wheel drive recommended but my kia made it without it. Roads do get bad when it rains so check the weather before! No water or trashcans but I did have cell service with t mobile. Overall a very secluded and quite site and a great little escape!
Nice, clean privately owned campground with lots of amenities. Hot showers, bath house, ice and few supplies sold in the office. Campsites right along the river. Very friendly staff. Campsites are a little too close for our liking but worked out well for our stay. Close to lots of fishing and hiking in the area. Beautiful place to watch the sunset and the stars at night. Nice and quiet at night.
Only a few miles from Ft. Garland, Mountain Home Reservoir is another Colorado State Wildlife Area, but no signs saying an SWA permit is needed to camp there so not sure if you need one or not, we have it so we forgot to check. We have also bought land to build on three miles from the lake, we love this area.
There are two sides to camp on, one side has toilets, vault style, but it's more crowded on that side and less room to camp. The other side takes a little drive, but is much more open and has the mountains behind you and the lake in front of you. It gets busy on weekends, but weekdays are pretty quiet.
The water is cold, but you could swim in August if you really want to, not too cold at all. Boats are allowed, and there boat ramps on both sides of the lake from what we could see, didn't inspect the ramps, but know one works because there was a pontoon boat on the lake one day.
The weather changes by the minute it seems, and storms move over the area pretty quickly. If you don't like the weather wait five minutes, it'll change, and I'm not exaggerating. Still mostly nice weather, and normally sunny.
This is a beautiful camping area, again this is a no hook up area so pack in what you need and leave no trace. Try to camp near one of the already made fire pits, makes it easier on you and they discourage building new fire pits. If you don't want a fire then you can camp anywhere you aren't blocking a road.
Truly beautiful place to camp, you can stay 14 days in a 45 day period. RV dump and fill stations are nearby in Ft.Garland, and it's only about thirty minutes to Great Sand Dunes National Park, and Zapata Falls. Smith Reservoir is also nearby and that's another SWA we reviewed, check that one out.
This is BLM land that's free to camp on for up to 14 days every 45 days. The camp sites are just off a dirt road that leads to the trailhead for hiking to Blanca Peak. The road gets pretty rough the further up you get, but there are plenty of large camp sites on the way up the mountain, some you'd have to home to if you decide to go to Blanca Peak. It's a fairly busy place as off-road vehicles and horse back riding are popular here. Beautiful views of the San Luis Valley, Great Sand Dunes National Park, and Mt. Blanca. Definitely worth checking out of you're in the area. No shade or amenities, so bring everything you need with you and as always, leave no trace.
We haven't stayed here, but we regularly use their dump and fill station for RVs, it's $8.00 plus tax to dump and fill here. They have coin operated washers, dryers, and showers, $2.50 for laundry machines, 50 cents for a six minute shower. There is a bar and a natural hot spring here, but we have yet to venture in but here it's nice. The staff is always friendly, and there's even an outdoor dish washing station which comes in handy if you dry camp alot. They have several full service RV sites, tent sights, cabins, this place is basically a resort and it has beautiful views of Great Sand Dunes National Park, and Mt. Blanca. Even if you don't stay here you can come swim, use the laundry and showers for good prices.
Would give five stars, but right on the main road through the San Luis Valley so it's a little loud, and bright at night. That said, it's still peaceful, and the people are nice. Has shower and laundry for guests, and full hookups for RVs. It's $30 per night or $199 a week, we stayed two days, and would stay again. They allow pets, but have a strict "no pit bulls" dog policy. So unless your "pit bull" is a service dog, they can't stay. Unfortunately dog breeds and temperaments are still misunderstood, but that aside, good people, and nice little place to stay.
We stayed here for two weeks and every day there were new breathtaking views all around. You feel as if you are walking the top of the world when exploring the area, the entire San Luis Valley gives this feeling. The lake is beautiful and has a beautiful view of the Great Sand Dunes National Park to the north and Mt. Blanca to the east. Camping is by permit, so stop anywhere you can get a Colorado hunting or fishing license and get a State wildlife area permit, they're $43 per person, but if you're age 18-64 you're required to have an SWA permit to camp in Colorado State wildlife areas. The permit is good from April 1st through March 31st of each year, and yes they are yearly permits, so try to get them in April. The campground has electric hookups, but no water. So pack in your water, vault toilets on loops B and C, RV dump station, and dumpster at exit of campground areas. You can stay 14 days every 45 days. Zapata falls nearby is a MUST visit and there is a pay to camp campground there. Cell service is spotty for Verizon, not sure about other carriers.
Beautiful small lake with great views of mountains in every direction, minutes from Ft Garland. Stayed three nights, this is a Colorado State wildlife area, so again a permit is required for those age 18-64. We saw other people, mostly locals fishing, during the day. In the evening the place gets quieter and quieter as everyone leaves, we had the place to ourselves every night. The night sky is amazing from the lakeside, will definitely stay here again.
We wanted to love this place. A few years ago, we had our wedding at Taos Mesa Brewing, which is conveniently located next door. When we rolled up to the hip Luna Mystica, we told to camp as far away as possible from the airstreams. Then, we were charged $25 for dispersed camping. No shade, no amenities, no nothing. Another camper secretly gave us the code to the bathrooms (designated for the airstream campers). Confused by the complete lack of amenities for $25 (and not wanting to roast in the sun while feeling like second class citizens, we left after a few hours and camped elsewhere.
Arrived early evening (6-ish) after rejecting a disbursed campsite which wound through "Hills Have Eyes" terrain. Immediately accommodated by the nicest lady, and led to campsite on a grassy opening a stone's throw away from a bend in the Rio Grande. RV area was out of site/ out of mind. The 4 or 5 tent sites were secluded, beautiful grounds,clean restrooms and showers just built. Fire pit provided and a bbq grill offered if needed. Would recommend and will return again, hopefully for 2 nights. Watch a skyful of stars and then fall asleep to the sound of the river.
The campground is located San Luis Lakes State Wildlife Area. The facility which is located just a few miles west of the Great Sand Dunes National Park. We stayed here on the way to Salida, CO after visiting the National Park. The wildlife area is basically reservoirs in a desert valley. Despite the Central Valley location the site was empty during our summertime visit. The facilities are well planned and more than sufficient. However, the location is barren and not very picturesque. The visitor entrance is not manned and you are required to have a Colorado Parks Pass. The site has no cover and experiences summer temps well above 100 degrees despite the high altitude of 8000 feet. The parking lots and campsites are all gravel stone but can be dusty in the dry season. You can see migratory birds here in the fall and fishing is popular as well. After seeing the site in person, I can not recommend this as a place to stay unless you cannot get a site at the National Park and need somewhere to park. It would be a difficult site for tent campers due to the lack of cover and the summer temps. You don’t need a reservation given the availability.
Clean camp, nice amenities. Dog park is a little small, but is nice to have a place for dogs. Pool was very nice. Was disappointed in our tent site as it was all gravel with brush behind us. Pics online showed nice grassy tent sites with big trees. We had dogs with us, and it sucked to only have gravel for them to sit/lie on at our site. Otherwise, friendly place!
I did a fair amount of research online regarding walk-in tent camping at Heron Lake, during the week. See the great maps and detail at https://newmexicostateparks.reserveamerica.com/camping/heron-lake/r/campgroundDetails.do?contractCode=NM&parkId=430012 . I called the visitor center to confirm that being a walk-in would not be a problem during the week. Once one arrives as a walk-in, look for the campsites with a green tag on them.
The Heron Lake camp sites shown at the above reserveamerica website all have a fair amount of trees for shade. What the reserveamerica site does not show is a few more Heron Lake campgrounds southwest along Highway 95 (beyond the dam). The southwesterly sites are way more exposed to the sun than the first four campgrounds. Otherwise, the southwesterly campgrounds have fine views of the lake.
I was at Island View campground, in a loop that was convoluted enough that I do not think a trailer (with its inevitable noisy generator) could get in. I guess that this is the point. As a result, all I heard from time to time were muffled voices and no generators. It's the first tent spring-summer-fall camping I have enjoyed in years that was generator-free. I had at least one empty campsite on either side of me as an additional buffer to noise.
I walked along the lakeshore. It did not seem that low. I saw large fish jumping in one cove. I hiked the Salmon Run Trail to the dam. The Salmon Run Trail is a beautiful hike, not all level but not too steep for this older person's knees and walking poles. On the lake side of the dam, walking along the highway to get a good look at the dam, I saw several schools of large fish.
The vault bathrooms and the flush-toilet bathrooms were fine. Not super clean and not super dirty. I did not try the shower but it looked like people were using it.
This time of year, bring some bug repellent or wear jeans and a light long sleeve shirt at night. New Mexico has had a lot of moisture this season, so I think the bug-giness is higher than usual. Still, I sat outside and read for an hour or so pretty comfortably.
The camp host was lovely.