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Bayfield, COLORADO

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Most Recent Bayfield Camping Reviews
Easy access to sites and nice camp host

We stayed here on a trip between Pagosa Springs and Mesa Verde. It was a great stop as the campground is only $20 and it is only about 25 mins from Pagosa Springs so you can easily drive into the town and soak in the springs and then spend a semiquiet night in the trees. 

I say semi-quiet because it is right off the road but the sites go back deeper into the trees. 

But the bathrooms were super clean and the camp host is on top of people coming in a out and making sure the site is super clean.

It is right across from Chimney Rock National Monument so check that out too!

Fun and Relaxing

Daughter and I camped here before visiting Mesa Verde. It was a great campsite. And, after a long day the swimming pool was very refreshing. Campground was clean and our campsite had a nice table. Shower house was nice. Views were beautiful and location was perfect for our destination. We packed up quick because of rain and went strait to Mesa Verde, where I couldn't find a cup of coffee until a ways into the park, so my advice is a quick trip to the closest town!

Great for RV stopovers but that's it

We were trying to find something before the sun went down and stopped here, but ended up moving on as they didn't have tent sites that we were interested in and we wanted a bit more seclusion. I was able to grab some info though. This campground is sort of between building of the fairgrounds.

About the park: This is a large RV park along the San Juan River between Farmington and Bloomfield. There are over 100 dry camping sites. 574 RV spaces with electric and water hookups.The sites don't have tables or fires pits. Each of these sites is 21’ by 41’. There is a dump station on site.  There are a lot of sites on the river.

Security patrols the area frequently.

Lots of activities happening at the fair and close to town. 

Showers and restrooms are by fair buildings so they are a little walk away from the sites, hence the "prefect for RV's".

Perfect Hidden Gem when visiting Bisti Badlands

Access to the Angel Peak Scenic Area is off US Highway 550, 15 miles south of Bloomfield on County Road 7175. Follow the gravel road along the canyon rim for approximately six miles to reach the campground. It is important to note the gravel road may become dangerous in bad weather. 

First of picnic areas is a mile down a gravel road. Many RV's seem to be using this for boondocking. I don't blame them, but try and keep them open for day trippers if possible. The Picnic areas are on the rim of the canyon. The campground is 6 miles down the same road.

 Three picnic areas and a campground are located along the canyon rim overlooking Angel Peak and the Kutz Canyon badlands. Three picnic areas(Sage, Castle Rock, and Cliffs). In total there are seven developed sites located along the rim road. Each site has a shelter, tables on a concrete slab, a gravel pathway, and a fire grate. Trash cans are located in all three picnic areas. There are vault toilets available at both Sage and Cliffs picnic areas. These are BLM sites and are incredibly well maintained in the Winter. No electrical hookups or water is available.

Angel Peak Campground has nine sites available for tent camping. They each have picnic tables on a concrete underfoot, gravel pathways, and fire grates. Picnic shelters are located at three campsites; two with single shelters and one with a double shelter that seems to be a great spot for larger groups. Two accessible vault toilets and trash receptacles are in the campground. 

There is a nature trail that heads though light brush and along the rim to a beautiful bench that overlooks the incredible canyon.

Some of the easiest to access free sites in the Rockies

It can be a little bumpy going in, but its well worth it. We did alright in a HHR. We camped right on the river, got some amazing starlight, and one of the coldest nights of our adventure. (remember you're in the rockies so bundle up) Our neighbor dog was a klepto and stole ALL our pupper's bowls and toys in the night. :P The site marked is only the first one, there are a ton of sites, just keep going up the mountain. There is one in particular called Stunner Campground that is also free; it was our original desitination, it was just a long haul up that hill. There's plenty of exploring and fishing opportunities all along this road.

Here's a clip of the road in and a little of the site itself.

Gorgeous Spot

One of the pretties views in America, clear lake just south of Silverton , CO. Does cost extra for showers. I would strongly recommend this campground.

Good campground for lake access

We camped at Vallecito for a week in July of 2019. The water to the reservoir was pleasantly over capacity (a joy after a drought) but meant that the water line was well into the brush making swimming a challenge among the branches and driftwood that would tangle little feet. I saw signs that I assume were supposed to be at a beach, twenty feet out into the lake. I would imagine that this would be a great swimming hole when the lake was at a normal capacity. 

The campground was typical for a forest service campground. There are vault toilets and the host comes around once per day. There is a dumpster. There is clean water.

The campground is almost entirely shaded by tall pines. There is a creek that trickles past some of the campsites (which makes for a pleasant sound when lying in the tent at night).

Noise travels over the water and through this area like it doesn't at many other campgrounds. While overall, I found the campground to be quiet and peaceful, neighbors arguing a few campgrounds down, or being rowdy by the fire, will keep the light sleeper awake at night.

There are many RV parks on the other side of the lake (about a 20-30 minute drive from North Canyon) where showers can be purchased for about $5. Call ahead. There is small store on the other side of the lake too, but it was closed when we went trough.There is a camp store in an RV park only a few miles away from North Canyon where a camper could likely purchases supplies. Bayfield has many amenities.

The campgrounds on the East side of Vallecito are all located on a very well maintained dirt road. If driving to the camp from Bayfield be sure to take a right before the dam. We camped in a large group of people, and most of them missed this turn. Trying to drive around the lake will create two problems. The first is the addition of an hour to your drive time. Secondly, a couple miles north of North Canyon Campground, the road ceases to be well maintained (this questionable area is not marked as a road on all maps and is likely seasonal). There is a dirt road that will connect the North to the East--however, but many vehicles and trailers are not recommended to pass through. To drive through it will look as though the traveller is going through at least two different, private campgrounds. They will pass a warning sign about the road conditions, and they will have to go up a steep grade and around a sharp corner. The dirt road is minimally maintained. Having said that, I arrived at Vallecito from the North after and 4 day wilderness trek in the Weminuche, so I wanted to investigate this stretch of dirt road.  I was able to pass through with my minivan (nicknamed VanJeep). Needless to say, it would be better to take the right before the dam!

First to Review
Ranger Review: Outdoor Element Firebiner, Wombat Whistle and Tinder Quick a

Campground Review: 

Northeast of historic Downtown Durango, CO towers a mountain wilderness with an alpine lake whose breadth and width defy its altitude above the clouds, Emerald Lake. From the bounty of Emerald lake streams ramble, which cascade into waterfalls, and form into large rivers that overflow the reservoirs downstream. The first day of our out-and-back trek, we followed the Pinos River along the fairly level Pinos River Trail for about 6 miles before setting up camp. There is ample camping space along this part of the trail with small fields opening from under the cover of the trees, which is never far from the roaring Pinos River. In the morning, we packed up to turn from the Pinos River Trail and made a 4-mile ascent up to Emerald Lake via Lake Creek Trail. The trail upwards was dramatic, taking us through forest and field, past a tumbling river with many falls, through heavy vegetation, through a hail storm, and into rocky terrain. Many switchbacks later and we spotted the jewel of the mountains, little Emerald. Little Emerald forms from the runoff of Emerald proper. In its own right, little Emerald is larger than any alpine lake that I’ve hiked to or camped at previously. It is near little Emerald that we set up camp. 

Finding a campsite at Emerald lake can be like playing a game of hide-and-seek. A strict camping set back from the water pushes campers out into a boulder-filled moraine where a level patch of ground is not so easy to find. There is no camping directly alongside Big Emerald Lake, whereas the entire canyon makes up the watershed. However, there is a small side canyon towards the northside of the lake where the adventurer can find some great campsites with a little more elbow room. And venturing another half mile beyond the northside of the lake will yield more camping space. The northside will afford the camper more solitude, but it will come at the cost of a longer walk to the water to replenish supplies. We were happy to find our place among the boulders of the moraine above Little Emerald, where we camped for two glorious nights. 

With camp set up, we sat still and quite by the moraine and watched our curious marmot and shy, silky pika neighbors pop in and out of their boulder-made mansions. Mule deer silently wandered in and out of camp, foraging on the abundant plants throughout the forest. Exploring little Emerald, we found Lake Creek, peaceful and playful, large for the name of "creek", here in the Southwest. Hiking alongside Emerald Lake proper carried us through lush vegetation, overflowing with wildflowers. The lake surpasses all expectations, surrounded by snowy peaks that stand like sentinels. From a distance we could gaze at a waterfall freefalling off the cliffs high above us. In the evenings we sat by the campfire and watched the sky turn to fire and the peaks glow purple, reflecting their brilliance on the water. Despite the fact that Emerald Lake is a popular destination, we found peace and restoration by the shores of Emerald. 

Trail to Emerald Lake begins at Pine River Campground and is approximately 20.5 miles round trip.

Product Review: 

As a backpacking enthusiast, I weigh out every ounce of my gear before setting it in my pack. Anything that I bring into the backcountry must carry more than its weight in value, while having almost no physical weight. This is what makes the products designed by Outdoor Element so brilliant. Outdoor Element makes survival gear for the adventurer that is based upon the essentials that we already carry in our pack. Their gear helps me to be more prepared, while carrying less. On this trip I carried Outdoor Element’s Firebiner and Wombat Whistle stuffed with their Tinder Quick(https://www.outdoorelement.com/product/firebiner-carabiner/). . )

The Wombat Whistle is emergency gear that no hiker/backpacker should travel without. While I had the great fortune of not having a misfortune to require the use of the emergency whistle, my sons and I played with it before setting out on our adventure. The shrill, sharp notes of the whistle are sure to grab the attention of any would be rescuer. It is lightweight and clips easily onto the outside of my pack, where I can grab it in any emergency situation. The Wombat whistle doubles as a waterproof vial to keep the Outdoor Element Tinder Quick dry and ready for use. The Wombat Whistle boasts a screwdriver tool for the Firebiner that doubles as a reflector. While the screwdriver works nicely with the Firebiner, the reflector is so small that it would take a lot of skill to direct any noticeable amount of light into the eye of a passerby; so I'm not counting on that feature. 

Outdoor Element’s Firebiner delivers on every promise. It primarily served my needs as a lightweight carabiner. I always clip a carabiner on my pack; their uses are many. I used this one to clip on some camp shoes for the weekend. The utility blade is handy. It doesn’t get caught on the assortment of straps, and gadgets that may swing from my pack, and instantly helps to cut through athletic tape, food bags, or anything too tough to rip or shred. 

The key to the Firebiner’s namesake and emergency preparedness is the Ever Spark Fire Wheel. We placed a Firebiner on every pack in our household and my son was the first to test the Ever Spark Fire Wheel. The wheel itself operates perfectly, tossing sparks in a predictable arc, which made aiming the sparks easy. Smaller and lighter than the traditional flint and steel, we love knowing that we are ready to make a fire when our matches and lighters give us grief. We gathered the fire materials to progressively build a safe, small, but roaring campfire. Spinning the Ever Spark Fire Wheel, we gingerly directed the sparks onto the Tinder Quick, kept snug and dry in the Wombat Whistle. The very first spark landed on the Tinder Quick which immediately lit, and tenderly encouraged flame among our awaiting materials, until we could rest beside the warm glow of fire. Outdoor Element has provided us security in time of an emergency without requirement me the need to carry an extra ounce. 

Fine Print: The lighting wasn’t favorable for photos during the outdoor adventure, so I took a few in my backyard with just enough material to demonstrate.

Nice campground - High price

Morefield Campground is the only campground in Mesa Verde National Park, but be forewarned, you might just experience a little sticker shot at the price. Cost for a tent site with NO hookups was almost$35 after taxes. The campground does has flush toilets and wifi through out the campground. Next to the camp store are showers and a coin laundry. Each campsite has a picnic table, tent pad and metal fire ring. The campsites really vary in appearance, some are out in the open right next to each other, other are in the trees and bushes which gives you a little more privacy, but most are still right next to another very close site. Some other these are perfectly level areas, others will have you going up of down stairs. The sites with stairs seemed to be slightly more secluded. While it was nice to have restrooms with running water, their was no way to dry your hands, so bring a towel with you as they have no paper towels or air driers for you hands. Water could be found at the restrooms. For you trash you had to find the one dumpster in the middle of the camping loop, but be warned, it could be difficult for some to open. I was a bit disappointed that the campground wasn't kept in better shape, especially for the price they were charging. Several campsites were closed due to needing repair, and the trail from the camp loop to the store was falling apart, it is need of new pavement or just remove it and go to a dirt path. They have Wifi, and said it was better the closer to the restrooms you were, but if a few people are using it, it really slows down. The Wifi was nice as you have no cell service in the campground. All in all this is a nice campground except for the price.

Great spot!!!

Great site! It's about 12 miles down usfs22. Takes about 35-40 minutes to get back there. Road is very well maintained. Follow signs for parking once to get to end of road. There is a bathroom and multiple sites right on the river! Heard some coyotes in the distance! And hunters will frequent there!