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Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, COLORADO
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Most Recent Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park Camping Reviews
Alpine Dream

We were able to get our popup to these sites but not necessarily recommended to even attempt to bring a trailer (ours is lifted with heavy duty tires) worth the risk because, Wow!! Perfect lake views, snow capped mountain tops, and wildflowers for days. We were sadly not allowed fires but this year we are getting tons of moisture in CO so we will head back up to Alta by summer, hopeful for fires again. Port a John's are rarely serviced, so if that's a deal breaker for you….and Please Leave No Trace!! This area is so beautiful, let's keep it that way.

Secret gem that many do not know about

I've hesitated on if I wanted to post a review about this site or not. It's such a great site that not many seem to know about and sometimes you just want to keep those hidden/sorta secret sites to yourself. But since there is already another review guess I will add mine as well.

By far my most favorite site I've ever camped. It's quite the experience being able to camp at the bottom of this canyon after seeing it from the top side. The river is close for fly fishing, there is no RV's, mostly tent or van/truck camping due to the road being restricted to vehicles under 22'. There is a 16% grade and extremely sharp and narrow curves.

There is only 15 sites in two locations. One is a drive in and has about 8 sites. The other was closed when I arrived but looked like very nice sites as well. Only pit toilets in both and I saw no working water so bring in what you are going to need.

Saw and heard lots of wildlife. Deer for sure and a few bald eagles, the other critters heard and not saw, well who knows but mostly birds. There are bear boxes on site.

Picnic tables and fire rings.

I'm sure as the snow/cold weather comes in this campsite will be closed down due to road conditions so double check before planning a trip to be sure it's open.

And to top it off the fishing here is amazing. So many open areas to climb down to the river and just fish away with no crowds. It was magical! and then to have a Bald eagle watching you, couldn't ask for a better experience!

One last thing, you are at the bottom of the canyon so it is in the shade quite often so meaning it is a bit cooler down there than at the top.

Great campground if you flyfish

The walk to the river was short and there even is a parking area for those who are not camping but want to fish.

Sites were well maintained, restroom and showers were as well.

Picnic tables, fire ring and grill at all sites. Deer wandered around freely and was an extremely restful night.

They offer pull in sites or walk in tent sites. I chose a pull in even though I was tent camping. Had to check out a few sites to be sure there was level/cactus free spot to pitch the tent.

Great KOA campground

The spots are a little tight for the tents so I felt like I was right next to the neighbors. The highest was also right next to it so you could hear the cars go by all night. Great besides that.

Beautiful. Mini Grand Canyon

Heard of this place from a guy while getting gas. Decided to check it out. He said it was more beautiful than the Grand Canyon. A bold statement, we thought. I wouldn't say more, but it is beautiful. The black canyon walls really are stunning and very steep. The park was open to drive through. It takes about 2-3 hours to drive end to end. The ranger was about to close but saw we just wanted water for our bottles and he kept the center open for us. Very kind staff. The campground was open too but not for any services. Being in a self contained van, it was fine. Best of all, it wasn't the season opening yet so we were able to camp for free! Woke up to light snow just adding to the beauty.

Alpine Loop

Located right off the Alpine Loop. Each site has a grill,fire ring,and table. Some have beautiful views of the lake. Vault toilets were clean and water and soap at faucet at outside of toilet. Camp host was friendly. Road was a little rough to get to. No issue running my generator, sites are spaced well apart. We were in site one which had a great view.

Perfect location in Ouray

Above the town of Ouray with great views of the the town below and access to an awesome trail that circumnavigates the town, hitting the best sites along the six or so miles. The trail takes you to the Bathtubs, the Ice Climbing area, several waterfalls, some cool footbridges, and past the Recreation Center (where you can get showers). The campground itself was very tight with several small loops that hang on the side of the mountain. We were there about two weeks after the fourth of July and all of the vault toilets needed to be serviced. The host was aware of the problem and said he had called it in, then shrugged. In town the visitor’s center had some great information about the town and had several preprinted hiking maps for popular trails with difficulty levels noted. In town was a nice full service outdoor shop as well as several micro breweries.

Fall Colors

Big grassy sites, great staff, clean bathrooms. Stocked Trout pond. Great kid pay areas

Gorgeous high altitude Dispersed Camping

There are 16 sites, rock fire pits, need a high clearance vehicle to reach the sites. Small trailers can reach half of the sites as long as you have someone directing you! Beautiful views. Telluride ski mountain is just behind this campground and for a long hike you could hike down to mountain village about 5 miles away. We were there for 2 nights and there were always sites available. This is a free campground! Portapots available.

Quick Overnight Stay

We stayed at the Pa-Co-Chu-Puk Campground IN Ridgway SP in Late April as a spot to stop for the night on our way to Mesa Verde NP. The campground during this time was very empty, we saw a few other people there and they were all in RV's or Trailers. This made sense as the temperature got down to 6 degrees that night. I would say our time there was short, we showed up in the afternoon and left by 7 am.

The spot we stayed in was fairly large, as you can see by the picture, we had plenty of room for 3 tents. Picnic tables, fire rings and stand up charcoal grills were available at every spot as well. I would like to go back down that way and visit in the summer as the lake and surrounding area look like they could be a lot of fun and Black Canyon Np is only 40 minutes away. Maybe next summer i will be able to add to this review.

Old and run down

I am the host at Spruce Grove and there is no water and no reservations.there are two toilets and a dumpster. The roads are rutted. Pull through sites may damage wider rigs from overhanging tree branches. There are numerous trip hazards in some camp sites. Fire rings are old and many are rusted out. Finding a level area in most camp sites to pitch a tent is a waste of time. Water is available at Jumbo Campground.

Great spot outside of town

I love this area of crested butte. Gothic road is home to some 4x4 drives and of course great hiking and scenic spots. We spent a few nights here, the spots are spaced out and quiet. This is dispersed camping, I did not see any vault toilets close by but did see on further down the road. No fire rings or tables, but plenty of trees for cover or room to set up a canopy. Some spots for larger Trucks or RV's were available on a first come first served. Not far from the spots you will find the nature center that will offer restrooms as well and a few things to purchase if necessary.

I recommend a drive to emerald lake when your there. We did experience some crazy storms while we were there, apparently the lighting is worse there because of the amount of iron n the mountains.

Great dispersed camping right outside the south entrance to Black Canyon

BLM land just outside the south (main) entrance to Black Canyon National Park. Road can be rough, especially slippery mud after rain. Many dispersed sites with cleared space and fire rings along the road, which goes for miles. Reserved campsites within the National Park can be difficult to get … there's no shortage of sites here, just outside. There's a small store at the junction of the Park access road with US 50, selling firewood, ice, and necessities. Montrose is a short 15 miles away for more substantial needs (gasoline, repairs, shopping).

Glamper’s Dream

The campsites on the South Rim do take reservations, so I would recommend reserving ahead of time—especially during the summer. The campsites are well-maintained, private, easily accessible, and family friendly. The campers around were all respectful, which made for a great community of campers!

Sites pretty close together, although our site was on the end and larger.

This campground is sold on the surrounding areas, which are breathtaking. The sites themselves, however, weren't anything too exciting to me, personally.

campground is not the greatest

the view is what you take away from this campground, camping is not the most enjoyable

Beautiful, convenient, accommodating

This campground rocks. Helpful staff, amazing views of the mountains, and 5 minute walk to the Telluride shops, restaurants and galleries. Bathrooms and showers are super nice and have hot water. A river/creek flows right next to the campground too which is lovely!

Private. Near a stream.

There are only a few spots on this road, but they're located near a filterable stream. I saw bears, but they didn't bother me. Spaces work great for a tent/car or a van. No cell service. Great location close to Ouray.

Great place to camp for a week or two

Well kept, very clean, cafe on site, great food

Lots of trees, lakes and fishing

This campground has lots of very large pine trees with plenty of aspen thrown in for good measure. The campsites are large and feel private. During our visit the camp hosts were very nice and helpful. The campground sells firewood at $7/bundle, and they were actually pretty large bundles. Jumbo is set at at the park for Mesa Lakes. There are multiple little lakes, walking paths and hiking trails. This is also one of my favorite places to snowshoe in the winter. A nice and short hike will take you to Lost Lake that is generally secluded and a nice place for quiet nature reflection.

Down the road from the cg is a lodge where you can buy ice but know it is expensive and very “light” 10 lb bags. At the same lodge you can treat yourself to ice cream or basic restaurant foods with a full bar and a gorgeous view of one of the many lakes on the Mesa. Further down the road is the Grand Mesa visitor center staffed with rangers and information about the Mesa, fishing, hiking and natural resources. This area of Colorado also has many wineries and cideries, so if you are here for a few days try to stop by a few and take home some local beverages.

Sheer High-Alpine Car Camping Perfection

There's not likely to be a more beautiful place than the high alpine of the San Juan Mountains. Alta Lakes boasts a series of small lakes stocked with fish annually - making for great fly fishing, naturally. Dispersed camping means pack it in, pack it out but since you can park at your site, this is never difficult. Get there early to enjoy the pick of the pack then get on the water with SUPs, kayaks, and beyond. Stunning views of the Milky Way, always!

Comfortable, But Tight

What more can you say when you're staying in the most beautiful place on earth? Telluride is not a spot to miss when visiting (or living in) Colorado. The campground is very well maintained, clean and well appointed. The spots are close together so plan to hear your neighbors and be very friendly with them. Go for a spot by the river if you can (deeper in the campground). This is, of course, a great place to stay during music festivals if you have the ability to get a camping pass early on.

Great place to camp to explore this area of Colorado.

I had a fun and enjoyable trip to this campground, but be aware there are little to no trees or shade. Summer trips get hot, so a canopy is needed for shade. Most sites are close enough to the water to walk down to the reservoir but there was also plenty of parking spaces. I had consistent cell service for both phone service and 4g. I did several trips into Gunnison and Crested Butte for hiking and exploration. Great place to camp to explore this area of Colorado.

Altitude, hydrology, stargazing

High (8,200) and deep—dramatic landscape carved by Gunnison River. Wonderful hiking trail along the rim and interesting plant community of the high plateau. Be prepared for any type of weather. We had a wild thunder, lightning and wind storm with violent downdrafts—typical for this country. Absence of light pollution means awesome night skies!

Popular and fun

I love this campground. It is close enough to Crested Butte to head in for dinner or supplies, but far enough away not to feel like you’re in town. When we were there (July) the lake was crowded and the campground was full. I don’t know that I have seen that many SUP boarders in one place outside of Austin. I did see a few folks fishing but I can’t imagine they had much luck considering the amount of recreational activities happening. While the lake was full, the hiking trails were empty. The trail off the lower parking lot follows the creek down the mountain and had several nice waterfalls. I had spotty service at this site but it seemed like other campers had better luck. The sites were very nice. They are big, with lots of trees and space between sites.

It was a-ok

Right off the road. Easy access drive up. Clean facilities. Overall it was nice. Conveniently close to town and general store.

Breathtaking

The site we camped at was a little further back into the area. Roads were a little difficult to maneuver. Wildlife everywhere you look!

Beautiful site and right next to the lake!

Our family of 4 tent camped at this site. We were able to walk to the edge of the cliff and had a clear view of Lake San Cristobal. We had a creek running beside our campsite.

Postcard Style Camping

In pursuit of the perfect campground in Colorado, Telluride has so many to choose from it makes it near impossible to select just one. If you are looking for those post card style views this area is a post card at nearly every corner and nook. While you cannot access many of their campgrounds during a large chunk of the year, it makes finding the perfect spot even more rewarding.

Sunshine Campground is one of the more popular campgrounds and also one of the few I found that charges a fee for usage. Why in a world of free camping does this one charge you might ask? Improvements on top of improvements.

From the road you travel in being paced and easier to navigate to firewood availability and composting toilets you will find that this site is designed for every day camper who is wanting beauty in their backyard without the work of backcountry camping.

You do not need to leave the RV at home to come here, nor do you need to have skill in bushcraft instead you can come out with the family and enjoy the great outdoors while still very close to Telluride itself.

I found this campground and toured it just after the busy season had started to slow during early October. I was about 10 days from its closure so there were not a lot of people around during the week. Busy season for campgrounds and busy season for the community of Telluride are vastly different. Campgrounds of course cater to the outdoor camper thus needing conditions prime for being outdoors while the town thrives on the ski industry which obviously requires the conditions which are not ideal for campers. This particular time of year is that weird time in between so you kind of get to Telluride and things aren’t fully open but in the campground things are not yet fully closed.

The campground was very clean and they enforce the leave no trace mentality despite it being an improved campground. I noticed it is a first come first serve campground and they do not allow reservations. While there is potable water it is not available as the season ends so I didn’t have access to this feature.

There was a camp map as I arrived along with all the normal warnings and regulations so I took note and drove in noticing that each site had a picnic table and fire ring as well as a paved pull off large enough for RVs or tent campers. Each of the sites backed up to large Aspen trees I selected campsite 9 which was right near the first loop of the trail it was $18 for a night. I liked that one because it was shaded and seemed secluded, it also seemed as though it was a little less overgrown so I felt more comfortable in my tent in that location.

I was not far from the restrooms and when I went to actually go and check them out I noticed some deer roaming through camp. One of the signs I had read at the kiosk mentioned deer and potential bear and gave warning of keeping food kept inside hard shell car. I never saw a bear at this location, however I have in other areas around Telluride so heed the warnings!!

TIPS:

  • Drive the campground first to see what you might like, each site has a very different view and some sites are larger than others so if you are wanting to spread out a bit more you will have the opportunity to do so in these.

*Consider the hiking trails here before venturing toward others in town. These are great trails just a bit smaller.

*Take a good camera for wildlife photos!