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Places to Camp near Del Norte, CO

Searching for the best camping near Del Norte, CO? Discover secluded campsites where you can reconnect with nature. Or maybe you like to bring your family and friends along. Either way, there are Del Norte campgrounds just for you. At The Dyrt, campers like you share their favorite spots, plus tips and photos. No matter where you're headed in Del Norte, you'll find the best spot for you and your camping crew.

Best Camping Sites Near Del Norte, CO (196)

    Camper-submitted photo from Zapata Falls Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Zapata Falls Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Zapata Falls Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Zapata Falls Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Zapata Falls Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Zapata Falls Campground

    1.

    Zapata Falls Campground

    66 Reviews
    251 Photos
    688 Saves
    Blanca, Colorado

    Overview

    A short drive up the gravel road that leads to the Bureau of Land Management___s Zapata Falls Campground (CG) will let visitors to the area see the San Luis Valley and Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve from a whole new perspective. The campground offers bird___s-eye views of the valley floor below, the San Juan Mountains to the west, the adjacent Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, and several 14er___s and many other towering peaks of the Sangre de Cristo Mountain range that Zapata Falls CG sits on ___ not to mention spectacular sunrises, sunsets and night skies!____ Zapata Falls CG has 23 single campsites, 1 group site and 1 camp host site nestled among pi__on pines along two one-mile long loops. The sites on one loop are designed for tent campers. Parking spurs on the second loop vary a little in length but in general can handle RVs, towed campers, or other configurations of vehicles up to about 50 feet long.____ A new trailhead in the campground supplies a link to the South Zapata Creek Trail and the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness. A second trail, next door to the campground in the day-use area, leads visitors on a mildly steep half-mile hike to Zapata Falls, which gives the campground its name.

    Recreation

    Zapata Falls Recreation Area is a destination known for its waterfall viewing and sweeping vistas of the San Luis Valley, its soaring mountain ranges, and the adjacent Great Sand Dunes National Park. From the waterfall, the trail continues onto the Rio Grande National Forest, for those seeking a backcountry experience in the high country above and the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness.__ Recreation Sites ___ Standard Nonelectric ___ Rv Nonelectric ___ Group Tent Only Area Nonelectric ___ Overnight

    Facilities

    ___ Road signs from highway to Recreation Area. ___ Improved gravel roads in Recreation Area (no pavement). ___ No public drinking water system. ___ 6 vault (or pit-type) toilets. ___ Trash bins throughout campground and day-use areas. ___ 23 Individual sites (11 Tent, 12 RV, 1 Group Tent, 1 CG Host Site, 7 Picnic sites. ___ Standard campground amenities-table, tent pads, fire ring, food storage locker, parking. ___ Interpretive, informational, and directional signs. ___ Trailhead and overflow parking areas. ___ Foot and horse trails. ___ All facilities open year-round. ___ Cell phone service is good.

    Natural Features

    Zapata Falls Special Recreation Management Area The Zapata Falls Special Recreation Management Area (SRMA) is rich in history and geology and offers opportunities to hike, camp, mountain bike and view spectacular scenery. Zapata Falls and the 628 acres surrounding them are State Trust Lands owned by the Colorado State Land Board and are also a designated Colorado Natural Area. They are cooperatively managed with the Bureau of Land Management. History The name ___Zapata___ is the Spanish word for shoe and is tied to the history of settlement in the San Luis Valley. In 1864, Mexican families established the community of Zapata at the western base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and raised sheep and other livestock. In the 1870s, cattleman consolidated land holdings and established one of the San Luis Valley___s first and largest cattle ranches know as Zapata Ranch, which remains an active ranch today.__ Geology Zapata Falls SRMA perches on the edge of an active rift valley. The San Luis Valley was formed when geologic activity along the Rio Grande Rift, a giant crack in the earth___s top layers, caused the rugged Sangre de Cristo Mountains to rise and the flat plain of the San Luis Valley to sink. Bedrock lies 5,000 to 13,000 feet below the valley floor, beneath layers of gravel, soil, and water. Approximately two million years ago, alpine glaciers inched down the steep slopes of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Water flowing from the glacier and snowfields in the valley above found a weak spot near the end of a moraine ___ a huge rock pile deposited thousands of years ago by a glacier. For thousands of years, water has carved its path, forming Zapata Falls. Don___t Take the Plunge at Zapata Falls The cold waters of South Zapata Creek drop more than 25 feet through a narrow, rocky canyon. Please use extreme caution when hiking or wading around the base of Zapata Falls. In spring and summer, the water is cold, the current may be strong, and the rocks are slippery. In winter, climbing to the base of the falls is a slick proposition. Zapata Creek freezes into a sheet of ice blanketed by snow. Beware, the ice may not be thick enough to support your weight. There is no view of the falls from above; trying to climb the rocky walls is dangerous to you and to people below you. The falls are home to the black swift, a rare and elusive bird that nests only in the misty reaches of waterfalls. Stay on the trails to keep from disturbing the birds nesting in the cliffs.__

    Nearby Attractions

    Zapata Falls Trail__ To reach Zapata Falls, you will need to take a short but arduous hike to Zapata Creek. The falls are upstream from where the trail meets the creek. The only way to view the falls is to get your feet wet by wading carefully upstream to the base of the falls. Length: 1/2 mile each way Elevation: 9,000 to 9,400 feet Connections: South Zapata Lake Trail (U.S. Forest Service Trail #852)____ Other Nearby Attractions: ___ NPS-Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve.____ ___ USFS-Rio Grande National Forest and Sangre de Cristo Wilderness. ___ BLM-Blanca Wetlands Recreation Area. ___ USFWS-Baca and Alamosa National Wildlife Refuges. ___ Great Sand Dunes Oasis-Restaurant, gift shop, and lodge (near GRSA Park entrance). ___ Ft. Garland Museum and Cultural Center. ___ Colorado Gators Reptile Park. ___ UFO Watchtower. ___ Sand Dunes Hot Springs Pool. Other Nearby Campgrounds: Pinyon Flats CG, Great Sand Dunes NPP

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Phone Service
    • RVs
    • Tents
    • Group
    Camper-submitted photo from Pinon Flats Campground — Great Sand Dunes National Park
    Camper-submitted photo from Pinon Flats Campground — Great Sand Dunes National Park
    Camper-submitted photo from Pinon Flats Campground — Great Sand Dunes National Park
    Camper-submitted photo from Pinon Flats Campground — Great Sand Dunes National Park
    Camper-submitted photo from Pinon Flats Campground — Great Sand Dunes National Park
    Camper-submitted photo from Pinon Flats Campground — Great Sand Dunes National Park

    2.

    Pinon Flats Campground — Great Sand Dunes National Park

    86 Reviews
    365 Photos
    660 Saves
    Gardner, Colorado

    Overview

    Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve is in the San Luis Valley of south-central Colorado at an elevation of 8,175 feet. The dunes lie on the eastern edge of the valley at the base of the Sangre de Cristo Range. The dunefield is part of the nearly 150,000 total acres of the park and preserve that also protects alpine lakes, tundra, six peaks over 13,000 feet, ancient spruce and pine forests, large stands of aspen and cottonwood, grasslands, and wetlands. The park is part of a fragile, dynamic system that influences and sustains the tallest dunes in North America. President Herbert Hoover established the park unit as a national monument by presidential proclamation on March 17, 1932 through the Antiquities Act. The Works Progress Administration constructed the Superintendent___s Residence, now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. But otherwise, GRSA did not see a great deal of development during the New Deal. Park development did not occur in earnest until Mission 66. During this period, the NPS was able to construct a Visitor Center, the Pinon Flat Campground (88 sites), a picnic area, five comfort stations, six single family residences and a triplex, while also building or improving roads and trails through the park. The Visitor Center shows the motivation of the Western Office of Design and Construction to configure designs to corresponding regions using principles of ___regional modernism.___ Built in the Pueblo Revival style, the Visitor Center mimics adobe construction through modern materials and forms blended with traditional materials and forms seen during the CCC-era in Cecil Doty___s work. Following Mission 66, Congress designated nearly 91% of the monument as wilderness in 1976, which certainly limited the park___s ability to further develop visitor and administrative facilities. GRSA became a national park and preserve in 2000, which also included a transfer of land from the Rio Grande National Forest.The dunes have long stood as a landmark for travelers from ancient North Americans to Southern Ute, Jicarilla Apaches, Navajos, early explorers, gold miners, homesteaders, ranchers, farmers and migrant field workers, to you - today's park visitor.

    Recreation

    Great Sand Dunes' wide range of natural features provides endless outdoor recreational activities. The park is perfect for kids, who love exploring the dunefield on foot or by sled. Medano Creek, at the base of the dunes, is a popular place in the summertime. Kids and adults alike love to splash in the cool water. Many kid-friendly, ranger-led activities and a junior ranger program are available. Many miles of hiking and backpacking trails lead through the park's forests and alpine terrain, including the Mosca Pass Trail, Dunes Overlook/Sand Ramp Trail and Indian Grove Trail.

    Facilities

    Great Sand Dunes' wide range of natural features provides endless outdoor recreational activities. The park is perfect for kids, who love exploring the dunefield on foot or by sled. Medano Creek, at the base of the dunes, is a popular place in the summertime. Kids and adults alike love to splash in the cool water. Many kid-friendly, ranger-led activities and a junior ranger program are available. Many miles of hiking and backpacking trails lead through the park's forests and alpine terrain, including the Mosca Pass Trail, Dunes Overlook/Sand Ramp Trail and Indian Grove Trail.

    Natural Features

    Great Sand Dunes are the magnificent centerpiece of a natural system that includes high mountain peaks, sparkling streams, vast grasslands and lush forests. The campground is situated among pinon pines and sagebrush beneath the majestic Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Most sites have beautiful views of the snow-covered peaks. A wide variety of grasses and wildflowers can be found throughout the area, and mule deer are commonly seen in and around the campground.

    Nearby Attractions

    Zapata Falls is just south of the national park off Highway 150. A short but slippery 1/2-mile hike leads to a 25-foot high cascade. Simply driving to the trailhead provides an excellent view of the entire dunefield and San Luis Valley, especially at sunrise or sunset. San Luis State Wildlife Area is located at the western edge of Great Sand Dunes National Park. It features a large natural lake popular for boating, water skiing, sailing, windsurfing and fishing.

    Charges & Cancellations

    Rules and Reservation Policies__

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Phone Service
    • RVs
    • Tents
    • Group

    $80 / night

    Camper-submitted photo from Sand Dunes Recreation
    Camper-submitted photo from Sand Dunes Recreation
    Camper-submitted photo from Sand Dunes Recreation
    Camper-submitted photo from Sand Dunes Recreation
    Camper-submitted photo from Sand Dunes Recreation
    Camper-submitted photo from Sand Dunes Recreation

    3.

    Sand Dunes Recreation

    25 Reviews
    65 Photos
    148 Saves
    Mosca, Colorado

    Sand Dunes offers RV spots, tent sites and cabins. Located 25 minutes away from the Great Sand Dunes National Park.  Olympic size hot spring pool, 25 person hot tub, gift shop, 2 restaurants, 21+ Adults only area, The Greenhouse featuring The Steel Box Bar and small plates menu.

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Electric Hookups
    • Phone Service
    • Reservable
    • ADA Access
    Camper-submitted photo from Woods & River RV Park
    Camper-submitted photo from Woods & River RV Park
    Camper-submitted photo from Woods & River RV Park
    Camper-submitted photo from Woods & River RV Park
    Camper-submitted photo from Woods & River RV Park
    Camper-submitted photo from Woods & River RV Park

    4.

    Woods & River RV Park

    10 Reviews
    37 Photos
    33 Saves
    Del Norte, Colorado
    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Electric Hookups
    • Phone Service
    • Reservable
    • RVs
    Camper-submitted photo from Sacred White Shell Mountain
    Camper-submitted photo from Sacred White Shell Mountain
    Camper-submitted photo from Sacred White Shell Mountain
    Camper-submitted photo from Sacred White Shell Mountain
    Camper-submitted photo from Sacred White Shell Mountain
    Camper-submitted photo from Sacred White Shell Mountain
    Camper-submitted photo from Great Sand Dunes Oasis
    Camper-submitted photo from Great Sand Dunes Oasis
    Camper-submitted photo from Great Sand Dunes Oasis
    Camper-submitted photo from Great Sand Dunes Oasis
    Camper-submitted photo from Great Sand Dunes Oasis
    Camper-submitted photo from Great Sand Dunes Oasis

    6.

    Great Sand Dunes Oasis

    49 Reviews
    132 Photos
    368 Saves
    Great Sand Dunes National Park And Preserve, Colorado
    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Electric Hookups
    • Phone Service
    • Reservable
    • ADA Access

    $25 - $169 / night

    Camper-submitted photo from Natural Arch Dispersed Site
    Camper-submitted photo from Natural Arch Dispersed Site
    Camper-submitted photo from Natural Arch Dispersed Site
    Camper-submitted photo from Natural Arch Dispersed Site
    Camper-submitted photo from Natural Arch Dispersed Site
    Camper-submitted photo from Natural Arch Dispersed Site
    Camper-submitted photo from Big Meadows Reservoir Campground (south Central Co)
    Camper-submitted photo from Big Meadows Reservoir Campground (south Central Co)
    Camper-submitted photo from Big Meadows Reservoir Campground (south Central Co)
    Camper-submitted photo from Big Meadows Reservoir Campground (south Central Co)
    Camper-submitted photo from Big Meadows Reservoir Campground (south Central Co)
    Camper-submitted photo from Big Meadows Reservoir Campground (south Central Co)

    8.

    Big Meadows Reservoir Campground (south Central Co)

    13 Reviews
    52 Photos
    121 Saves
    South Fork, Colorado

    Overview

    Big Meadows is located in the San Juan Mountains in south-central Colorado, about 11 miles west of South Fork. The campground is lightly wooded with spruce trees, creating a beautiful meadow atmosphere. The Rio Grande National Forest spans 1.86 million acres in south-central Colorado. The Continental Divide runs for 236 miles along most of the forest's western border, presenting a myriad of ecosystems from alpine desert to dense wilderness.

    Recreation

    An accessible fishing pier, located on the north shore of the reservoir, allows anglers to cast for rainbow, brown and brook trout. Hunting, boating and hiking are also popular pastimes. Hikers and horseback riders will enjoy the 6-mile Archuleta Trail. The trail accesses the Weminuche Wilderness, Colorado's largest wilderness, which boasts the headwaters of dozens of major streams and rivers that feed into the Rio Grande and San Juan rivers.

    Facilities

    Each site has a campfire ring and picnic tables. Drinking water is available. The nearest dump station is 13 miles away, and a boat ramp is located on the north shore of the reservoir.

    Natural Features

    The campground meanders up a mountainside above Big Meadows Reservoir in a series of loops. As a sub-alpine region, the campground gets more rainfall than the opposite side of the lake, resulting in plentiful wildflowers and aspens surrounding the campsites.

    Nearby Attractions

    The surrounding area has plenty to keep visitors busy, with attractions like Great Sand Dunes National Park, Native American ruins, remnants of the Spanish Conquistadors and gold rush ghost towns. The Sangre de Cristo and San Juan Ranges are laced with trails for avid hikers.

    contact_info

    For facility specific information, please call (805) 434-1996.

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Phone Service
    • RVs
    • Tents
    • Group

    $99 - $103 / night

    Camper-submitted photo from Mosca Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Mosca Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Mosca Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Mosca Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Mosca Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Mosca Campground

    9.

    Mosca Campground

    23 Reviews
    79 Photos
    121 Saves
    Mosca, Colorado

    CPW is no longer accepting reservations as the rules for camping have changed. Camping sites in the campground are now walk-in only (first come, first served). ​ Campers will need to plan to bring their own potable water, ice, and firewood. CPW provides free electrical hook-ups at some sites and will continue to do so until costs become prohibitive. Please be judicious in your use of electricity so that we can continue to provide this service for no additional cost.

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Electric Hookups
    • Phone Service
    • ADA Access
    • RVs
    Camper-submitted photo from Cathedral Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Cathedral Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Cathedral Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Cathedral Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Cathedral Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Cathedral Campground

    10.

    Cathedral Campground

    8 Reviews
    39 Photos
    163 Saves
    South Fork, Colorado

    .NO POTABLE WATER AVAILABLE Cathedral Campground is northwest of Del Norte and northeast of South Fork, on Embargo Creek. It was remodeled in 2010 and now has 22 sites. 17 are dead end spurs and 5 are pull throughs. Sites vary from 35 to 45 feet in length. This campground is located in a mature aspen and spruce grove with a beautiful view of Cathedral Rock to the north. Embargo Creek flows alongside the east side of the grounds. There is ample fishing in Embargo Creek and hiking/horseback riding/mountain biking on Cathedral Creek Trail #794, Embargo Trail # 792 and Fremont's Camp Trail #885. Motorcycles may use both Cathedral and Embargo Trails. ATV’s are not allowed on the trails.The campground is composed of two large loops along Cathedral Creek. The left hand loop features a large meadow and a few open sites. The right hand loop has a dense Aspen and spruce (including Blue) woods and a more rustic feel. Scroll down to Information Center for individual site details. John Charles Fremont's winter camp is nearby. He attempted an ill-fated expedition across the Rocky Mountains for a transcontinental railroad route in late 1848.

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • ADA Access
    • RVs
    • Tents
    • Standard (Tent/RV)

    $10 / night

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744 Reviews of 196 Del Norte Campgrounds