Top Tent Camping near Rio Grande National Forest

Looking for an adventure where you can explore Rio Grande National Forest and then fall asleep in your tent? You can find tent campsites by type, including drive-in, walk-in, and even hike-in for a backpacking adventure. Search nearby tent campsites or find top-rated spots from other campers.

Best Tent Camping Sites Near Rio Grande National Forest, CO (135)

    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)

    1.

    Big Meadows Reservoir Campground (south Central Co)

    13 Reviews
    52 Photos
    124 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

    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.

    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.

    contact_info

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

    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.

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

    $99 - $103 / night

    Camper-submitted photo from Pagosa Riverside Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Pagosa Riverside Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Pagosa Riverside Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Pagosa Riverside Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Pagosa Riverside Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Pagosa Riverside Campground

    2.

    Pagosa Riverside Campground

    27 Reviews
    52 Photos
    336 Saves
    Pagosa Springs, Colorado

    Pagosa Riverside Campground has RV pull-thrus, all 50 amp, river, lakeside, wooded & tent sites & 3 Cabins. Enjoy our hot showers, clean restrooms and laundromat open 24 hours. Our store is well stocked with groceries, snacks, gifts, fishing supplies and a large selection of RV parts. Firewood and ice available for sale. Cable TV for RV sites and Wi-fi throughout the campground.

    Pagosa Riverside is a Rocky Mountain Campground along the San Juan River.

    This people friendly campground is located at 7200′ elevation on the banks of the San Juan River with mountain views and 1200′ of private access to excellent trout fishing. Quiet, convenient off-highway location with cool evenings. The private pond has campsite’s snuggling its bank and free fishing for kids of all ages. Be sure to try the paddle boats for a fun time on the pond.

    Free WI-FI throughout the park.

    Large RV sites, grassy shaded tent sites in the trees and beside the small pond. All sites have picnic tables and fire rings and there are BBQ grills throughout the park. Park amenities include: Wifi, Laundry, Playground, Game Room, Paddle boats, Above Ground Pool.

    The Camp-Store has groceries, marshmallows, snacks, ice cream, fishing supplies, firewood, ice, and the largest selection of RV supplies in the area.

    Near hot springs, horse rides, Indian ruins (Chimney Rock), rafting, and championship quality 27-hole golf course. ATV, Mountain Bike, and Hiking Trails are only a short distance from the park.

    Primitive Camper Cabins.

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Electric Hookups
    • Phone Service
    • Reservable
    • RVs
    Camper-submitted photo from West Fork Dispersed
    Camper-submitted photo from West Fork Dispersed
    Camper-submitted photo from West Fork Dispersed
    Camper-submitted photo from West Fork Dispersed
    Camper-submitted photo from West Fork Dispersed
    Camper-submitted photo from West Fork Dispersed

    3.

    West Fork Dispersed

    15 Reviews
    70 Photos
    450 Saves
    Pagosa Springs, Colorado

    Welcome to West Fork Dispersed, a hidden gem near Pagosa Springs, Colorado. This spot is perfect for those who crave a more rugged, back-to-nature camping experience. Nestled along the San Juan River, you'll fall asleep to the soothing sounds of flowing water.

    Finding a spot here is pretty straightforward. Once you cross the second bridge, you'll find several sites scattered along the river. The area is free to use, and you won't need a permit, which is a nice bonus. Just remember, this isn't your typical campground with amenities. There are no toilets, drinking water, or trash services, so come prepared to pack in and pack out everything you need.

    Pets are welcome, and many campers have enjoyed bringing their dogs along. The wildlife is abundant, with chipmunks and hummingbirds frequently making appearances. The views are stunning, with lush greenery and the river providing a picturesque backdrop.

    One of the highlights is the proximity to the Rainbow Hot Springs trailhead, making it an ideal base camp for a day hike to the hot springs. Just be aware that there's a fire ban in place, so you'll need to stick to small camping stoves for cooking.

    While the bugs can be a bit of a nuisance, especially the mosquitoes, the overall experience is worth it. The peace and tranquility of this spot, combined with the natural beauty, make it a fantastic choice for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle. So, pack your gear, bring some bug spray, and get ready to enjoy a truly serene camping experience at West Fork Dispersed.

    • Pets
    • RVs
    • Tents
    • Group
    • Dispersed
    Camper-submitted photo from East Fork Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from East Fork Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from East Fork Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from East Fork Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from East Fork Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from East Fork Campground

    4.

    East Fork Campground

    15 Reviews
    53 Photos
    176 Saves
    Pagosa Springs, Colorado

    Overview

    East Fork Campground is located 11 miles northeast of Pagosa Springs, just off U.S. Highway 160, along the East Fork Road. Visitors enjoy the area for its fishing, hiking and scenic opportunities.

    Recreation

    The East Fork offers plenty of fishing opportunities upstream from the campground. Trailheads for the Coal Creek Trail and the Quartz Ridge Trail are at Sand Creek, 2-5 miles beyond the campground.

    Facilities

    The East Fork offers plenty of fishing opportunities upstream from the campground. Trailheads for the Coal Creek Trail and the Quartz Ridge Trail are at Sand Creek, 2-5 miles beyond the campground.

    Natural Features

    The campground sits on a ridge overlooking the East Fork of the San Juan River. Some sites have views of the river, but it's a long way down the hill. Short, but steep trails lead down the hill, to the riverbanks. A forest of ponderosa pine and gambel oak trees shades the campground. At 7,700 feet, temperatures can be a bit warmer than at surrounding campgrounds.

    Nearby Attractions

    Silver Falls is located a few miles up East Fork Road past the campground. A short trail leads to the base of the falls. Mountain bikers often ride to Silver Falls. Beyond its junction with Forest Road 684, the East Fork Road is negotiable only by 4WD. Off-road vehicle enthusiasts enjoy the upper section to Elwood Pass. Treasure Falls, located just off Highway 160 about five miles from the campground, is an impressive 100' waterfall with a short hike.

    Charges & Cancellations

    Cancellations Individual Campsites: Cancellations up to 2 days before a reservation start date incur a $10.00 cancellation fee.__ A visitor who cancels a reservation the day before or on the day of arrival will pay a $10.00 service fee AND forfeit the first night's use fee including tax and applicable add-on for a campsite. Cancellations for a one-night reservation will forfeit the entire amount paid and will not be subject to an additional service fee. No-Shows A no-show visitor is one who does not arrive at a campground and does not cancel the reservation by check-out time on the day after the scheduled arrival date. Staff will hold a campsite until check-out time on the day following the arrival date. No-shows are assessed $20.00 service fee and forfeit the first night's rate, taxes and applicable add-on for a campsite.____ Refunds Visitors may submit a refund request through their Recreation.gov profile within 7 days of the end date of their reservation. Refunds will not be issued after the 7 days has ended. Refunds for debit or credit card payments will be issued as a credit to the original bank or credit card used to pay. For check or cash purchases, Recreation.gov will mail a Treasury check for refunds of cash, check, or money order payments to the address associated with the reservation. Treasury check refunds may take up to 6-8 weeks to arrive.__ In the event of an emergency closure, the Recreation.gov team or facility manager will refund all fees and will attempt to notify you using the contact information within the Recreation.gov visitor profile.

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • RVs
    • Tents
    • Standard (Tent/RV)
    • Trash

    $27 / night

    Camper-submitted photo from Park Creek Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Park Creek Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Park Creek Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Park Creek Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Park Creek Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Park Creek Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from West Fork Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from West Fork Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from West Fork Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from West Fork Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from West Fork Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from West Fork Campground

    6.

    West Fork Campground

    12 Reviews
    43 Photos
    86 Saves
    Pagosa Springs, Colorado

    Overview

    West Fork Campground sits near the West Fork San Juan River in a secluded 10-acre area, just over a mile from Highway 160. Visitors enjoy the area for its hiking opportunities and plentiful solitude.

    Recreation

    The West Fork and nearby Wolf Creek offer fishing opportunities, but are heavily fished streams. Only skilled and patient fishermen have much luck in these waters. The West Fork Trail, also known as the Rainbow Trail, leads into the Weminuche Wilderness from a trailhead a mile beyond the campground. The first portion of the trail passes through private property, so please stay on the trail and leave the gates as you find them.

    Facilities

    The West Fork and nearby Wolf Creek offer fishing opportunities, but are heavily fished streams. Only skilled and patient fishermen have much luck in these waters. The West Fork Trail, also known as the Rainbow Trail, leads into the Weminuche Wilderness from a trailhead a mile beyond the campground. The first portion of the trail passes through private property, so please stay on the trail and leave the gates as you find them.

    Natural Features

    The campground is situated among a forest of mixed conifers, where sites have sun and shade. The West Fork can be heard, but not seen from the campground.

    Nearby Attractions

    Trailheads for Windy Pass and Treasure Mountain Trails are located across Highway 160 from the West Fork Road turnoff. Treasure Falls, located off Highway 160 about three miles from the campground, is an impressive 100-foot waterfall with a short hike leading to its base.

    Charges & Cancellations

    Cancellations Individual Campsites: Cancellations up to 2 days before a reservation start date incur a $10.00 cancellation fee.__ A visitor who cancels a reservation the day before or on the day of arrival will pay a $10.00 service fee AND forfeit the first night's use fee including tax and applicable add-on for a campsite. Cancellations for a one-night reservation will forfeit the entire amount paid and will not be subject to an additional service fee. No-Shows A no-show visitor is one who does not arrive at a campground and does not cancel the reservation by check-out time on the day after the scheduled arrival date. Staff will hold a campsite until check-out time on the day following the arrival date. No-shows are assessed $20.00 service fee and forfeit the first night's rate, taxes and applicable add-on for a campsite.____ Refunds Visitors may submit a refund request through their Recreation.gov profile within 7 days of the end date of their reservation. Refunds will not be issued after the 7 days has ended. Refunds for debit or credit card payments will be issued as a credit to the original bank or credit card used to pay. For check or cash purchases, Recreation.gov will mail a Treasury check for refunds of cash, check, or money order payments to the address associated with the reservation. Treasury check refunds may take up to 6-8 weeks to arrive.__ In the event of an emergency closure, the Recreation.gov team or facility manager will refund all fees and will attempt to notify you using the contact information within the Recreation.gov visitor profile.

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • RVs
    • Tents
    • Standard (Tent/RV)
    • Trash

    $27 / night

    Camper-submitted photo from Turkey Creek Road
    Camper-submitted photo from Turkey Creek Road
    Camper-submitted photo from Turkey Creek Road
    Camper-submitted photo from Turkey Creek Road
    Camper-submitted photo from Turkey Creek Road
    Camper-submitted photo from Turkey Creek Road

    7.

    Turkey Creek Road

    13 Reviews
    26 Photos
    309 Saves
    Pagosa Springs, Colorado
    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Tents
    • Cabins
    • Standard (Tent/RV)
    • Tent Cabin
    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

    8.

    Woods & River RV Park

    10 Reviews
    37 Photos
    33 Saves
    Del Norte, Colorado

    Welcome to Woods & River RV Park, nestled near Del Norte, Colorado. This spot is a favorite for many, thanks to its beautiful setting along the Rio Grande River. The park is shaded by large cottonwood trees, offering a cool reprieve from the afternoon sun.

    One of the standout features here is the full hookup availability, making it a breeze for RV travelers. The park is also big rig friendly, so no worries if you're rolling in with a larger setup. For those with kids, there's a fun playground complete with a zip line and treehouse, which has been a hit with families.

    If you're into fishing, you're in luck. The Rio Grande flows right through the park, and the fishing is reportedly fantastic, especially on the first weekend of the month when it's free. The park also has a sanitary dump station and clean, renovated bathrooms and showers that don't run out of hot water—a definite plus after a long day of exploring.

    For those who enjoy a bit of walking, there are trails that loop around the park and down by the river, perfect for a leisurely stroll or walking the dog. The park is also pet-friendly, so feel free to bring your furry friends along.

    The nearby town of Del Norte is less than a mile away and offers some charming shops and a microbrewery and bakery that come highly recommended. Whether you're here for a short stay or planning to settle in for a while, Woods & River RV Park provides a comfortable and scenic base for your adventures.

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Electric Hookups
    • Phone Service
    • Reservable
    • 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

    9.

    Cathedral Campground

    8 Reviews
    39 Photos
    166 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

    Camper-submitted photo from Lower Beaver Creek Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Lower Beaver Creek Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Lower Beaver Creek Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Lower Beaver Creek Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Lower Beaver Creek Campground
    Camper-submitted photo from Lower Beaver Creek Campground

    10.

    Lower Beaver Creek Campground

    5 Reviews
    11 Photos
    21 Saves
    Rio Grande National Forest, Colorado

    8400-foot elevation. Fishing in nearby Beaver Reservoir and Beaver Creek. Hiking on nearby trails. The facilities include 18 newly remodeled (2010) sites with tables and fireplaces, vault type toilets, centralized refuse bin and a developed drinking water system with hand pumps (in season) and ample turn around and parking space for trailers. 15 sites are dead end spurs and 3 sites are pull through spurs. Attractions in the area include fishing in Beaver Creek and Beaver Reservoir and Tewksberry Trail #842 is available for hiking, biking, ATV riding just to the west. The nearby Beaver Creek Reservoir features a boat ramp and fishing for Brown, Brook and Rainbow trout and Kokanee salmon. Scroll down to Information Center to see individual site descriptions.

    • Pets
    • Fires
    • Phone Service
    • Reservable
    • ADA Access
    • RVs
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Frequently Asked Questions

Which is the most popular tent campsite near Rio Grande National Forest?

According to TheDyrt.com, the most popular tent campground near Rio Grande National Forest is Big Meadows Reservoir Campground (south Central Co) with a 4.7-star rating from 13 reviews.

What is the best site to find tent camping near Rio Grande National Forest?

TheDyrt.com has all 135 tent camping locations near Rio Grande National Forest, with real photos and reviews from campers.