This is right off the main road in the black canyon Gunnison park. Basic camping. Table and fire pit provided. The views along this road are amazing.
we stayed one night here before moving across the canyon to the quiet north rim. 2 doe and 1 fawn walked into our campsite and literally laid down where we were going to set our tents. as the sites are small and very close together we had to wait till a ranger came by to shoo them off. also had a rabbit and a very brave chipmunk in camp. one dark fell, the views of the stars were AMAZING!
South Rim campground is a perfect little nestled away camping area. Small Oaks are everywhere and provide some isolation despite the campsites being close to one another. Timing was everything at this campground. We were told it fills up fast, especially in the weekends. We went before May 8th, which started the online reservation system. The first come first serve was perfect as we picked a nestled away campsite with a view (most of the campground does not have views of the surrounding mountains). RegIstratIon Is completed by filling out an envelope at the front of the campground. The ranger station wIll help If yoI don’t have cash. It stayed nice and cool at 8,000ft elevation, however, the sun can still be intense here if your not from the Colorado area. Some sites had tent pads, some didn’t. We were in loop B which provided electricity, a bench, and camping ring with grill (the grill moves up and down but cannot be moved out of the ring for normal fires). There was a ton of wildlife in the campground to include deer and grouse! Everyone was nice, but neighbors got into it because the one neighbor let there dog wonder everywhere. Rangers didn’t really patrol the area. The bathrooms do not have running water, but we’re nice. The water doesn’t get turned on until mid-May, make sure you bring plenty of water! It’s a decent drive to the nearest fire wood and water station - I would bring whatever you need with you. Black Canyon of the Gunnison is apart of the Dark Sky Assoc and you can see why - the stars are amazing! Definitely worth the visit before the crowds.
Our visit to Black Canyon of the Gunnison was strongly affected by the fact that we visited it during the off-season (beginning of October) and the South Rim Campground was no exception. We were one of only a few campers here, making our stay quiet, cheap, and (a little) chilly. But overall, we would return to this campground in a heartbeat.
The South Rim Campground is similar to other national park campground in that it provides convenient access to park activities and trails, but it stands apart due to the fact that the camping fees are cut in half during the off-season, when the water is turned off.
This campground is spacious, with sites that are tucked away from others, and is located close to the visitor center and several prominent hiking trails. For such a cheap price (we paid $6/night), it is a great value. Even though the water is turned off during this time of year, the visitor center’s flush toilets were available to us during open hours, and their water was available 24 hours a day.
If you have a couple of days to visit Black Canyon of the Gunnison, we’d recommend hiking (via the Gunnison route or another route) or driving down into the canyon one day (we had fun unsuccessfully fly fishing near the East Portal.) The hikes are very strenuous and steep, the being in the canyon offers such a different perspective of just how striking this national park is.
You can read much more about our four days in the park on our blog: Switchback Kids (Black Canyon of the Gunnison)
Arrived in the evening on a Friday and somehow got the last first come tent site. Very nice area, shaded and easy to fly fish in the morning. Bathrooms were nearby as well