This is BLM land that's free to camp on for up to 14 days every 45 days. The camp sites are just off a dirt road that leads to the trailhead for hiking to Blanca Peak. The road gets pretty rough the further up you get, but there are plenty of large camp sites on the way up the mountain, some you'd have to home to if you decide to go to Blanca Peak. It's a fairly busy place as off-road vehicles and horse back riding are popular here. Beautiful views of the San Luis Valley, Great Sand Dunes National Park, and Mt. Blanca. Definitely worth checking out of you're in the area. No shade or amenities, so bring everything you need with you and as always, leave no trace.
We drove up the road for a while to find a higher up spot. High clearance is definitely needed, dirt road turns into curvy, rocky road with multiple spots on both sides. There were plenty of already made fire pits. The views are amazing and even though we saw several other people, we never heard them. There was a few 4wheelers and dirt bikes. All around great, free spot.
We stayed a week and half in late June 2019. The camping areas are very easy to find and are directly off Lake Como Road which is off Hwy 150(main road that leads to Great Sand Dunes NP). There is a BLM sign at the turn to the right. The GPS coordinates will take you to the correct area. There are several camping areas as you drive down the road. There are all on the left side. There is a large dip right after you turn and before the sign. Make sure you are going slow and you shouldn’t have any problems. The road is washboard sand and dirt but overall is not bad to drive down, especially if you go slow. I think any size rig would be fine to travel to the first three camping areas. Each camping area could probably fit 3-5 rigs and some tenters without being on top of each other. The first camping area is about¼ mile down the road. Not a bad area, but it was a bit busier when we arrived(probably due to the proximity to the road). We went to the second area which is probably another¼ mile down the road. That area was busy as well, but we liked it better(more grass than dirt). We setup camp in the back of the area and were able to get level without blocks! Most everyone else needed blocks, but they didn’t seem to have much problem leveling. As you continue down the road, its condition does worsen. Tenters and small vans have more options towards the mountain. We did see a decent size Airstream make it to the fourth pullout area, but we didn’t feel comfortable taking our 30 ft travel trailer past the second section. We did walk down to the third pullout and it was not as level or as big, so we were happy with our decision to stick to the second section. The road was a bit worse from areas#2-#3, but still probably doable for most rigs. After that it starts to get a bit rough, at least in our opinion. Cell reception was good, we had 2-3 bars 4G LTE on AT&T. We use hotspots for internet and have AT&T and Verizon and both worked well. No amenities at all so pack in and out. The area is about 20-25 minutes to the Great Sand Dunes National Park. We were able to get potable water there(at the dump station) and dump as we were leaving. They also have dumpsters we used to dispose of our trash(and the trash of inconsiderate tent campers who left over two bags of trash for us to collect for them). The town of Alamosa is about 30 minutes away and has places for groceries, propane, and anything else you may need during your stay. The camping areas have a wonderful view of Blanca Peak. If you are in better shape than we are, you can attempt the summit while there. There are no trees or any obstructions on any of the pullouts. Perfect for solar, but also no protection from wind and blowing sand. It was windy several times when we were there, and it will blow sand and dust in the RV. Nothing too bad but be aware. The weather was great until the last few days when the high was almost 90. Small rain events happen frequently in the afternoon, but they never last long and some don’t make it to the area, but you can see them in the distance. The area gets busy on the weekend, but during the week it slows down. Everyone was respectful and enjoyed the quiet. The biggest noise was the free-range cows in the morning making a raucous and using the RV as a back scratcher. They didn’t visit every morning but were there several times bright and early. Dark skies there. You can see the Milky Way with the naked eye. Overall, it was a great stay and we would stay again if ever back in the area.
We chose this BLM campground because it is right outside of Great Sand Dunes National Park. There are several sites along Lake Como Road. The type of vehicle you have determines how far up the road/secluded you can get. We were there over Memorial Day Weekend and it was packed. However, there are tons of sites and plenty of space for all! We camp in a RV and there were plenty of accessible sites for us to choose from us well. The road in is really bumpy so we parked in the first parking area on the left as you come in and were happy with it. This is a popular area for off-roading so be prepared for some traffic heading up Lake Como Road to hit the trails if you are there on a weekend. The only downside to this area was the CRAZY winds that blew through. There were gusts of 67 mph one day! The views are amazing in this spot. And, even better – our Verizon hotspot was strong enough for us to both work all week. When the weather was clear it seemed no matter where we looked, we had mountain views. Not to mention the spectacular view of Blanca Peak. It’s also amazing being so close to the National Park. We were really happy with the location and thoroughly enjoyed our time in the park. We were really happy with this free spot!
As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I occasionally get to test products. During this stay, I tested Éclipse Sun Protective Clothing’s neck gaiter. I knew the sun would be strong when we were hiking the dunes, so we wanted to protect ourselves. We also expected the wind to blow the sand around so we figured this would be the perfect product to protect us from both. Boy, were we right! The gaiters were perfect. They come with an info sheet showing you the different ways you can wear your neck gaiter. I assumed I would just wear it around my neck as planned. However, prior to hiking the dunes we hiked a Zapata Falls and I was a little chilly. I pulled the neck gaiter out and wore it like a headband and LOVED it. It was super easy to get comfortable and in a good spot and it was nice knowing my hairline was protected from damaging UPF rays. Once we started hiking the dunes, I assumed I would pull it back down around my neck. However, I loved it so much as a headband I didn’t want to move it. It did a great job of keeping the sand out of my ears which I am so thankful for. My husband wore his around his neck and he too was really happy with it. This is versatile product has earned a permanent spot in our day packs. Way to go Éclipse!