McPhee Campground

Area Status: Open
This area is Open
 

Campgrounds still open between September and May have no services (water, electric, trash pick up or rest rooms). Please keep them clean and pack it out. Thanks!

The McPhee Recreation Complex is on the south shore of McPhee Reservoir. From Dolores, take Colorado Highway 145 south, turn west on Highway 184, and go about 7 miles. Look for the McPhee Recreation Area sign on the north side of the highway and turn onto County Road 25, then take the first right, which will lead into the recreation area.

The campground is on a mesa above the reservoir, with road access to the boat launch area. The 71 campsites on 2 loops have paved access and parking, picnic sites, barrier-free flush toilets, a sanitary dumping station, and 24 sites with electric hookups. Two sites offer tables and toilets accommodating wheelchairs. A dozen campsites are walk-ins with tent pads near scenic overlooks. There are 50 reservable sites, 12 with electricity, and 21 non-reservable sites.

The adjacent McPhee Group Area also has 4 group campsites available for reservation (with limited electrical hookups). There are volleyball posts, a ball field, and horseshoe pits (you supply the equipment).

Two non-developed fishing-access sites are further east on Highway 184 at the Big Bend and Dolores Access sites. There are also two day-use fishing areas on the north shore with composting toilets: Sage Hen northwest of the McPhee Recreation Area, and Dry Canyon, which is accessed from the Glade area on FS Road 510.

Reservations:
www.recreation.gov
1-877-444-6777

At a Glance

Reservations: This site can be reserved by calling Toll Free 1-877-444-6777 (International 518-885-3639 or TDD 877-833-6777)
Usage: Heavy
Water: Yes
Restroom: Toilet
Operated By: Concessionaire

General Information

General Notes:

The campground is on a mesa 500 feet above the reservoir. There are no lakefront sites. Piñon and juniper trees offer some shade, but the area is hot in summer.

The 72 campsites on 2 loops have paved access and parking, picnic sites, barrier-free flush toilets, dumping station, grills, fire pits and firewood, drinking water, campground hosts, and 16 sites with electric hookups ($3 extra). Four spaces have full hookups for $5 extra. Two sites have tables and toilets that accommodate wheelchairs. A dozen campsites are walk-ins with tent pads near scenic overlooks.

Piñon Loop and Juniper Loop sites can be reserved through Recreation.gov .  There are also first-come, first-served sites.

The adjacent McPhee Group Area has camping sites available through the Reservation Center. There are volleyball posts, a ball field, and horseshoe pits.

On the south side of the reservoir, Big Bend Access Point has fishing and an unsurfaced boat launch from Highway 184. The Dolores Access Site has fishing and barrier-free access from the highway. On the north side, you can fish at Sage Hen and Dry Canyon, where there are toilets and parking. Camping is not allowed in any of these areas.

McPhee Campground map [PDF, 1 page, 97 KB]

Attractions & Considerations

McPhee Reservoir, the largest in the San Juan National Forest and second largest in Colorado, has 50 miles of shoreline in piñon, juniper, and sagebrush country. A large parking lot is next to a 6-lane concrete boat ramp that offers motorized-boating access, with restricted areas in wakeless zones. Courtesy docks are available seasonally, based on voluntary donations.

The reservoir is stocked with warm- and cold-water species of fish. Adjacent to the boat ramp is a trail up to a scenic overlook with 360-degree views and intepretive signs. The trail continues to the tent-camping area of McPhee Campground.

  • McPhee Boat Launch - Six-lane concrete boat ramp, fish-cleaning station, two courtesy boat docks, flush toilets, drinking water.
     
  • Ridge Point Overlook - Offers a panoramic view with signs that identify prominent landmarks. The Can Do Trail connects the overlook to the campground and also drops off the mesa to the boat-launch area. Views of the water and local sandstone cliff formations can be enjoyed all along its route.
     
  • McPhee/House Creek Bike Route - This mountain bike route follows paved and gravel roads, with views of House Creek drainage.
  • McPhee Marina – Small marina serving snacks and meals beginning at 11a.m. Dry Boat storage available. Some fishing bait and tackle. Closed Monday and Tuesdays. Open through August.

Directions:

Directions from Dolores, Colorado: Travel south on Highway 145 and west on Highway 184 for about 7 miles to County Road 25. Turn north off this road and into the McPhee Recreation area complex on Forest Road 271.

McPhee Campground area map.


Directions:

Directions from Dolores, Colorado: Travel south on Highway 145 and west on Highway 184 for about 7 miles to County Road 25. Turn north off this road and into the McPhee Recreation area complex on Forest Road 271.

McPhee Campground area map.


Recreation Map

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Location

 
  Latitude : 
37.4969
  Longitude : 
-108.5533
  Elevation : 
7400