McPhee Campground

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

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, 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).

Doc's Marina at McPhee is a full service marina and boat launch open from April through October.

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.


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: Flush Toilets 9
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, grills, fire pits and firewood, drinking water, campground hosts, and 16 sites with electric hookups ($6 extra). Four spaces have full hookups for $8 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 .  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.


Docs Marina on  McPhee Reservoir is open April through Oct.

McPhee is the SECOND LARGEST LAKE IN COLORADO! This lake has a little bit of everything to do on it; from fishing for Walleye, Small and large mouth bass, trout, crappie, northern pike, perch, kokanee salmon, to cruising the  beautiful branches of the lake, to all of the water sports in the larger parts of the lake! This lake has it all!

Services provided include:

Boat Rentals

Daily fishing information

BBQ Grills

Depth finder

Fishing rods and tackle

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 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

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information

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