Recreation

Welcome to the San Luis Valley Public Lands Center where there is Solitude in Every Season!

From the Sangre de Cristo to the San Juan Mountains, the jagged peaks and rushing rivers of the San Luis Valley public lands wrap themselves around this Rocky Mountain basin. Whether viewing the mountain scenery from roads or finding challenge on trails, visitors discover solitude and self-reliance through uncrowded year-round recreation opportunities.

The Rio Grande National Forest forms the scenic backdrop to the San Luis Valley. With a landscape of high peaks, geological wonders, and steep river canyons, the spectacular scenery beckons adventures from near and far. Year round recreation opportunities abound! So, what are you waiting for? Pack up your family and friends and head for adventure in Colorado’s great outdoors!

Use the sidebar menu on the left to find an activity or right to find an area and learn about all the different ways you can enjoy the outdoors in the Rio Grande National Forest.

Accessible Recreation

The Rio Grande National Forest offers a number of recreational facilities designed with accessibility in mind for persons with disabilities. Also, there are programs that allow visitor discounts for fees charged on national forests.

Reservations & Rentals

While many campgrounds are on a first-come basis, you can make reservations for some campgrounds. In addition there are eight cabins that are available for rental. To make reservations go to recreation.gov

Rocky Mountain Regional Recreation

Rocky Mountain Region recreational information, for regional campgrounds, cabin rentals and other information go to "Rocky Mountain Recreation Guide" web site

Recreation Conditions Report

 Area Name Status Area Conditions
Alamosa Campground Open to Visitor Open for the season. CAMPGROUND HAS A RESTROOM- NO WATER, NO TRASH SERVICE- PACK IN- PACK OUT!!. This campground stays open until weather closes it.
Aspen Glade Campground Open to Visitor CAMPGROUND IS OPEN.
Big Meadows Campground Open to Visitor STARTING MAY 22, 2014 THE CAMPGROUND WILL BE OPEN FOR BUSINESS Reservations are NOW AVAILABLE
Big Meadows Reservoir Boating Site Open to Visitor The lake is usually Ice Free by May and is then open until November.
Bristol Head Campground Open to Visitor Open for the season.
Buffalo Pass Campground Open to Visitor NO WATER - will open May 21, 2014 for the season - PACK IN/PACK OUT.
Cathedral Campground Open to Visitor NO POTABLE WATER, can filter water from nearby creek. Open until closed by snow, no trash service PACK IN - PACKOUT
Comstock Campground Open to Visitor NO WATER - Usually open April 15th through December 15th, can open earlier if road conditions permit. No trash service before Memorial Weekend and after Labor Day.
Conejos Campground Closed to Visitor CLOSED PERMANENTLY
Cross Creek Campground Open to Visitor NO WATER or bathroom - Open unless winter weather closes access. PACK IN PACK OUT.
Elk Creek Campground Open to Visitor CAMPGROUND IS OPEN.
Elk Creek Overflow Campground Open to Visitor CAMPGROUND IS OPEN.
Highway Springs Campground Open to Visitor NO WATER - Open from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Closed and gated in the off-season.
Ivy Creek Campground Open to Visitor NO WATER - Open until weather closes access. PACK IN PACK OUT.
Lake Fork Campground Open to Visitor CAMPGROUND IS OPEN.
Lost Trail Campground Open to Visitor No Water, No Trash Services. Open all year - this campground is usually physically closed by deep winter snows and closed access roads from November through May 15th of each year.
Lower Beaver Creek Campground Open to Visitor Open for 2014 season.
Luders Creek Campground Open to Visitor NO POTABLE WATER. Will open May 21, 2014 for the season, PACK IN/PACK OUT. No drinking water for humans; designated watering area for stock in Luders Creek.
Marshall Park Campground Open to Visitor NO WATER - Open from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. Closed and gated in the off-season.
Mix Lake Campground Open to Visitor CAMPGROUND IS OPEN.
Mogote - Juniper Group Camping Site Open to Visitor CAMPGROUND IS OPEN.
Mogote Campground Open to Visitor CAMPGROUND IS OPEN.
North Clear Creek Campground Open to Visitor Open for the season
North Crestone Creek Campground Open to Visitor NO WATER - Seasonally closed late November thru early May.
Palisade Campground Open to Visitor Open until weather closes access. No water or trash service after Labor Day.
Park Creek Campground Open to Visitor GATED CLOSED for winter, 09/16/2013 through MAY 15, 2014.
Penitente Canyon Campground Open to Visitor Open year around unless closed by snow.
Poso Campground Open to Visitor NO WATER - Will open May 21, 2014 for the season - PACK IN/PACK OUT.
Rio Grande Campground Open to Visitor NO WATER - Open unless winter weather or muddy road closes access. Normally open year around for camping and river access. May be physically snowed in Dec-April. Access road may be closed between March 15th and May 15th for the mud season.
River Hill Campground Closed to Visitor Closed 2014 season due to Papoose fire. Open from Memorial Weekend through Labor Day. Closed and gated in the off-season.
Road Canyon Campground Open to Visitor NO WATER - Open until weather closes access. No trash service after Labor Day.
Rock Creek Campground Open to Visitor NO WATER - Usually open April 15th through December 15th, can open earlier if road conditions permit. No trash service before Memorial Day and after Labor Day.
Rock Creek Picnic Site Open to Visitor OPENED on April 15th and should stay open until December 15th. Closed by winter snow and muddy roads from December 15th through April 15th. Open for day use picnicing only, NO OVERNIGHT CAMPING ALLOWED
Silver Thread Campground Open to Visitor Open until snow physically closes access. No water or trash service before Memorial Day and after Labor Day.
Spectacle Lake Campground Open to Visitor CAMPGROUND IS OPEN.
Stone Cellar Campground Open to Visitor Will open May 21, 2014 for the season. PACK IN/PACK OUT.
Storm King Campground Open to Visitor NO WATER - Will open May 21, 2014 for the season. PACK IN/PACK OUT.
Stunner Campground Open to Visitor CAMPGROUND HAS A RESTROOM-NO WATER - Open early to mid-June, depending on snow depth. Campground stays open until weather closes it.
Thirty Mile Campground Open to Visitor Open until weather closes access.
Trujillo Meadows Campground Open to Visitor CAMPGROUND IS OPEN.
Tucker Ponds Campground Open to Visitor GATED CLOSED due to mud & snow. Will open mid-June
Upper Beaver Creek Campground Open to Visitor Open from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day Weekend Closed to camping and gated after Labor Day.
Zapata Falls Campground Open to Visitor NO WATER - PACK IN PACK OUT The campground has two vault toilets but no water or trash service. The unpaved road from the highway to the campgrounds gains 1,000 feet in 3.6 miles and is rough in places. Passenger cars and RVs can navigate the road, but it may be too challenging for some vehicles. NO RESERVATIONS. Usually fills up by noon on Fridays for the weekend, earlier in the week for three day weekends.