Recreation

Welcome to the Rio Grande National Forest 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 call: 877-444-6777 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 Closed to Visitor Aspen Glade Campground is closed. Aspen Glade CG will reopen for the 2016 season on or close to Memorial Day 2016, providing weather and road conditions are favorable
Big Meadows Campground Closed to Visitor Campground is CLOSED will reopen Memorial weekend.Several sites will remain open but with no water and no toilet cleaning services.
Big Meadows Reservoir Boating Site Closed to Visitor The lake is usually Ice Free by May and is then open until November.
Bristol Head Campground Closed to Visitor Campground CLOSED will reopen Memorial weekend 2016.
Buffalo Pass Campground Closed to Visitor NO WATER - closes Nov. 24  PACK IN/PACK OUT.
Cathedral Campground Closed to Visitor NO POTABLE WATER,  can filter water from nearby creek. Open until closed by snow, no trash service   PACK IN - PACKOUT
Comstock Campground Closed to Visitor NO WATER - CLOSED during 2015 HAZARDOUS (Dead) TREES being removed.
Conejos Campground Closed to Visitor CLOSED PERMANENTLY
Cross Creek Campground Open to Visitor NO WATER in the off season, but the pit toilet is open - Deep snow can close the individual campsites between December and March.  PACK IN PACK OUT.
Elk Creek Campground Closed to Visitor Campground closed .   It will reopen for the 2016 season on or around Memorial Day 2016, depending on weather and road conditions.
Elk Creek Overflow Campground Closed to Visitor Campground overflow is closed.  It will reopen on about Memorial Weekend 2016- weather and road conditions permitting.
Highway Springs Campground Closed to Visitor NO WATER - Campground is closed for the season and will reopen Memorial weekend 2016.
Ivy Creek Campground Closed to Visitor NO WATER - Open until weather closes access.  PACK IN PACK OUT.
Lake Fork Campground Closed to Visitor Campground closed Sept 7 for the 2015 season. It will reopen-weather and road conditions permitting - close to or on Memorial Day 2016
Lost Trail Campground Closed 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 There are 4 sites in front of the gate, these can be used as weather permits, remainder is closed and gated after Sept. 21st through the winter/early spring.
Luders Creek Campground Closed to Visitor NO WATER - closes in late Nov.  PACK IN/PACK OUT..  No drinking water for humans; designated watering area for stock in Luders Creek.
Marshall Park Campground Closed to Visitor NO WATER - Campground CLOSED and will reopen Memorial weekend 2016.
Mix Lake Campground Closed to Visitor Campground closed for the 2015 season Sept 7th. It will reopen-weather and road conditions permitting- on or close to Memorial Day 2016.
Mogote - Juniper Group Camping Site Closed to Visitor Campground closed for the 2015 season Sept 7th. It will reopen-weather and road conditions permitting- close to or on Memorial Day 2016
Mogote Campground Closed to Visitor Campground closed for the 2015 season Sept 7th.  It will reopen - weather and road conditions permiting- on or close to Memorial Day 2016.
North Clear Creek Campground Closed to Visitor Campground CLOSED will reopen Memorial weekend 2016.
North Crestone Creek Campground Closed to Visitor NO WATER - closes Nov. 24.  PACK IN/PACK OUT.
Palisade Campground Open to Visitor Open until weather closes access. No water or trash service after Labor Day until Memorial weekend.
Park Creek Campground Closed to Visitor Closed Labor Day until Memorial weekend 2016
Penitente Canyon Campground Open to Visitor BLM campground, phone 719 852-7074 for more information. Open year around unless closed by snow. 
Poso Campground Closed to Visitor NO WATER -  closes Nov. 24  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 2015 season due to Papoose fire and risk of flooding and mudslides.
Road Canyon Campground Open to Visitor NO WATER - Open until weather closes access. No trash service after Labor Day.
Rock Creek Campground Closed 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 Closed 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 Closed to Visitor Campground closed for the 2015 season on Sept 7th.  It will reopen-weather and road conditions permitting on or close to Memorial Day 2016.
Stone Cellar Campground Closed to Visitor NO WATER - closes Nov. 24.  PACK IN/PACK OUT.
Storm King Campground Closed to Visitor NO WATER  - closes Nov. 24.  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 Closed to Visitor CLOSED until Memorial weekend 2016
Trujillo Meadows Campground Closed to Visitor Campground closed for the 2015 season on Sept 7th.  It will reopen - weather and road conditions permitting- on or close to Memorial Day 2016.
Tucker Ponds Campground Closed to Visitor Open mid June through Labor day. Currently closed for the winter
Upper Beaver Creek Campground Closed to Visitor Campground CLOSED until Memorial weekend 2016.
Zapata Falls Campground Open to Visitor BLM campground, phone 719 852-7074 for more information. NO WATER - PACK IN PACK OUT   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.