Big Meadows Campground and Picnic Area

Area Status: Closed
This area is Closed
 
  • “Campers staying at Big Meadows between September 7 and 11, 2018 can expect loud noises between 9 am and 6 pm due to a blasting project in the Spruce Lakes area, approximately 5 miles southwest of the campground”.

 Big Meadows is located in the San Juan Mountains in south-central Colorado, about 11 miles west of South Fork. The campground is lightly wooded with spruce trees, creating a beautiful meadow atmosphere. 

The Rio Grande National Forest spans 1.86 million acres in south-central Colorado. The Continental Divide runs for 236 miles along most of the forest's western border, presenting a myriad of ecosystems from alpine desert to dense wilderness.

Natural Features:

The campground meanders up a mountainside above Big Meadows Reservoir in a series of loops. As a sub-alpine region, the campground gets more rainfall than the opposite side of the lake, resulting in plentiful wildflowers and aspens surrounding the campsites.

Recreation:

An accessible fishing pier, located on the north shore of the reservoir, allows anglers to cast for rainbow, brown and brook trout. Hunting, boating and hiking are also popular pastimes. 

Hikers and horseback riders will enjoy the 6-mile Archuleta Trail. The trail accesses the Weminuche Wilderness, Colorado's largest wilderness, which boasts the headwaters of dozens of major streams and rivers that feed into the Rio Grande and San Juan rivers.

Facilities:

Each site has a campfire ring and picnic tables. Drinking water is available. 

The nearest dump station is 13 miles away, and a boat ramp is located on the north shore of the reservoir.

There is a picnic area adjacent to this campground.

Nearby Attractions:

The surrounding area has plenty to keep visitors busy, with attractions like Great Sand Dunes National Park, Native American ruins, remnants of the Spanish Conquistadors and gold rush ghost towns. The Sangre de Cristo and San Juan Ranges are laced with trails for avid hikers.

Fish Your National Forests: This site can be accessed by Passenger Car; Fish available include: Trout, Native Trout; Types of fishing available include: Wade, Shore, Non-motorized boat, Float tube, Fly, Spin, Bait; ADA Accessible fishing access with fishing pier and boat launch

At a Glance

Current Conditions: CLOSED AND GATED FOR WINTER ON 9/10/2018...........HOWEVER SEVERAL SITES ON THE OUTSIDE LOOP STAY OPEN FOR DISPERSED CAMPERS WITH OPEN TOILET AT BOAT RAMP
Operational Hours: THE CAMPGROUND WILL RE-OPEN FULLY FOR MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND 2019   IN THE LATE FALL BIG MEADOWS CAMPGROUND WILL CLOSE THE UPPER LOOPS AFTER LABOR DAY AROUND  9/10/2018, DRAIN THE WATER , AND CLOSE THE GATES FOR THE WINTER.   SEVERAL SITES OUTSIDE THE LOWER LOOP WILL REMAIN OPEN FOR DRY CAMPING UNTIL SNOWED IN.  ALL RESTROOMS ARE CLOSED EXCEPT THE BOAT RAMP RESTROOM ON THE NORTH SIDE OF THE LAKE.  IT WILL REMAIN OPEN ALL WINTER.  .
Reservations: Reservations can be made by visiting Recreation.gov.  Reservations must be made at least 4 days ahead of arrival and can be made up to 6 months in advance for standard sites or 12 months in advance for group areas.
 
Area Amenities: Accessible,Boat ramp,Tent camping,Picnic tables,Toilets,Drinking water,Parking
Fees $20/Night for single unit, $40/Night for double unit $70 per night for group area.
Open Season: Memorial Day - Mid September
Usage: Heavy
Best Season: June, July, August, Sept.
Busiest Season: July
Restrictions: On Big Meadows Reservoir, boats allowed, no wakes, trolling motors OK, boat ramp north shore. 14 day camping limit in Campground. Must have a Colorado Fishing License to fish the reservoir and streams.
Closest Towns: South Fork, CO
Water: Drinking Water
Restroom: Vault Toilet
Information Center: Electric hookups are not available This campground has first-come, first-served sites A fee will be charged for additional vehicles The 14 day stay limit is strictly enforced. Camping for a period longer than 14 days during any 30-consecutive day period is prohibited. If you have booked back-to-back reservations, you will be asked to cancel all days after the first 14.

General Information

Directions:

GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
37.53806, -106.79611
37°32'17"N, 106°47'46"W

From South Fork, Colorado, take Highway 160 for 13 miles west, turn onto Forest Road 410 SW, and go 1.8 miles to Big Meadows Campground.


Accessibility:

Accessible sites and fishing access.


Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information

Activities


Camping & Cabins

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Fishing

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Hiking

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Nature Viewing

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Picnicking

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Scenic Driving

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Water Activities

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Winter Sports

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Amenities

Picnic tables
Drinking water Will be available later in the summer
Toilets
Parking
Boat ramp
Tent camping
Accessible


https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/riogrande/recarea/?recid=28918