McPhee Campground

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

Overlooking a large body of water from above.

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. The campground is on a mesa 500 feet above the reservoir, with road access to the boat launch area. There are no lakefront sites. Piñon and juniper trees offer some shade, but the area is hot in summer. The half-mile Can Do Trail climbs to a scenic overlook with panoramic views of the reservoir and the beautiful peaks surrounding Mesa Verde to the south. The reservoir is stocked with warm- and cold-water species of fish. 

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).

McPhee Campground map (PDF, 97 KB)

Points of interest

  • Doc's Marina at McPhee is a full service marina and boat launch open May through October. Boat Rentals, Daily fishing information, BBQ Grills, Depth finder, Fishing rods and tackle.
  • McPhee Boat Launch - Boat ramps are closed unless there are mussel inspectors on site. 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.

At a Glance

Reservations: Reserve online at or by calling Toll Free 1-877-444-6777 (International 518-885-3639 or TDD 877-833-6777)
Usage: Heavy
Closest Towns: Dolores, CO
Water: Yes
Restroom: Flush Toilets (9)
Operated By: Concessionaire
Information Center: Dolores, Ranger District (970) 882-7296

General Information

General Notes:

Boat ramps are closed unless there are mussel inspectors on site.

McPhee Boat Inspection Sign


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.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


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