South Mineral Campground

Area Status: Open

South Mineral Campground, located along South Mineral Creek, is one of the most popular campgrounds in the San Juan National Forest. The campground has 26 sites, all of which are first-come, first-serve.  Most campsites are shaded and well-spaced thanks to spruce and fir trees. Some sites are handicapped accessible.  Some sites have large parking areas.

Services include water, trash pickup, fire grates, picnic tables, and pit toilets. Bear-safe food storage is recommended. No electricity.  Between September and May, this campground has no services (water, electric, trash pick up or rest rooms). Please keep them clean and pack it out. 

Nearby peaks have cliffs of brilliant color-contrasting reds and grays. A waterfall on the creek just upstream from the campground adds to the attraction of the area. But the main attraction is the trail adjacent to the campground, Ice Lake Trail, a strenuous, steep, and popular hike.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Check out our Campground Status for up-to-date information.
Reservations: All first-come, first-serve.
Fees: $34
Open Season: Mid-May - September
  • Quiet time is typically between 10pm - 6am. Please be a good neighbor and limit use of generators to no more than one hour at a time.
  • Dogs must be leashed or otherwise physically restrained. Do not leave pets unattended.
  • Check-out time: 12:00 pm; Check-in time: 2:00 pm - if the site is empty, campers may come in anytime.
  • Standard single site occupancy is 8, but a single family with > 8 members is acceptable.
  • Equipment with wheels (RVs, campers, cars) must fit in the parking spur.  There is not any overflow parking available.
  • Max RV size = 35 ft
Closest Towns: Silverton
Water: Potable Water
Restroom: Vault Toilet (2)
Operated By: Concessionaire
Information Center: Columbine Ranger District

General Information


From Silverton: Follow Hwy 550 two miles west of Silverton. Turn left (west) and follow Forest Road 585 for 4 miles to the campground entrance. The road parallels South Mineral Creek the creek, and is driveable by 2WD. Just past the campground, the road becomes 4WD. South Mineral Campground is the last developed camping area along U.S. Highway 550 on the San Juan National Forest.

Driving off-road is prohibited, but many other 4WD roads in the Silverton and Red Mountain Pass areas are open to motorized use.

South Mineral Campground area map

General Notes:
  • Nearby Dispersed Camping: South Mineral Campground does not take reservations, all sites are first come first served.  Dispersed camping along Forest Rd. 585 is allowed only in designated camping areas which include Anvil, Bear and Sultan Camping Areas. Do not camp within 100 ft of any water source. Respect posted directions and instructions.  Be aware that this area is extremely busy. 
  • Ice Lake TrailIt leads up above timberline to high alpine lakes surrounded by meadows of wildflowers and rocky peaks. 
  • Fishing: Clear Lake is a 3-mile hike north of the campground, and Ice Lake is a strenuous, steep, and popular 3-mile hike west. Mineral Creek is another option.
  • Four-wheel-drive roads lead in all directions from Silverton. North of South Mineral Creek on Hwy 550, near Red Mountain Pass, routes lead west off U.S. Highway 550 to Ophir Pass and Black Bear Pass. These roads are also suitable for mountain biking and landscape photography.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Campground Camping

RV Camping

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


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