Recreation

Special Note

The Rio Grande National Forest continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation and evaluate potential impacts and adjustments to reservations and our reservation policies through Recreation.gov. Reservation holders will be notified via email and/or cell phone text messages if there are any changes affecting their reservation. In the event of delayed openings of some, part or all of the campgrounds and cabins to ensure safe social distancing, you will receive a full refund for your reservation. Please remember to review current recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and focus on recreating safely while protecting yourself, Forest Service employees and our volunteers.

Recreation on the Rio Grande National Forest

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. 

Rio Grande National Forest offers a number of accessible recreational facilities and visitor discounts with the Interagency Access Pass for fees charged on national forests.

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

Information on proposed recreation fee increases.

Recreation Conditions Report

 Area Name Status Area Conditions
Alamosa Campground Open to Visitor 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
Big Meadows Campground and Picnic Area Open to Visitor
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 The Campground is closed and gated during the winter months. Normally opens around Memorial Day and closes after labor Day.
Buffalo Pass Campground Open to Visitor Open on or after May 28. NO WATER -  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 OPEN FOR CAMPING YEAR AROUND UNLESS THE ROAD IS CLOSED DUE TO MUD/SNOW. NO TRASH SERVICE OR RECEPTICLES. PLEASE PACK OUT ALL GARBAGE. PACK IN - PACK OUT. NO WATER
Conejos Campground Open to Visitor
Cross Creek Campground Open to Visitor This campground is really open year around as the main access road is plowed in the winter.  Deep snow can sometimes physically close the individual campsites between December and March.  No water is availabe here in the off season, but the pit toilet is open.  From Memorial Day to Labor Day a concessionaire manages the campground and trucks in potable water, sets up trash service. NO WATER OR TRASH SERVICE DURING FALL, WINTER, AND SPRING
Elk Creek Campground Open to Visitor
Elk Creek Overflow Campground Open to Visitor
Highway Springs Campground Closed to Visitor
Ivy Creek Campground Open to Visitor NO WATER. PACK IN PACK OUT.
Lake Fork Campground Open to Visitor
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 SITES 1-5 REMAIN OPEN YEAR ROUND, BUT NO WATER OR TRASH SERVICES ARE PROVIDED.PACK IN - PACK OUT
Luders Creek Campground Open to Visitor NO WATER - �PACK IN/PACK OUT..� No drinking water for humans; designated watering area for stock in Luders Creek.
Marshall Park Campground Open to Visitor CLOSED AND GATED FOR THE WINTER MONTHS. SCHEDULED TO REOPEN MEMORIAL WEEKEND WHILE CLOSING AFTER LABOR DAY WEEKEND.
Mix Lake Campground Closed to Visitor Due to the Spruce Beetle Infestation, Mixed Lake will be closed for approximately 3-5 years. Conejos Campground, located next to Spectacle Lake, will be partially open during this time.
Mogote - Juniper Group Camping Site Closed to Visitor
Mogote Campground Open to Visitor
North Clear Creek Campground Open to Visitor CLOSED AND GATED IN THE WINTER MONTHS. SCHEDULED TO OPEN MEMORIAL WEEKEND AND CLOSE AFTER LABOR DAY WEEKEND.
North Crestone Creek Campground Open to Visitor NO WATER - Camp host on site. PACK IN/PACK OUT.
Palisade Campground Open to Visitor THIS CAMPGROUND IS OPEN YEAR AROUND UNLESS DEEP SNOW BLOCKS THE ACCESS ROAD.  FROM MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND THROUGH LABOR DAY THERE IS WATER, TRASH SERVICE, AND A FEE.    DURING THE OFF SEASON THERE IS NO WATER, TRASH MUST BE PACKED OUT, NO FEE.
Park Creek Campground Open to Visitor CLOSED AND GATED DURING THE WINTER MONTHS. OPEN FROM MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND THROUGH LABOR DAY WEEKEND EACH YEAR.
Penitente Canyon Campground Open to Visitor NO WATER AT THIS TIME --- This is a BLM campground.  Phone 719-852-7074 for more information. Open year around unless closed by snow. 
Poso Campground Open to Visitor NO WATER -   PACK IN/PACK OUT.
Rio Grande Campground Open to Visitor No drinking water is available. weather or muddy road closes access.
River Hill Campground Open to Visitor CLOSED AND GATED DURING THE WINTER MONTHS. OPEN MEMORIAL WEEKEND THROUGH LABOR DAY WEEKEND EACH YEAR.
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 - No trash service before Memorial Day and after Labor Day.
Rock Creek Picnic Site Open to Visitor Closed by winter snow and muddy roads from December 15th until Memorial weekend. Open for day use picnicing only. NO OVERNIGHT CAMPING ALLOWED
Silver Thread Campground Open to Visitor NORMALLY THIS CAMPGROUND IS OPEN YEAR AROUND UNLESS DEEP SNOW BLOCKS THE ACCESS ROAD FROM MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND THROUGH LABOR DAY WEEKEND THE CAMPGROUND HAS WATER, TRASH SERVICE, AND A FEE. AFTER LABOR DAY THERE IS NO WATER, NO FEE, NO TRASH SERVICE, YOU MUST PACK OUT TRASH.
Spectacle Lake Campground Open to Visitor
Stone Cellar Campground Open to Visitor NO WATER -� PACK IN/PACK OUT.
Storm King Campground Open to Visitor NO WATER �- �PACK IN/PACK OUT.
Stunner Campground Open to Visitor CAMPGROUND HAS A RESTROOM but NO WATER. Open early to mid-June, depending on snow depth. Campground stays open until weather closes it.
Thirty Mile Campground Open to Visitor NORMALLY THIS CAMPGROUND IS OPEN YEAR AROUND UNLESS DEEP SNOW BLOCKS THE 520 ACCESS ROAD AT ROAD CANYON RESERVOIR. FROM MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND THROUGH LABOR DAY WEEKEND THE CAMPGROUND HAS WATER, TRASH SERVICE, AND A FEE. AFTER LABOR DAY THERE IS NO WATER, NO FEE, NO TRASH SERVICE, YOU MUST PACK OUT TRASH.
Trujillo Meadows Campground Open to Visitor Open mid June, closes Labor Day
Tucker Ponds Campground Closed to Visitor CLOSED AND GATED FOR THE WINTER MONTHS. OPEN FROM MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND THROUGH LABOR DAY WEEKEND.
Upper Beaver Creek Campground Open to Visitor THE MAIN LOOP IS CLOSED AND GATED FOR THE WINTER MONTHS. CAMPGROUND IS OPEN FROM MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND THROUGH LABOR DAY WEEKEND. THE 4 SITES ON THE SOUTH END ARE AVAILABLE FOR CAMPING YEAR AROUND BUT NO WATER, TRASH,  OR TOILET ARE AVAILABLE.
Zapata Falls Campground Open to Visitor NO WATER --- This is a BLM campground. Phone 719-852-7074 for more information. Open year around unless closed by snow. 


https://www.fs.usda.gov/recmain/riogrande/recreation