10 Best Campgrounds in San Juan National Forest

In 1905, Teddy Roosevelt established the San Juan National Forest. It is said to be very beautiful.

The San Juan National Forest is located in Colorado and covers an area of 1.8 acres. Only thirty-one of the forty-seven campgrounds meet the criteria.

Ski slopes are now snow-covered all winter. Steam trains transport visitors through mountain valleys. People disagree on whether the most beautiful time of year is when the columbines bloom in the spring or when the aspens fall in the autumn.

Driving through the San Juan Mountains on the main road is the best way to see them.

The road is known as the Million Dollar Highway because if you fall off the cliff, your life insurance will be worth a million dollars. This is because it runs from Durango to Silverton and then to Ouray.

Here are some popular campgrounds to consider:

Campground in Florida

At Florida Campground, you can enjoy the great outdoors. The area is surrounded by trees and appears to be in the middle of a forest. With trees from Colorado blue spruce, aspen, and fir, you’ll have plenty of shade.

With the river running through the village, fishing is a popular pastime, and your line may never touch the water.

Take the short Lost Lake or Stump Lake trails to explore some backcountry lakes surrounded by wilderness beauty. On these trips, you will see a lot of beautiful sights.

The campground at Haviland Lake

This campground, located at 8,100 feet in the San Juan Mountain range on the eastern side, is unique in many ways. Highway 550 connects it to Durango, CO, twenty miles to the north.

To get to the camp, take the paved 550, which is well-marked and easy to navigate. Throughout the camps, signage will direct you from one station to the next. In addition, you might enjoy meeting friendly volunteers at your entrance pay station who are happy to answer any questions you have or provide an informative map of what’s in store for your visit in their own words.

Water, trash pickup, campfire rings, picnic tables, and restrooms are all available. There is firewood available. The majority of parks and campgrounds are accessible to everyone, including those with disabilities. This includes accessible areas, picnic areas, and restrooms.

The campground has single- and double-family campsites with electric hookups and picnic tables, fire rings, and handicapped toilets.

A dock is a location where people can fish. It is located on the lake’s shore. Anglers cast for trout; a fishing license from the Colorado Division of Wildlife is required.

There are several hiking trails in the area for visitors to explore. The Forebay Lake Trail begins at the campground and leads to small Forebay Lake less than a mile east of the campground.

The historic Rico-to-Rockwood Wagon Road runs through and through Haviland and Chris Park. The road built in the late 1800s was used for six years until the railroad arrived.

Campground Williams Creek

Visit Williams Creek Campground to rent a motorized boat! This area has camping opportunities for all types of vehicles, whether they are RVs or beat-up Subarus.

The water at Williams Creek Reservoir is calm, and fishing in the late fall or early spring is enjoyable. However, try to arrive early–the summer season sees a surge in popularity!

Wilson Creek, CG, has a variety of locations. Some are level and suitable for larger rigs, but most are well spaced, and some have excellent privacy.

The ponderosa forest has been thinned, with the majority of the stumps remaining as evidence. However, aspen, spruce, and fir are establishing themselves.

“Water and sewer are available at reservable sites. They are, however, welcoming to their neighbours. There is plenty of clean drinking water available throughout the campground, as well as restrooms with flush toilets or vault toilets.”

The campground’s roads are rough, dusty dirt and gravel that needs to be trimmed. We had no trouble towing our 23-foot Airstream trailer, however.

People visit this area because it is enjoyable to fish and ride ATVs. The campground is close to the Williams Reservoir. It’s a popular fishing spot, and people kayak there as well.

Within 5 miles of the campground, there are ATV and hiking trails.

Campground Lower Piedra

Lower Piedra Campground is located on the west side of US Highway 160, approximately 18 miles west of Bayfield and 25 miles west of Pagosa Springs.

It is approximately half a mile up Forest Road 621.

The campground, located on the west bank of the Assiniboine River, has 17 level sites with plenty of shade.

Lower Piedra Campground is a great spot to stay and fish. If you need to, you are welcome to take a break in the shade. There are places to visit nearby, such as the Chimney Rock Archaeological Area, where you can see Ancestral Puebloan sites.

The campground at Target Tree

Target Tree Campground is located seven miles east of Mancos. It’s a good place to stay if you’re planning a trip to Durango or Mesa Verde National Park.

When the Ute Indians used this area to gather food, they named it “Target Tree.” They would eat the bark and sap of Ponderosa pines that they had cut off. In addition, many trees were scarred by bullets fired from their guns while practising shooting targets.

You should be aware that you will be walking on sacred ground at this campground. It got its name from the Ute Indians who used to shoot arrows there.

The variety of bird species available at this location delights bird watchers, and views from hillside overlooks make for a picturesque setting.

The Narrow Gauge Trail is a great place to go hiking to get some fresh air. It begins at the campground and ascends to an old railroad grade.

Group Campground Transfer

Mancos is 11 miles north of Transfer Campground. The campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis, except for one group site that can be reserved.

This campground is located at an elevation of 8,500 feet above sea level. It has a lot of aspen trees. There are also nearby trails.

You can ride your ATV or motorcycle on a trail. Hike down the Big Al Interpretive Trail, Canyon Box Trail, and Rim Trail as well.

Fishing enthusiasts can visit Jackson Gulch Reservoir. There is a variety of fish there, including rainbow trout, brown trout, and yellow perch.

Miller Creek Camping Area

Mill Creek Campground, located within Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park, is a family-friendly campsite. You can make a reservation on the California State Parks website. Reservations are required for this park in California, and they tend to fill up in the summer.

There are numerous camping areas at the campground. Some sites are close together, while trees separate others.

The campground is quite a distance from the grocery store and town. The drive takes about 20 minutes.

The campground is lush and forested. Some locations are close together but not on top of each other.

Numerous sites are set back into redwood groves. And if you’re looking for something more secluded, you can also find it.

The park’s trees help to keep it quiet. If you’ve never seen redwoods before, come to camp here and marvel at their size!

This campground is not near a town or a store. However, because of its location, it is an excellent location for access to the park.

We can explore the park’s northern section, near the Hiouchi Visitor Center, and its southern section, near the Thomas H. Kuchel Visitor Center. This is a convenient location.

Mill Creek Campground is 2 miles after exiting Highway 101. It is located on a steep, paved road. However, once you’ve arrived at the campground, you won’t be able to hear the highway.

Some campgrounds provide bear boxes for food storage (it is illegal to keep food in your car), fire rings, and picnic tables.

There are no electrical hookups at any campsites, but the campground has an RV dump station. RVs up to 24 feet in length are permitted on the property.

Mineral Campground in the South

South Mineral Campground, located along South Mineral Creek, is one of the most popular campgrounds in the San Juan National Forest.

There are 26 campsites available, and they are all first-come, first-served. Because of the tall fir and spruce trees, most campsites provide shade. There are also asphalted parking areas for those with disabilities.

Water, trash pickup, fire grates, picnic tables, and restrooms are among the amenities provided. Bear-proof food storage is advised. There is no electricity or other services at the campground. Please keep them clean and properly pack them.

There are various campgrounds, ranging from shady camping areas to sunny RV-friendly campgrounds and even ADA accessible campsites.

You can camp at dispersed camping spots scattered along the road if you don’t want to fight for a campsite on the busiest days.

The Ice Lake Basin trail begins directly across the road. It is extremely difficult and steep. However, it is well worth the effort to see the high alpine lakes and wildflowers in the spring.

There are also some nice views, including a waterfall just upstream from camp. When you take it easy, you can see the view, and there is sometimes water falling over the edge.

Junction Creek Camping Area

Junction Creek Campground is in the city of Durango, Colorado. The campground is near the start of the Colorado Trail, and visitors can enjoy a scenic natural environment for hiking and biking.

The Colorado Trail, also known as the Junction Creek Trail, runs from here to Denver and is about 500 miles long. It begins in subalpine forests and meadows above the timberline.

Mountain biking is very popular on the nearby Colorado Trail and the Logchute Trail System.

Rainbow and brook trout can be caught in Junction Creek. You might have luck near the campground, but your chances improve as you climb higher.

There are numerous campgrounds where people can stay. The campground has electric campsites and a large shelter for when a large group of people arrives.

There are various types of websites. The majority have tables and a campfire. In addition, a volleyball court and horseshoe pits are available. They all have easily accessible toilets and drinking water.

The campground is located on a hill. It is densely forested with pine and oak trees. The campground is located at an elevation of 7,300 feet.

Campground on the West Fork

The West Fork Campground is situated near the West San Juan River. Visitors come for the hiking and the sense of solitude.

The West Fork and Wolf Creek are popular trout streams. However, only skilled and patient anglers have a good chance in these waters.

The Rainbow Trail, which leads to the Weminuche Wilderness, is a mile past the campground. The trail’s first section is on private property, so stay on it and keep it clean.

The campground provides sites near the river to make it more convenient for families. The majority of the sites are large enough to accommodate RVs. There are tables and fire rings for a campfire. There are also toilets and drinking water. If you want, you can also bring your pet on a leash.

A mixed conifer forest surrounds the campground, with sun or dark shaded patches depending on your preference. The West Fork can be heard but not seen from the campground.

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