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Sleep Under the Stars

There’s no better feeling than sleeping under the stars in the San Juans. From well-established campgrounds with bathrooms and showers to backcountry dispersed camping, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in our neck of the woods. 

Our Favorite Places to Camp Near Telluride

  • Telluride Town Park - This is a favorite for obvious reasons. Located in the woods surrounding Telluride’s Town Park, this campground is perfectly situated in the box canyon. Walk to everything Telluride has to offer! There are no reservations taken in advance; each campsite is first-come, first-served. Sleeping in any vehicle is not permitted in Telluride. 

  • Alta Lakes - Located just a short drive outside of Telluride, Alta Lakes is a scenic dispersed campground. Situated between three lakes high in the San Juans, this campground is heavily trafficked, but a beautiful place to spend a few nights in the summer. There are 20 designated campsites with portable toilets. High-clearance vehicles are recommended to reach the sites.

  • Sunshine Campground - Located three miles from Telluride off of Highway 145, Sunshine Campground is a single-loop paved campground with 15 campsites. Each has stunning views of Sunshine Peak. There are no reservations; it is a first-come, first-served campsite with fees for camping, showers and firewood. Two composting toilets are available. 

  • Priest Lake - Situated near Trout Lake, Priest Lake is a popular dispersed camping spot known for its great location near fishing, horseback riding and mountain biking. There are no reservations; it is a first-come, first-served campsite. There is a vault toilet onsite. No trailers are permitted. 

  • Matterhorn Campground - Matterhorn is another great spot located near Trout Lake. This is a highly developed campground, with 28 campsites (four of which have RV hookups). Showers, flush toilets, picnic tables, lantern poles, fire rings and grills are all available for guest use. Firewood is available for an extra fee. Some campsites require reservations, while others are first-come, first-served. Click here to make a reservation. 

  • Mary E Campground - This spot is beloved for its close proximity to Telluride. Located just six miles west on Highway 145, this popular spot has 15 first-come, first-served designated campsites, each with a picnic table. Campfires are strictly prohibited, but portable toilets and dumpsters are provided. Trailers and RVs are allowed as long as they are under 22 feet.

  • Dispersed Camping on National Forest Land - Dispersed camping is a popular way to experience Telluride. Dispersed camping consists of staying on National Forest land in non-designated camping areas. Dispersed camping does require more care for those spending time in the wilderness. All campers should “Leave No Trace” and “Pack It In - Pack It Out” and stay 100-200 feet away from any road, trail or water source, including lakes and streams. All campers should attempt to use areas where campers have already stayed, such as spots with rock campfire rings. Please be aware of all restrictions before heading to the San Juans for dispersed camping. Click here for further information about dispersed camping, as well as rules and regulations.

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