This small, rustic campground is just outside of the town of Crestone in the San Luis Valley. There is a bathroom but no water or trash service, with a $7 per-night camping fee. The 13 sites are spread apart more than many campgrounds, with plenty of trees in-between, giving a secluded wilderness feel even though you have your car. Speaking of wilderness, the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness is very close to the campground. The North Crestone Lake Trail begins at this campground. This is also a great campground for those visiting the eclectic town of Crestone, where there are shrines and temples for a dozen or more Eastern religions, thanks to a property owner who gave away land to any religious group wishing to build on it.
In the late spring of 2014, heavy snow in the mountains above the campground combined with heavy rain at lower elevations flooded this campground, forcing campers to evacuate. So check the weather before heading there.
- The North Crestone Creek Trail is beautiful but long six-mile route to reach North Crestone Lake. Hikers looking for even longer adventures can cross the crest of the Sangre de Cristos over Comanche or Venable passes.
- For an easier hike, drive back into Crestone and hike the South Crestone Trail, which after four miles leads to a pretty alpine lake.
- There’s a golf course near the campground, and the mountain views make it one of Colorado’s prettiest. There’s a nine-hole disc golf course there as well.
Recommended season(s): Mid-May – late November.
—R. Scott Rappold