If you’re planning to get away from the hustle and bustle of city living and want a quiet, nature escape, there’s no place better than the beautiful, affordable and uncrowded San Luis Valley. Covering an approximate 8,000 square mile expanse, this alpine valley has endless opportunities for you to get away are find your “free”. Discover the countless outdoor recreation options during the day under our expansive blue skies, and camp each night under a star-filled night sky (the Great Sand Dunes is now internationally recognized for the quality of its night sky). Don’t know where to begin? Here’s some of our favorite places to camp in the San Luis Valley!
Commercial Campgrounds In & Around Alamosa
If you’re in search for a campsite with full hookups, look no further than the many RV Parks around Alamosa. These locations offer sites for RVs and tents, providing all the fun of camping, but with the added benefits of amenities right on site. Located in the city of Alamosa is Cool Sunshine RV Park, which is within walking distance of Alamosa’s downtown. East of town, en route to the Great Sand Dunes (and featuring amazing views of Mount Blanca), are Alamosa KOA Campground, Basecamp Family Campground and Alamosa Economy Campground. Only miles from the Great Sand Dunes National Park entrance, you’ll find the Great Sand Dunes Oasis, which in addition to RV and tent sites, has a café, store and offers sandboard rentals!
Public Lands in the San Luis Valley
If you’re looking to camp on some of Colorado’s most beautiful public lands, we’ve got you covered. Piñon Flats is the Great Sand Dunes National Park campground located one mile North of the Visitors Center. was selected as one of the best campgrounds in America's National Parks by Fodor's Travel, and it’s not hard to see why. The campground is situated among pinon pines, sagebrush and wildflowers, beneath the majestic Sangre de Cristo Mountains, and of course features a beautiful view of the Great Sand Dunes. The park recommends making a reservation in advance. Another option is Zapata Falls campground. Managed by the Bureau of Land Management, this campground sits at the trailhead to Zapata Falls. You can expect spectacular views of the entire San Luis Valley from this campsite. There are no reservations for this site. The San Luis State Wildlife Area is another option to consider. The campsites here have panoramic views of San Luis Lake, the Great Sand Dunes and the Sangre de Cristo mountains. Managed by Colorado Parks and Wildlife, this campground is also first come, first served. Finally, there are almost innumerable options to camp in the San Luis Valley region of the Rio Grande National Forest. Dispersed camping is allowed on most of the forest for a maximum of 14 days in a 30-day period. There are also a number of campgrounds around Antonito, Creede, Crestone, Monte Vista, South Fork and more!
Camping…But With Hot Springs
It’s no secret that the San Luis Valley has many amazing hot springs to choose from. But what you may not realize that you can also camp on site at many of them. After a long day of hiking trails, fishing, or any other of the San Luis Valley’s many outdoor adventures, you can soak your muscles in the healing waters of geothermal hot springs. Sand Dunes Recreation in Hooper offers cabin rentals in addition to RV and tent sites. With a 150,000 gallon pool and an adults-only Greenhouse, this beautiful Oasis will take your camping trip to the next level. Plus, you can eat at the Mile Deep Grille, grab a drink at the Steel Box Bar or get a round of virtual golf in at Fruition Golf. If you’re looking for a glamping experience, Joyful Journey in Moffat offers Yurts, Tipis, as well as hotel rooms, RV and tent sites. This peaceful getaway offers a variety of spa services-including massages, facials and more. Also in Moffat, Valley View Hot Springs offers tent and RV sites. In this mountainside paradise, you’ll find river rock creating pools of hot water right in the river itself. It is a unique place be completely immersed in nature, as the entire grounds are clothing optional.
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This is not an all-inclusive list-there are countless camping opportunities for you to discover in the San Luis Valley! Did we miss your favorite? Let us know! Tell us your favorite place to go camping in the San Luis Valley on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook-just add the hashtag #VisitAlamosa before you post!