If the San Luis Valley isn’t already a stop within your next Colorado road trip—it certainly should be! The region encompasses some of Southern Colorado’s top destinations and mystic sights, such as the Great Sand Dunes National Park, Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Rio Grande, Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad, and much, much more. Aside from offering a full spectrum of outdoor activities, our region has numerous places to set up camp—whether that means pitching a tent or finding a spot to park your RV or van.
Upon arriving, expansive and welcoming views will greet you as soon as you make your way into the “valley” which is formed by or surrounding mountains. If taking the scenic route is your preference, we recommend cruising in or out of town via “Los Caminos Aniguos”, one of Colorado’s 26 official scenic byways. Translated to “the ancient roads”, this route traverses through Colorado’s oldest town, oldest parish, and one of the first military posts. This is a notoriously great way to start or wrap up a road trip to Alamosa.
Commercial Campgrounds in and Around Alamosa
Once in the valley, you’ll have your pick from a plethora of RV Campgrounds. 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 cafe, 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. It 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 pinyon 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, which can be done on their website here.
Another option is Zapata Falls campground. Managed by the Bureau of Land Management, this campground sits at the trailhead of the popular Zapata Falls hike. You can expect spectacular views of the entire San Luis Valley from this campsite and reservations are made on a first-come, first-served basis.
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! For a full list of our recommended RV and campground locations, click here.
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. If you're looking for a glamping experience, Joyful Journey in Moffat offers Yurts, Tipis, as well as hotel rooms, RV and tent sites. Also in Moffat, Valley View Hot Springs offers tent and RV sites.
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