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Top 5 Camping Areas Near Telluride

Outdoor Activities

Who wouldn’t like a night out under the stars?  It’s nearly impossible to beat connecting with Mother Nature. And it only gets better by doing so in and around Telluride in a cozy sleeping bag.  The Telluride area provides a plethora of amazing locations for you to enjoy camping in the heart of Colorado’s San Juan Mountains. From backpacking destinations to walk-in and drive-in campgrounds, there are options for just about anyone. Here’s our list of the top 5 camping areas near Telluride, Colorado.

Top 5 Camping Areas Near Telluride

Telluride Town Park Campground

  • Telluride Town Park Campground (Fee for Camping)

Located right in the middle town is one of Telluride’s best camping opportunities.  The Campground opens in the middle of May and closes in the middle of October.  Unless there is a music festival – and you’ll definitely want to check because there are many – no reservations are accepted.  There are 28 vehicle sites that have a 6 person/ 2 vehicle 1 RV limit (10 sites are larger to accommodate most RVs). There are also 5 walk-In sites with a 4 person/ 1 vehicle limit. Telluride Town Park and Campground is located at 500 E Colorado Ave, Telluride, CO 81435.

Find additional info by contacting Telluride Parks & Rec at: (970) 728-2173 or

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  • Alta Lakes Campground (No Fee)

Alta Lakes is a popular dispersed camping area that offers fishing and camping in a spectacular high alpine setting. There are approximately 10 primitive camping spots that are completely undeveloped. The access road to the area is one lane, is not very well maintained, and requires a high clearance vehicle.

Directions: Travel approximately 5 miles south of Telluride, CO on State Highway 145. Turn east (left) on Forest Road #623 (Alta Lakes Road), and climb about 3 miles. You’ll pass the old mining ghost town of Alta before you get to the lake. Camping is allowed around the lake.

  • Matterhorn Campground (Fee for Camping)

The Matterhorn Campground is a highly developed campground adjacent to Colorado State Highway 145 near Telluride, CO. There are 28 campsites, with 4 of them offering RV hookups (electricity and septic).  Maximum spur length – 45 feet.  Most sites on the outer side of the campground loop are wooded.  Sites on the inside of the loop are more open.  Most sites have pleasant views, but the walk-in tent sites have incredible, unobstructed, panoramic views of the mountains.  Showers are available to both overnight and day guests.  All sites have picnic tables, combination fire-rings and grills, and lantern poles.

Directions: To get to the campground from Telluride, travel west 3 miles to Highway 145.  Turn left and travel south for 8 miles.  The campground is on the east (left) side of the highway.

  • Priest Lake Dispersed Camping Area (No Fee)

Priest Lake Dispersed Camping Area is a popular spot with no designated camping sites. The terrain limits the number of campsites, but small pop-up campers and tents can nuzzle in here. There is a vault restroom on site. Limited fishing is available at Priest Lake. The nearby Galloping Goose Trail offers hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking opportunities.

Directions: Travel approximately 8 miles south on State Highway 145 from Telluride, CO. Turn left on Forest Road #628 just before the turn into the Matterhorn Campground. Forest Road #628 loops around to Trout Lake and accesses State Highway 145.

  • Sunshine Campground (Fee for Camping)

The Sunshine Campground is a single loop, paved campground with 15 campsites nestled in a dense aspen forest featuring a small mountain lake.  Maximum spur length – 35 feet.  Many of the sites have a spectacular view of Sunshine Peak.

Directions: To get to the campground from Telluride, travel west 3 miles to Highway 145. Turn left and travel south for 5 miles. The campground is on the right side of road (opposite of the Alta Lakes Road).

Did we miss any of your favorites in our Top 5 Camping Areas Near Telluride list?  Or have you recently visited one of these campsites?  We’d love to hear from you in our comment section below.

Josh T

Josh is a native son and big fan of pack burro racing. He thru-hiked the Colorado Trail, loves running and biking, and is passionate about sharing his favorite journeys and experiences with others. You can typically find Josh out exploring the less beaten paths under Colorado's sunny skies.

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