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Best camping trails in Rio Grande National Forest, Colorado

283 Reviews
Explore the most popular camping trails in Rio Grande National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.
Map of camping trails in Rio Grande National Forest, Colorado
Park information
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Top trails (10)
#1 - Big Meadows Reservoir Trail
Rio Grande National Forest
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(75)
Length: 2.8 mi • Est. 1 h 7 m
Open year-round for summer hiking, horseback riding and winter X-country skiing. The trail is normally snowed in from December through May.Show more
#2 - Lobo Overlook and Continental Divide Trail
Rio Grande National Forest
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(80)
Length: 5 mi • Est. 2 h 37 m
#3 - Ruybalid Trail
Rio Grande National Forest
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(30)
Length: 9.6 mi • Est. 5 h 37 m
#4 - Archuleta Trail and Big Meadows Trail
Rio Grande National Forest
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(45)
Length: 6.5 mi • Est. 3 h 16 m
#5 - Zapata Falls Campground
Rio Grande National Forest
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(15)
Length: 1 mi • Est. 25 m
Zapata Falls Campround is a for fee national forest campground with primitive camping. It is located in view of the Great Sand Dunes National Park. It is also located at the trailhead to Zapata Falls. This trail follows the path of the campground. Accessibility: This packed sediment trail is estimated to range from 10-15 feet wide. This is a shared path with the roadway but cars must travel slow. The slope is estimated to range from 1-11%. Some portions may be gentle or moderately steep in slope but other portions may be consistently steep, especially for those with manual mobility equipment. Show more
#6 - Bennett Peak and Windy Point
Rio Grande National Forest
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(8)
Length: 6.4 mi • Est. 4 h 16 m
#7 - Big Lake Trail
Rio Grande National Forest
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray Star(9)
Length: 5.6 mi • Est. 3 h 6 m
There are fences (barb wire and old posts) through out the trail that need open and closed if you have a large pack--or can be climbed under if small pack and you are flexible. With fences comes cows and the trail can be muddy because of this reason. After the 1st lake you can find a trail to the left--after a small hill climb you find an easier trail-than if you would have gone straight. You do have to 'jump' a small stream if you go this way. The lake is catch and release, but easy to fish. There are a few camping spots, but a lot of the wood has been used up so don't plan on a roaring fire unless you bring a way to cut the dead wood around.Show more
#8 - Rock Creek Upper Camp Trail
Rio Grande National Forest
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(4)
Length: 1.4 mi • Est. 52 m
#9 - Embargo Trail, Benino Trail, Groundhog and Cathedral Creek Trail Loop
Rio Grande National Forest
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray Star(2)
Length: 12.2 mi • Est. 6 h 56 m
#10 - Beartown, West Ute, East Ute, Flint Creek, Rock Creek and CDT Loop
Rio Grande National Forest
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow Star(4)
Length: 30.2 mi • Est. Multi-day
This is a beautiful 3-5 day loop in the Weminuche wilderness. The CDT and Ute sections of the trail are well marked, while the other side trails are sometimes overgrown. Camping is possible around lakes except for West Ute Lake and Flint Lake. Breathtaking views on the CDT sections. The detour to the gorgeous Flink Lake can be skipped by simply staying on CDT, there by shortening the hike by 1/2-1 day. Note that this detour a bit more strenuous that it seems because the trail is a bit overgrown.Show more