Friday, June 19, 2015

Matterhorn Campground, Telluride, CO



After leaving Navajo National Monument we entered Colorado, where we were planning to hang around Cortez and Durango for awhile. With the heat we knew camping without hookups was not an option, so after stopping for gas in Cortez we continued north towards Telluride along Highway 145, part of the San Juan Skyway Scenic Byway. Jim made me stop to pick up a pie at the Dolores General Store, where they had one rhubarb pie left, which was as good as we remembered from a few years ago. It really is a beautiful drive with the snow covered San Juans visible along the climb to 10,000’ Lizard head Pass.

We had been this way in 2012 and stayed at Cayton Campground near the small town of Rico, but we were hoping to get a site at Sunshine Campground, just a few miles from Telluride. After driving over 200 miles we pulled in behind a trailer who was getting the last RV site. The camp host suggested we go back 4 miles to Matterhorn Campground, where we were lucky to get a nice open site. This forest service campground even has sites with full hookups and a couple were available but we didn’t need electric at over 9,000’ elevation. They also have very nice showers, water but no dump station. It was surprisingly warm, though, compared to when we were in this area in July when it was quite cold and rainy.


The camp hosts told us about a trail just across from our site that intersected with a dirt road to Priest and Trout Lakes.






Trout Lake. There are private cabins all around the lake.



We could only stay one night as we were in a reservation site with someone coming in the next day, but with a one o’clock check out we had plenty of time for another walk before we left. This time we detoured off the road and walked around smaller Priest Lake.



That’s our Lazy Daze in the center of this photo. A very nice spot.


We would have stayed the 7 day limit if the site hadn’t been reserved, but the Telluride Bluegrass Festival is this weekend, which is apparently a really big deal, and everything was expected to be full for miles around. After months of playing tourist and doing way too much moving around, we needed a place to get some packages delivered and to do some projects we’ve been putting off, so I found us a site for a month in a part of Colorado we haven’t been to before, but I’ll save that for the next post. Sometimes we just need to stop and catch our breath.


  1. The Lizard Head Wilderness is one of our fondest memories of CO. We spent a few weeks there some years ago. Looks like you hit it at the perfect time. Those wild flowers are stunning!

  2. Wow, what a gorgeously green location. Too bad you couldn't stay longer. The Telluride Bluegrass Festival is a Really big deal, although I've never been. Looking forward to more of CO.

  3. Oh my you were in a gorgeous area! Love the aspen photo.

    Can't wait to see what you get into for the next month!

  4. Just beautiful! Glad you found a cool home if only for a night:) I do think Colorado's state flower should be the dandelion. They are everywhere and bigger than any I've seen.

  5. So glad you found a spot for the night, and quite a lovely view you had as well. Looking forward to hearing more about your month stay in CO. We really need to get back to that state and spend some quality time.

  6. The trees are so gorgeous. I loved Colorado in June, still very much Spring there. Your spot looks perfect, too bad you had to move on. Should be nice to get off the road for a bit, looking forward to seeing where you land.

  7. We tried to stay there one year and it wasn't open yet for the summer. Really messed up my plans. I know what you mean about needing to rest. After touring every day in CA, we're slowing down in Oregon.

  8. We were just in that area two days ago! Yes, Telluride is full. We stayed overnight in Durango and are now in Santa Fe. The Rockies are beautiful!!!