Amphitheatre Campground is located at the elevation of 8,400 feet on the side of a mountain above Ouray, CO. Views from the drive up are incredible. The campground is compact with 35 camping spots nestled among Gambel oaks and mixed conifers. There is a scenic overlook from the campground of Ouray and the "Amphitheater," which was formed by a volcanic explosion. Wildlife roam through the campground including bears so mind your trash!
Note: The campground is best suited for tent camping and smaller trailers/RVs (RVs can park at sites 3 through 15, take the second right and follow the "trailer" signs). Total RV length should not exceed 35 feet.
Open late May through September only.
From Ouray, travel approximately 2 miles south on Highway 550. Watch for the campground sign and turnoff road to the left.
RV Sites/Services Available
Vehicles are not to exceed 35 feet for standard sites
Tent sites available
•Picnic Table/Campfire Ring
See website for camping fees
Balcony House may only be accessed by guided tour. Cliff dwelling tours are offered from April 1 to November 1st. Park rangers lead all tours, explaining the history of the Ancient Puebloan people and the cliff dwellings.
This one-hour, ranger-guided tour involves climbing a 32 ft. ladder, crawling through a 12ft-long tunnel, and climbing up a 60ft open rock face with two 10ft ladders to exit the site. Not suitable for young children.
See website for current pricing.
Where to buy tickets: Colorado Welcome Center (I recommend here), Mesa Verde Visitor Research Center (right outside park), Morefield Ranger Station, and Chapin Mesa Archeological Center.
Tour Tip: Purchase tickets up to two days before tour day as tours tend to sell out in peak seasons. Bring sunscreen and water on your tour.
Cortez-Mesa Verde KOA is conveniently located on the east end of Cortez on Hwy 160 and provides the perfect locale for trips to Mesa Verde National Park, Anasazi Heritage Center, Escalante Ruins and Hovenweep N.M. to name a few. This campground is set back from the hwy and provides nicely spaced sites with the ones on the outer ring with shade trees. Facilities are clean and well maintained.
27432 E. Hwy 160, Cortez, CO 81321
RV Sites/Services Available
All RV Sites are pull-thru:
Water/Electric 30amp Wi-Fi
Full Hookups 50amp Wi-Fi
Full Hookups 30amp Wi-Fi
Tent sites available as well.
Cabins - There are only one room cabins without bathroom. Cabins includes a fire pit, BBQ pit, and table outside and inside sleeps 4, heat/lights/outlets/ceiling fan/air condition/TV. You will need to bring your own linens
Tee Pee - small gravel floor inside with floor mat, two cots, light.... water/electric/picnic table and firepit (up to 6 people)
Nature Walk around Lake Denny & Fishing Pier
3-Acre Dog Park
Check out their website for pricing information!
2016 & 2014 KOA President's Award & Founder's Award
"Dinosaur National Monument contains famous fossil finds, dramatic river canyons, intriguing petroglyphs, and endless opportunities for adventure." We visited the Utah side of the park which is the only side that offers dinosaur fossils.
To Do: There is an easy driving tour called Tour of Tilted Rocks that winds through beautiful desert landscapes to a few stops that are easy accessible without a lot of effort. A couple of the best stops are to view some of the Fremont people petroglyphs, and the other is at the Josie Bassett Morris Homestead (one heck of a lady for her day).
The highlight of the park is the Quarry Exhibition Hall where you can view the wall of approximately 1,500 dinosaur bones! There are remains of different dinosaur species such as: Allosaurus, Apatosaurus, Diplodicus, and Stegosaurus to name a few. There are places where you are encouraged to touch real 149 million year old dinosaur fossils! From here, we went on a Ranger-led walk along the Fossil Discovery Trail where the kids got to try their hand at discovering fossils since in the rocks!
Camping: There are six campgrounds located around the monument with three on the Utah side and another three on the Colorado side. We choose the Green River campground which was close to the river and the shortest distance to the Dinosaur Quarry. There was no hook-ups or showers but there was flush toilets. Not all campgrounds accommodate RV's so check their website for more information.
There is a Junior Ranger program so don't miss out!
Honeyville is home of "Colorado Made" specialty honeys, honey jams, jellies and sauces. The indoor glass beehive is great for kids and sometimes, you can watch them bottle their products through windows in the store. Contact them for a catalog or you can order online!
33633 Hwy 550
Durango, CO 81301
Lightner Creek Campground is an awesome campground. The super-friendly and helpful staff make for a great experience. Location is only 8 miles from downtown Durango but since it is off the main road, you hear no road noise; just the sounds of nature! Lovely park-like setting with lots of grass, trees and Lightner Creek runs through the campground. Many great spots to choose from! Remember, no open fires!
There is Wi-Fi at the office only which is convenient if you have laundry to do. There are hummingbird feeders here too so while you are checking your mail, you get to enjoy an aerobatic show.
1567 C.R.207 (Lightner Creek Road), Durango, CO 81301
RV Sites/Services Available
Full Hookups 50amp
Full Hookups 30amp
Water/Electric 30amp Wi-Fi
Tent sites available as well.
Housekeeping Cabins - Fully equipped cabins. Mom & Dad have a private bedroom. The kids sleep on bunk beds. And, if you bring Grandma, she can sleep in the living room on the futon! Linens and towels are furnished for you, and exchanged as needed. There is a full bathroom and a stocked kitchen (dishes, pots and pans). For a true camping experience, take advantage of the picnic table and BBQ grill at the cabin. These units are non-smoking and no pets are allowed. 2 night minimum required.
Camper Cabins - A camper cabin is a single room, approximate floor space 10′ x 12′ with two (2) double beds which are stacked as bunks. There is 12V lighting, but no electricity. A picnic table is provided for use at each of our camper cabins. Guests will need to bring sleeping bags, pillows, cooking utensils, toiletry items.
•Restroom & Showers
•Heated Swimming Pool (Open Memorial Day – Labor Day)
•Covered & Lighted Pavilion
•Mountain Climate - Hike across road
Check their website for pricing information!
2016, 2015 and 2014 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Winner
"Mesa Verde, Spanish for green table, offers a spectacular look into the lives of the Ancestral Pueblo people who made it their home for over 700 years, from A.D. 600 to 1300. Today the park protects nearly 5,000 known archeological sites, including 600 cliff dwellings. These sites are some of the most notable and best preserved in the United States." National Park Service
There is a lot to do at this park including guided (see directory pages for Cliff House and Balcony House tours) and self-guided hikes to different cliff dwellings. A couple of hikes we did was to Far View Sites (flat on top of the plateau) and the Step House which is a steep trail down to the dwellings.
Other activities include: cross country skiing (in winter), evening programs, stargazing, photography, research center, museum, and Junior Ranger program!!!
Park open year round, however, operation hours change as well as availability of some features of the park.
Entrance fee high season: $15 and low season $10
Morefield Campground is just 4 miles inside Mesa Verde. There are 267 sites that include a table, bench, and grill. Camping is open to tents, trailers and RVs, including 15 full hookup RV sites that require reservations. Several hikes leave from the campground. Additionally, campground is close to Morefield's village. Here you will find a gas station, RV dumping station, coin-operated laundry, complimentary showers, a gift shop and grocery store.
Mesa Verde National Park is in Southwestern Colorado. The Mesa Verde Headquarters is a one-hour drive from Cortez, Colorado, heading east on Highway 160 to the park turnoff, and a 1.5 hour drive from Durango, Colorado, heading west on Highway 160 to the park turnoff.
Mild to Wild has been offering tours for over 20 years. They offer river rafting adventures for all experience levels not only in Colorado, but also in Arizona and Utah. They offers family rafting trips with a minimum age of 4-years-old. They offer regular and premium boats and for the more adventurous, kayaks.
Mild to Wild also offers Jeep tours which are open to all ages and takes guests to places like Silverton's Ghost Town.
50 Animas View Drive, Durango, CO 81301
Too many options to list - visit their website directly
TripAdvisor's 2014 and 2015 Certificate of Excellence Awards
- Discounts? Sign up for their email and receive discount offers!
-Everyone in your party will need some type of shoe that secures around your ankle. No flip-flop type shoes allowed
- There are lockers for your belongings
- Take only a water bottle, a hat, and a water-proof camera with you in the raft
-Call ahead and check the river condition. Too low or too high may not fit your expectations or feel right for the age of your children
-Do tip your guide (I feel horrible as I didn't remember to do this but we had a sick kid on our hands).
Old One Hundred Gold Mine is a fantastic tour which takes you 1/3 of a mile into Galena Mountain in ore cars.
You don mining hats and bright yellow coats as you take your seat in a real mining car. After a brief history of the area and the mine, the cars slowing roll into the dark and wet cave. The clack of the cars on the tracks is all you hear as you feel drops of water dripping from the cave ceiling. Once you reach the 1/3 mile area, you leave the cars for a very informative tour that shows you old and current mining equipment, the mine shaft, how they dynamited the rock, and more. There will be some good storied told as well! Once back above ground, try your hand at REAL gold panning for silver, copper and gold flakes with water coming directly out of the mine. New "miners" will not want to leave!
721 County Route 4a, Silverton, CO
See website for pricing
Tours depart hourly 10am through 4pm daily - no need to make a reservation
Tour Season: Usually goes from mid-May to mid-September
• Temperature underground is a cool 48°F, so a sweater or jacket is recommended and comfortable shoes
• Underground portion of tour lasts approximately 45 to 50 minutes.
• Mine altitude is 10,000 feet above sea level.
• Smoking is not permitted on the motor-coach, mine shuttle, or underground in the mine
• Rest rooms located at gift shop building.
• Video and flash cameras welcome!
• Large parking lot with plenty of room for RV’s
• Highly scenic road to the mine is paved for 2 miles, then well maintained gravel for the last three miles. Accessible to all cars and recreational vehicles.
** Tip your tour guide if they do a good job - ours was fantastic!
To get here, take US Hwy 550 (the San Juan Skyway) to Silverton. Drive down Silverton's paved main street through town. Just past the Courthouse and Museum, take a right turn onto County Road 2. Continue on CR 2 for two miles - passing the Mayflower Mill where the road becomes gravel - then two more miles to the ghost town of Howardsville. Past the "Alpine Loop" sign, cross the creek and immediately turn right onto County Road 4-A. Continue on CR 4-A 3/4 mile to the mine. Follow the blue and white "Mine Tour" directional signs that are located along the way after you leave the Silverton town limits.
Ouray Hot Springs, in operation since 1927, offers a 1,000,000 gallon sulfur free mineral pool that is open year round. Hot mineral water is continuously entering and exiting the pool in what is referred to as a flow through design. This flow through design allows for fresh, clear, odorless mineral water 24 hours a day seven days a week for your enjoyment! There is also a Fitness Center, Massages and a Snack Bar on property. For the kiddos there are the following attractions:
RED AND BLUE SLIDES
You must be at least 48” tall.
All children under the age of 7 must have an adult at the bottom of the slide ready to assist the child in the water and must stay within arm’s reach at all times.
The kiddie slide is reserved for children under 48” tall.
All children under the age of 7 must have one adult accompany their child down the slide or remain at the bottom of the slide ready to assist the child in the water. Adult’s must stay within arm’s reach of their child at all times.
You must be at least 13 years of age or have passed the deep water test.
1220 Main St PO Box 468 Ouray, CO 81427
Check out their website for current pricing and specials
Peak Season (Memorial Day - Labor Day: 7-days a week 10am - 10pm
Off-Season (After Labor Day - Before Memorial Day) - Monday through Friday 12pm-9pm and Saturday 11am - 9pm Inflatables are closed in off-season
Located off Highway 550 at the north end of town.