Mesa Verde Camping offers the peace and tranquility of nature, paired with the added benefit of experiencing history first-hand. Mesa Verde National Park does an incredible job preserving artifacts left behind by Native Americans many years ago. Not only is it a beautiful park full of breathtaking hikes and extensive wildlife, but it is also a trip back in time.
Located in southwest Colorado, this serene region was once home to a settlement of people who thrived here some 1,400 years ago. They built intricate and detailed stone communities in the alcoves of the canyon walls, many of which you can see first-hand today, such as the park’s massive Cliff Palace.
Mesa Verde Camping Location –
Also, located in the Park is the Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum and its impressive collection of artifacts left behind by the Ancestral Puebloans. These artifacts bring the history of ancient Native American culture to life. A great example of history and nature paired into one is the Mesa Top Loop Road that weaves through archaeological sites and nature’s splendors, including breathing overlooks that offer stunning views of the park. In addition, Petroglyph Point Trail is sprinkled in unique foliage, as well as several massive rocks with ancient carvings.
So much beauty and history exists within the park—hence why Morefield Campground, the only campground in the park, is a popular place to pitch a tent or park your RV for a few days or weeks. In addition, visitors can enjoy Mesa Verde camping just outside the park, some of these local campgrounds are within walking distance to the park entrance. We also included a couple free campsites in Mesa Verde National Park.
Mesa Verde Camping: Mesa Verde National Park Campground
Morefield Campground serves as the sole camping area for tents and RVs in Mesa Verde National Park. There is a hotel located in the park as well, Far View Lodge.
Morefield Campground – Mesa Verde Camping
Location: Mesa Verde National Park
Open: Mid-April through mid-October
Camping fee: $30 for dry campsite; $40 for full hookup campsites
Morefield Campground is privately operated within Mesa Verde National Park. This popular campground sits just 4.5 miles from the entrance to the park. Morefield offers a variety of single and group campsites, including 267 sites spread throughout native Gambel oaks, wild flowers, and a stunning wooded canyon. Around here, it’s quite common to spot deer and wild turkeys, along with other wildlife.
The camp offers 15 full hookup RV sites that come with water, electric and sewer. In addition, the park maintains RV and tent camping sites with no hookups. If you’re coming with a large group, there are 17 group sites that can accommodate up to 25 guests (tent-only). Each campsite comes with a fire pit and/or BBQ grill, as well as a picnic table, and gravel tent pad. RVs that measure over 46’ are not permitted at Morefield Campground.
Morefield is home to the park village, which offers a variety of delicious eats at Knife Edge Café, as well as a place to learn about and book local tours. In addition, the village has a fully stocked gift shop, grocery and camp store.
Campground amenities include showers, bathrooms, and laundry facilities located adjacent to the Campground Store. Campers can use the dumping station free of charge.
Partake in exciting activities held throughout the campground and surrounding park all summer long. The Morefield Explorer Scavenger Hunt is an educational (and super fun) way to explore the park’s unique flora, fauna, and archaeology. Other popular things to do include exploring the Cliff Dwellings, hiking surrounding terrain, and partaking in the Mesa Verde Tour Experience. Plus, the camp hosts special evening programs in the on-site amphitheater.
Pets are allowed in the park if they are on a leash and well-behaved. Guests are not allowed to leave their pets unattended at any time.
The camp and village are open and in full operation between mid-April and mid-October. Morefield Campground remains open for limited off-season camping. During off-season there are no services, but comfort stations are still open for use.
Reservations: Call 1-800-449-2288 to reserve a site; reservations are highly recommended
Far View Lodge – Mesa Verde Camping
Location: Mesa Verde National Park
Open: Mid-April to mid-October
Camping fee: Rooms start at around $103 per night
Care to ditch the camping gear for more luxe accommodations? Book your stay at the 2-star hotel located within Mesa Verde National Park, Far View Lodge. The hotel sits on mile marker 15; 15 miles from the entrance to the park and directly off the main park road. The hotel is 6 miles from the Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum, as well as the Spruce Tree House cliff dwelling.
Each room comes with a private balcony so you can take in the surrounding beauty. Upgrade to a Kiva Deluxe Room for the best unobstructed views of the park.
Reservations: Book your stay online, or call 1-800-449-2288
Yes! There are several restaurants open during the summer months. One restaurant, Spruce Tree Terrace Café, is open all year long.
The Knife Edge Café (open from late April through September/August), is located within Morefield Campground.
The Far View Terrace Restaurant (open between April and October) is a hot spot for casual dining a short distance from Far View Lodge.
The Metate Room Restaurant is nationally known for its Southwestern flare with dishes heavily influenced by wild game, fresh fish, and locally grown organic produce. It is perched atop the Far View Lodge, offering spectacular sunset views and starry night skies.
Mesa Verde Camping: Free Campsites in Mesa Verde National Park
Don’t need flush toilets or water on tap? If you excel at backpacking and backcountry camping, why not stay the night for free? Here are a couple options to get you started on your search for free campsites in Mesa Verde National Park.
BLM land at Mesa Verde Camping National Park
Location: Mancos, CO; GPS: 359908, -108.428192
This stretch of BLM land on the border of Mesa Verde National Park and Ute Mountain Ute tribal land is open for free public camping. It’s a dirt road lined with trees about 2 miles off a paved road near the entrance to Mesa Verde National Park. The road was built as an emergency wildfire exit for a development in the area. There are a couple good areas to set up camp just several hundred yards from the turnoff on County Road 34.
Madden Peak Road – Mesa Verde Camping
Location: Durango, CO; GPS: 37.357742, -108.194218
This free campsite has around 6 to 15 campsites along a gravel road 2.6 miles off the paved road. You can stay for up to 16 days. It is open whenever weather permits.
Mesa Verde Camping: Campgrounds Near Mesa Verde National Park
Camping options are somewhat limited within Mesa Verde National Park, but rest assured, there are plenty of Mesa Verde camping opportunities nearby. We have them listed below from closest distance, just 0.5 miles away, to 20 miles away from the park.
Benefits to staying at a campground near Mesa Verde National Park:
- Access to more activities and amenities, such as mini-golf, swimming pools, etc.
- The terrain is prettier and there are lakes in Dolores and other nearby areas
- Not as affordable as staying in a national park
Ancient Cedars Mesa Verde Camping RV Resort
Distance from Mesa Verde National Park: 0.5 miles, 2-minute drive
Location: Mancos, CO
Open: Mid-March through October 29
Camping fee: Starts at $20 for 1 person tent site
Located just two minutes, 0.5 miles, outside of Mesa Verde National Park, this RV resort sits across the street from the park’s visitor center and is the closest full-service campground to the park. Perched on 12 acres, camping sites are surrounded by ancient 1,500-year-old Cedar Trees with plenty of space to enjoy nature and privacy.
Tent camping sites include fire rings, grills and picnic tables. 6 tent sites come with water/electric hookups. RV sites come with 30/50AMPs, and all sites are pull-through with full hookups. RV and tent sites are open to individuals, couples, families, and large groups. Prefer to stay in a cabin? There are 4 camping cabins available for rent.
Ancient Cedars Mesa Verde RV Resort is home to 2 playgrounds, 2 new hot tubs—one for families and one for adults, and an 18-hole mini-golf course. Campers can enjoy group bonfires and convenient access to a grocery store and southwest gift shop. The camp recently added horse trail riding to its list of activities. And did we mention there’s a 40-foot heated pool!?
Amenities include clean bathrooms with tall (7-foot) showers, 24-hour laundry facilities, LP gas refills, and a dump station. There is free Wi-Fi and satellite digital antenna TV. Every corner of the campground offers stunning views of the park.
Furry friends are welcome! Your dog can enjoy the 1/2–acre dog run and leashed walking park.
Reservations: To make a reservation call 1-970-565-3517 or 1-844-565-3517. You can also book your stay online
Mesa Verde RV Resort – Mesa Verde Camping
Distance from Mesa Verde National Park: 0.9 miles, 1 minute drive
Location: Mancos, CO
Open: March 1 – October 31
Camping fee: Tent camping starts at $28.95 per night
Mesa Verde RV Resort offers tent camping with water and electric sites, as well as RV camping sites with full hookups. The most basic and affordable sites are in the tenting area—a grassy, flat and partially shaded spot with picnic tables, electricity, and a dishwashing station.
Next, there are pull-through water and electric sites with partial hookups. Standard full hook up sites are available, as well as premium pull-through sites for large big rigs.
If you want to stay in cozier accommodations, check out the camp’s Camping Cabin that sleeps 5, or the Park Model Cabin that sleeps up to 6 people. Pets are not allowed in cabins, but well-behaved, leashed and supervised pets can stay with RV and tent campers.
There are two hot tubs and a heated pool, as well as a scenic outdoor sitting area. On-site security, a convenience store, free coffee in the office… there are many reasons people feel like they are at home staying at this campground. Enjoy use of laundry facilities open 24/7, as well as the “best bathrooms around.” Free Wi-Fi is available to all guests.
Reservations: To book your spot call 1-970-533-7421, or toll free: 1-800-776-7421
Cortez/Mesa Verde KOA – Mesa Verde Camping
Distance from Mesa Verde National Park: 8.1 miles, 10-minute drive
Location: Cortez, CO
Open: April 15 through October 18
Camping fee: n/a
RV campsites are pull-thru with water and electric (30AMPs or 50/30AMPS). There is a primitive tent area for campers who want to escape it all or have a large group. Although there is little to no shade and it is not close to restrooms, the primitive camping area is private and offers stunning views of the national park.
The park also maintains tent sites with water and electric, as well as access to shade, fire pits, and benches.
Looking for cozier digs? Check out the 1 room camping cabin available for rent. It can sleep up to 4 people and while it does not have a bathroom, it does have lights, AC/heat, ceiling fans, and TV.
After exploring Mesa Verde National Park, cool off in the heated pool, or burn off some energy playing a game of basketball or horseshoes. There’s a mile-long hiking trail that circles Denny Lake with fishing spots along the trail. Plus, the convenient grocery store makes camping life a little easier.
This pet-friendly camp maintains a 3-acre enclosed dog park.
Reservations: Book your stay online or call 1-970-565-9301
La Mesa RV Park – Mesa Verde Camping
Distance from Mesa Verde National Park: 8.5 miles, 9-minute drive
Location: Cortez, CO
Camping fee: Tent camping starts at $24.05, RV camping starts at $43 per night
La Mesa RV Park is all about value. They offer a steal of a deal on incredible camping sites conveniently located near Mesa Verde National Park. What this camp lacks in heated swimming pools and bubbly hot tubs, it makes up for with its peaceful atmosphere and knowledgeable staff members who can help you navigate the true beauty and hidden treasures of the area.
Large pull through sites for Class A motorhomes and 5th wheels are available, as well as tent-only sites. Full hookups available for back in and pull through sites. Sites come with 50AMP electric service and fast Wi-Fi. Speaking of technology, they also offer charging stations for electric vehicles.
This camp maintains clean showers and restrooms, as well as laundry facilities.
Well-behaved dogs on leashes are welcome at this pet-friendly park (certain breed restrictions are enforced).
Reservations: To make reservations call 1-505-215-0712
Mancos State Park – Mesa Verde Camping
Distance from Mesa Verde National Park: 12.6 miles, 18-minute drive
Location: Montezuma County, CO
Camping fee: $18 for a basic campsite
Mancos State Park is home to two campgrounds and a total of 32 campsites. If you are looking for more greenery, maybe a lake, this is a good place to stay over the more arid landscapes found in Mesa Verde National Park.
The campsites—Main and West—are on opposite sides of the reservoir. West Campground, on the northwest side of the reservoir, has nine campsites catered to tent-campers. There are toilets nearby but no drinking water or electrical hookups in the area. West Campground is closed for winter.
The Main Campground is open in winter. The park is much quieter during the off-season, and so reservations are not encouraged. Still, even with snow covering the ground, there is so much to do here. Such as ice fishing, sledding, cross country skiing, and snow shoeing.
Want to try camping in a yurt? The park maintains yurts available for rent year-round.
Reservations: Book your stay online, or call 1-800-244-5613
Target Tree Campground – Mesa Verde Camping
Distance from Mesa Verde National Park: 14.6-miles, 15-minute drive
Location: Hesperus, CO
Open: May through September
Camping fee: $20 (standard non-electric)
Target Tree Campground is part of San Juan National Forest and sits at 7,643-foot elevation on a hillside overlooking Thompson Park. The camp is filled with the shade from Ponderosa pine and Gambel oak forests.
Single-family sites come with picnic tables and campfire rings. Group sites can fit up to 50 people and 10 vehicles. The group site features two divided corrals for equestrians traveling with horses. The area has two pull-thru sites and four parallel sites. The group site is $65 during walk-in and peak season. Amenities include vault toilets, drinking water, and trash collection.
This is a prime camping spot if you plan to take day tips to Mesa Verde National Park, Mancos, and Durango. Plus, there are some neat hikes in the area that lead to historic sites and bird watching opportunities. Warm summer days are followed by cool summer nights so don’t forget to bring warm jammies.
Reservations: Make reservations online
Circle C RV – Mesa Verde Camping
Distance from Mesa Verde National Park: 15.9 miles, 18-minute drive
Location: Dolores, CO
Camping fee: Starts at $38 per night
Welcome to Circle C RV Campground, an affordable place to park your RV, set up tent, or go “glamping” in a cabin. RV sites are equipped with full-hookups and Wi-Fi. The park takes care of water and sewage so you can focus on having fun. In addition, there are safe tent-only areas within the park. Intrigued by the idea of “glamping?” You can reserve a cabin, loft suite room, or vacation home.
This area is well-known for fishing and hunting. After all, nearby is McPhee Reservoir, one of Colorado’s largest lakes. If you come in the winter, nearby Telluride and Durango offer lots of opportunities for skiing. Other nearby attractions include the Ute Mountains and Casino, the Four Corners, and of course, Mesa Verde National Park.
An on-site store offers firewood, ice, and other necessities, like frozen treats! Want to improve your campfire singing? There is a music teacher on-site for hire. The camp also offers yoga classes to help you unwind and relax. Want to play cards or make new friends? Check out the cozy clubhouse while you’re here.
Circle C welcomes dogs and recently installed a dog park.
Reservations: Check availability online, or call 1-870-239-1850 to secure a spot
Dolores River Campground & Cabins – Mesa Verde Camping
Distance from Mesa Verde National Park: 20.9 miles, 25-minute drive
Location: Dolores, CO
Open: May 1 through October 22
Camping fee: Tent sites start at $30 per night, RV sites start at $40 per night
Camp alongside the Dolores River beneath the shade of trees and with access to large picnic tables, fire pits, and cooking grates. Several sites are river front. You can score a $10 discount on your nightly rate if you pedal in on a bicycle.
Pick between standard and premium RV sites. Standard sites come with 30/50AMP service, a patio outfitted with picnic table, water and sewer hookups, Wi-Fi and cable TV. Premium RV sites come with all the above, with the addition of a large grassy area.
Dolores River Campground offers unique vacation rentals scattered throughout the property, including a yurt and a riverfront wagon.
You don’t need a fishing permit to try your luck in the catch-and-release fishing pond. Beat the heat in the rec room where you can play a variety of games like foosball, or kick back with a good book.
Showers, bathrooms, and laundry facilities are open 24-hours a day. There is also a gift shop that sells everything from propane to ice cream, along with an assortment of locally made products and gourmet foods.
Reservations: Reserve your spot online, or call 1-970-882-7761