If you and your pooch are looking for a stunning spot to camp in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains, you’d be barking mad not to check out Big Meadows Campground! Like most US Forest Service campgrounds in the area, facilities at Big Meadows are pretty basic. You won’t find any electricity, RV hookups, or showers.
However, the gorgeous surroundings might go some way towards making up for it! A location on a mountainside above Big Meadows Reservoir ensures stunning views for most sites, and the hillside is studded with the Rio Grande National Forest’s aspen and spruce trees. In late spring and early summer, the wildflowers around the campground might just be the most colorful thing you can see this far north while staying on the right side of the law! Careful, though -- not all of the sites are shaded. Big Meadows is understandably paw-pular with visitors to the area, so it’s best to book your spot early, particularly if you’ll need to stay at one of the campground's accessible sites. Sites start at $20, but group camping spots are available for $70.
Big Meadows Reservoir is well stocked with trout, but anglers should note that a Colorado State Fishing License is required before you can cast your line in these waters. Hound-dog hikers should be well entertained -- there’s a trailhead for the Archuleta Trail just a bone’s throw away from camp. The six-mile out-and-back route meanders along Archuleta Creek and provides access to the mutts-visit Weminuche Wilderness. The largest wilderness area in all of Colorado (and one of the most beautiful), Weminuche has a trail for each and every ability, and you don’t even need a wilderness permit! Cultured canines interested in the area’s history might enjoy exploring some of the Gold Rush era ghost towns surrounding the lake.
Wifi isn’t available at Big Meadows, but all cellular networks should receive at least some coverage. Campfires are permitted, and drinking water is available on-site. Remember to bring waste bags for your pupper, and have a pawesome time!