Durango, Colorado
McPhee Campgrounds, San Juan Forest

McPhee Campground: San Juan Forest

Location: 8 Miles West of Dolores
Dolores is 38 miles from Durango
RV Limits: No RV parking
Elevation: 7,400 Feet
Camp Sites: 76 Camping Sites
Group Sites: 2 Group Camping Sites
Reservations: Yes (Pinon Loop Sites Only). Others first serve.

Directions: 9 Miles West of Dolores CO on the south side of McPhee Reservior. Follow the signs on Colorado Highways 145 South and 184 West about 7 miles from Dolores. Turn north on Forest Road 271 and drive about 2 miles.


Overview and Attractions

McPhee Reservoir is the second largest in Colorado. It features 50 miles of shoreline surrounded by piñon juniper pines. There is a large parking lot next to a 6-lane concrete boat ramp. Motorized boats are permitted with restricted areas in wakeless zones. Courtesy docks are available seasonally, based on voluntary donations.


The reservoir is stocked with warm and cold water species of fish. A fish-cleaning station is near the boat ramp and restrooms. Adjacent to the boat ramp is a trail up to a scenic overlook with 360-degree views and interpretive signs. The trail continues to the tent-camping area at McPhee Campground.


McPhee Boat Launch. Six-lane concrete boat ramp, fish-cleaning station, two courtesy boat docks, flush toilets, drinking water.


Ridge Point Overlook. Offers a panoramic view with signs that identify prominent landmarks. The Can Do Trail connects the overlook to the campground and also drops off the mesa to the boat-launch area. Views of the reservoir and local sandstone cliff formations are enjoyable sights along the trail route.


McPhee/House Creek Bike Route. This mountain bike route follows paved and gravel roads, with views of House Creek drainage.


McPhee Marina. A small marina serving snacks and meals beginning at 11 AM. Dry Boat is storage available. Some fishing bait and tackle is available. Closed Monday and Tuesdays. Open through August.


McPhee Campground Facilities

The campground is on a mesa 500 feet above the reservoir. There are no lakefront sites. Piñon and juniper trees offer some shade, but the area is hot in summer.


The 76 campsites on 2 loops have paved access and parking, picnic sites, barrier-free flush toilets, showers, a sanitary dumping station, grills, fire pits and firewood, drinking water, campground hosts, and 16 sites with electric hookups (Extra Fee). Four spaces have full hookups for an extra fee. Two sites have tables and toilets that accommodate wheelchairs. A dozen campsites are walk-ins with tent pads near scenic overlooks.


Only Piñon Loop sites can be reserved through the Reservation Center. All others are first-come, first-served.


The adjacent McPhee Group Area has camping sites available through the Reservation Center. There are volleyball posts, a ball field, and horseshoe pits.


On the south side of the reservoir, Big Bend Access Point has fishing and an unsurfaced boat launch from Highway 184. The Dolores Access Site has fishing and barrier-free access from the highway. On the north side, you can fish at Sage Hen and Dry Canyon where there are toilets and parking. Camping is not allowed in any of these areas.


More Information

Dolores Ranger District
29211 Highway 184
Dolores, CO 81323
Voice: (970) 882-7296
Fax: (970) 882-6841
TTY: (970) 882-6842
Reservations: (877) 444-6777
Online Reservations


See San Juan Forest Camping for more information.


McPhee Area Map


McPhee Campground Map


Google Map & Directions


back to Camping in the San Juan National Forest