Camping in Telluride, CO
My husband and I packed up our car and drove out to Telluride to go camping with some friends. This was our first time visiting Telluride, and we were taken aback by the beauty here. Not to mention, we found the most perfect camping spot imaginable (our view is shown in the photo above). Telluride is a six hour drive from Denver but well worth it. It's a popular destination but tucked away and spread out enough so there's hardly any crowds.
Situated in the Uncompahgre National Forest is Matterhorn Campground. This is a first come first served dispersed campground, but it was surprisingly not crowded on a holiday weekend. It cost us $24 a night, and you can buy firewood from the attendant there at the site so bring some cash with you for both. Also, there are restrooms there at the campground...such a win that we weren't expecting!
This campground is just breathtaking (especially our spot #14). We picked a spot towards the back of the campsite that was very private and had the most amazing view of the mountains right in front of us. And there were aspen trees surrounding us on all the other sides. I bet this campsite in early October is the way to go to see all the changing aspens.
The main town of Telluride is only about a 20 minute drive from the campsite, and a closer village with a nice grocery store about 15 minutes away. When we camp, we like to go all out. We grilled both nights with our portable Coleman grill (ours was only $30 at REI!). The first night we cooked chicken fajitas and gathered wood to build a fire in the pit and made s'mores. The next night we grilled hot dogs and more s'mores over the fire.
While there's plenty to do and see in the main town of Telluride, we went primarily for the camping experience. I highly suggest going for at least 2 nights to get the chance to explore some cool spots. We packed our lunches and drove up and hiked part way to Alta Lakes which was so pretty. This trail is one of the more famous ones in Telluride, and would definitely do it again to hike more around the lakes!
If you have time, visit downtown Telluride and grab some drinks and food at one of the local restaurants. There's plenty of shopping and coffee options too. We showered at Telluride Town Park which was $3 for 5 minutes. Also, the gondola up the mountain is FREE! So this is a must when you visit.
Overall, Telluride was incredible and there isn't a single complaint I can think of (besides the longish drive from Denver). Definitely a must visit this summer for camping and hiking!