The Complete Guide to Camping at Blue Mesa Reservoir, CO

One of my outdoor-loving friends often uses a simple but accurate saying,”If you’re gonna camp, camp somewhere nice.” But, calling camping at Blue Mesa Reservoir “camping somewhere nice” would be a massive understatement – this is one of the most spectacular-looking places in the whole of the United States. 

Blue Mesa Reservoir is the largest body of water in Colorado. It features many camping options, from dispersed camping areas to boating campgrounds. Whether you plan to come here with an RV or just a backpack and a tent, you will have an unforgettable time. 


Starting at Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park and extending all the way east to the town of Gunnison, Blue Mesa Reservoir is over 20 miles long and occupies over 9,000 acres. 

As such, this sizeable artificial lake provides numerous opportunities to those interested in outdoor activities – camping, hiking, boating, fishing, and other pursuits. Fortunately, there are plenty of places to spend the night here, with the most popular being established campsites. 

Blue Mesa Reservoir Camping Areas

Blue Mesa

The established campsites of Blue Mesa Reservoir are at the lake’s southern and northern shores. Some of these places can also be found along the various tributaries that flow into the reservoir. 

We can separate these into several categories: “regular” developed campsites, boat campsites, RV campsites, and car campsites. There are some overlaps here – some RV campgrounds can accommodate standard passenger vehicles, and vice-versa. 

In addition to staying at established campsites, you are free to pitch your tent in any of the “backcountry camping zones” along Blue Mesa Reservoir. 

There is also one more option for those unfortunate enough to find the places mentioned above full: dispersed camping near the reservoir. After all, Colorado is abundant with public land, so finding a BLM or USFS-managed property adjacent to the lake and spending a few nights there is easy. 

What About Reservations? 

Almost all campsites on the reservoir’s shores operate on a good old-fashioned first-come, first-served basis. The only exceptions are Stevens Creek, Lake Fork, Elk Creek, and the two group campgrounds. 

If you’re planning to stay at any of those places, make a reservation. Remember that most of the reservoir’s campsites quickly become packed in the summer. Making an advanced reservation, when possible, is an easy way to secure an excellent camping spot. 

To land a great spot at one of the first-come, first-served campsites, try to arrive there as early in the day as possible. Coming a few days in advance – if you can – won’t hurt you either, especially during the peak season. 

Blue Mesa Reservoir Established Campsites 

Lake Fork Campsite 

Lake Fork
Photo by Jeffrey Beall via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 4.0)
  • Open: April – October 
  • Number of Camping Spots: 83 
  • Reservations: Recommended 
  • Hookups: No 
  • Fee: Middle and upper sections – $16 per night + $3 per night if reserved; lower section – $16 per night 

Sitting at Blue Mesa Reservoir’s far western edge, the Lake Fork is one of the largest developed campsites in the entire region. 

This place is split into the lower, middle, and upper areas. Campers can reserve their spots only for the middle and upper areas, adding $3 to a standard $16 per night fee. The camping spots inside all three areas easily accommodate recreational vehicles, even though electrical hookups are unavailable. 

If you’re a tent camper, you’ll be able to stay at one of Lake Fork’s several walk-in tent spots. Those expecting grassy sites will be disappointed – every inch of this campsite’s ground is covered by asphalt. On the bright side, you’ll have excellent water access and enjoy amazing views. 

Lake Fork’s amenities include a dump station, showers, flush toilets, and drinking water. All of these are available during the peak camping season. 

Elk Creek Campsite 

Elk Creek
  • Open: Year-round. Some facilities/services are available only during the peak season
  • Number of Camping Spots: 157 
  • Reservations: Recommended, particularly during summer 
  • Hookups: Available at Loop D 
  • Fee: Electric sites (loop D) – $22 per night + $3 per night if reserved; loops A and B – $16 per night + $3 per night if reserved; loop C – $16 per night 

Unlike the campsite above – Lake Fork, one of the largest in the Blue Mesa Reservoir region – Elk Creek is the largest. It is also the most popular out of all campsites on the lake’s shores, and for a good reason. 

First of all, this place has an excellent location. It is well-situated for campers who value convenience: Elk Creek Campsite can be found along the northern shore, near the reservoir’s midpoint, where it sits close to the marina, boat ramp, Pappy’s Restaurant & Pub, and Elk Creek Visitor Center

If you’re an RV camper, look no further than Elk Creek Campsite. This is the only Blue Mesa Reservoir developed campsite featuring electric hookups. 

There are 157 camping spots at this place, and they’re distributed between four well-organized loops. Staying at Loop D will cost you the most, as it’s the only loop with electric hookups for the RVs. Loops B and A are adjacent to the Blue Mesa Reservoir and are explicitly designed for tent campers. 

Finally, Loop C is the only one that operates on a first-come, first-served basis. Visitors can make reservations for the camping spots in loops A, B, and D. Owners of the campsite highly recommend making a reservation to all those planning to come to Elk Creek during the peak season. 

Facilities at his popular campground include showers, flush toilets, and drinking water. Unfortunately, these are available only during the summer. 

Cimarron Campsite

  • Open: May – October 
  • Number of Camping Spots: 21 
  • Reservations: First-come, first-served 
  • Hookups: No 
  • Fee: $16 per night 

The Cimarron Campsite sits along the creek of the same name. In other words, it is not located directly on the Blue Mesa Reservoir but some 20 miles west of the trendy Elk Creek Campsite described above. 

That is not to say that this small but clean and well-organized campground has a bad location. It’s only half an hour from the quaint town of Montrose, just off Highway 50. 

There are 21 camping spots here, all of which are first-come, first-served. In addition, Cimarron Campsite features vault toilets, fire grates, and picnic tables. Visitors also have access to water from mid-May to mid-September. 

If, for some reason, you like railroads (hey, we all have our interests!), this campground is an ideal option for you. Several informative exhibits here tell the story of an old railroad town that once stood at this very same spot. 

Stevens Creek Campsite 

Gunnison Colorado
  • Open: May – September 
  • Number of Camping Spots: 53
  • Reservations: Recommended 
  • Hookups: No 
  • Fee: Loop B – $16 per night; loops C and A – $16 per night + $3 per night if reserved 

Out of all the established campsites on this list, this one is the closest to the town of Gunnison. Situated on the northern shore of Blue Mesa Reservoir’s eastern edge, Stevens Creek Campsite makes it easy for visitors to get supplies in the town. 

It features 53 camping spots organized in three loops – A, B, and C. All three loops can accommodate recreational vehicles (no hookups, though), and staying at any of them will cost you $16 per night. 

Moreover, all camping spots have fire grates, picnic tables, vault toilets, and water during the peak season. Great views are guaranteed, as is the access to the campground’s boat ramp (the main reason Stevens Creek is so popular with boaters). 

The camping spots at loop B are the only ones available on a first-come, first-served basis. All the other sites can be reserved in advance, which will cost you an additional $3 per night. 

Dry Gulch Campsite 

Cottonwood trees
  • Open: May – October 
  • Number of Camping Spots: 
  • Reservations: First-come, first-served 
  • Hookups: No 
  • Fee: $16 per night 

Located just east of the Visitor Center and Elk Creek Campsite along Highway 50, Dry Gulch is one of the smallest developed campsites in the area. There are only nine spots here, which makes this place a perfect destination for those seeking a quieter camping experience. 

All nine camping spots are first-come, first-served. What is more, all of them are well-shaded – this entire campground is tucked into a charming grove of Cottonwood trees. 

Even though it features no electric hookups, Dry Gulch Campsite accommodates medium-sized recreational vehicles. Those planning to spend a few days here during summer will have access to potable water and vault toilets. 

Lastly, each camping spot has a fire ring and a picnic table. There are also some food boxes here – make sure to use them if you don’t want to risk having your provisions eaten by a bear. 

Ponderosa Campsite 

Blue Mesa Reservoir Colorado
Photo by Michael Kirsh via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 4.0)
  • Open: May – October 
  • Number of Camping Spots: 28 
  • Reservations: First-come, first-served 
  • Hookups: No 
  • Fee: $16 per night 

The Ponderosa Campsite is situated in the Soap Creek Arm region of the reservoir. This would be the reservoir’s far northern edge, which turns the campsite into one of the most remote options on this list. 

Camping here means camping a bit further away from the main highway than most people staying at developed campgrounds are used to. There is also a benefit to this, though – Ponderosa Campsite is a very peaceful place and a great choice if you’re seeking tranquillity in the wild. 

There are 28 camping spots here; each has a fire pit and a picnic table. Just like in the case of other campsites in this guide, water is available only during the peak season. 

All camping spots are first-come, first-served and can accommodate medium-sized RVs and tents. Unfortunately, however, they are not equipped with electric hookups. 

For those who appreciate the allure of secluded camping, exploring the free campgrounds near Lake City presents an inviting alternative. Similar to the Ponderosa Campsite in the remote Soap Creek Arm region, these dispersed camping sites near Lake City offer a true escape into the wilderness. While Ponderosa boasts tranquillity at the reservoir’s edge, the free campgrounds near Lake City provide a serene haven away from the typical crowds.

East Elk Creek Group Campsite 

  • Open: May – October 
  • Number of Camping Spots: 1 (accommodates 50 people) 
  • Reservations: Required 
  • Hookups: No 
  • Fee: $53 per night 

Located near the Elk Creek Visitor Center, just north of Highway 50, East Elk Creek Group Campsite is among the most sprawling places you can stay while visiting Blue Mesa Reservoir. There is just one camping spot here, but it can accommodate 50 people at once. 

East Elk Creek Group Campsite is an ideal destination for special occasions, like birthday camping trips or family reunions. The whole place is nestled between tranquil cottonwood trees and has a very peaceful atmosphere. 

Here, you will find fire grates and several smaller picnic tables. And with this being a group campsite, there is also a large, covered picnic pavilion that easily accommodates many people at once. 

Both RV and tent campers are welcome here. As for the amenities, there is only potable water. Finally, reservations are a must, and you can only stay at East Elk Creek for up to two weeks at a time. 

For those looking beyond group camping options like East Elk Creek, the untamed beauty around Steamboat Springs awaits. The free camping spots in this region offer a sense of solitude, away from group settings, making it perfect for a more intimate connection with nature. As you soak in the serene vibes of Blue Mesa Reservoir, remember that the pristine landscapes near Steamboat Springs are just a drive away, beckoning with their untouched charm.

East Portal Campsite 

Curecanti National Recreation Area
  • Open: May – October 
  • Number of Camping Spots: 15 
  • Reservations: First-come, first-served 
  • Hookups: No 
  • Fee: $16 per night 

This particular campsite is not the best option if you only wish to spend time at Blue Mesa Reservoir and nowhere else. However, East Portal Campsite is situated within the Curecanti National Recreation Area – which covers Blue Mesa and two other reservoirs – and, as such, it undoubtedly deserves a place on this list. 

The 15 camping spots of this relatively small campground are adjacent to Gunnison River. Ten of them accommodate only tent campers, and five have vehicle access. 

Besides paying $16 to spend a night here, you will also have to pay the entrance fee to the Gunnison National Park (which you’ll enter through Black Canyon). The higher price of staying at this campsite is justified by the presence of vault toilets and visitors’ access to potable water. 

Unfortunately, those with larger RVs and trailers will have to look elsewhere. East Portal Campsite can accommodate only those vehicles whose length does not exceed 22 feet. 

Gateview Campsite 

Gateview Campsite 
  • Open: May – October 
  • Number of Camping Spots: 
  • Reservations: First-come, first-served 
  • Hookups: No 
  • Fee: Free 

If you’re seeking seclusion at Blue Mesa Reservoir, Gateview Campsite is a perfect choice. There are only six camping spots here – you won’t have to deal with crowds or the noise of larger campgrounds. 

There’s a catch, though: the location of this quiet place is somewhat remote. The Gateview Campsite is located on the Lake Fork Arm, at the reservoir’s far southern end, and is quite far from the main body of water. 

All six camping spots are first-come, first-served and accommodate only tent campers. As for the amenities, you can expect potable water and vault toilets, both available from May to October. 

The best thing about Gateview Campsite is that you can stay there entirely free of charge. So, if you’re on a budget but still want to experience the beauty of this region, you know where to go. 

Red Creek Campsite 

Red Creek Campsite 
  • Open: May – October 
  • Number of Camping Spots: 1 group + 1 individual spot 
  • Reservations: Required for the group spot; Individual spot is first-come, first-served 
  • Hookups: No 
  • Fee: Group spot – $28 per night; individual spot – $16 per night 

Sitting along Highway 50 on the northern shore of Blue Mesa Reservoir, Red Creek Campsite has one individual and one group camping spot. The latter one accommodates 20 people at once and has to be reserved in advance. 

The best thing about the group camping spot is that it feels very secluded. The same cannot be said for the individual site, which operates on a first-come, first-served basis and looks like a simple road pull-off. 

Both spots feature fire grates and picnic tables, and visitors can also access potable water during the peak camping season. The Red Creek Campsite has no electric hookups but accommodates RVs whose length doesn’t exceed 22 feet. 

Like most other campsites on this list, Red Creek Campsite is open from May to October. It’s a reasonably popular destination – despite its relatively remote location – so reserve its group camping spot in advance. 

While the appeal of Red Creek Campsite is clear, there’s a whisper among seasoned campers about another gem. The allure of free camping near Fort Collins has been growing, offering a blend of convenience and rustic beauty. Though more northward, these spots provide an experience akin to Red Creek’s seclusion, but with the added bonus of being wallet-friendly. For those mapping out multiple adventures, this alternative could be the perfect complement to their journey.

Blue Mesa Reservoir Boat Campsites 

Camping by boat in Colorado

Turtle Rock Boat Campsite 

  • Fee: Free 
  • Number of Camping Spots: 
  • Amenities: Fire grates, picnic tables, vault toilet 

Due to its proximity to Elk Creek Marina, Turtle Rock Boat Campsite is particularly popular with folks using hand-carried watercraft such as canoes. 

Three camping spots are equipped with fire grates and picnic tables. There is also a vault toilet for all visitors. 

Cebolla Boat Campsite 

Cebolla Boat Campsite 
Photo by Jeffrey Beall via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 4.0)
  • Fee: Free 
  • Number of Camping Spots: 2
  • Amenities: Fire grates, picnic tables, vault toilets 

The Cebolla Campsite can be found in the Cebolla region of the reservoir (southern shore). It’s a lovely, picturesque place surrounded by rocky cliffs and cottonwood trees. 

Even though you can stay here free of charge, you’ll still have access to amenities such as vault toilets or fire grates. The campsite is less than half an hour away from both marinas (Elk Creek & Lake Fork). 

Lake Fork Boat Campsite 

  • Fee: Free 
  • Number of Camping Spots: 
  • Amenities: Fire grates, picnic tables, vault toilets 

Sitting midway down the reservoir’s Lake Fork Arm, this boat campsite is about half an hour away from the marina. It is shaded by fir and spruce trees and is located near a secluded cove. 

You can stay here free of charge. As for the amenities, expect the usual: a few picnic tables, vault toilets, and fire grates. 

West Elk Boat Campsite 

  • Fee: Free 
  • Number of Camping Spots: 2 
  • Amenities: Fire grates, picnic tables, vault toilets 

This Blue Mesa boat campsite has an attractive location – it is right next to the remnants of sawmill operations (Twin Peaks, anyone?), close to an inlet of West Elk Creek. 

To avoid submerged timber, you’ll have to moor the boat along the western shore. There is a hiking trail leading into the wild from this place and – more importantly – a set of vault toilets. 

Blue Mesa Reservoir RV Backcountry Campsites

Camping at night in Colorado

In addition to the established campgrounds and boat campsites listed above, you can pitch your tent in any backcountry camping area along the reservoir’s shores. 

Most of these are situated on the southern shore of the lake. They are marked with pink color on this map

If you’re interested in camping in any of those zones, make sure to follow these regulations: 

  • Stick to the set of outdoor ethics known as the Leave No Trace Principles
  • Do not camp in one place for more than two weeks. 
  • Set up your campsite at least half a mile away from other campsites, public roads, and bridges. 

All is not lost if you find the places described above packed with campers. While you won’t be able to camp on the reservoir’s shores, you’ll still have the option of staying somewhere near it. 

Fortunately, there is an abundance of excellent camping options in the reservoir’s vicinity. From dispersed camping on adjacent USFS or BLM-managed land to staying at one of the well-equipped car or RV campsites, you’re guaranteed to discover a place that matches your requirements. 

If you are interested in free camping in Colorado, see our post on dispersed camping near Estes Park and our post on camping near Silverton.

Oasis RV Resort

RV in Colorado
  • Number of Camping Spots: Not stated, but plenty 
  • Reservations: Recommended 
  • Hookups: Yes 
  • Fee: Up to $59 per night, depending on the spot 

This RV campground can be found just west of Stevens Creek Campsite. 

Located on the reservoir’s northern shore, Oasis RV Resort features an abundance of RV camping spots equipped with electric hookups. It’s a sprawling place that accommodates recreational vehicles of all sizes and tent campers. 

In terms of amenities, visitors have access to a well-stocked general store (always a big plus in my book!), cable television, laundry facilities, and an on-site dog park. 

Blue Mesa Recreational Ranch 

  • Number of Camping Spots: 317 
  • Reservations: Recommended 
  • Hookups: Partial & full hookups are available 
  • Fee: Depends on the spot & hookups 

Like most campsites in this guide, Blue Mesa Recreational Ranch is situated next to Highway 50 on the northern side of the reservoir. It’s a genuinely enormous campground with over 300 spots that easily accommodate all types of vehicles – from small cars to massive RVs. 

The fee you’ll have to pay to stay here will depend on the location of the camping spot and whether you want a partial or full hookup for your RV. 

The amenities are top-notch. Those camping at Blue Mesa Recreational Ranch have access to a well-equipped game room, cable television, Wi-Fi, a fishing pond, and two swimming pools. 

Gunnison KOA Journey Campsite 

  • Number of Camping Spots: Not stated, but plenty 
  • Reservations: Recommended 
  • Hookups: Yes 
  • Fee: Depends on the spot 

Camping at a KOA-managed campground means convenience and access to plenty of amenities. The same applies to the Gunnison KOA Journey Campsite. 

While not as large as most other KOA campgrounds, this place is less than 15 minutes away from the reservoir and features top-notch amenities. These include a small shop selling essentials, a shaded pavilion area, free Internet, and full RV hookups.  

The only drawback is that this campsite is pretty close to Gunnison Airport. You’ll have to look elsewhere if you’re seeking a quiet camping experience. 

Mesa Campsite 

  • Number of Camping Spots: 118 
  • Reservations: Recommended 
  • Hookups: Yes 
  • Fee: Up to $88 per night, depending on the spot 

The following RV campground can be found near the town of Gunnison, east of Blue Mesa Reservoir. It’s an excellent choice for RV campers planning to visit Hartman Rocks during their trip. 

Mesa Campsite is enormous – it features 118 clean, grassy, well-shaded, and neatly landscaped camping spots that accommodate tent and RV campers. 

It’s a pet-friendly place with first-class amenities such as communal fire pits, free Wi-Fi, laundry facilities, showers, restrooms, playgrounds, and an excellent clubhouse. 

Blue Mesa Outpost 

  • Number of Camping Spots: 10 
  • Reservations: Recommended
  • Hookups: Yes 
  • Fee: Up to $52 depending on the spot 

Are you planning to stay on the reservoir’s southwestern shore? If so, Blue Mesa Outpost is probably your best option. 

Located just off Highway 50, this small but well-organized campsite can accommodate tent and RV campers. There are also several cozy cabins, each of which overlooks the reservoir. 

Blue Mesa Outpost features BBQ grills, laundry facilities, fire pits, on-site bottle exchanges, and propane fills. 

Car Campsites Near Blue Mesa Reservoir 

Car camper in Colorado

Soap Creek Campsite 

  • Number of Camping Spots: 21 
  • Reservations: First-come, first-served 
  • Hookups: No 
  • Fee: $14 per night 

This USFS-managed campsite is located along Forest Service Road 824, north of Blue Mesa Reservoir. It’s an excellent choice for hikers, as it provides easy access to numerous trails of the West Elk Wilderness. 

There are 21 camping spots here, all of which are first-come, first-served. In addition, Soap Creek Campsite also has a horse corral – it’s the area’s best option for horse campers. 

Like in other USFS-managed campsites, you’ll have access to hand-pump water and vault toilets. 

Blue Mesa Adventure Pods 

  • Number of Camping Spots: 5 adventure pods 
  • Reservations: Recommended 
  • Hookups: No 
  • Fee: $129 per night 

This is the most interesting car campsite on my list. There are five small cabins – or “adventure pods”- each with a unique name: sunset pod, buddy pod, fireside pod, lake pod, and tripod. 

Each cabin accommodates 2-3 visitors and features amenities such as firewood bundles and paddle boards. Two out of five adventure pods are pet-friendly. 

You’ll have to reach deep inside your pocket to spend a night here. It is, however, a unique experience you’ll have every right to brag about. 

Red Bridge Campsite 

  • Number of Camping Spots: 
  • Reservations: Recommended 
  • Hookups: No 
  • Fee: $5 per night 

Situated just off Highway 149, south of Blue Mesa Reservoir, the Red Bridge Campsite features seven camping spots and one vault toilet. 

This simple and somewhat remote campground sits in a tranquil and picturesque location along the Gunnison River’s Lake Fork. It’s an ideal destination for campers who just want to relax and fish. 

Each camping spot has a picnic table, a metal fire ring, and a parking spur. Unfortunately, potable water is not available. If you’d like to stay here for a few days, bring plenty of water in portable containers. 

Dispersed Camping Near Blue Mesa Reservoir 

Tent at night in Colorado

If you’d rather go straight into the wild than stay at any developed or primitive campsite listed above, dispersed camping is the way to go. 

Fortunately, there’s plenty of BLM and USFS-managed land near Blue Mesa Reservoir. These are your three best options: 

Hartman Rocks 

Hartman Rocks

Located between Blue Mesa Reservoir and the town of Gunnison, this region is popular with all kinds of outdoor enthusiasts – from campers to hikers to mountain bikers. 

Soap Creek Road 

Soap Creek Road can be found just past the Ponderosa Campsite on the reservoir’s northern shore. Several dispersed camping zones are located near this road, most of which you’ll pass by on your way to the Soap Creek Campsite described above. 

Red Creek Road 

Red Creek Road 

This road is located north of Blue Mesa Reservoir, where it intersects with Highway 50. Drive north along Red Creek Road, and you’ll find a few excellent dispersed camping areas right after passing the USFS gate. 

Essential Info 

These are the most crucial regulations one needs to keep in mind while camping in the Blue Mesa Reservoir area: 

  • Always store your provisions in an animal-proof container. If you don’t have one, keep the food inside your vehicle. 
  • Campers cannot stay in one place for more than two weeks within 30 days. 
  • No more than eight people can stay at a single camping spot at one time. 
  • Building a campfire is allowed only at campsites that have fire grates. 
  • Pets need to be kept under close control at all times. 

When is the Best Time to Camp at Blue Mesa Reservoir? 

Most Blue Mesa Reservoir campsites are open during the peak camping season, i.e., between May and October. The only exception is Elk Creek Campsite, which operates year-round. 

When I say “camping season,” I refer to the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day. During this time, Blue Mesa Reservoir is the most crowded. 

You won’t make a mistake by visiting this picturesque region outside those dates, i.e., during the shoulder seasons. The weather is still fine, and you won’t have to deal with the crowds. 

Camping in this part of Colorado during the winter is a different story, though. It becomes one of the coldest places in the state, so don’t camp there unless you’re an experienced and well-prepared camper. 

What Should I Pack for My Camping Trip? 

Metal camping mug

Packing the right gear is the key to a successful camping trip. Here are a few pieces of equipment you’ll want to bring along with your essentials (tent, sleeping bag, etc.): 

  • Blue Mesa Reservoir map – Nowadays, most campers combine Google Maps with one of the best dispersed camping apps. Don’t let your life depend on the batteries inside your electronic devices – get a physical map. 
  • Portable water container – When a particular campsite doesn’t have potable water, this simple object can be a lifesaver. And when a campground does have a water access point, a portable container will save you from frequent trips to the tap. 
  • Portable camping stove – Modern camping stoves can deliver a new level of gourmet to your outdoor adventures. 
  • Pop-up canopy – Make sure to pack a portable shade structure like a pop-up canopy – the sun in this part of the United States can be extremely strong. 
  • Cooler – If you don’t have this appliance already, I highly recommend buying one made by Yeti. This company’s portable coolers are head and shoulders above the competition. 

Where Can I Get Supplies? 

Blue Mesa Reservoir and the surrounding region are well-served by a couple of small towns with all the essential services campers might need. These are the best places to stock up on supplies before heading to the campsite of your choice: 

  • Montrose, CO – If you’re planning to stay on the reservoir’s west end, the town of Montrose will be your most convenient option for stocking up on the provisions. You’ll find everything from outdoor shops to gas stations to excellent grocery stores there. 
  • Gunnison, CO – This quaint town can be found east of the reservoir and, as such, stands as the best option for folks planning to camp on Blue Mesa’s eastern shores. The town has plenty of outdoor, grocery, and liquor stores. 


There is much to see and do at Blue Mesa Reservoir, whether you’re into camping, hiking, or water-based activities. Fortunately for those who’d like to spend more than just a day at the reservoir’s shores, there is an abundance of excellent campgrounds in the region. 

Hopefully, this guide has helped you learn more about camping in this area and select an ideal RV, car, or dispersed campsite for your upcoming adventure. Have a great time! 

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