Camp at South Mineral Campground

Added by Brittany Weber

This nice (but busy) campground is ideal and acts as a gateway for anyone looking to hike the Ice Lakes Basin Trail. Here you get to sleep in the trees and dream about the turquoise lakes that await you, all from the comfort of your tent, hammock, or RV.

Some general notes: South Mineral Campground does not take reservations - all sites are first come first served. There are an assortment of designated areas along South Mineral Road where dispersed camping is allowed so there is plenty of camping in the canyon on all but the busiest days, but you must camp in one of these designated areas if this is the case.

South Mineral Campground is the last developed camping area along U.S. Highway 550 in the San Juan National Forest. Two miles west of Silverton, Forest Road 585 heads west along the South Mineral Creek and is four miles from Highway 550. The road to the campground is driveable by 2WD, but immediately after the campground it becomes 4WD and driving off-road is prohibited.

The campground has 26 sites that are mostly level, at 9,800 feet. Some sites are handicap-accessible. Several camping loops and well-spaced sites offer plenty of privacy while spruce and fir trees give lots of shade, but there are some sunny sites. A few sites are along the creek, and some have large parking areas.

The campground is open from May - September and is run by a concessionaire. The price for a campsite per night is $19. In the off-season no services are available and all trash is pack-in pack-out.

There are picnic tables, 2 composting vault toilets, fire grates, trash disposal, and potable water all available during the open season.

Nearby peaks have cliffs of brilliant color-contrasting reds and grays. A waterfall on the creek just upstream from the campground adds to the attraction of the area. The campground receives heavy usage due to its proximity to the Ice Lakes Basin Trail, a strenuous, steep, and popular hike.

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Tags

Camping
Photography
Hiking
Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Forest
Groups
Handicap Accessible
Lake
Picnic Area
River
Romantic
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

ūü•áTop Contributor

10 days ago

Has become busy in the peak season.

Closest you can sleep next to the ice lakes trail head. It can get dusty from all of the side by sides and jeeps coming through the campground all day. Has become very popular since Ice Lakes became a instagram hit.

ūü•áTop Contributor

about 1 month ago

Beautiful Place to Camp

The South Mineral Campground has gotten very popular in recent years. It is a first come first serve campground so get there early if you want to snag a spot. There are restrooms and trash service. The proximity to the waterfalls along South Mineral Creek and the trail to Ice Lake makes this campground perfect.

Yep

I decided on Rico trail and the only other trekker was a delight to speak with. Great camp sites and wonderful for mountain biking. Ready to explore more secluded pockets in the Basin.

ūü•ą Contributor

over 3 years ago

Great area

A really cool area, with a few other campgrounds nearby.

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