Transfer Campground near Mesa Verde National Park


Beautiful and stunning as it all is, after almost two weeks of primarily camping in very dry, very hot and very stark areas in Utah, this Pacific Northwest gal was in desperate need of evergreen trees and aspen groves.

So we headed east from Canyonlands National Park toward Colorado and the San Juan National Forest. There we found the Transfer Campground, 11 miles northeast of Mancos on Forest Road 561. (And, only about 20 miles from the entry to Mesa Verde National Park.)

We were reminded more than once that this is an active logging road. And, those massive trucks have the right of way.

This intimate campground has only 12 campsites in a mostly level aspen grove. (Our site at left.)  While the majority of campers had smaller rigs, there were at least two fifth-wheels at more than 30-feet. Only vault toilets and access to drinking water are available.

Although livestock is restricted from the main campground, there are campsites for stock users across the road. There are five (mostly unlevel) sites adjacent to a corral. There were cattle grazing during the time we were there.

Cost: $10/day; $5/Golden Age Pass.
Latitude: 37.4677
Longitude: -108.2094
Elevation: 8,500

Photos by Julianne G. Crane (Top) Taken at sunset from a deck overhanging West Mancos Canyon on the Big Al Trail, a surfaced, barrier-free trail 1/2-mile leading to the lookout.

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