Welcome to Molas Lake Park & Campground
- General Info
- Our Policies
Rated the "Most Scenic Campground in Colorado" - by AAA
"If you should, in your imagination, put together in one small
group, perhaps 12 miles square, all the heights and depths, the rugged
precipices and polished faces of rock, and all the sharp pinnacles and
deeply indented crests, and twenty times the inaccessible summits that
both of us have ever seen, you would not have a picture equal to this."
- W.H. Holmes, describing the San Juan Mountains in 1876.
Molas Lake Campground was featured in the October 15, 2011 "Colorado Getaways". View the clip embedded below or click on this link: Molas Lake Campground "Colorado Getaways" Feature
Molas Lake Campground was granted to the Town of Silverton in 1925 from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. The 137-acre campground sits along the Million Dollar Highway (US 550) in the central San Juan Mountains; the most spectacular peaks in the Colorado Rockies. The Campground is adjacent to the largest wilderness area in the state of Colorado, the Weminuche Wilderness.
Molas Lake Campground provides visitors with unforgettable scenery, a stocked 25-acre lake, National Forest access via the Colorado Trail, and dark, starry skies free from light-pollution. The campground and day-use amenities were completely renovated in 2008. There are more than 50 campsites serving tent-campers, small RV's and pop-ups, and a few sites over 1,500 square feet to serve even the largest RV's. The park has one water pump, several clean and new vault-style restrooms, and showers. The Campground no longer has a dump station, but there are dump stations available within the Town of Silverton, 10 minutes away, for a small fee.
Swimming is not permitted in Molas Lake.
Molas Lake Park & Campground is located between mile markers 65 & 66 on U.S. Highway 550, approximately 5 miles south of Silverton in San Juan County, Colorado.
View Larger Map | Molas Lake Park is on the U.S. Geological Survey 1:24,000 Snowden Peak Quadrangle.
Head out of town north on highway 550. After approximately 42
miles, you'll reach Molas Pass. Continue for approximately one more
mile and find the entrance to the park on the right, immediately off of
highway 550. Driving time from Durango is approximately one hour.
Head out of town south on highway 550, towards Durango. After
approximately 5 miles, you'll see the entrance to Molas Park on the
left side of the road. If you reach the top of Molas Pass, you've gone
too far. Driving time from Silverton is approximately 10 minutes.
Head out of town south on highway 550, towards Ouray. Continue
through Ouray on highway 550. Continue over Red Mountain Pass to
Silverton. Go past Silverton and continue and additional 5 miles,
you'll see the entrance to Molas Park on the left side of the road. If
you reach the top of Molas Pass, you've gone too far. Total distance
from Montrose is about 65 miles with a driving time of about 1.5 hours.
Approximate Driving Times & Distances
Durango: 44.5 miles (about 54 minutes)
Telluride: 29.7 miles (about 1 hour 12 minutes)
Grand Junction: 127 miles (about 2 hours 39 minutes)
Colorado Springs: 300 miles (about 5 hours 48 minutes)
Denver: 362 miles (6 hours 15 minutes)
Flagstaff, Arizona: 355 miles (about 6 hours 49 minutes)
Santa Fe, New Mexico: 257 miles (about 4 hours and 58 minutes)
Farmington, New Mexico: 92.1 miles (about 1 hour 55 minutes)
Salt Lake City, Utah: 408 miles (about 7 hours 18 minutes)
El Paso, Texas: 523 miles (about 8 hours 36 minutes)
Twin Falls, Idaho: 629 miles (about 10 hours, 22 minutes)
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: 802 miles (about 12 hours 40 minutes)
- Durango - La Plata County Airport (about 1 hour 20 minutes drive)
- Telluride Regional Airport (about 1 hour 30 minutes drive away)
- Montrose Regional Airport (about 2 hours drive)
General & Day-Use Policies:
Pets are welcome. All dogs must be on-leash at all times when in the park and never left unattended. This policy is strictly enforced.
Day-Use Areas: Our 4 day-use areas are available free of charge, on a first-come first-serve basis. Each area has a fire ring and several picnic tables. Day-use hours are “Dark-to-Dark”.
No swimming is allowed in Molas Lake.
Fishing: Colorado Fishing Licenses
can be purchased at Outdoor World in Silverton (1234 Greene St), which
is about a 15 minute drive from the park. Alternatively, you can
purchase a Colorado fishing license from the Colorado Division of Wildlife.
Check the CDOW Web Site for current license fees. You'll need to supply your own fishing equipment. Rainbow trout is the most common species in the lake.
Camping & Reservation Policies:
The campground is open from approximately June 1 to September 30 each year, weather permitting.
No swimming is allowed in Molas Lake.
Pets are welcome. All dogs must be on-leash and attended at all times. This policy is strictly enforced.
Check-In: 1:00 PM. Check-Out: 11:00 AM. For late arrival arrangements, please Email Us, or call 970-759-2218. All campsites must be vacated by 11:00 AM on check-out day.
Minimum Check In Age is 18 Years Old. Guests aged 17 Years Old and under at the time of check in are considered children. At least one adult (person at least 18 years old) must be in your party and present at check-in.
Maximum number of guests per campsite is 8 (if you have more, reserve more than one site).
Maximum number of tents per campsite is 2 (if you have more, reserve more than one site).
Maximum number of vehicles per campsite is 2 (if you have more, reserve more than one site).
For groups of 15 or more, please Email Us or call 970-759-2218 for special rates and group site information.
All reservations and drive-in campers MUST STOP at the OFFICE before entering the campground. All campsites will be assigned by the Camp Host upon your arrival. Your reservation code number is NOT your site number.
The Campground has limited internet connectivity, no electricity and no RV hook-ups.
Firewood is available for sale from the Camp Host. Due to ecological concerns and the appearance of invasive species, campers are strictly prohibited from bringing firewood from out-of-state.
- Hot water shower facilities are available for $5.00 per person, per use.
Generators must be reasonably quiet and are ONLY ALLOWED in the Standard RV Sites and Lake-View Sites.
Our online reservation system allows campers to reserve a campsite in their chosen site TYPE (category). Specific sites will be assigned by the Camp Host upon your arrival. Please Email Us your special requests, and we will make every effort to accommodate you.
Reservations must be made at least four days prior to arrival. Reservations are encouraged but not required. If you arrive without a reservation, the Camp Host will make every effort to place you at a site, subject to site availability and existing reservations.
If you have not made a reservation and are planning to arrive within four days, you may email or call 970-759-2218 for information about vacancy.
During the July 4th and Labor Day Holiday weekends, prices are increased by 50%. If you have not made a reservation, please save yourself a trip: Molas Lake Campground is guaranteed to be at capacity during these times. Click HERE (Lodging>Camping/RV) for more information about camping during July 4th. Click HERE (Lodging) to contact otherfor other lodging and camping options during July 4th and Labor Day holiday periods within the Town of Silverton.
Credit Card charges will appear as Molas Lake Campground on your statement.
To cancel or change your reservation, please either Email Us or call our Reservation Department at 970-759-2218 and specify that you booked your reservation online.
Cancellations made within four days of your arrival will incur a charge equal to 50% of your total reservation fee, plus tax.
Frequently Asked Questions & Answers:
Have a question or comment about Molas Lake Park & Campground? Email Us
Q. How big is Molas Lake Campground?
A. 137 wooded acres, including 25-acre Molas Lake. Our 57 campsites are completely surrounded by national forest and other public land.
Q. Is there a fee to use the Day Use Picnic Areas?
A. No. Our 4 day-use areas are available first-come first-serve, free of charge. Each area has a fire ring and several picnic tables.
Q. Can I swim in Molas Lake?
A. No. Swimming is not permitted in Molas Lake.
Q. Can I bring my dog or cat to the campground?
A. Pets are welcome. Dogs must be on a leash and attended at all times. For the benefit of all guests, this policy is strictly enforced.
Q. What do I need to fish at Molas Lake?
A. You'll need to get a Colorado fishing license. This can be purchased at Outdoor World in Silverton, which is about a 10 minute drive from the park. You can purchase a Colorado fishing license from the Colorado Division of Wildlife. Check the CDOW web site for current license fees. You'll need to supply your own fishing equipment. Rainbow trout is the most common species in the lake.
Q. Are there electrical outlets in the campground bathrooms? How about water?
A. There is no electric service anywhere in the campground. The bathrooms are clean vault-style toilets without electricity and without running water. A central water pump provides clean water for guests.
Q. Does the campground have a dumping station?
A. No -- Molas Lake Campground no longer has a dump station. Dump stations are available within the Town of Silverton, just 10 minutes away. The fee is typically around $10.
Q. Is there a camp store? What supplies can we buy at the campground?
A. We have previously operated a camp store, but we closed the store in 2010 and have not reopened it. The Town of Silverton is a short, scenic ten-minute drive to the North, and there you will find all that you will need, from clothing to groceries to fishing tackle, not to mention numerous restaurants and pubs. Please see our Links page for more details.
Q. Do you sell/offer firewood?
A. Yes, firewood is available for purchase from the Camp Host. Due to ecological concerns and the appearance of invasive species, campers are strictly prohibited from bringing firewood from out-of-state.
Q. We are a large group. Can you accommodate us?
A. For groups of 15 or more, please email your details to us, or call 970-759-2218.
Q. Are there showers at Molas Lake Campground?
A. Yes. Hot water shower facilities are available for $5.00 per person, per use. The campground bathrooms do not have any running water.
Q. Is there clean water at Molas Lake Campground?
A. Yes, a central water pump provides clean water for guests. Please bring containers for storing water at your camp site. The five- to seven-gallon containers with a spout work well and are usually available at discount stores for under $10.
Q. Can I have mail/supplies/food/packages delivered to Molas Lake Campground while I am hiking/camping/mountaineering in the area via USPS, UPS, Fed Ex, etc.?
A. Yes, we are now equipped to serve your resupply needs through UPS! Give us a call at 970-759-2218 to set up your mailing(s).
Q. How cold does it get at night at the campground?
A. Because of the elevation (over 10,000 feet) the nighttime temperatures at Molas are cool all year round. Frost is common most nights, even in the summer. The sun is intense at this elevation so the afternoon sun feels quite warm. Bring sunscreen. Typical highs for late May - September are in the low 60s to low 70s F. Typical lows in this period are between 30 to 43 degrees F.
Q. What are some hiking opportunities in the area?
A. Opportunities for hiking in the immediate area are too numerous to mention. We recommend that you purchase trail maps, like the Drake Mountain maps, which are available in Silverton at the Public Lands Center, and at Outdoor World, to learn more about nearby hikes. Please also refer to our Amenities / Nearby Activities page and our Links page for more information. The Campground is adjacent to the Colorado Trail.
Q. Do bears visit Molas Lake Campground?
A. Although there have not been any bear-human contact incidents in recent memory, black bears have been known to visit the campground from time to time. Because of the remoteness of the campground and the bears' limited interactions with humans, the bears in the area tend to have a natural fear of people. However, you should play it safe and avoid storing food in your tent.
Q. What animals live in the area?
A. A wide variety of species live in the San Juan Mountains, including mule deer, elk, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, wolves, coyotes, black bears, bobcat, and lynx. Although you will probably see some of these species on your trip, such as deer, elk, coyotes, and sheep are frequently seen, while bear- and big cat-sightings are more rare.
"Most Scenic Campground in Colorado" -- Molas Lake Campground