With lots of camp sites and good amenities, Morefield Campground is a convenient home base for exploring Mesa Verde.
On a trip last year to Colorado, we explored Mesa Verde on our way to an epic 40-mile backpacking trip in the San Juan Mountains.
We were spending as much time as we could acclimatizing to the altitude before we tackled that hike. We'd been to Garden of the Gods, Cheyenne Mountain, Pikes Peak, and Great Sand Dunes National Park.
Mesa Verde was a fantastic way to cap off that part of our trip. And since we were camping for most of our trip, we stayed at Morefield Campground, just a 10-minute drive past the national park entrance.
Here's what to know if you're planning to camp out in this national park!
Morefield Campground Attractions
Since Mesa Verde is an International Dark Sky Park, camping is a fantastic way to get some star-gazing in.
Morefield Campground is also home to three trailheads — Knife Edge (which is beautiful at sunset), Point Lookout, and Prater Ridge.
Booking a Site at Morefield Campground
Camping with amenities is open from late spring through early fall.
Primitive camping may be available a little bit outside those dates, but check the website to be sure.
The campground is run by Aramark, not the National Park Service.
This means that while you can make reservations online, it won't be through reservation.gov like most national park campgrounds are. You can also reserve a site in person at the camp store.
Note that your reservation confirmation email might be delayed: mine took about a day to arrive. (I'm not sure whether the system is automated or not.)
You don’t select your campsite on the website. When you arrive, you’ll get a paper with your name and reservation date, and then they’ll let you know which loop you can select a spot from.
At that point you can drive the camp loop and select any empty site.
Not all of the spots are equal. Some have shade, while others don’t. Some have bear lockers, while at others you need to use your car for food storage. Also, some sites are much smaller than others.
The good news is that there are LOTS of spots, and you can choose which site fits your needs best. We looked for a large site with lots of shade.
There are restrooms throughout the camp loops. These restrooms have toilet paper, but no soap.
There was a water pump / dishwashing area in front of the restrooms.
At the camp store, you'll find limited groceries, supplies like ice and firewood, a gift shop, and daily breakfast served during peak season.
Near the camp store, there are free showers and restrooms with hand soap provided, as well as a pay laundromat.
There’s a small gas station near the camp store, but I recommend filling up your car before entering the park. When we visited, gas was a little more expensive at this station than in nearby Cortez.
Cell Phone Service
We had no cell service within the campground area (using Verizon towers). There is a free wifi, but we found it to be fairly spotty.
If you need a signal, we had about three bars of service near the visitor center.
Have you camped out at Mesa Verde? Let us know in the comments!