About 50 minutes away from the tribal city of Towaoc and half an hour away from the small town of Cortez, Mancos State Park lies comfortably in the San Juan Mountain range. Inhabited by Anasazi Native Americans until the 14th century, the land was soon overtaken by the Spaniards from the 17th to the 19th centuries. When the park became a popular site for recreation, it was established as a state park in 1987. Offering an enjoyable climate throughout the summer, the park is a prime place to go hiking, biking, boating, and fishing. Open year-round, the park offers a variety of activities during the winter months, from snowshoeing to cross-country skiing.
Set inside a Ponderosa pine forest at a staggering elevation of 7,800 feet, Mancos State Park offers breathtaking views of the San Juan Mountains and Jackson Gulch Reservoir. You'll hardly believe your eyes at the still beauty of the sun hitting the water, spreading a rainbow of hues over the tops of the trees. Reminiscent of a Bob Ross painting, the views effortlessly dazzle the hearts of all who visit. If it's tranquility you desire, book an RV in Montezuma County to recharge and refocus in the breathtaking Colorado wilderness.
Pack a fishing rod in your rental RV, as the Jackson Gulch Reservoir holds over 200 acres of clear blue water brimming with biting fish. A hot-spot for fishing in Colorado, this fully stocked reservoir of yellow perch and rainbow trout offers an excellent source of year-round entertainment for locals and campers alike. Kayaking, canoeing, motorized boating, and sail boating are popular activities here as well. The park provides a convenient boat ramp which allows just about any sized boat.
Looking to get some cross-country running in while camping at Mancos State Park? Lace up your sneakers and sprint along the almost two-mile-long Black Bear Trail, where you'll have the choice to connect to two other in-park trails for a range of distance and difficulty options. If you’re a photographer in the making, grab that camera and take a leisurely walk along Mule Deer Trail, where the easy trail difficulty makes for the perfect Sunday afternoon. The Mule Deer Trail also offers beautiful views of the lake as well as direct access to the shoreline.
With swirling snowflakes adding a unique sparkle to the mountain range, Colorado in the wintertime is magical. Snowshoeing and cross-country skiing is a must for those wintry mornings, as there are over five miles of trails to explore. Bundled up in a cozy Christmas sweater with snow glistening all around you, you might catch sight of deer or elk along the trails. Once you’ve had your fill of snowshoeing, head back to your rental motorhome for a steaming cup of hot chocolate and an evening of swapping camp memories.
Camping at Mancos State Park
Two campgrounds at Mancos State Park offer a total of 32 sites for tents and RVs. Camping with an RV is fun for the whole family as the park offers an array of recreational activities for all ages to divulge in. A horseshoe pit, volleyball court, and amphitheater are just a few of the many activities available near the campgrounds. No hookups are available; however, fresh drinking water and restrooms are close at hand. Each site has its own picnic table and fire pit, and bundles of firewood can be purchased directly from the park for an affordable fee.
Excited to walk the park trails with your dog? Pets are welcome at the campground, as long as owners keep them on a leash and dispose of their waste. With a dump station available inside the park, just at the exit of the main campground, waste disposal for your motorhome rental is a breeze.
Exploring the Area
Located just a half-hour drive away from Mancos State Park is the Anasazi Heritage Center in Dolores. Reminiscent of the deep-rooted history of Mancos State Park, the Heritage Center is a must-see with its prehistoric Anasazi ruins and research collection of over three million artifacts. Rich history and culture are on display within the ruins, from intricate sculptures to ornate brickwork.
In nearby Durango, the Durango-Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad offers an enchanting trip through the wilderness areas of the San Juan National Forest. Through forests and over bridges, curving around mountains and beside trickling water, the railroad offers no shortage of picture-perfect views along any of its routes.
While in Mancos, you can grab some comfort food at your pick of restaurants offering Mexican, American, café food, and more. If you’re low on gas, don't despair! Both gas and groceries can be purchased just five miles away from Mancos State Park. Once back in the park, tune into some interpretive programs or events, as there's always something new to enjoy, from workshops to sing-alongs around the campfire. If you're feeling really creative, you may want to grab your art supplies and set up in front of the Colorado mountains to paint some happy little trees for your friends back home to enjoy.
Mancos State Park, CO is the perfect spot to start your next road trip.
There are many popular rentals in Mancos State Park. Outdoorsy's Mancos State Park RV rental marketplace allows renters to choose from rental options from professional RV rental agencies as well as RVs for rent by owner.