El Rito Campground--Group Shelter

Carson National Forest

The El Rito Campground Group Shelter is situated along El Rito Creek and is part of a larger campground, El Rito Campground. The group shelter and campground are located approximately 5 miles from the small village of El Rito. Elevation of the group shelter is 7,600 feet with the predominant vegetation being pinon, cottonwood, spruce, juniper and gambel oak.  

This is a great place to host your family and friends, graduation parties, organization meetings, and school events. Stay for the day or make it an overnight! Visitors can enjoy hiking and fishing, plus there are also nearby opportunities for sport and traditional climbing . Wildlife (depending on the season) may include mule deer, squirrels, chipmunks, and racoons plus the rare sighting of a bear or mountain lion. The campground is situated along the banks of the El Rito Creek. 

Typical season of use is May 1 to October 1.  Check-in at the site is 1:00 PM on the start date of your reservation. Check-out is 11:00 AM on the last day of your reservation.

The beautiful, majestic timber shelter was constructed on a concrete foundation in 2018 and is situated in a big grassy meadow 200 feet from the river. Amenities included with your reservation of the group site include 1) a large grill with pedestal at the shelter, 2) seven picnic tables, four of which are located at the shelter, 3) three additional campfire rings situated throughout the site, 4) a vault toilet, 5) one trash receptacle, 6) and space for three large RV trailers and ample tent camping.  

This is a fenced and gated area reserved exclusively through recreation.gov so you'll not have to stress about whether the site will be available for your special event.  

Need to Know

Natural Features

This group shelter/camping area is tucked up in the forest and located next a babbling creek that is popular for fishing and lounging next to when the moment strikes you. The view of the nearby cliffs tops off this great experience in nature.  


The nearby creek is great for fishing and enjoying nature. Look for birds flitting around the water in search of their next aquatic meal and splash around in the creek on hot days when the water is lower and you need to cool off. The water from this creek begins in the mountains as snow and rain runoff and travels along the corridor shared with the picnic shelter/camping area. Cross the creek and you will find adventures at the base of the red cliffs. Can you spot the hawk flying overhead and was that a chipmunk that just ran past you?!  

Please do not climb the cliffs unless you are an experienced rope/harness climber. There are specific climbing areas designed for such adventures in the nearby vicinity.

Contact Information

Phone Number

For campground inquiries, please call: 575-581-4554

Rental Options

Learn more about gear rental options for your trip

Available Campsites

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