Target Tree Campground is located 7 miles east of Mancos on the north side of Highway 160 at an elevation of 7,643 feet. It is the ideal camping spot for day trips to Mancos, Durango and Mesa Verde National Park.
The name, "Target Tree," refers to the Ute Indians' use of the area to harvest sap and bark from Ponderosa pines as food supplements. They also used the trees for target practice, leaving several scarred trees throughout the area.
The campground offers single-family sites, many of which meet accessibility standards and are equipped with a picnic table and campfire ring.
A group site can accommodate up to 50 people and 10 vehicles. It also offers two divided corrals for those camping with horses. The site contains two pull-through sites and four parallel sites for RVs.
Vault toilets, drinking water and trash collection are provided.
The campground sits on a south-facing hillside overlooking Thompson Park. A Ponderosa pine and Gambel oak forest provides shade in many sites. The area is hot during the summer, but cools off significantly at night.
Southwestern Colorado, part of the Four Corners region, contains over 4,000 archaeological sites and over 600 cliff dwellings. Mesa Verde National Park is 1 hour and 45 minutes south, close enough for a day trip. Other sites within a few hour's drive include the Anasazi Heritage Center in Dolores, Canyon of the Ancients and Hovenweep National Monument.
Visitors may enjoy taking a short, accessible interpretive trail to view a historic target tree. The campground is also known for its great birding opportunities, with a sign in the campground that lists species found in the area.
The Narrow Gauge Trail begins within the campground and climbs 3.4 miles to an old railroad grade. The rails were placed just three feet apart to allow trains to navigate through the rugged mountains.
SAN JUAN NF CO
From Mancos, take U.S. Highway 160 east for 8.8 miles. Turn left at campground sign and follow the gravel road for 0.3 miles to the campground.
From Durango, take U.S. Highway 160 west for 20 miles to the campground sign. Turn right and the follow gravel road for 3 miles to the campground.