BLM Camping

Blanca Wetlands

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is responsible for 1 in every 10 acres of land in the U.S.

The Bureau of Land Management is the federal agency that, among other things, oversees federal parks, nature preserves, and similar sites across the United States. The agency finds some of the most beautiful lands with unique geography, wildlife, and views and creates trails and infrastructure so that people can enjoy the areas while keeping the local wildlife and landscape protected.

The Blanca Wetlands is one of the hidden gems in the BLM system. It has a vast array of small lakes. Historically, these lakebeds have been dry or filled with water at different times, and now, they provide a habitat for plants and animals that are rare for this region. The wetlands are easy to access and situated close to other outdoor attractions, including Great Sand Dunes National Park, where you can enjoy sledding and trekking on the dunes. 

What to See and Do

What to See and Do

Hiking and BikingHiking and Biking

Lake Como Trail

The Lake Como Trail is an out-and-back trail over rocky and complex terrain. It is a challenging trail that is likely to take at least five hours to finish on foot although ATVs are allowed. This trail has a lake at the end with remarkable views. Be careful of slippery rocks when it rains. 

Length: 8.3 miles

Intensity: Difficult

Zapata Falls Trail

For something much less strenuous, check out the Zapata Falls Trail. This short out-and-bike hike takes you to Zapata Falls, which offers a cool place to relax during the summer. Dogs are allowed on the trail as long as they are leashed.

Length: 0.9 miles

Intensity: Easy

Wildlife ViewingWildlife Viewing

There is a great diversity of wildlife at the Blanca Wetlands, especially among birds. You might see a bald eagle or peregrine falcon, snowy plover, white-faced ibis, or any of the over 150 bird species that frequent the area. Mammals from chipmunks and rats up to coyotes, mule deer, and elk spend time in the wetlands as well. It's a gathering point for thousands of species of fauna and flora, some very rare, including the grasses and shrubs that make up the vegetation of the wetlands.

Fishing and BoatingFishing and Boating

Boating in the waters of the Blanca Wetlands is not permitted and is not practical, but there are opportunities for fishing that are easy to access thanks to how simple it is to reach the lakes. Bass and trout are the primary catches in the wetlands. Nearby bodies of water with great fishing include the Mountain Home Reservoir, which has rainbow trout and several varieties of pike, and the Rio Grande River, which is home to cutthroat trout, brown trout, rainbow trout, and various other species.


Bureau of Land Management Camping

RV Camping Caravan Icon

There aren't any Bureau of Land Management campgrounds in the Blanca Wetlands, but you can enjoy RV camping nearby in Alamosa. Cool Sunshine RV Park offers full hookups and spacious sites, and the Alamosa Economy Campground is easy to access off of US Highway 160. If you're in the area and search for "BLM camping near me," you'll find that the Zapata Falls Campground is also available for $11 a night.

Free Camping Campground Icon

There are no options for Bureau of Land Management free camping in the Blanca Wetlands itself. However, there are areas for dispersed camping in the vicinity of Alamosa. BLM Sacred White Shell Mountain is a great area for free camping. Those with a valid Colorado hunting or fishing license can also camp for free at the San Luis Lakes State Wildlife Area.

RV Rentals Near Blanca Wetlands Plan your next adventure

Planning Your Trip

Credit: Vanna Mae, @vannamaeart

Planning your Blanca Wetlands BLM trip

Blanca Wetlands is a fun and unique place to visit. There are not many preserved wetlands in this part of the country, and each one is a haven for animals that you will not see anywhere else. Bring a camera, a guidebook, and a notebook so that you can mark down the species that you see during your visit. The total area of the preserve is about 10,000 acres, and each year, some areas have water added to them. Seek out the ponds and small lakes because that is where the most interesting sites will be. 

It is a good idea to visit in spring or fall when the wildlife will be most active. The winter in the area is very cold, and even in the summer, the temperature can drop down to the 40-degree range. If you plan to stay past sundown or are considering BLM RV camping in the area, bring warm clothes regardless of the season. Before you head out on your trip, check out our blog for all you need to know about BLM camping

Leave No Trace Leaf

All BLM lands operate under the Leave No Trace rule. That means you cannot do anything to disturb the wildlife or the natural environment. You can't leave tire tracks, trash, or anything else that might have an impact on the land. This is especially important for a wetlands habitat because it has the ability to shelter many different kinds of species. The water, ground, plant life, and animal life all depend on each other for survival, and pollution or trash can disrupt the balance.

Leave No Trace

Blanca Wetlands Location

To reach the Blanca Wetlands, start out in the town of Alamosa, Colorado. Go east out of town on US Route 160, which is called Santa Fe Avenue within the town. In less than 10 minutes, you should reach County Route 116 on the left — make that turn. After another 10 minutes or so, you will reach an intersection where Twomile Road is to the right. The road winds around for a few more minutes, but signs will lead you to Blanca Wetlands. 

Ready to visit Blanca Wetlands? An RV rental is a great way to experience your destination. Not only will you be close to all the action, but at the end of a long day exploring, you’ll have your RV to return to for the night where you’ll enjoy a full kitchen, bathroom, and nice soft bed. Not sure about renting an RV? Here’s a step-by-step guide to renting an RV with RVshare.