A glamping tent is set up with zippable window flaps, a plush white bed and a comfy chair at Basecamp 550 in Colorado.

Basecamp 550

The adventure-filled San Juan Mountains are your playground at Basecamp 550, situated in the western Colorado town of Ridgway, where John Wayne filmed "True Grit." But don’t expect much grit at this scenic retreat, where traditional camping gets a cushy and convenient makeover.

Accommodations at Basecamp 550 are a choose-your-own-adventure for outdoor enthusiasts. If you want the camping experience minus the whole “roughing it” part, go for a glamping tent; the vibe is minimalist-modern, but these roomy canvas cocoons are maxed out with creature comforts like fridges, fans, microwaves and wireless charging stations. Two-person Rustic Cabins and Casitas come with private bathrooms and mini-kitchens, while the Deluxe Casita can accommodate a crew of four. Traveling by RV? Park your rig in one of Basecamp’s 25 RV sites with full hookups (suitable for campers under 28 feet).

What makes it special?

Everything was thoughtfully curated with campers’ needs in mind. Heather and Sam Jaquette founded Basecamp to make it easier to “get in, get out and get on with your adventures.” There’s no setting up or breaking down camp here. And so many necessities — like soap, shampoo and on-site laundry — are provided. 

The most Colorado thing about this place

It’s got to be the clubhouse, a hipster hangout where guests can lounge on mid-century modern furniture and trade tales of the day’s explorations. There’s a vintage motorbike in one corner and a crackling wood stove in another, plus a stack of vinyl ready for a spin on the turntable. A full kitchen is at your disposal for cooking meals, shaking up cocktails or enjoying a complimentary cup of coffee. And the back deck, with its barbecues and Adirondack chairs, is the perfect spot for a post-hike grill-and-chill.

A row of raised glamping tents at Basecamp 550 sit beside a gravel road and face glorious mountain peaks.
Across a low-cut grassy field, near Basecamp 550 in Colorado, mountain ridges covered in pine forests rise up to meet the cloudy sky.
A row of tents at Basecamp 550 in Colorado face towards sun-filled mountain views. At the end of the row sits a shiny metal camper.

Room with the best view

You can’t go wrong. Basecamp is nestled in a valley ringed by the majestic San Juans, so no matter which lodging type you choose, you’ll have a view worthy of an Albert Bierstadt painting just outside your door.

Coolest amenity

We should really call this “warmest amenity,” because Basecamp’s glamping tents are cozied up with propane heaters and — in a true stroke of genius — heated mattress pads. Is there anything nicer than a toasty bed on a chilly high-country morning?

Most unexpected amenity

You’re lucky to find even basic soap-on-a-rope at typical campgrounds, but the bathhouse at Basecamp is stacked with sustainable products from Public Goods. So, you’ll feel even better about washing off the day’s trail dirt.

Two people clink alcoholic beverages in Basecamp 550 koozies outside near a metal camper.
A cozy common area at Basecamp 550 features a metal stove, four leather chairs with pillows and a decorative motorcycle.
A guest wearing a robin-egg blue hat and holding a matching portable coffee mug sits on the bed with their luggage in a glamping tent at Basecamp 550.

Our favorite traveler review

“Loved this gem on our Ouray trip. Tent was super cozy and comfortable. The propane heater was nice for the brisk spring morning. The view was probably the best part: mountains with spring calves grazing right in front of the porch. Bathhouse was a nice amenity as well. Wish we could’ve stayed longer.” — Courtney M., Google

Things to see & do nearby

The “550” in Basecamp’s name comes from U.S. Hwy 550, which connects the towns of Ridgway, Ouray, Silverton and Durango. You’ll be smack dab in the middle of this Western Slope wonderland. Quaint downtown Ridgway is five minutes away for things like dining, shopping and (clothing-optional) soaks in the lithium-rich waters at Orvis Hot Springs. A 10-minute drive in the other direction brings you to Ouray, an outdoor haven renowned for its ice climbing, its via-ferrata route and another set of famed hot springs. Ouray is also the entry point to one of America’s most spectacular drives, the Million Dollar Highway. Silverton and Telluride, two towns brimming with history, culture and scenery, are both an hour away.


Photos courtesy of Basecamp 550.

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