Located just an hour from Fort Collins, this area is a labyrinth of forest service roads that offer endless camping opportunities. Buena Vista is a quintessential Colorado mountain town and Denver residents can get there within two hours. Lori, Love the picture of Tals and the description. At the stoplight in town, take a left on County Road 306. But here’s the catch: if I’m going to camp from my car, I want it to be as remote and wild as possible. Exactly that! The area’s campgrounds provide an easy starting point for all outdoor adventures. Any places/hikes you would recommend? My husband and I are dropping our youngest off to camp in Bailey this weekend and think we shall pack up and head to Jones Pass…and are also eager to try the rest of these recommendations. My husband and I are traveling to CO for a family wedding in Grand Lake. My family and I are going to Kebler Pass this coming weekend. Because people are either unaware, don’t care or seem unable to follow the current law on wild camping. Popular dispersed camping areas may have toilets nearby and established fire pits, but often times don’t. Unfortunately I don’t I recently did a post on fall color drives that may be helpful though! I will be coming from Az and have a tentative plan of camping and photographing around Telluride, last dollar road to Ouray, gunnison/Lake City, 2 days around Maroon Bells, Grand Mesa, Silverton/Durango If you ever want to wander south, let me know!! Heather, this blog is fantastic! Fortunately, there is plenty of opportunity for dispersed camping in Colorado! If I have to use one of my iPhone photos these days, I”m beyond sad Although, I’m actually debating getting a camera and having him teach me! I’m looking at camping in mid Sept for the fall colors. However, if a member of the community finds one of these locations to be useful for overnight RV parking and creates an entry, we may approve the listing. In the summer, when thermometers throughout Colorado rise, Turquoise Lake’s high elevation provides a great respite from the heat. (And it made me miss my tent. I worked at a camp in the Shawnee National Forest in Southern, IL. Good luck! Generally, campers must move at least three miles from the original campsite before setting up camp again. Drive on 40 for roughly 8-10 miles. Hey Megan– Promise, there are far more quiet spots than busy! Plenty of sites dot along the road by the creek, and even more sites can be found once you crest the summit and begin the descent on the backside. I love that photo too She is just so happy when we go camping– she just plays and sleeps and plays and sleeps. The views, valleys, and wild flowers are incredible! Regardless, dispersed camping has one major theme: you can arrive at the site with your car! I definitely could give you a few more ideas; would you mind emailing me? memories of pulling into a KOA and pitching their tent on a slab of concrete next to the bathrooms, all while listening to the hum of a half dozen motor home generators. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! Just be sure to keep your campsite clean and store all food in your vehicle. We came back and conquered La Plata another weekend, but in the process, we discovered some fantastic dispersed camping! Closest Town: Twin Lakes (3mi), Leadville (24mi) We don’t want to be near crowds or towns if we can help it, and we don’t need hookups or anything. I was thinking of camping in Taos Memorial weekend. Some areas have dozens of dispersed camping sites spread over the mountainside while others flaunt solitary sites, away from civilization. We did see a small pop up and lots of tents. Free campgrounds can be hard to find. What time of year did you camp at Twin Lakes? (for dispersed camping or coffee shops or restaurants or trails), Hey Mary Beth! From Twin Lakes Village, drive 8 miles west to the South Fork Lake Creek Road (aka Forest Road 391) on the left side. . What?! I know we have dispersed camping in Southern IL, but I’ll have to do some research and see if I can find something closer – thanks for the inspiration! This is so helpful for me! This national scenic byway connects Yampa (near … Really great to have all this information at our fingertips, thank you! There are three loops in which to find your perfect campsite: Sage and Valley Loops have reservable sites, while Ridge Loop is first-come, first-served. Just passed the parking lot, you will notice dispersed camping sites. Thanks so much! Heather, this is awesome! I’ve been there a bunch, but was actually in the area a few weeks ago. Towering peaks loom in the background in that rugged, sharp way that the Elk Range has. The best camping near Twin Lakes, Colorado. A couple places close to Denver to try are Peru Creek above Keystone and along Boreas Pass especially to backside if going up frame Georgetown. We’ll occasionally see deer or elk or something but they leave us alone, and we’ve never run into black bears or big cats. Otherwise, sites are littered throughout Kebler Pass Road {Gunnison County Road 12}. If you have 4WD you can take the road higher where the sites are more isolated. Too often, people have vivid {and horrifying!} Community reviews and ratings provide you with up to date information and help you select the best camp site for your next camping trip. Beautiful photos! To Get There: From US-24 south of Leadville, take CO-82 west towards Twin Lakes. Or, if hiking isn’t your thing and you have a sturdy car, drive the road a bit and catch the views above treeline. We love camping but have only camped up in the Yampa area years ago. However, I’m not such a wilderness snob that I don’t appreciate and frequently prefer the comfort of car camping, too! I was thinking late May, too cold? Dispersed camping is a blessing when it works, but make sure you have a backup plan in case the campground is full. Some are easy to go to via car while others require 4wd or AWD. We recommend that you obtain the Forest Service map of Pike National Forest for road travel the east side trailheads. If everyone contributes a few campsites, we'll all have more places to go camping. I don’t mind driving aimlessly until we find spots, but not everyone feels that way Thought a guide would help! Thank you!! We’re partnering up with CB tourism and headed there in a few weekends; I’ll get some info for you! Do you have any suggestions on where to go? You could also find a spot at Twin Lakes. If you’re looking for a stunning place to camp in search of fall color, look no further because nothing can top Kebler! If you’re feeling sassy, the trailhead to La Plata is only a few miles down the road, so you can give a 14er a try! I will be checking out cottonwood or Twin lakes in a week with a few friends. The place is … Freaking spectacular! Once it was dirt, we found a plethora of dispersed camping sites! Straus Mountain Campsite. Located 21 miles southwest of Leadville and 36 miles east of Aspen, this historic village sits at the base of Colorado’s highest peak, Mt. Yea for us! Are any of these places good for pulling a camper. I camped near Breck this weekend to go mountain biking (right next to the Colorado trail! I’ve spent years camping in dispersed sites in Colorado, and I’ve racked up a few favorite locations. I’m so glad I found your blog! I am also a fan of Lost Creek Wilderness for proximity to Denver but away from crowds. We especially like camping on Forest Service land, BLM (Bureau of Land Management) areas, WMA's (Wildlife Management Areas) and county or city parks. Flat Tops Trail. We discovered the parking lot we were in was for the Twin Lakes Historic ... Read all 168 reviews. It’s her happy place! Literally, you will see dozens of offshoots from the main road, and every single one of them leads to bomb dispersed camping. Take a right (north) on US-24 towards downtown Buena Vista. Chalk Creek Campground & RV Park 719.395.8301 www.Chalkcreek-Campground.com 11430 Co Rd 197 Nathrop, CO 81236 © 2014 Just a Colorado Gal. . You should be fine! Twin Lakes, Colorado Absolutely free camping overlooking a pair of lakes living in the footprint of Independence Pass and Mount Elbert, the tallest in the state. You get the serenity and quiet feel of backpacking with the ease of […], […] Best Dispersed Camping In Colorado […]. come check it out! Ah yes, I have fond childhood memories of “camping”; we were in tents, but there would be crowded bathrooms, a huge swimming pool, restaurant and even a store at the “campground” lol. In the summer months CO Hwy 82 is open to Independence Pass and eventually leads to Aspen. We hope you enjoy the same style of camping. Haha yes! 2014: Gear of the Year - Just a Colorado GalJust a Colorado Gal, Day 02 Friday (2): Evening at the Hostel – In the Land of Legal Marijuana, Car Camping in Colorado -Just a Colorado Gal, Best Dispersed Camping In Colorado - Crested Butte Real Estate Collection. Always use a preexisting spot and leave no trace. thanks for this! The Twin Lakes Colorado community welcomes you to our historic village and its surroundings in the Upper Arkansas River Valley. I won’t ever be as interested or as talented as him, but his photos make it look fun. Thanks for putting together your recommendations, Heather! We’re planning on going down to the Great Sand Dunes and I was curious if you knew of any fun primitive places in the vicinity? . We just like being away from people. This is a very nice campground, plenty of trees with a few sites providing a good view of the Twin Lakes below. Lakeview Campground in Leadville, Colorado: 6 reviews, 8 photos, & 5 tips from fellow RVers. We’ll have four days, basically. This is a great idea — sharing spots to try out camping away from the crowds. We’ll see! In June 2019, we stayed in our Motorhome at Lakeview Campground in Leadville, CO. St Elmo is a nearby ghost town, Buena Vista is a charming town and Leadville was celebrating its annual Boom Days.....complete with the burro race and the mosey. Twin Lakes Reservoir is located about 20 minutes south of Leadville. It’s been so long since I’ve been real,camping, I need to go again soon! We may even venture to Taos this winter! % of the Hipcamps for your dates are already booked. If you’re not afraid of hiking in, lost creek wilderness is amazing! This turned out to be a great stop. you sound like someone who knows the area and would be a good source of information. You see, dispersed camping gets a bad rap. Follow US Hwy 24, then take Colorado Highway 82 a couple miles west. Aside from their location, I’m a big fan of the nearby trails. So far, we are looking at Steamboat, Fruita, & Salida. But maybe wait till it’s a bit warmer so you aren’t miserable on your first try . Can’t wait to hear what you get into with CB Tourism! Stop for lunch if you can; the downtown is chock full of restored mining buildings and houses, and I absolutely love a small coffee shop called First Ascent. The first 1.5 miles is on private property, but dispersed campsites can be found after that point. Great post! I love the isolation but everywhere else we’ve camped in the U.S., they’ve not been an issue. From Twin Lakes Village drive approximately 1.5 miles east on Highway 82 and take the exit for White Star Campground. Camping: About 6 miles south from Twin Lakes down US-24 E is Clear Creek Reservoir.Turn right onto CO Rd 390 and travel a few miles west (past private property) and you will see plenty of dispersed camping sites down by the river and up the hill on the base of the mountain. The National Forest Service Campgrounds are Dexter, Lakeview, Parry Peak, Twin Peaks, and White Star. These are taxpayer lands and everyone should be free to enjoy them. Any interest in winter camping? A fire ring frequently exists but thankfully, crowds rarely do. Beautiful pictures, as always. With daytime temperatures hovering around 80°, visitors comfortably spend the day boating, fishing, biking, or simply relaxing on the beach. All Rights Reserved. Camping South of Buena Vista Area. To Get There: Take US-285 south from Denver until it connects with US-50. Little Molas Lake, San Juan National Forest. I’ll have to try out some of these spots and see if they change my mind! That might be where we overnight the night before we leave! …I’m new to dispersed camping & trying to find sites as close to denver as possible (as it’ll be my home for about a month + I’m currently driving a camry -2wd). Campgrounds in Twin Lakes Colorado: Campendium has 68 reviews of Twin Lakes RV parks, state parks and national parks making it your best Twin Lakes RV camping resource. From Twin Lakes Village, drive 8 miles west to the South Fork Lake Creek Road (aka Forest Road 391) on the left side. Sayres Gulch Dispersed Camping - Buena Vista, Colorado There is a 4WD road at the La Plata Gulch trailhead off of 82 past the Twin Lakes that leads you 1.6 miles through private property to a ton of … News flash! If you’re unaware, dispersed camping is completely free and sites are spread throughout Colorado. Our community provides the best free camping information available. Some provide great overlooks of the lake. This list is awesome! Little Molas Lake, located in the southwest corner of Colorado in the San Juan National Forest between Durango and Silverton, is a primitive campground that offers spectacular views of the glistening water and the surrounding jagged peaks of Snowdon, Grand Turk, Engineer and Twin Sister. We are looking for a rustic or dispersed camping spot in the area, we will be in pickups and tents, any suggestions? This area reminds me of being in the Swiss Alps with the quaint village of Twin Lakes situated right by these beautiful lakes! Any and all tips and suggestions would be extremely helpful. Just follow the road nearest the dunes and just outside the boundary of the dunes park there are tons of great sites. The lakes are surrounded by the Roosevelt National Forest in the heart of Larimer County, Colorado… The problem is that everyone tends to go to the busy, so it’s a vicious cycle Do you backpack too? We have a generator if needed. They dont belong to JUST you or colorado residents. Lakeview Campground in Leadville is rated 8.6 of 10 at Campground Reviews. There are enough Wal-Mart and truck stop directories out there already. While some can be reserved, most are first come, first served. I’m reticent to give away all of the good spots, but I’m happy to share enough to get people exploring. Anvil Dispersed Camping—Silverton. What’s the weather like then? Area Status: Open. Campers can hike Vasquez Peak or explore the Continental Divide Trail. The pass is covered in aspen groves, and I’ve heard rumors that they are some of the largest in the country. They have amazing camping and climbing around there! I’ve gotten so frustrated with the crowds and traffic recently, and have really been looking forward to moving eventually. In the Grand Mesa National Forest 10,300-foot elevation. Other than the military we have not done any dispersed camping and have been talking about it, off of school for the summer and ready to camp and hike. We’re planning to do some dispersed camping in our 4WD RV in the San Juans/Uncompahgre area in the next week. Do you have 3-4 day backpacking trip recommendations around there? While Twin Lakes and the Reservoir are both nearby, there is no water source directly at the campsite. You know, it’s never been an issue. They can be contacted via phone at (575) 434-7200 for pricing, directions, reservations and more. However, they get higher in elevation and are heavily shaded, so we only camp there in the heat of the summer. People don’t tend to travel down this road, and if you take the time drive all the way to the end, you will likely have it to yourself. If Twin Peaks Campground happens to be full, free pull-off camping can be found farther west along the highway. I need to do a fall foliage shot if it’s not too late. i think we’ll be seeking out one of the spots in two weekends from now –. Anything helps. We did make it almost to the top and thank goodness some guys were nice enough to move their car so that we could turn around or we might still be up there! I agree with you. I might just go set it up in my living room now. My husband is a big fan of dispersed camping and it makes me nervous as i’m a planner but i’m starting to see the beauty of it to be able to camp without the crowds. I stumbled on them one time while exploring 4WD roads with my old Pathfinder.I love these dispersed sites for a couple reasons. I remember driving cross-country with my mom and staying at KOA’s because they were cheap. sweet. Any recommendations would be great, as we don’t know that part of the state as well as other parts. $30/night. These places look great! Take the road a few miles to Henderson Mine {obeying all of the Mine rules}, and then continue on the dirt road. 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