Exactly that! The pass is covered in aspen groves, and I’ve heard rumors that they are some of the largest in the country. We especially like camping on Forest Service land, BLM (Bureau of Land Management) areas, WMA's (Wildlife Management Areas) and county or city parks. come check it out! This is exactly the article I was looking for. A fire ring frequently exists but thankfully, crowds rarely do. Crested Butte is one of my all-time favorite mountain towns in Colorado, and this drive takes you smack through it. However, I’m not such a wilderness snob that I don’t appreciate and frequently prefer the comfort of car camping, too! you are ruining camping for the actual locals that took the time to go out and find these spots…. Thanks, and I can’t wait to try some of these spots. This is a platform for sharing campgrounds and camp sites you have discovered. Twin Lakes Reservoir is located about 20 minutes south of Leadville. Fantastic blog! We usually go to Wyoming but want to find places a little closer to home. I love dispersed camping. If you ever want to wander south, let me know!! Whitestar Campground is located in ponderosa pine and sage habitat at 9,300 feet on the northern shore of Twin Lakes Reservoir. In the hills north of Twin Lakes Reservoir there’s ample dispersed campsites on the various forest service roads. Though it was nothing like the camping we do these days, it certainly instilled my love for sleeping in a tent! Do you have any suggestions on where to go? Beautiful pictures, as always. Any recommendations would be great, as we don’t know that part of the state as well as other parts. You can’t go wrong! The views, valleys, and wild flowers are incredible! One of our favorite spots is located at the junction of Deadman Road and Forest Service Road 502.How to Get There: The area is located up Deadman Road, northwest of Red Feather Lakes. Now I live in Colorado, I find it difficult to camp as neither my husband nor I enjoy the camp ground experience. This national scenic byway connects Yampa (near … Great post! What’s the weather like then? What time of year did you camp at Twin Lakes? We have never camped in Colorado ever, we’re from Kansas. sweet. 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. 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. Take a right (north) on US-24 towards downtown Buena Vista. If Twin Peaks Campground happens to be full, free pull-off camping can be found farther west along the highway. Take the road a few miles to Henderson Mine {obeying all of the Mine rules}, and then continue on the dirt road. About Twin Lake Dispersed Area. For the uninformed, it is similar to wild […], Stop blogging thus stuff, all these damn hipsters from out of state need to go back where they came from and stop crowding out these once great hidden spots…. Thank you. 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. Twin Lakes boondocking – Tales from a Van-Tramp couple I didn’t do a very good job conveying just how much I have enjoyed camping up here above Twin Lakes, Colorado. It’s been so long since I’ve been real,camping, I need to go again soon! As a newbie to Colorado (recently retired) I’m wondering if you’ve ever had issues with wild animals camping in isolated spots. Once in CB, take a left on Whiterock Avenue which turns into Kebler Pass Road. ), and I’m going to use your recommendation for Twin Lakes next weekend when I do the Leadville 10k! If you have more on your list, please share your recommendations. Our focus is on public lands. We had no idea you could do this ! . Although not the absolute most peaceful camping site, the Jones Pass sites are close to Denver and really easy to access. We are wanting to try out the Jones Pass. Really great to have all this information at our fingertips, thank you! Good morning planning a trip to the Glenwood are in early August. Well worth a look. So jealous of this. You see, most of the 14ers in Colorado have long dirt roads that act as approaches to the trailheads. Freecampsites.net makes it easy. The first 1.5 miles is on private property, but dispersed campsites can be found after that point. Pro Tips. The area’s campgrounds provide an easy starting point for all outdoor adventures. Because people are either unaware, don’t care or seem unable to follow the current law on wild camping. They can be contacted via phone at (575) 434-7200 for pricing, directions, reservations and more. You can simply use your smart phone's GPS to find camping near you or even use our trip planner to plan your route from coast to coast. I stumbled on them one time while exploring 4WD roads with my old Pathfinder.I love these dispersed sites for a couple reasons. I’ll have to try out some of these spots and see if they change my mind! We’ll see! Take 50 into Gunnison before taking a right and heading north on CO-135/Main Street. I won’t ever be as interested or as talented as him, but his photos make it look fun. You may want to book soon. In the summer months CO Hwy 82 is open to Independence Pass and eventually leads to Aspen. Freaking spectacular! You should! There are a few other campsites in the area such as Dexter campground, and Twin Lakes campground, but White Star Campground is by far the best one since it is right on the lake with dozens of tent and/or RV campsites. Any interest in winter camping? Flat Tops Trail. Oh friend, I could give you trips in that area FOR DAYS! The lakes are surrounded by the Roosevelt National Forest in the heart of Larimer County, Colorado… Little Molas Lake, San Juan National Forest. Unfortunately I don’t I recently did a post on fall color drives that may be helpful though! Camping South of Buena Vista Area. Are any of these places good for pulling a camper. To get there from Fort Collins, take US Hwy 287 north to Livermore, turn west ont… To Get There: From US-24 south of Leadville, take CO-82 west towards Twin Lakes. After all, not everyone wants to lug a 50-lb backback up a 4,000 foot climb, and I appreciate that. 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. I agree with you. Popular dispersed camping areas may have toilets nearby and established fire pits, but often times don’t. I worked at a camp in the Shawnee National Forest in Southern, IL. It’s definitely a popular area and, once you’re up there, it’s easy to understand why! Follow US Hwy 24, then take Colorado Highway 82 a couple miles west. {And also– we have plans to explore northern NM next year– I will keep you posted! 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. Any suggestions…..I’m planning on bringing my two labs with me also. Do I need to remind you of the photos of this place?! Thanks so much! Yea for us! Dispersed sites are abundant in this area. But once the girls are bigger I will take them backpacking too. Good luck! Twin Lakes Area Campgrounds. We’re planning to do some dispersed camping in our 4WD RV in the San Juans/Uncompahgre area in the next week. The National Forest Service Campgrounds are Dexter, Lakeview, Parry Peak, Twin Peaks, and White Star. From Leadville, take US-24 E to CO-82 W toward Twin Lakes. The first 1.5 miles is on private property, but dispersed campsites can be found after that point. I didn’t know y’all hadn’t been out! Doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the great outdoors! 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! I hope you’re able to see this in time. . {Save yourself some face: locals pronounce it like “Byoo-nuh Vis-tuh” and NOT the correct Spanish pronunciation!} I’ve spent years camping in dispersed sites in Colorado, and I’ve racked up a few favorite locations. Thanks! I was thinking of camping in Taos Memorial weekend. We like privacy when we camp. It amazes me how people just blow through that part of the state…so pretty! 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? That might be where we overnight the night before we leave! We camped in Red River NM last year after a week in Colorado. Haha yes! We’ll have four days, basically. Any and all tips and suggestions would be extremely helpful. Cottonwood Pass was an accidental discovery years ago while hiking 14ers. Aside from their location, I’m a big fan of the nearby trails. I definitely could give you a few more ideas; would you mind emailing me? 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! Last time I looked these spots were part of the national forest lands. I’ve been there a bunch, but was actually in the area a few weeks ago. I’m so glad I found your blog! We love to backpack, but it’s hard with a 3 and a 5 year old, and we just can’t bring ourselves to pay for a campground we don’t even want to be in. While Twin Lakes and the Reservoir are both nearby, there is no water source directly at the campsite. Most preexisting campsites are in wooded area. Twin Lakes There’s more to Twin Lakes than its water. Free campgrounds can be hard to find. (for dispersed camping or coffee shops or restaurants or trails), Hey Mary Beth! Thanks! Fortunately, there is plenty of opportunity for dispersed camping in Colorado! Facilities include picnic tables with lantern poles, fire rings with grates, and vault toilets. The best camping near Twin Lakes, Colorado. you sound like someone who knows the area and would be a good source of information. Dispersed camping is a blessing when it works, but make sure you have a backup plan in case the campground is full. […] a blog about Colorado with information about “Dispersed Camping”. To be fair, this area was an accidental discovery but it was such a happy accident! Occasional hikers or ATV-enthusiasts will ride by, but we camped there for two nights without seeing anyone! For more fantastic dispersed camping, check out the Twin Lakes area near the lovely town of Leadville. It would be more helpful to let people know that dispersed camping is allowed in any national forest. So far, we are looking at Steamboat, Fruita, & Salida. Dispersed Camping While the Trails Illustrated map 105 is excellent for the trails, it does not include all the access roads you may need to use. Thank you!! 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’m sure it will inspire a number of folks to get out there and explore a bit! We may even venture to Taos this winter! Some amazing shows in the sky here, daily, but while it rains nearly every day in Western Colorado, it typically only lasts a short while before the blue bird comes back out. 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. The Continental Divide and Mount Elbert trails are in the nearby area. Lori, Love the picture of Tals and the description. . You own these lands and you are entitled to use them. It’s her happy place! 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. I’m reticent to give away all of the good spots, but I’m happy to share enough to get people exploring. (And it made me miss my tent. Campers can access water and toilets at … I will be checking out cottonwood or Twin lakes in a week with a few friends. Chalk Creek Campground & RV Park 719.395.8301 www.Chalkcreek-Campground.com 11430 Co Rd 197 Nathrop, CO 81236 Just north of Silverton you’ll find a dirt road (County Road 7) … Stop being an elitist, entitled brat. Yale and continued driving on County Road 306, past the trailhead until the road turned to dirt. I was thinking late May, too cold? These places look great! Campers can hike Vasquez Peak or explore the Continental Divide Trail. I might just go set it up in my living room now. Hookups aren’t a problem. Basically, they are just primitive locations for people to pitch a tent. We will have 5 children with us from 1 to 8 years of age as well. Also, Taos Ski Valley just added a lift to Kachina Peak…. It really depends on how much you enjoy cold overnights . Camping on public lands away from developed recreation facilities is referred to as dispersed camping. Lots of listings, and nice to be able to roll into a new area and find free dispersed camping. Beautiful photos! 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 Remember when you didn’t have Will as your personal photographer and hardly ever posted photos on your blog?!?!? i think we’ll be seeking out one of the spots in two weekends from now –. …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). $30/night. We give you a simple, map based search engine to find free and cheap camping areas. Otherwise, sites are littered throughout Kebler Pass Road {Gunnison County Road 12}. I keep saying we need to go camping, but we haven’t been in ages. 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. We have a generator if needed. I’ve gotten so frustrated with the crowds and traffic recently, and have really been looking forward to moving eventually. From Twin Lakes Village, drive 8 miles west to the South Fork Lake Creek Road (aka Forest Road 391) on the left side. News flash! I am also a fan of Lost Creek Wilderness for proximity to Denver but away from crowds. Too often, people have vivid {and horrifying!} Thank you! I love the isolation but everywhere else we’ve camped in the U.S., they’ve not been an issue. Located just an hour from Fort Collins, this area is a labyrinth of forest service roads that offer endless camping opportunities. I would love for you to post more when you find them, especially near Denver. Heather, this is AWESOME, and it looks like Kebler Pass is super close to where you suggested I look for backpacking in August. Kebler Pass Lakeview Campground in Leadville, Colorado: 6 reviews, 8 photos, & 5 tips from fellow RVers. There are enough Wal-Mart and truck stop directories out there already. We now have littles, must say the camper is wonderful for that. We will try Kebler Pass and Twin Lakes and if you have have other suggestions, I’d love to hear about them! Turquoise Lake’s campgrounds are a … Forest Road #706 has dozens of dispersed campsites before reaching the Lost Lake Campground. If you have 4WD you can take the road higher where the sites are more isolated. However, they get higher in elevation and are heavily shaded, so we only camp there in the heat of the summer. Do you have 3-4 day backpacking trip recommendations around there? I thought that I had read here that you could take a trailer up Jones Pass but, reading through the comments again, I’m not sure where I read that! 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. Many argue that CB is the birthplace of mountain biking, so it’s definitely a great place to give the sport a try. Any places/hikes you would recommend? It’s no secret: backpacking is my jam. My husband and I are traveling to CO for a family wedding in Grand Lake. We were lucky to have scored the boondocking spot we have. . We will be coming in on Saturday Afternoon, given it is late in the camping season, are there enough dispersed camping sites that we will be okay coming in Saturday afternoon to find a site? This state really is a special place – guess I just need to be trying harder to find the peace and quiet . What?! 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 … You could also find a spot at Twin Lakes. This is a very nice campground, plenty of trees with a few sites providing a good view of the Twin Lakes below. I remember driving cross-country with my mom and staying at KOA’s because they were cheap. The Lincoln Creek dispersed camping area has 22 campsites for car camping along the Lincoln Creek road. Again, the area has some beautiful hiking so there is plenty to do, and the Creek provides ample access to water. I now live in Taos, NM and there is dispersed camping EVERYWHERE in northern NM. We hope you enjoy the same style of camping. 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’ll occasionally see deer or elk or something but they leave us alone, and we’ve never run into black bears or big cats. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! Make sure you bring enough or stop on your way in to get some. To get there: Take I-70 west to the US-40 exit towards Winter Park. Anything helps. Free dispersed camping on the shores of Twin Lake. Rules and Guidelines for Dispersed Camping; Dispersed campers can only stay in a single spot for 14 days in a 30-day period. There is plenty of hiking, beautiful scenery, and a creek that provides ample access to water. Thanks for the great ideas. It really is as beautiful as you wrote but it was a significant challenge trying to get that thing up there! Just follow the road nearest the dunes and just outside the boundary of the dunes park there are tons of great sites. Good afternoon, we took a drive across Flat Tops from Rifle Gap toward the Loveland / Fort Collins area on dirt roads. In the Grand Mesa National Forest 10,300-foot elevation. Guys, it doesn’t have to be that way! But maybe wait till it’s a bit warmer so you aren’t miserable on your first try . Whether you enjoy tent camping, car camping or RV camping, our goal is to help you find the best places to go camping. Thanks Ted, I’m not, but lugging in 5 kids would be a bit much. If everyone contributes a few campsites, we'll all have more places to go camping. A lot of folks will assume this camping is on private land, when in fact all the spots you mention that I recognize are on NFS lands. We don’t want to be near crowds or towns if we can help it, and we don’t need hookups or anything. There are 5 area campgrounds. This area reminds me of being in the Swiss Alps with the quaint village of Twin Lakes situated right by these beautiful lakes! It’s remote, yet easy to reach. We love camping but have only camped up in the Yampa area years ago. Closest Town: Twin Lakes (3mi), Leadville (24mi) thanks for this! Regardless, dispersed camping has one major theme: you can arrive at the site with your car! It’s just not an ideal spot for a larger trailer! Buena Vista is a quintessential Colorado mountain town and Denver residents can get there within two hours. Awesome article! […] has a fair bit of dispersed camping and it was a hard sell for me to convince Will that it wouldn’t be all campgrounds and motor […]. They have amazing camping and climbing around there! The snow was really starting to melt at the lake at that point but the overnight temps were definitely chilly. If you go, check out Eddyline Brewing. We just like being away from people. We are community driven, and while we will be adding many free camping spots, we hope that you will add some of your favorite camping places as well. Literally, you will see dozens of offshoots from the main road, and every single one of them leads to bomb dispersed camping. You should be fine! Hi Kelly, you could definitely take a camper to select spots on Kebler Pass. These are taxpayer lands and everyone should be free to enjoy them. Awesome, thank you! 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. Yum! When I first introduced the idea of dispersed camping to Will, he gave me a little scoff. We recommend that you obtain the Forest Service map of Pike National Forest for road travel the east side trailheads. It would be nice if you also reminded people not to camp on private land without permission. Thanks for putting together your recommendations, Heather! Towering peaks loom in the background in that rugged, sharp way that the Elk Range has. Hi there! Twin Peaks is a first-come, first-served campground located west of Twin Lakes Reservoir in a shaded aspen and lodgepole pine forest. Your description of Jones Pass was so enticing that I convinced my husband to take our 28′ trailer up there! Once it was dirt, we found a plethora of dispersed camping sites! If you’re not afraid of hiking in, lost creek wilderness is amazing! Dan was hoping to do some mountain biking too, if that makes sense. I love that photo too She is just so happy when we go camping– she just plays and sleeps and plays and sleeps. . In the summer, when thermometers throughout Colorado rise, Turquoise Lake’s high elevation provides a great respite from the heat. They dont belong to JUST you or colorado residents. We’re partnering up with CB tourism and headed there in a few weekends; I’ll get some info for you! Buena Vista KOA Camping & Cabins 800.562.2672, 719.395.8318 www.BuenaVistaKOA.com 27700 County Road 303 Buena Vista, CO 81211. Awesome resource, and gorgeous photos. My family and I are going to Kebler Pass this coming weekend. © 2014 Just a Colorado Gal. Twin Lake Dispersed Area is located at Cedaredge, CO 81413. Heather, this blog is fantastic! The problem is that everyone tends to go to the busy, so it’s a vicious cycle Do you backpack too? Dispersed Camping – Twin Lakes, CO – Confluences & Influences 99% — 175 Reviews. I need to do a fall foliage shot if it’s not too late. We are looking for a rustic or dispersed camping spot in the area, we will be in pickups and tents, any suggestions? Community reviews and ratings provide you with up to date information and help you select the best camp site for your next camping trip. Just be sure to keep your campsite clean and store all food in your vehicle. % of the Hipcamps for your dates are already booked. This is an awesome website. I think we will take 2 weeks off and stay in some o f the places you suggested! Heather.Balogh@gmail.com, Hi there. A few years back, the group of us attempted La Plata Peak and….accidentally hiked the wrong mountain. Our community provides the best free camping information available. 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