Free Camping

Every resting place at all destinations gives you a unique opportunity to savor breathtaking sights and the chance to take some astonishing photos.

Before you venture out, better do your research, be prepared, and well equipped. Trips that are not planned out can potentially lead to overloaded camps which resemble jam-packed garages.

Fortunately, Colorado has a large assortment of campgrounds to choose from. You have a chance to  become acquainted with some new faces or if you please, elect some remote area for yourself.

You can even opt for free camping sites. They are called dispersed camps — locations in designated regions that are alternative for campgrounds. First, it is an inexpensive way to spend your vacation and, at the same time, this option offers some privacy.

Campsites are rarely right next to each other as in a campground. And they are normally a step from the road, so it’s most suitable for car camping.

They’re recognizable by an adjusted spot for setting a bonfire, and often located on county and forest access roads. Look for the boards on entering a national park or a forest. They may have information about free camping.

Also, any of the county/forest service roads could probably permit dispersed camping. Rules and standards vary and are sometimes distinctively marked.

To avoid unnecessary wandering, equip yourself with road maps on time. You can download them from the internet or use google maps. Here are some suggestions.

County Road 390

It is a ground road that connects Buena Vista and Twin Lakes. It offers miraculous surroundings far in the gigantic Sawatch Range, with quite a few deserted towns and four 14,000-ft crests to mount.

County Road 390 Winter

Along the route, you can find  free massively used encampments. Regular automobile can use this trail up to 12 miles along the way. There’s a vast grassland next to Winfield, a desolated town.

You can even try more remote camping, if other places are packed, or if you drive a pick-up or an SUV. This area within the dense San Isabel National Forest is among that outstanding terrains to camp without charge in Colorado.

Old Stage Road/Gold Camp Road

This way was originally the prairie wagon path from Colorado Springs toward the gold compounds of Cripple Creek. It is a great for lighthearted weekend escape, in close proximity of settlements, but just enough away for the right filing.

Camping is restricted for the first few miles, because of private property that surrounds the road. But the number of campsites flourish as you reach further parts of the Pike National Forest.

High-clearance auto drivers will find charming, though  largely used, camps up Forest Road 379 in Frosty’s Park. It stretches in a valley that divides Mount Rosa and Almagre Mountain.

Homestake Reservoir Road

Laid off of U.S. Highway 24, north of stunning Tennessee Pass in fantastic White River National Forest, this is an exceptional secluded corner of the country to spend a relaxing summertime holiday.

Homestake Reservoir Road

The drive is suitable for automobiles all the way to Homestake Reservoir. There are numerous good places to stop by. You will encounter more adequate sites as you proceed along the Missouri Creek Road.

The way is on the brink of the grandiose Holy Cross Wilderness. So if fishing in the accumulation is not your cup of tea, there are remarkable  hiking pathways you can search for. You can even go to Missouri Lakes.

Forest Road 788 (Gunnison National Forest)

On the Southwest mountains of Lake City, this vast, smooth road will take you by a few free, moderately used campgrounds. You’ll have a chance to discover a bunch of informal campsites as the route tracs the shores of briskly Cebolla Creek.

This area is remote ground, so even on a summertime weekend you most likely won’t have other people close by. Nearby is the Cannibal Plateau Trail (trail no. 464).

It’s named after Alferd Packer and the incident that he was involved in. The presumption is that he viciously murdered and devoured his comrades when they were trapped by the large amounts of snow after the  blizzard here in 1874.

Guanella Pass

If you want to experience how it feels to be above the clouds, this seasonal pass is the right thing for you. It connects Como in Park County with Georgetown and Interstate 70 and climbs up to 11,669 feet.

Guanella Pass

For free camping, drive on the south side of the passage and count on finding some of many parking spots. You won’t even notice how near you are to the Front Range. Enjoy your voyage to the roof of the pass and hike the gorgeous 14,060-foot on Mount Bierstadt.

Tarryall area

This lovely Ponderosa pine forest is less a 90-minute ride from Denver to Colorado Springs, with countless campsites around.

Park County Road 77 (also called Tarryall Road) connects the U.S. Highway 285 to the north, and the U.S. Highway 24 to the south. Drive on any public ground road and you’ll surely discover an appropriate spot to set up your tent.

There are also suitable places for camping around Tarryall Reservoir. You can follow fabulous walking paths in the Lost Creek Wilderness.

Important Accessories

Apart from finding and choosing the right campground, you’ll undoubtedly need these things. So don’t forget to pack them all before you embark:

  • Tent, rod, stakes, pad or tarp
  • Sleeping bag and pad
  • Fire supplies — tinder, sticks, logs, matches/lighter
  • Flashlights
  • Toilet paper — backcountry rule is to bury it or pack it out
  • Gardening Trowel — a small shovel good for preparing the fire pit & digging holes
  • Food and plenty of water