Scouting Report – (CO-10) Deep Creek

Excellent free Colorado camping

There are a lot of excellent free Colorado camping locations to explore, and this is among the very best of them. Right off a stunningly beautiful creek surrounded by high cliff walls and dense foliage this site is one you will remember for a very long time. Because it is so close to I-70 it is very easy to get to for both extended trips, or when you are just passing through.

Deep Creek

Deep Creek Information

Phone Number: (970) 876-9000

Elevation: 6,400

Lat/Long:39.67207, -107.08494

Nearby Town: Gypsum, CO. @ 10 miles

Details

  • No fee
  • No potable water
  • No trash
  • Vault toilets are available further up the road. No cat holes are allowed in the area due to the close proximity to the creek.

Date of Report:

08/2018

Road Conditions:

Excellent

Colorado River Rd. (301) is paved up to the turn off for Deep Creek Rd. which is about 1 3/4 miles off of I-70. Deep Creek Rd. is a dirt road that is in excellent shape with a fair amount of washboard so watch your speed as you always should on winding dirt roads.

Road leading to the Deep Creek camping area.
Road leading to the Deep Creek camping area.

General Site Information:

There are 5 tent sites off Deep Creek Rd.  some of the sites allow you to pull down right next to the river, while others will require a very short hike to the extremely alluring campsites at the rivers edge.

When visiting this site bear in mind the following pieces of information. This area is extremely popular and the likely hood of getting a site even during the week at peak camping season can be hit or miss. You may find yourself driving up and down the road or asking others whether they are coming or going. If you are in a fully contained rig that does not take up much space ie. van it may be easier to grab a place to park near the main congregation of sites rather that use a tent at one of the 5 sites near the creek. Another thing to keep in mind is that the vault toilet down the road around the bend as the road begins to climb. You are not allowed to dig cat holes in the area due to the close proximity of the water at all of the campsites. If finding a campsite here does become problematic for you check out the Lyons Creek Site just 3 miles down Colorado River Dr.

Check out the Lyons Gulch link below for more detailed information.

Scouting Report – (CO-09) Lyons Creek

Nearby Activities or Attractions:

  • Towns below are within 50 miles
    • Eagle
    • Avon
    • Vail
    • Glenwood Springs
  • Colorado River

This article features one of the many sites listed in the Colorado Free Camping guidebook sold on Amazon. Please consider purchasing a copy!

Free Colorado Camping | Scouting Report – (CO-9) Lyons Gulch

Free Camping on the Colorado River

The Colorado river beckons to rafters seeking adventure and a spirited trip down the river. Even if you are not the type of person that is looking for the excitement of a white water river rafting adventure, you will love free camping on the Colorado river.

Lyons Gulch Campground

Lyons Gulch Campground Information

Phone Number: (970) 876-9000

Elevation: 6,200

Lat/ Long:39.69905, -107.07292

Nearby Town: Gypsum, CO. @ 11 miles

Details

  • No Fee
  • No Potable water
  • No trash
  • Vault toilets

Date of Report:

08/2018

Road Conditions:

Excellent

Road leading to Lyons Gulch free camping area off of the Colorado River.
Road leading to Lyons Gulch camping area off of the Colorado River.

Colorado River road (301) is paved all the way to the Lyons Gulch site a little over 4 miles from I-70. The road leading to the campsites is in excellent condition and offers up some very beautiful views of the Colorado River.

Side view mirror looking at Colorado river road near Lyons gulch free camping
Side view mirror looking back on Colorado river road

General Site Information:

The site is situated around a bend in the Colorado River with a very large pull off on the side of the road. While there is a sign letting you know that you are at the campground it is easy to pass it from the road, especially in the summer time when the foliage on the trees and bushes is in full swing.

If you do miss the turn fear not as there is a very large shoulder directly after the pull in that is quite hard to miss. The interior of the site consists of a large circular drive with areas to park. Around the circle there is a nice restroom (Cat holes are not allowed at this site and the restroom is only open from May 15 to Nov. 15th) and several trails that lead off into the trees and bushes that line the Colorado river to the many tent sites. While all of the sites are relatively close together, there is ample space to spread out and enjoy the sound of the river as life passes by. In all there is about 5 campsites right off the river, along with a nice boat ramp if you are planning a trip down the river.

Note:If rainy conditions exist this is not an optimal place to be as rising river levels and mud slides could make this a very dangerous location to camp. If you are in need of another place to camp there are also great locations closer to I-70 at the Deep Creek Campsite off Deep Creek Rd. these sites are very popular and also next to a river so depending on the time of year and the amount of rain that is or has been falling neither site may be suitable.

Check out the Deep Creek link below for more detailed information.

Scouting Report – (CO-10) Deep Creek

Nearby Activities or Attractions:

  • Towns below are within 50 miles
    • Eagle
    • Avon
    • Vail
    • Glenwood Springs
  • Colorado River

Scouting Report – (CO-8) Red Dirt Reservoir

Looking across Red Dirt Reservoir near free Colorado Camping
Red Dirt Reservoir

Amazing Free Colorado Camping

Tucked back in the woods far away from prying eyes, there are treasures to be found by those adventurous souls willing to seek them. The area around Kremmling is remote and rugged, a picture of Rocky Mountain beauty waiting for you to find it. Like all dispersed camping area please practice leave no trace camping ethics to keep the area pristine and beautiful for generations to come.

Red Dirt Reservoir:

Red Dirt Reservoir Information

Phone Number: (970) 638-4516

Elevation: 9,100

Lat/Long: 40.1789, -106.57576

Nearby Town: Kremmling, CO. @ 18 miles

Details:

    • No fee
    • No potable water
    • No trash
    • Vault toilets
  • There is no boat ramp and the lake is very small kayak or canoe would be best if you wish to explore the lake by water.

Date of Report:

08/2018

View of Red Dirt Reservoir and a couple of the free campsites near Kremmling Colorado
View of Red Dirt Reservoir

Road Conditions:

Very good

As you leave the paved road way off of Colorado 134 and get onto the dirt road Co. 19 you will cross a cattle grate in the road and follow the dirt county road up a forest service sign. From there follow the forest service road 100 signs that lead you up to a right onto forest service road 101 that leads up to the lake. Its not a bad idea to have a GPS going to lead to in and out of this area as there are several forest service roads that branch off to other areas of the forest. The county roads are very well maintained as are the forest service roads. This campsite is easily accessible by passenger car providing that there are no adverse weather conditions that would hamper travel.

General Site Information:

This reservoir is like a little slice of heaven, tucked away in the woods far from the modern world.  When you enter the dispersed camping area you have options to either camp at the tree line, or select a site closer to the water. Following the road to its terminus leads to a dead end in the road with a turn around area on the side of the mountain, that does have a bit of a slope.

There are ample places to camp around the lake as well as the tree line, and all of the sites  have a spectacular view of the water. At the beginning of the area there is a vault toilet surrounded by several nicely wooded campsites, if you are looking for a little more privacy I would recommend following the road to the dead end turn around. Camping near the lake is another great option, just make sure you are following forest service rules and camping at least 100 feet away. There are 2 options to get near the water.  The first being less step, but could be problematic if the ground gets wet before you want to leave and you only have 2 wheel drive. The second area to get down to the lake will require 4 wheel drive and some decent ground clearance.

Henry David Thoureau on Kindle overlooking Red Dirt Reservoir near Kremmling, Colorado
Henry David Thoreau on Kindle overlooking Red Dirt Reservoir

Red Dirt Reservoir is easily one of my favorite places to get away. Its distance from major towns makes it a bit of a hidden gem primarily visited by locals that are use to the solitude of the back country. While the area will likely be far from empty, there should be ample campsite available for you to enjoy.

Nearby Activities or Attractions:

  • Kremmling
  • Fantastic hiking around the lake
  • Excellent fishing in Red Dirt Reservoir
  • CO 134 is a spectacular drive leading to Toponas I highly recommend this route if you need to get back to I-70 and are not in a hurry.

If you liked the content featured in this article please consider the purchasing Colorado Free Camping or one of the other guides listed on this site. Thank you!

New Mexico & Texas Free Camping

“I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.”

– John Muir

Overview:

The land of enchantment is poised to hold a sacred piece of your heart with its rugged mountain terrain and vast rolling deserts. Star gazers will appreciate the low population and large stretches of land between the big cities. Around each twist and turn in the road is a new fantastic place to get away from it all and get back to what’s important. When you have had your fill of the expanses of the desert you can head over to east Texas with the lure of long sandy beaches, the small islands on the intercoastal waterway, and warm winter nights. There is no shortage of nature to explore and enjoy in these two states. From the mountains and the second largest canyon in North America, to the ocean and back again this book will show you where to camp and recreate in New Mexico and Texas for free as well as some very affordable camping options.
Details Include

  • Links to all Public sites
  • Contact Numbers
  • Latitude and Longitude
  • Where the closest groceries and gas are locate
  • Brief details specific to the site

The content in this guide is optimized for use on a phone or similar mobile device making it easy to travel with and difficult to forget at home.
104 Free camping spots and the information you need to find many more hidden gems.
26 State operated facilities that offer exceptional value for avid campers

New Mexico & Texas Free Camping Book – Map



How to update content on the Kindle

From time to time I will update the content of the book to correct errors, both big and small, as well as to add new content to the book. To update your version of the book you will need to complete the following steps.

  1. Open the kindle app on your device.
  2. Navigate to your Home screen and press the vertical 3 dot button
  3. Select remove from device
  4. Navigate to your library screen (The book you removed should not have a check mark on it, indicating that the book is not on the device you are using.)
  5. Press and hold the title for a few seconds to select it
  6. Press the vertical 3 dot button and select download
  7. Your book will re download with all the new content.
  8. Enjoy!

Scouting Report – (CO-7) Williams Fork Reservoir

Date of Report: 07/2018

 

Road Conditions: Excellent

Paved all the way to the campsites

Roads within the campsites are well maintained dirt roads easily passable by car.

General Site Information:

Williams Fork Reservoir is a boondockers dream with ample flat spots in a great location with cellular service. All of the sites are right on the lake with easy access to restrooms and the boat ramp. Each site has a solid metal fire ring along with a nice steel picnic table. There is little in the way of tree cover at this site so if you are after a fire you will want to bring your own firewood to this site. There is plenty of tall lush green grass and unspoiled views of the lake in the camping areas which is on the east side of the lake..  

Check the local weather for Kremmling, CO.

Nearby Activities or Attractions:

  • Boating on Williams Fork Reservoir.
  • Town of Kremmling
  • Hot Sulphur Springs

Scouting Report – (CO-4) Lake Irwin

Lake Irwin Dispersed Camping Area:

Lake Irwin Campground

Phone Number: (970) 874-6600

Elevation: 10,400

Lat/Long: 38.88078, -107.11011

Nearby Town: Crested Butte, Co. @ 9 miles

Details:

  • No fee
  • No potable water
  • No trash
  • Only small non motorized boats allowed on the lake no boat ramp
  • Vault toilets in the Lake Irwin Campground and a porta-potty by the lake

Note:

The link above is for the paid campsite, but there are a lot of free dispersed camping sites along FSR-826.D1

Date of Report: 06/2018

Road Conditions: Very good

The road up Kebler pass is paved most of the way and the rest of the road is a well taken care of dirt road. This site is easily accessible by passenger car up to the lake Irwin campground. Forest service road 826.1D is a little more rugged, but is still passable by passenger car providing you are going slow and paying attention to where you are driving on the road. Vehicles with higher clearance (Subaru) should have no issues getting to all of the sites in this area.

General Site Information:

There is a pay campsite and there is ample dispersed camping on FSR 826.1D, this is a very popular area due to its extreme beauty and if you are coming up on a weekend or over a holiday there is a chance that all of the sites here may be taken. If that is the case I would suggest you check the MVUM for the area as there is a huge amount of dispersed camping around Crested Butte. The views from the free sites along the forest service road are some of the finest in the rocky mountains. The best time to visit the area is late June and July when the wild flowers take over every nook and cranny of the forest floor beneath the towering trees. Everywhere you turn in this area there is a breathtaking site to be seen. The lake is quite large and cold even in the throws of summer, due to the elevation of over 10,500 feet you should never expect temperatures to go much over 80 degrees. Sup boarding and canoeing are very popular on the lake as well as fishing which I hear is good if you are after trout.

At the end of your stay here I would highly recommend you plan your route home or to your next location with a stop at the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. The area is a bit remote and extremely beautiful.  There are many excellent places to stop off on 92 to take a picture of some truly spectacular scenery. As you follow the canyon north I would urge you to take the 11 mile trek to the north rim of the park and explore this remote location  in closer detail. The admission to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park  is well worth it for the incredible views of sheer canyon  walls raising thousands of feet from the raging Gunnison river below.

Current local weather for Crested Butte

Nearby Activities or Attractions:

  • Crested Butte
  • Hand launch craft on Lake Irwin
  • Ample hiking near and in the close vicinity of the area.
  • Must hike trails:
  • Trail around Lake Irwin
  • Beaver Ponds Trail #516
  • Judd Falls Trail

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

Blue Mesa Reservoir in Curecanti National Recreation area. – This location also has several free Boat-in campsites.

BrandedLakeIrwin007

Scouting Report – ( CO-3) Kenosha Pass Camping Area

Picture from the colorado trail leading out of the free camping area on Kenosha pass, leading towards Breckenridge and Keystone.
Colorado Trail near Kenosha Pass Free Camping

Kenosha Pass Campground:

Kenosha Pass Dispersed Camping Information

Phone Number: (719) 553-1400

Elevation: 10,025

Lat/Long: 39.414627, -105.754798

Nearby Town: Fairplay, Co. @ 21 miles

 

Details:

  • No fees
  • No water
  • No trash
  • No restrooms

 

Date of Report: 06/2018

View of the road conditions leading to Kenosha Pass Colorado Free Camping with Onesunchaser
View of road conditions leading to the free campsites in Kenosha Pass Colorado

Road Conditions: Good

The dirt roads (126 & 126.A) off of US 285 that allow dispersed camping are well cared for and can be navigated by normal passenger car.

Note: this may change with heavy rain or snowfall as ruts can become quite large when people get stuck.

Current weather conditions for Grant, CO.

Free Colorado Campsite at Kenosha Pass dispersed camping area. By: Onesunchaser
Free Colorado Campsite at Kenosha Pass dispersed camping area.

General Site Information:

There are about a dozen developed camping areas off of FSR 126 and 126.A.  There is a vault toilet that is sometimes available for use at the intersection of FSR 126 & 126.A

BrandedKenoshaCO_2
Free Colorado Campsite at Kenosha Pass dispersed camping area.

with a small parking area to accommodate hikers and campers to the area, although the last time I was at the site there was a sign on the restroom stating that it was closed. There is no potable water at this sites, and there are no picnic tables in the dispersed camping areas which is to be expected,  but the developed camping spots do have stone fire rings and generally have nicely cleared areas to set up a tent. Several of the spots are large enough to accommodate several campers in one location, so if you are traveling with others you will want to scout out one of the larger sites.

Free Colorado Campsite at Kenosha Pass dispersed camping area. By: Onesunchaser
Free Colorado Campsite at Kenosha Pass dispersed camping area.

 

Nearby Activities or Attractions:

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  • Fishing in the South Platte River
  • Antero, Eleven Mile and Spinney Reservoirs are all within 60 miles of this campground. Antero is the only one that does not charge an entry fee.
  • Hiking near Guanella pass is excellent
  • Hiking in the Lost Creek Wilderness area is also excellent

 

Hiking from the campground:

  • Colorado Trail