Summary Of Red Feather Lakes Dispersed Camping
Red Feather Lakes dispersed camping should not be missed. Its a beautiful area with numerous options for camping of all types. Gorgeous lakes are ready for a good swim, and plenty of peaks need to be conquered to see stunning views. It is a unique part of the state with large boulder outcroppings spotted throughout, and heavily forested nearly everywhere. Avoid the people and avoid I-70 with this Colorado gem.
If youre wondering how in the world I found these areas instead of the usual Dowdy Lake area, check out How to Find Campsites, and pay attention to the discussion on Strava heat maps. It takes some effort to find hidden spots!
Dont forget to pack everything you need! Check out our Essential Camping Gear List for tons of tips and our list of 25 Cool Camping Gadgets!
What are your favorite camping spots in Colorado? Let us know in the comments below.
More on camping in Colorado:
Is There An App For Blm Land
As mentioned previously, there are many apps to find places to camp, but to know for sure if you are on BLM land, there are a couple of specific apps available to help you do so.
Other than Free Roam, another app is BLM Public Lands Map Guide USA. Available for $2.99, this app allows you to seek out BLM camping, recreational activities, mineral lands, and much more.
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San Juan National Forest
San Juan National Forest is in the southwest corner of the state, just west of Rio Grande National Forest. Landmark towns include Durango, Telluride and Ouray.
Most campgrounds in San Juan National Forest are large and offer a mix of both reservable sites and non-reservable sites. To see a full list of San Juan National Forests campgrounds, .
San Juan National Forest does not currently offer any dispersed camping grounds.
Location: Durango, CO
Sites available: 26
South Mineral Campground provides a diverse selection of 26 campsites for the taking. Relax on-site along South Mineral Creek, take on the Ice Lake Basin Trail, or cast a line at Clear Lake, just a 3-mile hike from camp.
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Dispersed Camping Can Be A Fun Last
It was 7 p.m. on a Friday, and we needed to find somewhere to camp before the sun went down.
Packed into two cars full of tents, smores ingredients and sleeping bags, and just a few weeks ago, at the height of the summer camping season, my friends and I sat in heavy traffic on Interstate 70 in an unspoken panic.
Earlier, we arrived at Urad Lake, a longtime favorite destination just off of Berthoud Pass, to find it was closed to the public.
We had no Plan B, which for us was typical.
While we are punctual and prepared in our professional lives, we tend not to plan ahead for the weekend. Its nice to take a little break from responsibility after a long week, so we tend to hit the road and see what happens, often using our smartphones to look up directions, schedules and other information en route.
So, when we found ourselves barred from our favorite lake, we used the unmoving traffic on I-70 to our advantage as we searched an alternative camping spot on our phones.
We knew reserved camping these days means usually having to reserve a spot months ahead to find the best location, and for us, thats a little laughable.
One of our searches yielded a spot near Echo Lake, which is off the Mount Evans Scenic Byway. There was a campground that offered some first-come, first-served spots.
We found one pull-out that formed a semi-circle behind a giant rock off of the road. It had a fire pit, plenty of space for the yard games we set up the next day and bonus a rock to climb.
Best Dispersed Camping In Colorado
Depending on the time of year, campsites outside of Durango and Grand Junction offer a little more heat and are best enjoyed in the shoulder seasons of Fall and Spring, when golden aspens light up the mountainsides and brilliant fields of wildflowers rush through the valleys, respectively. All summer long, the stretch of highway connecting Leadville to Salida is home to a new national monument celebrating the Arkansas River. Further north, wilderness less explored can be had outside of Dinosaur National Monument and all through the Medicine Bow National Forest. Or skip right to the cream of the crop and set your GPS to Crested Butte’s many, many stunning options for dispersed camping.
Just remember that this type of free camping isn’t exactly a right, and it is up to each and every one of us to take care of our public lands to ensure that they remain not only wild and beautiful but open to the public for camping. Practice Leave No Trace, and always pack out everything you bring in, don’t try and create new spots, use those that have already been established, and if you can, leave the site better than you found it.
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Pingree Road Dispersed Camping
Distance to Fort Collins: 38 milesRestrooms: NoMap
Pingree Roads offers tons of dispersed campsites near Fort Collins. Youll be close to the Poudre River here as well as several excellent trailheads, making this a great weekend camping option. Dispersed camping is permitted almost immediately after turning off Highway 14, and there are several large camping areas within the first half mile.
For those looking for more solitude, you can continue up Pingree Road and find plenty of great sites. For those venturing further, youll want t to have a high clearance vehicle.
Keep in mind that dispersed camping is not permitted once you pass FR127, so if you dont find a site before then youll want to look for other options.
There is no water or other facilities along Pingree Road, so plan to be self-sufficient when camping here.
Fort Collins Camping: Your Gateway To Northern Colorado
This article about Fort Collins camping is brought to you by Hammock Gear. Their variety of outdoor gear will prepare you for any of these campgrounds.
A Fort Collins camping trip is the perfect way to explore northern Colorado. This vibrant town offers 300 days annually of sunshine to maximize your enjoyment of the outdoors. With snow-capped mountains, crystal clear rivers, and peaceful lakes a short drive away, its no wonder Fort Collins is a top camping destination.
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Free Camping In Colorado
Free camping is easy to come by, as long as you know where to look. National forests hold most of the free camping in Colorado, followed up by BLM land .
Camping for free is generally referred to as dispersed camping, which is camping in approved areas other than campgrounds. The best part about dispersed camping, aside from the cost, is the privacy. Campsites are often wider apart than in a campground. And sites are usually right next to the road, so its perfect for car camping.
The downside to dispersed camping is a lack of amenities. You are not going to have running water or restrooms nearby. If you need a little bit of luxury, consider renting an RV around Denver before you head out.
Guide To Camping & Hiking In Red Feather Lakes
May 28, 2020
Looking for a nearby camping getaway from Fort Collins or Denver?
Well, Ive got you covered!
This past weekend we went camping in Red Feather Lakes. It was beautiful!
Youll find lakes scattered, beautiful tree coverage, and convenient hikes. Theres plenty of campsites throughout the area. It makes sense that this is a popular destination for the front range.
With that said, it is a popular destination.
Theres plenty of space in the area, so Im sure if youre willing to drive around youll find something away from other campers
But, keep in mind it may take some scouting to find something far removed in the area. If you dont mind having other campers around you though, youll certainly find your perfect spot!
Red Feather Lakes also has a a lot of private property. The private property is typically well-marked. However, if youre exploring and see a spot and think, This is perfect!just check that it is public land.
Red Feather Lakes Guide: Table of Content
Campsite Near Lost Lake
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Stop By The Local Blm Office
Also, while the information on the BLM land website can be a bit overwhelming and confusing to navigate, you can also search your local BLM area office for more specific information relating to your area. This can be helpful as well. There you will find the phone numbers and local policies related to your location. You can find them at the BLM site here.
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Beaver Meadows Resort Ranch
This multi-venue campground has a touch of everything for the tent camper to someone looking for a rustic cabin. Set on a spacious 480 acres the facility offers quiet camping along mountain streams, fishing in ponds within the campground, trails leading from the area into the surrounding national forest, and ample equine facilities in corrals and established horse trails. A popular area in summer and also during hunting season during autumn.
- Closest town: Red Feather Lakes , Laporte
- Specs: 46 sites, 26 RV/Tent, 20 tent only, water, toilet, open year-round
- Amenities: Restaurant, gift shop, stables, showers, fishing pond
- Reservations: Yes, at reserve6.resnexus.com
- Address: 100 Beaver Meadows Pl, Red Feather Lakes, CO 80545
- Directions: From Laporte take U.S. Highway 287 B 2.5 miles. Turn left on U.S. Highway 287 North go 12.3 miles. Turn left on West County Road 74E / Red Feather Lakes Road, go 24 miles. Continue on North County Road 73C / Creedmore Lakes Road 4.7 miles. Continue on Huron Road .2 miles. Turn left on Beaver Meadows Pl go .5 miles to the campground.
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Grand Mesa Uncompahgre And Gunnison National Forests
Gunnison National Forest is on the east side of the Rocky Mountains and is accessible from Pueblo or Colorado Springs. To the west through Crested Butte and Gunnison, youll enter Grand Mesa Uncompahgre and Uncompahgre National Forest near Ouray and Telluride.
This region offers more than 40 first come, first serve campgrounds. To see a full list of available sites, .
If you prefer dispersed camping instead of campground camping, to check out a full list of dispersed camping options in this region.
Location: Telluride, CO
Sites available: 41
Woods Lake Campground features three loops with 41 campsites adjacent to Woods Lake in a thick aspen forest. This is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, due to its proximity to Telluride, Lone Cone and Woods Lake Trails in the Lizard Head Wilderness.
Guide To Reserved Camping Around Red Feather Lakes
If knowing exactly where youre camping is more your style, consider reserved camping.
You can book campsites through Recreation.gov. Fees range from $24 & up, depending on the campsite you book. During the peak season and holiday weekends, many of these sites do fill up.
The campsites will include a picnic table and fire pit. Many also have electric hookups, drinking water, and trash collection. Most campsites also have firewood available for purchase from the campground host.
Here are a few campsites in Red Feather Lakes:
Bellaire Lake campground is also near the above too. Youll find the same amenities and a beautiful setting for camping.
Bonus: Other Camp Options
Theres also privately owned options for camping in Red Feather Lakes. You can check out HipCamp here to find unique glamping experiences or campsites on private property. This is an especially great option for large groups that are too large for a single campsite booked through Recreation.gov.
Or, check out Beaver Meadows Resort Ranch. They are in the area and offer both lodging or reserved campsites.
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Crown Point Road Dispersed Camping Closed
Distance to Fort Collins: 41 milesRestrooms: No
Located just southwest of Bellaire Lake is the Forest Service Road 517 dispersed camping area. Youll be less than 50 miles from Fort Collins here and also close to Red Feather Lakes. Unfortunately, that means these sites are often crowded, although youre still likely to find an open site most weekends.
The sites closer to the junction with Manhattan Road will be best suited to larger rigs or those in passenger vehicles. If you have 4WD and higher clearance, we recommend heading a bit further back along the road to get more privacy.
As with the majority of dispersed camping areas in this guide, there is no water or other facilities here. That means youll need to be prepared to practice Leave No Trace camping and be sure to leave your site in better condition than you found it!
What Is Blm Land
Those who are unfamiliar with dispersed camping may be wondering, what is BLM land? First, we need to look at the acronym BLM to find out more about the organization that oversees BLM land.
These lands are managed by the Bureau of Land Management, which is part of the U.S. Department of the Interior. The Bureau of Land Management is tasked with responsibly managing land and resources for the use and enjoyment of the public.
The BLM is accountable for managing public lands for an array of uses such as energy and mineral development, grazing of livestock, recreation, along with timber harvesting, while ensuring cultural, natural, and historic resources are maintained for this and future generations.
Currently, the BLM oversees 245 million surface acres of public lands for the American people. The agency manages 1 in 10 acres in the U.S., or about 12 percent of the landmass of the U.S. Thats a little bit less than the size of Texas. The land is primarily located in the western states, including Alaska, California, New Mexico, and Wyoming.
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Collecting Artifacts & Fossils
Indian and Other Historical Artifacts: You may not collect any artifacts, ancient or historical, on public lands. This includes arrow heads or flakes, pottery or potsherds, mats, rock art, old bottles or pieces of equipment and buildings. These items are part of our national heritage and scientists are still learning much from them. Human burial remains on both public and private land are protected by federal and state law from being collected.
Vertebrate Fossils: These include dinosaurs, mammals, sharks and fish, or any animal with skeletal structure. You cannot collect these fossils.
Invertebrate Fossils: These include ammonites, trilobites, and common plant fossils such as leaf impressions and cones, and may be collected in reasonable amounts.
Petrified wood can also be collected for personal use up to 25 pounds each day, plus one piece, but no more than 250 pounds in any calendar year . These materials must be for your personal collection and cannot be sold or traded.
Tips For Dispersed Camping On Blm Land
If youve never tried dispersed camping, it can feel intimidating to start. RVing on dispersed BLM land requires boondocking, meaning camping without hookups and amenities. Its also important to know that some BLM campsites are difficult to access, and require traversing dirt, rocky, steep, washboard, or deeply rutted roads.
Boondocking does not require a specific kind of RV or special equipment. But your RV setup may limit where and how long you can camp.
Once youve chosen your BLM dispersed camping area, here are some things you need to know before you arrive:
Do your homework. Read reviews of the BLM area in advance. Keep an eye out for reviews from campers with similar RVs or needs to your own. This will clue you into whether your RV can access the camping area, cell phone signal strength, current closures and conditions, and tips for local amenities.
Scout ahead. This is critical if you have a larger or low clearance RV. Park your RV or trailer nearby, then investigate in your tow vehicle, on bicycle, or by foot. Make sure the road into the campsites are safe for your RV and identify a place to park.
Arrive early. All dispersed camping is first come, first served, and sites at popular areas are usually claimed during peak seasons. Try to arrive on weekdays or during the off-season to nab the perfect campsite.
Have a backup plan. For all the reasons above, sometimes BLM camping plans dont work out. Have a backup camping area in mind just in case.
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Canyon Lakes Ranger District West Of Fort Collins
Canyon Lakes Ranger District is located in north-central Colorado and encompasses approximately 650,000 acres in the Roosevelt National Forest, mostly in Larimer County. The Canyon Lakes Ranger District offers visitors a variety of recreation opportunities throughout the year, and also provides for traditional uses, such as permits for firewood gathering and grazing. We are home to four Wilderness areas, three national recreation trails, two historic districts, and Colorados only Wild and Scenic River.
State Highways 34, 36 and 14 allow for easy access to one of our many hiking trails, campgrounds, four-wheel drive roads, and lakes and streams.
Red Feather Lakes Dispersed Camping
There are a lot of options for camping within two hours of Denver. Red Feather Lakes dispersed camping is one that should be on your list. Numerous lakes, vast forests, stunning blue skies, and plenty of camping options turn this sleepy little area into a recreational gem.
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Is Blm Camping Worth It
BLM camping can be as primitive or as elaborate as you want it to be. You just need to seek out the BLM campsites that match your style.
When you know your style and youve done a bit of planning, getting whisked away to a BLM campsite is most definitely worth it. The lands explored and the starry nights gazed upon will not be forgotten when camping on BLM lands.
Will you go BLM camping?
While the Western United States are filled with seemingly endless opportunities to find beautiful, free camping, few states do it quite as well as Colorado.
From desert cliff-dwelling to the Rocky Mountainsâ abundance of forests, and beyond to the Front Range including Denver and Fort Collins, finding free a free place to camp is not just about saving a buck itâs about living within the most splendid scenery the state has to offer.
Dispersed camping in the Centennial State is downright prolific throughout the dozen or so national forests and grasslands within the stateâs borders. Are you looking for camping spots near Steamboat Springs? Forest roads and mountain passes galore await. Need beautiful free camping near Denver? Idaho Springs is only about a half-hour from town, yet filled with places to go mountain biking, tent camping, or enjoy your national forest.