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Free Camping Near Boulder Co

Where And How Do You Find Free Rv Camping In Colorado

Exploring Boulder, Colorado & Surrounding Areas [Free Camping]

You can find federally designated public lands all over the state of Colorado.

Its totally legal to camp on any of this land . These are the specific public lands that you can use to free camp:

  • Bureau of Land Management
  • National Forest Land
  • County Parks & City Parks Not all, so check signs or contact the city department
  • Trailheads Not all, so check signs or contact a ranger
  • Rest Stops
  • Some Commercial Parking lots . Call, and ask the business for permission first.

Free Camp Sites In Colorado: Sauls Creek

Next up on my list of free camping in Colorado, its Sauls Creek. Located near Bayfield, this is one of the best places for free camping in Colorado as it is incredibly peaceful.

Great for those with smaller RVs and tents, Sauls Creek is the perfect getaway spot for those looking for privacy.

Though the camp does see quite a lot of traffic, the area is large enough that you should be able to grab a decent spot without too much trouble, so it had to make my list of free camping in Colorado.

Best Apps And Tools For Finding Free Rv Campsites In Colorado

Okay great, but public lands are still difficult to locate. Afterall, they often do not have signs demarcating them as a public space.

So, we found the following apps and tools to help you search for specific, free RV campsites in Colorado:

The Dyrt

This app will allow you to find outdoor accommodations across Colorado, whether youre in a tent, trailer, RV, or cabin.

It provides millions of listings, reviews, prices, and tips from other campers who have already visited.

Free Campsites

Gotta love simplicity. And thats exactly what Free Campsites provides. The site allows you to plan a travel route through Colorado with their trip planner option.

Not only will it provide text directions, but itll also show you any and all RV campsites along your way through The Centennial State .

Unfortunately, theres no app for this tool yet, but its easily accessible through most web browsers.


Campendium is the prettier, more user-friendly version of Free Campsites. It also provides you with more options than just finding RV campsites.

You can use filters to locate any, and every, type of outdoor accommodation.

It provides a plethora of useful information for RV-ers as well, including: last paid price, longest RV reported at site, and clearance access information.

And while it doesnt have an app yet, you can add the Campendiums icon to your phones home screen by following these helpful instructions .

Also Check: Ponderosa State Park Camping Reservations

Free Camping With Cell Service In Colorado

Photo via

It was 2009, October was setting in with plenty of snow by the middle of the month, and my son and I had just ditched our 27 Class C RV in favor of a 1978 Volkswagen Bus.

Exciting times, indeed. Beyond simply the thrill of having already been on the road for a year, we now were moving into what I thought would be our dream vehicle . My college sweetheart had found me somewhere between the tweets and comment threads of the world, and it was looking like shed be hopping into our Bus with us for the adventure ahead.

Travel Writers Wanted

Can you string a few syllables together? Want to get paid to write great stories about living on the road?

It took a few monthsincluding all of November and Decemberin the snow-laden Rocky Mountains for her to fully bail on her existing life in Nederland, Colorado, though. Cold, icy cold months spent scraping snow and sleet from our windshield, trying not to fall off of cliffs or get stuck in snowdrifts. That she had been living in the state for about six years and I had my fill of what the Front Range could offer, we pointed our windshield wipers south and never really bothered to come back.

Until this summer. And what a summer it has been. There are few places in these United States where one can find such an abundance of free campingeven on the weekendsand still have majestic views, short drives to some incredibly local small towns, and yes, even cell service for those of us who need to work.

Best Free Camping Incolorado

The 5 Best Spots for Backcountry Camping in Colorado

By Nathan Swartz

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 Mountains’ 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 it’s 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 state’s 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.

See a map of all free camping in Colorado.

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Jackson Road Dispersed Camping Pagosa Springs

Situated eight miles from downtown Pagosa Springs in the beautiful San Juan National Forest.

Wild turkeys and various other wildlife roam the forests here, and offer plenty of gorgeous hiking trails.

Why do we love it?

These sites are surprisingly level compared to other campgrounds on this list. Theyre also made from gravel so it should be an easy place for RV campers to shack up.

Youll find a nice mix of nature and small-town charm here, with Pagosa Springs being about 5-10 minutes away.

Enjoy the solitude of nature with the convenience of modern society!

  • Max Stay: 14 days, every 21 days

Top Things to do Nearby

  • Walk Through Pagosa Springs Pagaso Springs is a quaint town with hot springs in which to relax, an opportunity to float in the San Juan River, and tons of events like a hot air ballooning festival.
  • Picnic at Yamaguchi Park Throw down a blanket and eat lunch in this beautiful park inside Pagosa Springs. It offers some recreational activities, and a playground for the kids.
  • Immerse Yourself in San Juan National Forest Covers 1.8 million acres of pine forest. Youll find endless outdoor activities and plenty of opportunities to see wildlife in this unspoiled nature.

For more information on RV camping in Jackson Road Dispersed Campground visit HERE.

Colorado is one of the wildest states left in the lower 48. Its epic nature offers plenty of opportunities for free RV camping.

Last Updated on by Aaron Richardson

Leave No Trace When Free Camping

  • Be prepared with plenty of trash bags. If you have a long drive home, I recommend putting the bags in a designated bin so your car doesnt smell the whole way home.
  • Come with all the water you think you will need for your trip, and then some. Cooking and cleaning dishes always seems to use more water than you think. Bring a water filter if theres fresh water near where youll be camping.
  • Dont clean your dishes in a fresh water source. Bring along a bucket, designated jug, or something like the Primus Campfire Utility Bag to contain and dispose of grey water properly.
  • Bring Wag Bags to carry out waste. Human waste is unnatural to all ecosystems, but especially to drier, more sensitive ecosystems, since it doesnt break down as fast as it does in a forest.
  • Know before you go. Do some research on the location and become familiar with any seasonal rules or fire bans. Fire bans are all around Colorado in the summer months. If you can have a campfire, only purchase firewood from a local source. Dont bring firewood from your hometown. This helps stop the spread of invasive insect populations.
  • Leave it cleaner than you found it: you can pick up and carry out trash, even if its not yours. Keeping the free campgrounds in Colorado clean and clear helps ensure theyre available for years to come.

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Gordon Gulch Dispersed Campingnederland

Image from The Dyrt camper Karl G.

Great opportunities for free camping in Colorado abound along the southern Rocky Mountains known as the Front Range. Our favorite free camping spot is also surprisingly easy to get to. Head toward the town of Nederland, just north of Boulder, to score a no-fee spot in Gordon Gulch. This area is easily accessed from Boulder and Denver, making it ideal for weekend getaways. There are about 15 designated sites in the area youll want to be sure to pitch your tent in one of those spots . Easy access camping that allows you to feel far away from it all what could be better than that?

It wasnt a bad experience by any means. If you can get there early, definitely do so. Not all campgrounds are really that flat but its free and its Boulder, CO environment so I cant complain. The Dyrt camper Elisha E.

Find free Colorado campgrounds from your car without WiFi. The Dyrt PRO lets you download maps and campgrounds without cell service. My alternative to using pro would be to drive back out to cell service.

What People Are Saying About Paradise Rv Park

Our Favorite Colorado Campgrounds + How to Find Free Dispersed Campsites in Colorado!

This is truly one of those places you find and just keep coming back to! The park is quiet, and the staff had been amazing. The restrooms and showers are the cleanest weve ever seen. My wife and daughter arent begrudgingly using them while giving me the evil eye. I would say it is a must stay. Jeremy, Google Review


Image Source:…

Clear Creek RV Park is operated by the City of Golden. This RV park is on the banks of Clear Creek, and it is quite small. Guests are free to use the on-site dump station, and Clear Creek RV Park is within walking distance of downtown Golden.

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Camping In Boulder County Colorado

Several campgrounds in Boulder County with tent sites are open year-round.

Boulder County in Colorado is less than an hour northwest of Denver and includes the city of Boulder and several small towns, with the Rocky Mountain in the background along with farmlands, grasslands and plains. Visitors who want to enjoy the county’s natural beauty and outdoor recreation opportunities can stay at campgrounds that offer numerous amenities or brave the wild at primitive sites in state parks.

List Of The Best Colorado Dispersed Camping Areas

1. Red Feather Lakes Deadman Road

Located just an hour from Fort Collins, this area is a labyrinth of forest service roads that offer endless camping opportunities. Dispersed sites are abundant in this area. 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. To get there from Fort Collins, take US Hwy 287 north to Livermore, turn west onto County Road 74E towards Red Feather Lakes. Turn left on County Road 86 . There are spots all along Deadman Road, which runs about 15 miles.

Colorados Great Outdoors

2. Jones Pass

This area offers some great off-road driving and dispersed camping sites. Its located just an hour from Denver and provides quick access to the Continental Divide. Some of the campsites have amazing views perfect for staring down valley while roasting marshmallows over an open flame.

How to Get There: Drive west on I-70 from Denver. Take exit 232 from I-70 onto US Hwy 40, and head towards Empire/Winter Park. Continue on US-40 west past Empire. Take a left on Henderson Mine Road to Jones Pass Road.

3. Caribou Townsite

The Caribou Townsite has 11 designated camping spots that can fill up quickly especially on the weekend. This is an exceptional location, camping next to Colorados famed Indian Peaks Wilderness Area. Its just miles away from the funky mountain community of Nederland.

4. Guenella Pass

5. Montezuma Road

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Why Youll Love Dakota Ridge Rv Park

If youre running low, you can fill up on propane at Dakota Ridge RV Park. There is a large game room in the clubhouse, and Dakota Ridge RV Park features a heated outdoor pool. To top it off, this RV park was voted Best RV Park by Treasures of Colorado, which means you will be in the best RV camping site in Boulder, C.O.

How To Find Exact Dispersed Camping Boundaries

Rv Camping Near Boulder Co : 7 Best Spots For Free Camping Near Boulder ...

The trickiest part about dispersed camping is finding out exactly where its legal to camp. National Forest boundaries are not clearly marked from the road.

Our #1 tip is to talk to a local park ranger. They can give you the best lay of the land, road conditions, and any special considerations that need to be taken into account.

Aside from that, the USDA offers this helpful map which accurately labels the National Forest boundaries in Colorado.

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Dispersed Camping Sites With Bathrooms In Colorado

Not everyone has the luxury of traveling with a portable toilet. Likewise, not everyone wants to do their duty in the outdoors. Fortunately, you can still find campsites that are free, and come with bathrooms!

For starters, apps like The Dyrt already list campground amenities so if youve found one you want to visit bathrooms are easy to check.

As a rule of thumb, you should expect all dispersed camping areas to be primitive and undeveloped unless otherwise stated.

You can look up bathrooms and other amenities at specific campgrounds using these links:

For the National Forest and BLM campsites, click dispersed camping and you can find information including location, directions, water and restroom facilities.

Sauls Creek Dispersed Camping Bayfield

Drive five minutes from Silverton and youll find this beautiful RV campground down a forest road.

It sits along Mineral Creek in the shadow of several tall mountain peaks.

In the surrounding area several large national forests grow from the fertile Colorado soil, including: San Juan, Gunnison, and Rio Grande National Forest.

Why do we love it?

Great place for those looking to go full primitive. Theres no amenities here, and thus, less campers.

Its a good spot for group camping, and enjoying nature activities as well as viewing wildlife.

Nearby Bayfield gives you some options for shopping and dining so you dont feel completely helpless.

  • Max Stay: 14 days, every 21 days

Top Things to do Nearby

  • Durango A town that bleeds the Colorado spirit. Theres tons of shopping, dining, and outdoor activity options. Its only 25 miles away from this campsite.
  • Check-Out San Juan National Forest Covers 1.8 million acres of pine forest. Youll find endless outdoor activities and plenty of opportunities to see wildlife in this unspoiled nature.
  • Hike Sheep Creek Trail This beautiful hike takes you through the Colorado highlands. Youll pass rivers, marvel at alpine trees, and bathe in natural hot springs. Its a 2.8 round-trip hike.

For more information on RV camping in West Magnolia Campground visit HERE.

Recommended Reading: Free Camping In The Upper Peninsula

Sherwood Creek Quaint Treehouse

Sherwood Creek has a Quaint Treehouse for the visitors that are camping near Boulder. This forested site is situated on an occasional spring 2 miles from Nederland, Colorado. The treehouse is in a brook bed in closeness to a lovely small house on the property. There are 2 stepping stools to get to this interesting resting place so visitors can get comfortable.

The site incorporates a glamping treehouse that sleeps 2 visitors and a set-up tent site for 2 extra visitors. The property rears up to unlimited path and forest admittance to the Indian Peaks Wilderness region.

Youngsters should be 6 or more elderly to remain in the treehouse. There are no pets allowed on this property. Travelers will get climbing, trekking, and mountain fun experience around this area. There is a space for camper vans too.

Here you will get a few sites having up to 4 visitors for each site. There is no wheelchair access, and parking is only allowed at the posting. Pit fires are allowed here, and you get direct access to the latrine.

There are no pets allowed in this region, and you get clean drinkable water along with Wifi services.

About Pit fire Safety

Before you go for dispersed camping somewhere far off, you need to check for present status fire limitations and Boulder County fire restrictions. Keep your open-air fire little, away from vegetation and in a fire ring, if accessible. Furthermore, never leave your open-air fire unattended.

Camping By Brainard Lake Near Ward

Boondock/Primitive Camping, FREE National Forest Land, Colorado

Eleven miles north of Nederland on CO-72 resides Ward, a quiet mountain suburb of Boulder with a few hundred residents. The gem of Ward is the Brainard Lake Recreation Area. In addition to boating, fishing and hiking within the park, Brainard Lake is a gateway to a wonderful network of trails within the Indian Peaks Wilderness. If youre looking to backpack, this national wilderness area has some gorgeous trails to overnight beside. At Brainard Lake there is one campground suitable for tents and travel trailers.

This very popular campground sits on the shore of Brainard Lake. It puts you closer to the eastern entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park. A wide variety of outdoor activities are available on the trails, streams, and the nearby lake.

  • Closest town: Ward

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