With summer drawing nearer, outdoor enthusiasts are looking forward to getting outside and sleeping under the stars. However, this year’s camping season will look a bit different due to COVID-19 restrictions. Even though many state and national parks continue to extend restrictions, there are plenty of places around our state for a safe weekend adventure.
Bureau of Land Management areas and national forests are your best bet when it comes to dispersed camping in a serene wilderness setting that is both convenient to get to, but remote enough to recharge. Our state is peppered with BLM land that offers visitors a wonderful camping experience. Here are some of our favorites.
Known for its world-class mountain biking terrain, Fruita feels like a world away from the Front Range region of our state. Red, rocky outcroppings are speckled with light green sage brush and hiking, biking, and ATV trails lead visitors throughout the desert terrain. Dispersed camping is available at three sites: Jouflas, Castle Rocks, and Knowles Overlook. A firepan and portable toilet are required at these camping sites.
Nestled just a short distance from the Wyoming border, Red Feather Lakes is a small vacation community complete with a trading post, country club, and many pristine bodies of water. Tucked back in the wilderness area lies the primitive campsite of Creedmore Lakes. Visitors interested in an isolated and peaceful destination will enjoy this dirt road drive through pine forests and rocky outcroppings. For those looking for camp spots a bit closer, there are plenty on the drive to Creedmore Lakes just off the road that can’t be missed.
Just northwest of Pagosa Springs, the San Juan National Forests provides ample dispersed campsites and plenty of outdoor activities. Its southern location means that outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy warmer temperatures and a varying terrain. Most established campsites are closed, but many primitive and dispersed campsites remain open and ready to welcome visitors to this celebrated wilderness area. Depending on the weather, beautiful alpine lakes are starting to thaw and willing hikers can take in some of the most breathtaking scenery our state has to offer.
What seems like a longer drive is well worth the miles as it yields some of the most picturesque terrain in Colorado. The raging Rio Grande river begins here, high up in the San Juans, before flowing all the way to the Gulf of Mexico. Winding hiking trails and sprawling meadows invite outdoor lovers to wander through the best that nature has to offer.
Leadville is notorious for one of the longest, hardest ultramarathons in the world. However, what many don’t know is that it’s also an easily accessed camping spot. Twin Lakes offers primitive camping at 10,000 feet. As summer continues, days are sunny and warm while nights take on a comfortable chill. Bundle up at this car camping spot and take in the gorgeous lake-side scenery.
Just because COVID-19 has restricted certain activities doesn’t mean there aren’t other ways to safely and consciously get outdoors. Our great state is sought after for its beautiful scenery and recreation. No matter where you roam, Colorado offers unbridled beauty, remote wilderness, and the chance to reconnect with the world around us.