Home » Family Travel » 11 Free Camping Spots in Colorado

11 Free Camping Spots in Colorado

By Molly Weinfurter


Published on

Colorado is one of the best places for camping due to its mesmerizing views, but it’s even better if you can find a camping spot there for free!

Free Camping Spots in Colorado

With so many camping options, there are plenty of locations that won’t charge you fees to enter. So, you can take advantage of a relaxing camping weekend without worrying about money.

Here are 11 free camping spots in Colorado that you might want to check out.

#1 – Guanella Pass

Guanella Pass is a popular location for hikers who want an early start in the morning. It’s located near Georgetown with an elevation of 11,669 feet. However, past the campground you can reach Mount Bierstadt, which is 14,060 feet. Guanella Pass doesn’t have a ton of dispersed camping space, but the views make up for it. There are plenty of hiking opportunities nearby, along with a hot spot for bouldering. Since it’s a smaller campsite, it’s best for visitors planning to camp in a tent.

#2 – Browns Canyon National Monument

Browns Canyon is a Colorado national monument, which was decided in the 2015 Antiquities Act. It’s located between Buena Vista and Salida. It’s a popular camping destination due to the many opportunities for outdoor activities. During your stay, you can go fishing and rafting at the Arkansas River. There are also plenty of trails to mountains that reach about 14,000 feet high. Some trails are even ideal for mountain biking. This campground is best for tents and small RVs only.

#3 – Portal Campground

Portal Campground in Aspen is small, but it’s located by a beautiful alpine lake, and of course, mountains. Aspen is commonly known for ski resorts and fancy hotels, but this outdoor location shouldn’t be overlooked. While setting up camp among pine trees, you can also enjoy activities like hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, ATV riding, and fishing. This free campground can easily fill up on the weekends, so it’s best to visit during the weekdays if you can.

#4 – Sacred White Shell Mountain

The Sacred White Shell Mountain is Mosca is a little bit larger, making it a great location for RVs and campers. The road to get there can be a little rough, so you’ll need to be extra careful when driving there. Unlike many other campgrounds, this location is open year-round. Luckily, it has sunny skies and a beautiful desert landscape most of the time too. It’s quiet, private, and peaceful compared to other free camping sites in Colorado. Plus, it’s on the way up a mountain, so there are lots of areas to hike and explore nearby.

#5 – Gordon Gulch Dispersed Camping

Only five miles from Nederland, this campground is situated along the southern side of the Rocky Mountains. It sits in the shadows of nearby mountains, making it a nice shaded place to set up camp. There are no amenities there, which means it’s rarely crowded. There are 15 designated spots where you can set up a tent, all of which are serene and beautiful. The campsite is surrounded by forests, so there are plenty of places to hike nearby, where you might see wildlife too.

#6 – Magnolia Road Dispersed Camping

Magnolia Road Dispersed Camping is in Nederland. You’ll be surrounded by nature while still being fairly close to civilization. Both RVs and tents are welcome for camping at this spacious location. It’s popular due to its many nearby activities, including hiking, biking, and horseback riding. At night, the stars can also be seen very clearly. Fire rings are available at the camping sites, and each site has plenty of space, so large groups camping trips can stop there.

#7 – Anvil Dispersed Camping

Anvil is only a few minutes away from Silverton. The road there is much smoother than most campsites, so you can even bring a camper or RV if you’d like. It’s on the land of a national forest, meaning there are lots of areas to explore, even on tall mountains. If you’re planning to have a fire, check the regulations before you visit. Fire bans might take place during certain months. Also, there are no amenities available, so you’ll need to bring all your own supplies, including food preparations.

#8 – Alta Lakes Campground

Alta Lakes is a peaceful campground near Telluride. Even though it’s a dispersed campground with about 20 sites, it can still be crowded on weekends, so you’ll want to get there early to snag a spot. This location has gorgeous views of the nearby San Juan Mountains. The clear alpine lakes are also excellent fishing spots. However, the roads to get to the campsite can be a bit rough, so it’s recommended for tents rather than RVs and campers.

#9 – Escalante Canyon

This wonderful campground is hidden among the canyons of the Western Slope Desert. It’s a great place if you’re looking for some peace and quiet. Plus, it has breathtaking views. Hiking, swimming, rock climbing, and mountain biking are just some of the many activities that guests can enjoy during their stay. Yet, it’s recommended that you approach hiking trails and climbing walls with caution since they are underdeveloped. This location is extra hot in the summer, so don’t forget to bring lots of water.

#10 – Rio Blanco Lake State Wildlife Area

The Rio Blanco Lake State Wildlife Area will make you feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere, making it secluded and peaceful for camping. It has tons of wildlife to look at, and it’s an excellent fishing location. Many visitors like to just hang out around a campfire and admire the clear stars at night. There are plenty of hiking trails and landmarks that you can walk to from the campsite, so you’ll have an eventful trip exploring nature. It has some amenities, including bathrooms, picnic tables, and a boat launch.

#11 – Jouflas Campground

The Jouflas Campground in Mack is a great spot for both tents and RVs. It’s full of fun activities, including hiking, mountain biking, rafting, rock climbing, and OHV riding. It even has some amenities, including bathrooms, fire grates, and picnic tables. Yet, it’s a smaller campground with only eight sites, so you’ll need to get there early if you want a good spot. This location is also close to Utah’s border, so it’s near lots of great areas to explore.

Camping is one of the most relaxing vacations you can go on. It’s a great opportunity for your family to spend some time in nature, away from the chaos of life. If you’re unsure where to camp, you should check out one of these 11 free camping locations in Colorado. At least one of them is sure to be the ideal spot for you!

About Molly Weinfurter

Molly Weinfurter is a freelance writer and editor that specializes in family, travel, and animal-related topics.

Leave a Comment