A note about free places to camp in Colorado: We are spoiled with free places to camp in Colorado. But with that gift comes great responsibility. Note that most free camping does not have any amenities, including trash and water. It’s important that you pack out your waste and practice Leave No Trace Principals. Before you go, always check with the local ranger station regarding any fire bans. Only camp in designated areas, get a map to make sure you aren’t camping on private land.
1. Hike, Climb, and Ride in the Rampart Range
There is a wide variety of free places to camp just southwest of Castle Rock. There are plenty of trails for hikers, ATVs and even some multi-pitch climbing routes within the Rampart Range.
2. Bike and Hike at Buffalo Creek Recreation Area
Take Forest Road 550 into the Pike National Forest for plenty of beautiful free campsites. Buffalo Creek is popular with mountain bikers and hikers alike. This is an excellent area for early or late season camping.
3. Explore the Sawatch at Twin Lakes
Out of all of the free places to camp in Colorado, Twin Lakes might be one of our favorites. There are quite a few dispersed campsites off of the forest roads along Highway 82. Just be sure that you aren’t on private land as there are areas that are off-limits to campers. This area of Colorado boasts plenty of 14ers, world-class fishing and the famous Colorado Trail. High-clearance vehicles are required for most roads.
4. Camp Near Poudre Canyon at Red Feather Lakes
There are seven numbered sites and a smattering of other sites along the road to Red Feather Lakes. All trail access here is by foot only, no ATVs are allowed.
5. Remote Free Camping in Dominguez–Escalante, Grand Junction
If you’re looking to get a little out there, check out Big Dominguez outside of Grand Junction. This area is primarily used for ATV and off-road enthusiasts so be sure to have the right vehicle for the job.
Colorado is littered with free camp sites. Wherever you camp this year in Colorado do your part to keep our wilderness clean and pristine for the next visitor.
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