I addition to reviewing climbs, I describe nearby campgrounds, bed and breakfasts, restaurants, and fun stuff to do on rest days.
Below, I’ll describe some favorite Colorado campgrounds.
Free primitive camping abounds on BLM land in Piñon-Juniper forests along Divide Road.
Turn east on Divide road about 14 miles past Whitewater, drive 2.1 - 2.2 miles up Divide Road and cross a cattle guard. The state provides no winter maintenance from October 15 to June 1. Just past the cattle guard several sites nestle in the trees to the right of the road. These primitive campsites provide great views and nice flat spots among the trees but no water, toilets, tables or trashcans. Dogs permitted. Across the road, the BLM permits firewood collection.
About 7.1 miles past Pine turn right on FS 550 at a sign for Wellington Lake and Buffalo Creek Recreation area. Pass the Little Scraggy Trailhead for the Colorado Trail. After about one half mile, look for roadside pulloffs that allow free camping. These primitive sites lack water, and toilets. However, the camping here is peaceful, in beautiful ponderosa pines, and free.
A few miles south on Highway 126, about 10 – 11 miles south of Pine, reach a USFS campground, Kelsey Campground. Pine trees surround large well-spaced sites with picnic tables, fire grates, with the vault toilets and trash removal. The 17 sites have a 14-day limit and cost $12.00 per night. When we visited one Saturday in August, it was empty except for one site.
For Turkey Rock, it’s possible to camp in the forest beside the road in unimproved sites with no amenities but it’s peaceful and free.
Elevenmile Canyon meanders along the South Platte River and offers some of the nicest camping in the state. In fall, golden aspen surround white cliffs and climbers can enjoy warm sunny days into October.
Stay in one of six USFS campgrounds along the South Platte River. The Forest Service supplies flat campsites, picnic tables, fire grates, water, pit toilets, and garbage cans. Walk to the climbs from Spillway or Cove campground. Beside Spillway campground, a trail winds up the hillside to good views of the river valley. When I hiked it one October morning, rabbits grazed along the trail. Campsites are by reservation and over Memorial Day every site was reserved.
Open May 1 through October 5.
Elevation: 8,200 ft
To reserve a site:
For more information: