The Top Six Sites For Free Camping In Colorado (Updated 2017)

If there's one thing many people love doing, it would have to be camping. After all, who doesn't like exploring the wilderness and appreciating the beauty Mother Nature has to offer?

But we all know how camping can be quite expensive, which is why there are a few ways to save, such as searching for campgrounds that offer their sites for free.

Free camping in Colorado is a thing, and there are so many opportunities you can take for you to be able to experience a camping trip without shelling out so much money or moving too far.

Are you wondering about the places where you can start camping for free in Colorado? Then read on as I show you the best areas and what to do!

Grounds for Free Camping in Colorado

Looking for some free camping sites around the area? Here are the top six best ones you should check out!

National forests are the number one ideal campsites that are completely free to stay in. You will know that it is a campsite if it makes a fire ring and found in county and access roads. Here are the following National Forests around Colorado that allow dispersed camping (or free camping):

1. Clear Creek in Arapaho

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What's great about Clear Creek is that it continues to have dispersed camping with the nice campground and beautiful view. There are a stream and grassy area. Plus, dogs are allowed to enter and camp with you!

Do take note that they don't allow campfires. With over 200,000 acres of land and home to scenic views, this is recommended for adventurers and hikers who love a challenge.

2. Grand Mesa Division in Grand Mesa

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The meadows of Grand Mesa are perfect for dispersed camping, as it offers the immense view of the waters and mountains. They also have tent pads, picnic tables, fire rings, toilets, provisions for trash, and a water system for everyone to make use of.

With a ton of campsites, you can find the perfect one suitable for you and your group of friends and family.

3. Pikes Peak in Pike

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One of the famous forests around Colorado is the Pike National Forest, with Pikes Peak being a landmark and beacon for many.

This park offers campgrounds with easy access and amenities, from drinking water, toilets, down to the beautiful views. The trails are open to foot, bike, rollerblades, and even wheelchair-friendly!

4. Rocky Mountain National Park in Roosevelt

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What's excellent about this park is that it is near Boulder and with peaks that top 14,000 feet, with a ton of trails and bodies of water to appreciate.

There are five campgrounds with hundreds of campsites, with some of them needing reservations. Some campsites are first-come, first-served as well. It's open all-year round, and I recommend it for the beautiful view!

5. Leadville in San Isabel

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Areas around Leadville are free to camp in as long as there are signs and around the recreation area.You'll love the area because there are tons of activities to do in this excellent, green park.

From biking around trails down to picnicking by the waters, your family will appreciate the fun and recreation Leadville has to offer.

6. Aspen & Sopris in White River

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Aspen-Sopris has five wilderness areas with an excellent recreation area with historical landmarks around it. There are a lot of activities to do, including hunting, biking, hiking, or even skiing during the winter.

With tons of elk and deer, as well as a vast view and clean campsites, Aspen-Sopris is a must-see for the hunters and those who love to play sports!

To find national forests when you are traveling around Colorado, you can do your research by visiting websites or asking the locals about sites that allow dispersed camping. As you drive, you may also find a lot of signs and roads that lead the way.

More Tips on Camping on a Budget

Now that you're familiar with the areas where you can go camping for free in Colorado, what other tips can you check out to stick to your budget? Here are some pieces of advice you can try out: ​

  • If you're NOT always camping, then you can replace a few camping gear, such as sleeping pads. You can opt for a yoga mat and extra sheets or blankets, especially when you'll be camping in good weather.
  • Remember to always clean as you go. You enter the campsite clean, leave no trace. Avoid making too much noise and strong fires, as this may end up harming the campsite or disturbing others around you.
  • To save up on food expenses, go for prepared canned food that will leave you full without spending so much or creating an effort when preparing. 
  • For those who are on a budget and want something reliable and durable, then purchasing supplies from Military Surplus stores will help. They are affordable and assure durability.
    Just remember not to expect a lot after a few uses. When hiking, don't bother with expensive hiking boots unless it's an intense trail. Opt for your sneakers with grippy soles and a waterproof interior.

Conclusion

Are you worried about the extra fees that come when you start camping? There's a way to reduce the costs and enjoy the beautiful view through free camping in Colorado!

The place is beautiful and has many things to offer, including camping grounds without the costs, as long as you follow the rules and keep it clean afterward. Camping has never felt so fulfilling because of it.

I hope that this article on free camping in Colorado helped you become more knowledgeable on what you need to know about how to travel on a budget. So what are you waiting for? Research on any of these camping sites today and start your adventures!

I​​​​​​​​​​f you have any questions or would like to share your experiences with free camping in Colorado, then comment down below. I would love to hear what you have to think.

Deann Rebello
 

I'm just a little lady who loves camping out and always eager to share my thrilling experience to the world. My favorite quote is "It always rains on tents. Rainstorms will travel thousands of miles, against prevailing winds for the opportunity to rain on a tent." - Dave Barry

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