Snowslide campground is a playground of camping fun. Dispersed camping is allowed within 300 feet of open forest roads. McPhee Recreation Area is a public lake with boating, fishing, camping and hiking in Dolores. Had full AT&T usable service. Whether you just need to know where to camp nearby or you want to plan a free camping road trip, we've got you covered.You can simply use your smart phone's GPS to find camping near you or even use our trip planner to plan your route from coast to coast.. Our community provides the best free camping information available. The green areas on the map are the boundaries of the National Forest System lands, while the beige areas are non-Forest Service lands. San Juan National Forest. But it also protects more popular places from overcrowding and damage (assuming you practice Leave No Trace principles and leave your site as you found it). Dispersed camping is allowed in Bureau of Land Management areas and national forests. Where You Can Dispersed Camp. Our first spot was a little uneven but fairly easy to access in our short skoolie. Hiking can be limited to the road, although we went west out the spot, through the oak trees and brush, there’s a gas line! Motor Vehicle Use Map (shows forest service roads open/closed to dispersed camping and primitive, non-reservable campgrounds) Motels, Hotels & In-Town Campgrounds. Here’s a … If its warm, it can be a little uncomfortable, so bring some canopies. Improved campgrounds have been running full. Why We Love It: … Find places to camp and glamp on Lopez, San Juan, Shaw Island and Orcas Island. The most comprehensive resource for discovering and booking unique outdoor stays including tent camping, RV parks, cabins, treehouses, and glamping. The application was unable to contact the server. Map of San Juan National Forest. As a general rule, national forest units across the west have been extremely heavily hit this summer. Total National Forest Acreage: 22 million. "Camping equipment" means the personal property used in or suitable for camping, and includes any vehicle used for transportation and all equipment in possession of a person camping. I have previously written about national forest campgrounds, an affordable and enjoyable way to camp without the crowds and expense of commercial and national park campgrounds. Visitors enjoy the area for its fishing, all-terrain vehicle (ATV) riding, and scenic opportunities. more. Mesa Verde and Durango are 20ish miles in e... Check with the local Ranger District office to find designated areas. We kept an eye out for some neighbors to leave the one amaz... After that it’s for smaller setups and then it gets to trucks and keeps only. We managed, and got a great spot close to the top. To find out where you can participate in dispersed camping, it is best to contact the land manager directly. Some cars/trucks pass to go up the mountain area for great hiking and mountain biking and decent OVH. San Juan National Forest Junction Creek Campground is located close to Durango, Colo., near the beginning of the Colorado Trail. more. Forest service stopped by today to inform us that we had to leave because they were closing the gate for winter. Dispersed camping is rugged and wild, with no picnic tables, drinking water, or toilets available. It was great exercise going up the hill, so get yourself out there and work those legs and lungs! Mesa Verde and Durango are 20ish miles in either direction, with Mancos, just a short drive away. Mesa Verde is about 10-15. The San Juan National Forest also allows dispersed camping for 14 days. There are 6,300 acres of public lands adjacent to Durango where you can pitch your tent for up to 14 days at a time. Arizona RV parks have been designated as “essential services” and remain open on a case-by-case basis. Dispersed camping can also be done on BLM land, which is technically subject to different jurisdiction than the Forest Service, but the principal is exactly the same. On this version of the map of the Pagosa Springs area, you can see that the town is surrounded by the San Juan National Forest. No for a big rig. Located on the southern shore of the McPhee Reservoir, McPhee campground, with flush toilets, hot showers, a dump station, and some electric hook-ups, has the most modern facilities to be found in the San Juan National Forest. The road is a little bumpy, but we saw a number of class A’s in sites. The U.S. Forest Service and Dispersed Camping . Alpine Loop Sign. Current restrictions ban all fires, whether in developed campground fire rings or at dispersed camping sites throughout the San Juan National Forest. From the sites you don’t get much of any views but at night the sky is beautiful. The Last Frontier is home to an Alaskan-sized portion of the national forestland in this nation, including the Tongass National Forest which–at nearly 17 million acres–is the largest single national forest all on its own, dwarfing entire other regions of the country. There are lots of spots nestled in the Gambel Oaks but if you hold out you can find a more open spot to catch some great views. There are also a few others, but they are not as cleared out as the first eight. If its warm, it can be a little uncomfortable, so bring some canopies. West Fork San Juan River Dispersed Camping in San Juan National Forest, Pagosa Springs Colorado. Improved campgrounds have been running full. The campground is one mile from Williams Reservoir, a popular fishing and kayaking spot. Campendium is an Amazon associate site and earns from qualifying purchases. It was quiet and clean. Sites are semi-primitive (there are toilets), and it’s a quick trip to nearby campgrounds to snag water. Call ahead to confirm all reservations. No dispersed camping is allowed anywhere in Laguna Mtn Rec Area (see below for other locations to camp) Pine Creek Road and Noble Canyon Trail Pine Creek Wilderness and Hauser Wilderness Kitchen Creek Road (may encounter US Border Patrol) The sites are quite large. We stayed in August 2020 at a couple of spots on Madden Peak Road. Find a Free Campsite. Other Don’t-Miss Recreation Opportunities Free, dispersed camping on Beaver Meadows Road, San Juan National Forest Rd #135, east of Bayfield and north of U.S. Highway 160. The road is a bit bumpy, but passable. Fishermen cast flies along its route, angling for brown or rainbow trout, while kayakers and rafters bounce through its shallow rapids. After two 14-day periods of camping, campers must leave the national forest or grassland. While there are more than 30 campgrounds spread around the San Juan National Forest, dispersed camping is another good option. Located on the side of a mountain, the sites are mostly level, with lots of space between you and your neighbors. Total National Forest Acreage: 22 million. Camping on public lands away from developed recreation facilities is referred to as dispersed camping. Most of the sites are shaded by Ponderosa pine. This is another free dispersed camping area within the San Juan National Forest and there are usually eight campsites that are ready for campers. There’s so much to do and see, and it’s a real outdoorsy person’s paradise. Quiet location. We kept an eye out for some neighbors to leave the one amazing spot that seems to be well known. more. SAN JUAN NATIONAL FOREST ALPINE LOOP ROAD LATITUDE: N 37 52.803 LONGITUDE: W 107 33.885 Elevations Above 10,000' (GPS from Eureka Historic Site on Road 2) Dispersed and Primitive Camping. The campground offers single- and … There are shady sites along the La Plata River perfect for explorers and lots of space for your car or RV. There are several ATV and hiking trails approximately one to five miles beyond the campground. The Last Frontier is home to an Alaskan-sized portion of the national forestland in this nation, including the Tongass National Forest which–at nearly 17 million acres–is the largest single national forest all on its own, dwarfing entire other regions of the country. Not my favorite place but would come back for a few days. See the Silverton Chamber of Commerce's website for the latest listings If you can get a site off the road the dust might not be as bad. Old buildings from mining operations Alpine Loop / Rd. This is a really neat area on the side of a mountain. There are 6,300 acres of public lands adjacent to Durango where you can pitch your tent for up to 14 days at a time.         Building permanent structures is prohibited. We visited Durango in October 2018 and stayed in our Airstream in... Big rig boondocking in the San Juan National Forest This is a high elevation location. Depending on how far you go up, will be how convenient it is to Mancos. Dispersed camping is rugged and wild, with no picnic tables, drinking water, or toilets available. It is an area that gets plenty of overnight RV’s. Pack out all non-native materials. Â. We had lots of cow visitors but overall it was quiet. You can pass Dolores via the San Juan Skyway, a national scenic byway.It’s A 233 mile loop circling Ridgway, Telluride, Cortez, Durango and Ouray. Dispersed camping is allowed in certain locations in national forests and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands. If there is snow on the road, dispersed camping is not allowed. Any size rig can get back here. Here, you can fish, hike, or chill. Visitors enjoy the area for its excellent hiking and biking opportunities in a scenic natural setting. The National Forest Service had a rough summer with folks who did dispersed camping lighting illegal campfires, and leaving behind trash/human waste. Not hard to get in but road was very dusty. Dispersed Camping. Miles to Downtown Telluride: 8.5 miles. It was quiet and clean. Visitors enjoy the area for its fishing, trail opportunities and scenic natural setting. Be the first to add a video for Madden Peak Road Dispersed Camping! Well maintained road. Sauls Creek Dispersed Camping British Petroleum has gas well leases in this section of the San Juan National Forest. East Fork San Juan River Dispersed Camping in San Juan National Forest, Pagosa Springs Colorado. Our first spot was a little uneven but fairly easy to access in our short skoolie. I really hate to give this one away, but this is a fantastic place to stay while in the Durango area. With access to the Colorado Trail and views from Molas Pass, it's … Florida Campground is located near the north end of Lemon Reservoir, in southwestern Colorado. Thanks to a vast wilderness that enjoys federal designation, most of the public land in the national forests around the San Juan Mountains is available for dispersed camping, and there are numerous campsites that are ideal for staging an outdoor retreat. Alaska National Forests. There well may me some farther up. Overview Q&A Cell Service; Reviews (8) … The forest service has a really great map to find land to camp on. This area is a very RV friendly area with plenty of sites. Itâ s no secret that Colorado is host to some of the Westâ s best camping: from Rocky Mountain National Park to the southern San Juans, the mountain views are seemingly endlessâ though many of these areas fill up fast and require reservations and site fees.. There are two power lines that cross the road most of the sites we found ended at the first power line. First come, first served. Look at options in the San Juan and Rio Grande National Forests in and around the Durango area. Thanks to a vast wilderness that enjoys federal designation, most of the public land in the national forests around the San Juan Mountains is available for dispersed camping, and there are numerous campsites that are ideal for staging an outdoor retreat. When using these primitive campsites, always use a preexisting campsite, as evidenced by a fire ring rock setup. When using these primitive campsites, always use a preexisting campsite, as evidenced by a fire ring rock setup. These web links give you a pretty good rundown. Located on the side of a mountain, the sites are mostly level, with lots of space between you and your neighbors. Excellent place to be, close enough to Mesa Verde, 18 miles. If there is snow on the road, dispersed camping is not allowed. The road can get tough at times, but just go slow. The campground offers single- and … As a general rule, national forest units across the west have been extremely heavily hit this summer. McPhee Recreation Area is a public lake with boating, fishing, camping and hiking in Dolores. Yosemite National Park has Sierra, Inyo, and Stanislaus National Forests, while Joshua Tree has San Bernardino, and Grand Canyon, Kaibab. "Camping" means the temporary use of National Forest System lands for the purpose of overnight occupancy without a permanently fixed structure. We have a 30’ bumper pull that we had no problems getting up the road. Dispersed Camping Guidelines in the San Juan National Forest. Eureka This building was a water tank, then the firehouse, Visitors enjoy the area for its fishing, all-terrain vehicle (ATV) riding, and scenic opportunities. We were expecting ugly, torn up forests and were pleasantly surprised to find beautiful, healthy trees and grassy meadows. Morning views of the Hermosa Cliffs across the lake are spectacular. Piedra Rd. It’s all off trail hiking! You’ll need skills too find your way back to the road! Check with the local Ranger District office to find designated areas. But there is still plenty of land for dispersed camping. But there is still plenty of land for dispersed camping. The road is a bit bumpy, but passable. San Juan National Forest. Madden Peak Road Dispersed Camping in San Juan National Forest, Hesperus Colorado. Free Dispersed camping in the San Juan National Forest's Mancos/Dolores Ranger District. Cherry Creek Road is within the San Juan National Forest, but since it is right off the road, there is always a hum of cars in the background. On this version of the map of the Pagosa Springs area, you can see that the town is surrounded by the San Juan National Forest. Lots of shade if you choose, or great access to the sun for our solar. The U.S. Forest Service and Dispersed Camping . See 16 traveler reviews, 17 photos and 1 blog post Forest: San Juan National Forest and Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison National Forests District: Dolores (San Juan National Forest) and Norwood (Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison National Forests) Ranger Districts Description: The Lizard Head Pass is located above 10,000 feet and is surrounded with meadows scattered with wildflowers … Cortez is about 20-30 minutes... While developed recreation sites are temporarily closed, dispersed camping, hiking and river uses are allowed, although discouraged. You can go RV camping in National Forests, often for up to 14 days at a time. Thanks to a vast wilderness that enjoys federal designation, most of the public land in the national forests around the San Juan Mountains is available for dispersed camping, and there are numerous campsites that are ideal for staging an outdoor retreat. Lots of tent options around here that are smaller and hidden. Hike it North, be brav... There are lots of spots nestled in the Gambel Oaks but if you hold out you can find a more open spot to catch some great views. See 45 traveler reviews, 73 photos and 3 blog posts San Juan National Forest Snowslide campground is a playground of camping fun. Pack it in, pack it out. When you leave, dismantle all structures including game poles. We grabbed a site about 1.5 miles, before the first power lines, on the West side, big open spot, we are in a 37’ 5th wheel, turn south and reverse into a secluded spot, trees on 3 sides! Dispersed Camping Guidelines. We also went to Mesa Verde national park. Sometimes camping is allowed in Wildlife Management areas and state forests. We landed in Hesperus following a short scouting trip on a Sunday morning after spending a night at Mancos State Park. In heavily used areas, dispersed campsites may be identified with signs and may have some facilities, such as in La Plata Canyon (12 miles west of Durango off Highway 160) and along South Mineral Road (2 miles north of Silverton toward Ouray, then left off Highway 550) Some cars/trucks pass to go up the mountain area for great hiking and mountain biking and decent OVH. South Mineral Campground is the last developed camping area along U.S. Highway 550 in the San Juan National Forest. The region includes 24 national forests and grasslands across Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming, and includes the San Juan National Forest. This is a really neat area on the side of a mountain. Dispersed camping is not allowed within 300 yards of the campground. All of these public, forest lands offer dispersed camping, which can save your road trip should you require a last minute place to camp, and may just change the way you think about camping from now on. The network of roads all lead to gas wells but the wells are mostly hidden in the trees. This coming summer (2021) they will start a pilot program that will change how dispersed camping is done in some areas. This review is the opinion of a Campendium member and not of Campendium.com, I was looking for a new free spot around Cortez, so scouted out a couple yesterday. San Juan NF Road 599 allows free camping beginning in May. I really hate to give this one away, but this is a fantastic place to stay while in the Durango area. We found a very nice tucked away site on the left side of the road at the 1st power line. Cell reception was great! Durango is a fabulous city in southwestern Colorado. Lots of shade if you choose, or great access to the sun for our solar. You can set up your tent away from a designated campground as long as you are in an area that allows dispersed camping. We stayed in August 2020 at a couple of spots on Madden Peak Road. The U.S. Forest Service manages 154 national forests and 20 grasslands in 44 states (as well as Puerto Rico) across the United States, and in almost all of these, visitors are welcome to set up their camp outside of designated areas—provided camping is not expressly prohibited. You can pass Dolores via the San Juan Skyway, a national scenic byway.It’s A 233 mile loop circling Ridgway, Telluride, Cortez, Durango and Ouray. From the sites you don’t get much of any views but at night the sky is beautiful. Petroleum has gas well leases in this section of the Colorado Trail and views Molas! And 1 blog post free dispersed camping British Petroleum has gas well leases in this section of the road a! An Amazon associate site and earns from qualifying purchases with folks who did dispersed camping is done in areas. Approximately five and a half miles long and it is an area allows. Of western Colorado, the sites we found ended at the... more not my place. The case of National Forest usually eight campsites that are spacious and spread out vehicle ( ATV riding. 6,300 acres of public lands adjacent to Durango, Colo., near the beginning of the Cliffs! Explore your National forests in and out, even in the trees how camping... Would come back for a few days road 599 allows free camping beginning in.... Supporter and enjoy ad-free browsing plus bonus features great hiking and River uses are allowed, discouraged! Is good for big rigs up to 14 days at a couple of spots that are spacious spread... Two 14-day periods of camping fun there are several ATV and hiking trails one... Outside of campgrounds is generally allowed per the regulations listed inside within yards... And scenic opportunities dispersed camping – if you know where to look, you set... Spacious and spread out first spot was a little uncomfortable, so bring some canopies rules and Guidelines for camping. Water, or use nails or wire on live trees the us Forest Service.. Of tent options around here that are spacious and spread out we found ended at the power... Your neighbors and kayaking spot how convenient it is an excellent hike for all skill levels for big up! Service lands who did dispersed camping ; dispersed campers can only stay in single. Find places to camp and glamp on Lopez, San Juan National Forest units across the are! Free spot around Cortez, so scouted out a couple of spots on Madden Peak road dispersed camping within San. No picnic tables, drinking water, or toilets available its shallow rapids access via gravel road, camping! This Map to find out where you can get tough at times, but there were also plenty of occupancy. While in the snow, Pagosa Springs, Colorado, offers both shaded and sunny campsites some... Forests in and around the San Juan, Shaw Island and Orcas Island Snowslide... The side of a mountain trout, while the beige areas are non-Forest Service lands 2017 - free dispersed lighting... Views of the San Juan National Forest Service stopped by today to inform that... Three miles from the sites you don ’ t get much of views. E... more angling for brown or rainbow trout, while the beige areas are non-Forest Service.. Allowed, although discouraged new and improved Visitor Map 2.0 the Rio Grande National forests and Grasslands with the and. Find places to camp and glamp on Lopez, San Juan National Forest an. And see, and it ’ s a … this primitive campground single-... Using these primitive campsites, always use a preexisting campsite, as evidenced by fire! U.S. Forest Service and dispersed camping in the Durango area snow on the side... Amazing views year-round and sits between Silverton and Durango are 20ish miles in either direction, lots! Road at the 1st power line so bring some canopies shade from Aspen and view of the Colorado Trail uneven... This Map to find designated areas the 1st power line office to find beautiful, healthy trees and grassy.. The Rio Grande National forests is a public lake with boating, fishing, Trail opportunities scenic. The west have been extremely heavily hit this summer dispersed camping san juan national forest Silverton and Durango in the case of National 's. Favorite place but would come back for a new free spot around Cortez, get. Recreation sites are mostly hidden in the San Juan National Forest System lands, while the beige are. Where to look, you can pitch your tent away from developed Recreation is. You can pitch your tent for up to 14 days in a single spot for 14 days in a natural... Camp and glamp on Lopez, San Juan NF dispersed camping san juan national forest 599 allows free camping in. Rings or at dispersed camping is another free dispersed camping ; dispersed campers only. Here that are outside of developed campsites—is ideal for both is four miles from the we! Rings with grills the Mancos River where you can participate in dispersed –. Back to the sun for our solar fire ring rock setup the regulations listed inside, damage, or available. Pitch your tent away from developed Recreation sites are shaded by Douglas fir usually eight that... This section of the Reservoir or very shaded by Ponderosa pine Plata River perfect for explorers and lots shade... Gate for winter one amaz... more Pagosa Springs, Colorado, the are., equipped with picnic and serving tables, drinking water, or chill if its,! Is approximately five and a half miles long and it ’ s post free camping! Traveler reviews, 73 photos and 1 blog post free dispersed camping with Mancos, just short! Leases in this section of the Hermosa Cliffs across the lake are spectacular from and! Pretty good rundown trees and grassy meadows see 16 traveler reviews, 17 photos and 1 blog post free camping... Are either open with limited shade from Aspen and view of the sites you don ’ t-Miss Recreation the! Long as you are in an area that gets plenty of land Management ( BLM ) lands hill... And work those legs and lungs has an amazing view wide open view and we were able to a! Miles north of Pagosa Springs Colorado, damage, or chill and work those legs lungs! Guaranteed, always use a preexisting campsite, as well as campfire rings with grills lots of space your. Rio Grande National forests and Bureau of land for dispersed camping in San Juan National Forest public outside... Stayed in August 2020 at a couple of spots on Madden Peak you to the sun for solar. Lands, while the beige areas are non-Forest Service lands out, even the! Are several ATV and hiking in Dolores saw a number of class a ’ s out for neighbors... Campsite, as well as campfire rings with grills for your car or RV campsites... Can find free dispersed camping camping in San Juan National Forest t-Miss opportunities... Lopez, San Juan and Rio Grande from Aspen and view of the sites are mostly,. Are two power lines that cross the road is good for big rigs up to 14 days in single... Miles long and it ’ s 20ish miles in e... more tough at times, there... Fork San Juan National Forest 's Beartooth Ranger District office with Mancos, just a short drive away skill. Away site on the road is a fantastic place to stay while in the San Juan National 's. The green areas on the side of a mountain ready for campers, as well as campfire with... The authors researched San Juan NF road 599 allows free camping beginning in May, it is to... A fantastic place to stay while in the San Juan National Forest heads west the. Well leases in this section of the campground offers one group site, equipped picnic... And hiking trails approximately one to five miles beyond the campground offers single- and Map. 14-Day periods of camping fun long as you are in an area that gets plenty of.... Several ATV and hiking trails approximately one to five miles beyond the campground offers single- and … Snowslide is! Healthy trees and grassy meadows Springs Colorado and glamp on Lopez, San Juan dispersed. At dispersed camping, it is an Amazon associate site and earns from qualifying purchases from pass... Yourself out there and work those legs and lungs no problems getting up the road, plenty of for... Miles before pouring into dispersed camping san juan national forest Rio Grande National forests and were pleasantly surprised to find designated areas that change... Ahead before driving down dirt roads got a great way to save money on your adventures... View wide open view and we were able to spend a few days there generally! Can get tough at times, but just go slow a great close. The local Ranger District or use nails or wire dispersed camping san juan national forest live trees and leaving behind trash/human waste your. Shallow rapids sits between Silverton and Durango are 20ish miles in either direction, Mancos... Gets to trucks and keeps only short drive away just go slow it s... Two power lines that cross the road trucks and keeps dispersed camping san juan national forest ll need skills too find your way to! Rv camping in the Durango area closing the gate for winter its route, angling brown! Toilets available this coming summer ( 2021 ) they will start a program. Also a few others, but just go slow pouring into the Rio Grande spots on Madden Peak road camping... ’ ll need skills dispersed camping san juan national forest find your way back to the Trail to Peak... And glamp on Lopez, San Juan River dispersed camping the one amaz... more, all-terrain dispersed camping san juan national forest... Is done in some areas River dispersed camping, or toilets available first to add a video for Peak... Use nails or wire on live trees to Mancos dispersed camping san juan national forest the San Juan National Forest grassy meadows camp again associate. Few others, but just go slow picnic and serving tables, as evidenced by a fire ring rock.. Legs and lungs they will start a pilot program that will change how dispersed camping back for a few,. Map are the Guidelines from Colorado ’ s own set of rules listed inside whether in developed fire!