It is a beautiful time of year in Winter Park, Colorado. The temperature is just right, the sun shines most every day, the wildflowers are seeing their second round of color and life is good. It's time to get outside and go camping! One of our favorite ways to camp is to pick a spot on the map & strike out on our own to find some peace and quiet on a dispersed camping excursion.
Many people enjoy the solitude and primitive experience of camping away from developed campgrounds and other campers. Dispersed camping is the term used for camping anywhere in the National Forest OUTSIDE of a designated campground. Dispersed camping means no services; such as trash removal, and little or no facilities; such as tables and fire pits, are provided.
Where to Find Dispersed Camping around Winter Park, CO
- Vasquez Road - The light for Vasquez road is the first stoplight in the town of Winter Park - and is located just out our shop door! If go west on Vasquez Road you soon access the National Forest. Many people spend time camping up Vasquez during the summer months for a quick escape with easy access to town.
- Strawberry Creek Road in Tabernash
- Elk Creek/King Creek Road Outside Fraser - ONLY ACCESSIBLE IN SUMMER
What to Know Before You Go Dispersed Camping
There are extra responsibilities and skills necessary when you choose to disperse camping. It is your responsibility to know these before you try this new experience. Camping rules and regulations apply to make your experience safe, and to keep the natural resources scenic and unspoiled for other campers. For all of the rules and regulations applying to Dispersed Camping, CLICK HERE!
Below are a few tips:
- You may camp within 300 feet of most Forest Service roads as long as you are on National Forest System lands.
- Be aware that Fire Bans may be in place in during your stay. For current Fire Ban information in Grand County, Click Here!
- Always pack out or lock up any food related items & trash. If you leave a cooler out overnight you're asking for a visit from a bear.
- If you are able to have a fire always make sure that after you put out the fire and that it is cold to touch before you leave or go to sleep!
- You must bury your own waste to avoid damaging ecosystems or attracting wildlife.
- Always tell someone at home exactly where you are going & when you plan to return
- Whenever you camp, be sure to follow the Leave No Trace guidelines! Leaving the camp cleaner than when you found it is always the best etiquette for Dispersed Camping.
What to Pack For A Camping Trip:
- Clothing - bring plenty of layers temps drop quickly at night even in the middle of summer.
- Rain jacket
- Hat & Sunglasses
- Sunscreen, bug spray & chapstick
- Fresh water or water purification tablets
- First Aid Kit
- A physical map & compass - gps doesn't always work in the mountains it's always a good idea to carry a map
- Food - choose backpacking meals if you are trying to limit pack weight & prep any meals in advance to make your life easier at the camp site.
- Utensils & serving wear
- A shovel
- An axe for cutting firewood if you plan to have a fire
- Trash bags & rope for stringing up trash.
- Tent, sleeping bags & pillows
- Stove & fuel
- Paper towels & toilet paper
Need camping equipment? Stop by Epic Mountain Sports for hammocks, camelbacks, backpacking meals, propane tanks, tarps and more!