West Chicago Creek Campground sits along its namesake creek at the base of Mount Evans and is located off Highway 103 on the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests in central Colorado. It is a popular facility for hiking and fishing enthusiasts.
The area provides easy access to many hiking trails that lead into the Mount Evans Wilderness. West Chicago Creek offers good fishing for rainbow, brown and brook trout.
There are 15 sites available all suitable for RV and tent camping. Each site contains a tent pad, picnic table, charcoal grill and fire ring. Other amenities include a vault toilet, water spigot and trash dumpster. There are no RV hook-ups. Firewood is available for sale during peak season at the campground.
The campground sits at an elevation of 9,600 feet in an aspen and lodgepole pine forest.
The Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests and Pawnee National Grassland are located in the foothills and slopes of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. The forests and grassland cover 1.5 million acres and extend north to the Wyoming border, south to Mount Evans and west across the Continental Divide.
The area encompasses mountains, lakes and five scenic byways, designated by Congress for their scenery, wildlife or history, including the highest road in North America. Mount Evans Road, also known as Colorado Highway 5, allows visitors to drive from 10,500' to 14,130' above sea level in just 14 miles.
Nearby Idaho Springs, a former mining town, makes for a nice outing. History buffs will appreciate the Argo Gold Mine and Mill Museum.
ADA Access: N
Very clean and fabulous set up for exploring. We stay at this campground every year we go. Love this place
Stayed here a few weeks ago for a couple nights and man, the host was awesome at keeping the place neat and clean. The road in wasn't too bad but there is one hairpin turn that made we questill on how the small trailers/ rvs made it up there. We tent camped and enjoyed just hanging out by the stream during the day. Watch out for wildlife in the mornings! Had a moose and a deer stroll through the campground, plus some aggressive chipmunks stealing my dog's food.
I love this place. The campground is full every weekend between Memorial Day and Labor Day due to reservations made at recreation.gov up to 6 months and more than 48 hours in advance, and being so close to metro Denver.
The campground has 16 sites; 4 Walk-In, 1 host and 11 are reservable. Check in after 2:00 and check out by 1:00. If someone has a reservation, like a hotel, their site is held until 1:00 the next day because of the Forest Service rule that the campsite must be occupied the first night and they could have had delays.
The campground is at 9600’ and the last mile of the dirt road is a bit rough, but I have seen low profile cars and 42’ Class A motor home with a towed vehicle. Well water normally supplies the campground to faucets, but has not been productive the entire 2019 season and there are vault toilets. Each site has its own bear box and fire ring. The creek is less than 100 meters from the campground and fishing this year was poor… water level was low. Lots of great hiking and climbing in the area. About a 40 degree difference between day and night. During the fire ban, dispersed camping is limited to just a few areas so the campground is a great place to stay and you might still be able to have a fire in the fire ring. Privately owned cabins can be seen as you walk through the woods. Hell’s Hole Trail is a few hundred yards from the campground. I’m looking forward to going back there as host next year.
As one other reviewer stated the road is a bit sketchy but well worth the trip. The sites are clean, the host is friendly and the bathrooms are decent. What is amazing is the fall colors, the river and the hiking. We always try for the last weekend of the season. Very quiet, and lots of trees changing colors. Enjoy!
I always end up at Chicago Creek after spending an evening in the Denver/Boulder area and attempt to head west afterwards. Only an hour-ish from the city, this campground is perfect for people heading west from Denver and are looking to be immersed in mountains. The road up to the site is a bit sketchy, so try to arrive before nightfall, although I've always arrived after dark. If the campground is full, quite often people camp just past it, at the end of the road. There are signs that say "No Camping" but I've never had an issue and there are tons of people there. Afterwards, enjoy breakfast in Idaho Springs or continue up the road to Mt. Evans summit!