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Free Camping Collection

Established Camping

BLM Cottonwood Grove Campground


Bureau of Land Management

Gunnison Gorge Wilderness

Situated among mature cottonwood trees along the Gunnison River, this campground has six campsites, including one ADA accessible site with an adjacent accessible fishing pier. Site amenities include a boat ramp (non-motorized watercraft only), shade structures, picnic tables, fire rings and a vault toilet. Camping is free with a 7 day/6 night maximum stay length. Sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, please contact the Montrose Public Lands Center at 970-240-5300. __

Fee Info

No Fee

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BLM Cottonwood Grove Campground is located in Colorado

Detail location of campground


From Austin, Colorado drive south on 2200 Rd. for 0.9 miles. Turn left on H75 Rd (there is a sign indicating access to Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area). H75 Rd is a well-maintained gravel road. It enters the National Conservation Area in about 2.8 miles. Another 0.2 miles will bring you to Smith Mountain Saddle, where there is a 4-way intersection. Follow the sign indicating South River Road and the West River Trailhead, a slight right off of H75 Rd. South River Road is a graded natural-surface road, which is passable with high clearance vehicles when dry, and impassable when wet. The campground is 4 miles down this road. From Delta (Jct. US 50 & CO 92), go east on CO 92 for 5.5 miles to CR H75 Road on the right (south). Veer right onto H75 Road and continue for 4.3 miles, then follow the directions above.


38.77768 N
107.85192 W

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out of 5

9 Reviews

Zohar B.
Reviewed Jun. 10, 2024

OK place, lots of bugs and rough road

The campsite was ok- near the river, lots of space and quiet. It is important to know that the road getting there is rough and can be dangerous, especially after dark. Also, in this season there are a lot of bugs!

Month of VisitJuly
Adriana D.
Reviewed Jun. 14, 2023

Nice peaceful place

Rough ride getting there but amaizing cliff view. Traveling with tiny camper would dive a big rig there. Narrow roads!

Month of VisitJuly
  • Review photo of BLM Cottonwood Grove Campground by Adriana D., June 14, 2023
RThe Dyrt PRO User
Reviewed Mar. 10, 2022

Great quiet place

This is a nice out of the way place to stay, be aware the road getting here is not for big campers, higher clearance is needed, I've camped here or in the area since i was a small child

Siteno site designation
Month of VisitApril
Aurora A.
Reviewed Oct. 16, 2021


Crazy drive but worth it

Month of VisitNovember
DThe Dyrt PRO User
Reviewed Jun. 8, 2021

Quiet and secluded

There are parking spots for rvs who don’t want to go down the worst of the road to the river. We stayed 2 nights in a huge site with a big tree in the middle right on the river. Farther down there are a bunch of sites together with a bathroom. Lots of locals use the area for fishing so trucks were coming and going but not so much as to be a bother. The scenery is terrific. A real oasis in the desert. There are hiking trail off the main road in the campground. The river is mostly shallow on the campground side and perfect for cooling off. We watched guys fly fishing by our site, which is definitely an art form. It can be windy and very dusty. At night we watched the bats swooping around and it’s a great place to star gaze! The road down to the river was rough. I wouldn’t bring the family sedan down it.

Month of VisitJuly
  • Review photo of BLM Cottonwood Grove Campground by Donella L., June 8, 2021
  • Review photo of BLM Cottonwood Grove Campground by Donella L., June 8, 2021
  • Review photo of BLM Cottonwood Grove Campground by Donella L., June 8, 2021
  • (14) View All
Margaret P.
Reviewed May. 3, 2021

Nice, woodsy, beginner-level campground

Pretty sandy in parts, so not ideal if there’s wind, and the campsites weren’t as spread out as I would have preferred. But other than that it was a nice experience with some shady spots and some sunny spots, right along the river, and a nice set up.

Month of VisitMay
Ben P.The Dyrt PRO User
Reviewed Nov. 3, 2020

Great Campground

Awesome little campground! I needed a place to stop for the night and this was perfect. The river is beautiful and full of fish. It’s a longer drove down the dirt road to get here than I expected to if you come, keep going. There are several camping spots along the road which would be cool as well, but the actual campground is at the end, right where the marker says it is. I’m by myself but there are a couple greats spots for group camping as well. Very quiet and peaceful. And as always, totally free! I would recommend this spot as a great overnight stop, easily accessible but off the beaten path enough to not be crowded.

Derek S.
Reviewed Jun. 30, 2019

River retreat

6 sites of which 4 have shelters and there’s 4 RV pull ups. Plenty of distance between campsites. No electricity or water. 1 satellite toilet... and a great fishing dock and a small beach. The weather in the canyon at the end of June is hot during the day and comfortable at night. I pulled in on a Friday and the campground was empty. By Sunday 4 of the 6 sites were taken. Definitely a quite place to enjoy the stars and watch the lizards hunt.

  • Review photo of BLM Cottonwood Grove Campground by Derek S., June 30, 2019
  • Review photo of BLM Cottonwood Grove Campground by Derek S., June 30, 2019
  • Review photo of BLM Cottonwood Grove Campground by Derek S., June 30, 2019
Melissa K.
Reviewed May. 12, 2019

Simply Amazing and FREE!

This is a true gem. I imagine it gets busy in the summer. It was already pretty busy this weekend and it's still early. There are six campsites total in the designated campground. There are plenty of others along the way, just this area has the toilet.

The drive in is a little rough. The road is narrow and it drops off in places but the views are spectacular. It follows the Gunnison River and once the view opens up, it really is magnificent. We came in after dinner time and got to the campground. At that time there were two of the six available. The campground sits in a little grove of Cottonwood trees so there is shade to be had and it is right on the river. There is a little boating dock right there too. A handicap accessible pier for fishing, although this weekend it hosted a wedding, albeit small, it was still there. Very quiet little event, I slept through it. They pulled out before dinner even.

I think two of the six campsites had a shade shelter in the site. Those were quite nice. But even with out a shade shelter they all had picnic tables, nice heavy concrete tables, and fire pits. I think the site closest to the pier lacked in shade but the rest were pretty well shaded.

We had to go back to Cedaredge for a sporting event and decided to go back for a second night. We were so glad we did. There is a trail called Cool Rock Trail and it was a nice trail. Hot for sure, so take plenty of water and if you are hiking with a pup, bring water for them too, they will need it! I think our 10 month old lab puppy drank a good three bottles on his own. If you are in to geocaching, there are about 5 or so from trailhead to about 1 mile to mile and half in. The terrain wasn't too hard, our five year old son and 14 year old pug both handled it just fine.

There are other hiking trails too but that is the only one we did. Also for the geocaching campers, there is one in the campground itself. So that was another fun activity for my kids. There was lots of space in the campground. We could have easily played ball or frisbee and not bothered anyone. The toilet was well stocked and pretty clean. It is just a pit toilet but it's better then nothing.

There aren't any hosts or anyone really moderating anything so if you get a discourteous neighbor, no one is really going to stop them. Most of ours were good, we had one a couple sites down that played music and chopped wood through out the evening and mornings. Lots and lots of wood. Dogs are often off leashes, well at least while we were there. I'm not sure anyone used a leash except us.

This really is a great place to slip in to for a night or two. Go check it out!

Month of VisitJune
  • Review photo of BLM Cottonwood Grove Campground by Melissa K., May 12, 2019
  • Review photo of BLM Cottonwood Grove Campground by Melissa K., May 12, 2019
  • Review photo of BLM Cottonwood Grove Campground by Melissa K., May 12, 2019
  • (32) View All

Frequently Asked Questions

Does BLM Cottonwood Grove Campground have wifi?

No, according to campers on, BLM Cottonwood Grove Campground does not have wifi.

Is there cell phone reception at BLM Cottonwood Grove Campground?

According to campers on, Verizon signal is available, AT&T is available, and T-Mobile is unknown.