Five miles north of Nederland, National Forest System Road (NFSR) 226, commonly known as Gordon Gulch, turns east off of Colorado Highway 72. NFSR 226 intersects other forest roads: NFSR 314, 228, 233 and their off-shoots. There are 15 numbered, designated campsites scattered along the road system within 1.5 miles east of Highway 72. Camping is permitted in designated sites only. Take care when driving in this area. Snow and mud can persist through most of the year. The free Boulder Ranger District Motor Vehicle Use Map displays National Forest System (NFS) routes open to motorized travel and is available online and at the Boulder Ranger District offfice.
There isn't much free camping to be had in the Boulder area. So, our family has been grateful for this spot (and Magnolia Ridge nearby). This spot isn't far a far drive from Boulder but dirt roads can be rocky and rough on the way in. I wouldn't recommend driving in with a low clearance vehicle.
Our campsite did have some garbage left over from previous occupants which we cleaned up. The area was very regularly patrolled by deputies which might be disruptive to some looking for peace and solitude. However, they do help when it comes to some people being disruptive and not camping responsibly on the mountain. We enjoyed seeing wildlife including moose in the area and enjoyed having trees for shade from the Colorado sun.
The campground we occupied was very rocky and my six year old unfortunately fell while running and broke her arm. This may not be the best spot for little ones with unsure footing.
Our first experience here a few months ago was pretty good. The area is beautiful and there was a great view of the stars at night. There was a decent amount of trash at our campsite when we arrived, but unfortunately that’s fairly common.
Our most recent trip just a couple weeks ago was bad enough to keep us away forever. The first site we stopped at was covered in syringes. EVERYWHERE! Thankfully we hadn’t let the dog out of the car and we noticed quickly enough to avoid getting hurt. We got back in the car and drove to another campsite that appeared to be fine. There was some trash, abandoned items and broken glass but we cleaned it up and forgot about it. At one point our dog came up to us and had horrible poop breath, then started acting really weird. We rushed her to the vet first thing in the morning when she couldn’t walk and had no interest in food, only to find out that she had eaten human feces that contained THC. Its really frustrating that people can’t seem to respect this beautiful place and don’t understand how to leave no trace.
The drive was beautiful and the map/directions were very clear. The roads within the dispersed camping area were pretty intense with dips, rocks and potholes but we got through just fine with a Subaru Forester. The permitted sites are marked which are easy to find. We chose to not go too far because it was getting dark out by the time we arrived. The first 5 or so campsites are pretty close to each other which limits privacy but I can not speak for campsites further into the campsite.
This is a great dispersed camping area if you're lucky enough to snag a spot. The weekends are very full. The roads to some of the more remote sites are very rough and AWD is recommended. There are a few sites where it appears people are living there permanently, but overall it was pretty clean. The sires are big and you can fit multiple tents and vehicles on many of them. Will definitely be back.
Rough roads. Convenient.
Good place for camping and hunting
Camped here for one night in August. Like the title suggests, this campsite is typical for a free forest service campground. Prior campers have left some trash, bullet casings and obviously neglected to dig cat holes. After a quick clean up, the site was fine for my purposes. I hammock camp and I was happy to see that many of the sites here have more than adequate trees for hanging. The roads can be a bit rough so the further back you go the necessity for a high clearance vehicle increases. There are several off road and hiking trails directly attached to the camping areas. I noticed that the forest service had erected wooden barriers at several of the campsites in an effort to control where people park. At my campsite #6 someone had obviously pulled off road vehicles into the campsite and tore the ground up pretty good. Tent camping at this particular site would be difficult due tot he lack of flat spots. Other sites seemed to be flatter. All in all this was a great place to camp for free with several nearby hikes and attractions.
We arrived late (3pm) on a Saturday and all of the numbered sites were taken. Luckily, we stayed on 233 and found an awesome spot at the top of a very steep and rocky hill. Our Nissan Rogue handled it pretty well, surprisingly. Highly suggest a vehicle with high clearance that can handle sharp rocks and steep incline.
The view was amazing at the top! Felt very “secluded” with the exception of an occasional child yell or music from a nearby site.
Also - tons of trash! Our site was littered with shotgun shells and casings.
All-in-all pretty good spot for a last minute trip.
Just kidding. But there is a shit load of moose droppings everywhere. Nice dispersed camping however no trails so that’s why I gave it 4 stars. Spots are relatively close to your neighbors; we heard ours every now and then.
Get there early! It's a campsite close to Denver and Boulder, so spots can fill up quickly with people wanting to escape the city for the night/weekend. Great views of the higher peaks facing west. Some campsites face Boulder, so depending on preference, get a campsite that faces west. There are fire pits in several of the sites, and sites are clearly marked. Even with all the campsites full, it doesn't feel like you're on top of people. There's plenty of open space. Leaving around 6pm on a Friday night from Denver took about 60 minutes from central Denver to the campsite.