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Dispersed Camping

Gordon Gulch Dispersed Area

About

USDA Forest Service

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.

Streams; treat water for drinking.

Reservation Info

Camping is limited to 14 consecutive days in one location. After 14 days, the campsite must be moved a minimum of three miles. Camping can then continue for another 14 days. Camping is restricted to 28 days in any 60-day period.

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Location

Gordon Gulch Dispersed Area is located in Colorado

Detail location of campground

Directions

From Nederland, head north on Colorado Highway 72 for five miles and turn east onto NFSR 226 (this turnoff is 1/2 mile north of milepost 37). Numbered campsites are located along NFSR's 226, 314, 228 and 233 and their off-shoots.

Coordinates

40.01034458493781 N
105.49998176125736 W

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Access

  • Drive-In
    Park next to your site
  • Walk-In
    Park in a lot, walk to your site.

Stay Connected

  • WiFi
    Unknown
  • Verizon
    Good
  • AT&T
    Poor
  • T-Mobile
    Good

Site Types

  • Tent Sites
  • Standard (Tent/RV)
  • Dispersed
  • Group

Features

For Campers

  • Phone Service
  • Alcohol
  • Pets
  • Fires

Reviews

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3.5

out of 5

48 Reviews

SThe Dyrt PRO User
Reviewed Jul. 19, 2024

Poor road,

The road is in very poor condition and there were at least 2 large piles of trash.

Site14
Month of VisitAugust
MThe Dyrt PRO User
Reviewed Jul. 13, 2024

It’s Pottersville

There’s huge piles of trash everywhere. It is a homeless encampment. There’s reviews that seem to say it isn’t or that it isn’t bad I suspect they’ve never actually been there.

Month of VisitAugust
Cameron B.
Reviewed Jun. 29, 2024

Drove through and right out

I saw a few reviews about trash but thought I’d risk it myself. Man they were not kidding. Trash EVERYWHERE even mattresses. Definitely unhoused people living there as well. Not a single site felt safe or clean enough to camp there. If I had the room in the car I would have picked up a few bags of trash. I’ll definitely be back to help do some clean up.

Month of VisitJuly
Josue Q.
Reviewed Jun. 23, 2024

Ok place

Overall a nice place to camp but as soon as you drive through you are met with run down sites filled with trash bags that look like people permanently live there. It gives meth lab vibes through out the camp until you get further out. This prevented us from the staying the night as we were a little sketched out by this. There was also glass at our site which was unsafe for our dogs.

Month of VisitJuly
Steph D.
Reviewed May. 29, 2024

Trash and unhoused

Beautiful spot with great views, it’s a shame the sites are full of trash (literally full trash bags and trash in the dirt, not safe for dogs) and several sites are occupied long term by unhoused.

Month of VisitDecember
Josh A.The Dyrt PRO User
Reviewed May. 25, 2024

Accessible & convenient

Getting here is easy, only a few miles away from Nederland and I had cell service (verizon) the entire time. The road is low maintenance and bumpy/rutted in places, but high clearance isn’t NEEDED for all campsites, but it helps. I had no issues in a stock Tacoma except going down towards campsite #1. And a low clearance Audi parked next to me.

My complaint is the campsites can accommodate 2-3 groups. So even tho I was at campsite #7 first at 6am, others showed up and used the fire rings 20-30ft away. But then again, I went camping on Memorial Day weekend and it got crowded. But I have to walk pretty far now to find a private place to pee.

There are a few messy campsites, I pass on 3 because of all the trash. And one of the groups near me is partying - blasting shitty music, parents/kids yelling, dogs off-leash, and up all night types.. But that’s not an issue specific to this campground.

I’ll probably come back on a less busy night/weekend.

Site#7
Month of VisitJune
Cassidy M.
Reviewed Apr. 17, 2024

Lots of free, easily accessible sites

You'll hear some OHV activity, but we always enjoy camping here. Bring lots of water in the summer, or a filter in the spring when the snow is melting.

Scout out the area ahead if you don't have a high clearance AWD/4X4.

You could find yourself on a washed out road in a hurry.

Site14
Month of VisitMay
  • Review photo of Gordon Gulch Dispersed Area by Cassidy M., April 17, 2024
AThe Dyrt PRO User
Reviewed Sep. 14, 2023

Not a fan

The reviews gave me high hopes but people are rude here. I wouldn’t stay again. I also saw a moose crossing through site 8. There’s also trash left around the roads.

Month of VisitOctober
DThe Dyrt PRO User
Reviewed Aug. 1, 2023

Good enough

I had to pick up 4 kitchen bags of trash to use a spot..there are a couple of spots that are trashed.. I'll probably clean them too.. got 2 bars on TMobile 5g home internet.. good enough

Sitesite 5
Month of VisitJuly
s
Reviewed Jul. 17, 2023

Breath taking

Husband found this spot, it has some of the most breath taking views. The site was great for putting up a projector screen. Camp fires were awesome. Loved the off roading to get to the spot. Great people around camping also.

Month of VisitAugust
  • Review photo of Gordon Gulch Dispersed Area by shantelle , July 17, 2023
Anthony R.
Reviewed May. 19, 2023

Had a great time!

To be honest we were at the farthest site which was nice cause we have a rowdy group. We made sure we left nothing behind when we were done with the site. You mate pass it up if you aren’t paying attention, we only found the site cause we saw the number on the ground. It have stone fire pits and you are allowed to shoot via following the posted rules. Medium traffic at some points, stayed for 2 days and nights and everything was great. It’s the most opened site, so lots of wind traveling through at some points.

Site15
Month of VisitJune
  • Review photo of Gordon Gulch Dispersed Area by Anthony R., May 19, 2023
  • Review photo of Gordon Gulch Dispersed Area by Anthony R., May 19, 2023
  • Review photo of Gordon Gulch Dispersed Area by Anthony R., May 19, 2023
  • (8) View All
r
Reviewed May. 3, 2023

Needs a cleanup

Some trash and damage to areas, high clearance and 4wd or AT tires a good idea. Quiet and secluded

Site12
Month of VisitJune
Leah M.The Dyrt PRO User
Reviewed Sep. 20, 2022

Horrible. Do not camp here.

This screamed homeless drug camp as I drove thru. Not really scenic and all I saw was blue tarps/abandoned tents and 2 dudes sitting in a run down sedan reeking of being meth’d out.

Month of VisitOctober
Freedom F.
Reviewed Jul. 20, 2022

One of my favorite places

I really love this place. Most sites are very spread out and far apart. I have driven all over the grounds with my Pacifica Minivan. However, I'd certainly recommend something with a bit more clearance. Very bad and on and off again T-Mobile service.

Site10, 15
Month of VisitAugust
Rachael J.
Reviewed Jun. 25, 2022

Pretty site not far from Nederland

This is a nice free camping site off of peak to peak highway. Mountain View’s and lots of wildflowers.

Month of VisitJuly
Jack W.The Dyrt PRO User
Reviewed May. 19, 2022

Adequate Free Spot Above Nederland

Stayed here in my awd van and everything went fine, but the trail loop beyond the main sites is extremely bumpy and can only be traversed with high-clearance vehicles which limits your options for finding a site. But if you're one of the first 15 people there, I'd say you'll be able to find a spot. Might be a bit more difficult with a large trailer. Nothing spectacular but it certainly did the trick for the night

Month of VisitMay
  • Review photo of Gordon Gulch Dispersed Area by Jack W., May 19, 2022
Whitney L.The Dyrt PRO User
Reviewed Sep. 10, 2021

decent free camping near Boulder

All in all its a decent* place near Boulder to camp for free and is mostly easy to get to. There are 15 spots that, when we arrived on pre-Labor day Friday afternoon, were almost all taken, no surprise. We saw 1 spot available - site 12 I believe - that we could have taken but decided to kept going further to see what our other, more secluded options might be … The sites of the actual campground were far enough apart for visual privacy, but close enough not to offer audible privacy. We noticed~ 4 or 5 of the 15 spots had tents but no other sign of use like they might be abandoned ?!? (we wondered if these were 'placeholder' tents to guarantee someones spot if they leave and come back weeks/months later... edit: external article postulates that due to GG's proximity to Boulder, it has become inundated with abandoned drug camps littered by hypodermic needles. yikes). We ended up getting a dispersed site outside the confines of the campground, and as others have noted - the road isn't as well maintained beyond the campground borders and not super conducive for low clearance vehicles. Lots of off road vehicles use the trails in/near Gordon Gulch but were still respectful of our space. We only stayed one night, but the view in the morning of the sunrise was gorgeous. Our spot was East of the intersection of 233.1 and 228.1B roads. There were several other folks camping dispersed through the woods… few were loud (one had a chainsaw) but most were very respectful and quiet. Bear country. Bring your own firewood.

Month of VisitOctober
  • Review photo of Gordon Gulch Dispersed Area by Whitney L., September 10, 2021
  • Review photo of Gordon Gulch Dispersed Area by Whitney L., September 10, 2021
  • Review photo of Gordon Gulch Dispersed Area by Whitney L., September 10, 2021
  • (6) View All
Rachael S.
Reviewed Aug. 29, 2021

Great campsite Close to boulder

We loved this campsite. Super close to home for us , yet felt so far away! We had a great campsite with amazing views. We continued driving down Switzerland trail to find our campsite. There were still a decent amount of sites here when we arrived around noon on a Saturday. Need at least AWD for the road. Decent amount of ATVs and dirt bikes, but not enough to be annoyed. We will absolutely camp here again.

Month of VisitSeptember
  • Review photo of Gordon Gulch Dispersed Area by Rachael S., August 29, 2021
  • Review photo of Gordon Gulch Dispersed Area by Rachael S., August 29, 2021
  • Review photo of Gordon Gulch Dispersed Area by Rachael S., August 29, 2021
  • (7) View All
Kelli K.
Reviewed Jul. 27, 2021

Great views if you can find them!

We lucked out with a south facing spot overlooking the town of Nederland. The unfortunate part of our stay was the group that decided to throw a rave until 6am, disturbing what I can only imagine to be the entire Arapahoe region. Completely uncalled for - and a microphone to go along with a speaker already blasting terrible music????? Almost ruined our night, but the visitors (pictured) and views made up for it.

Plan for other groups close by that can be incredibly rude.

Month of VisitAugust
  • Review photo of Gordon Gulch Dispersed Area by Kelli K., July 27, 2021
  • Review photo of Gordon Gulch Dispersed Area by Kelli K., July 27, 2021
  • Review photo of Gordon Gulch Dispersed Area by Kelli K., July 27, 2021
  • (4) View All
J
Reviewed Jul. 20, 2021

Great free camping!

This campground is great for those looking for beautiful scenery and to avoid the crowds, not to mention it’s free! The dirt roads can be a little tough to navigate in a car depending on how far back you go. It can get busy during the weekends, so I would recommend getting here a little early to get a good spot. There’s a lot of ATV’s, so if you don’t mind the noise they aren’t really a bother. The dirt roads make a great track if ATV’s are your thing. Be sure to pack enough water to last you and bring toilet paper! There aren’t any facilities so be sure to keep this in mind while packing. Overall I had plenty of privacy, beautifully magnificent views, it’s close enough to Boulder in case I needed to drop into town it’s only about 30 minutes out. Overall a wonderful experience here.

Site2
Month of VisitAugust
Dan  W.The Dyrt PRO User
Reviewed Jul. 9, 2021

Easy access off Peak to Peak highway

We arrived looking for a spot on a Friday evening and managed to find a spot way back in the dispersed area beyond the permitted camp sites . Great area to pull in with a truck but not needed on the main road in . Many rock fire rings around to find spots . It is an area of four wheelers and off road riding so that does create some noise by camps if that bothers you or you want yo partake that .

Sitedispersed non numbered
Month of VisitAugust
  • Review photo of Gordon Gulch Dispersed Area by Dan  W., July 9, 2021
Shelby B.
Reviewed Jun. 29, 2021

Can be crowded

Pretty nice dispersed sites. This area tends to fill up pretty quickly with dirt bikers and ATVs in the summer. Ok-ish cell service, with our signal booster we got 1 bar of 5Ge on att, but no cell signal on Verizon. Many sites are not level and can be rocky. Most folks here tend to have self contained vehicles rather than tent camping.

Occasionally groups will leave trash out here, or you will camp next to a more permanent resident but overall it’s not a bad spot in a pinch

Month of VisitJuly
Eliot T.
Reviewed Jun. 19, 2021

Location is nice. But it can get packed quick.

Went up for some close Winter camping back in March. There was still a decent amount of people camping around us but it was super nice and quiet. Spaces are very private the farther back you go. there are 12 numbered sites spaced well apart the farther back you go. I have been here before in the spring time, and It can for sure fill up quick due to it's location being close to Boulder, and Nederland. Expect heavy use in the summer months. Also the road after the snow melt and rain can be very muddy. It's often used out due to heavy driving use. So some of the farther out sites might require a 4x4 vehicle depending on weather and road use. two people got stuck with light snow in March. So it's a strong recommendation because the farther sites are much nicer.

SiteSite 3
Month of VisitApril
  • Review photo of Gordon Gulch Dispersed Area by Eliot T., June 19, 2021
  • Review photo of Gordon Gulch Dispersed Area by Eliot T., June 19, 2021
  • Review photo of Gordon Gulch Dispersed Area by Eliot T., June 19, 2021
  • (4) View All
R
Reviewed Jun. 18, 2021

It’s Ok

The sites are nicely spread apart for the most part. The only real issue is the seemingly continuous parade of ATVs. I heard from one of the Sheriff’s Deputies that an ATV rental outfit to the north is recommending people to go to Gordon Gulch. It made sense since there were a lot of helmeted touristy looking people in ATVs looking rather lost.

Site15
Month of VisitJuly
Alyse P.
Reviewed May. 21, 2021

Good but tricky

I went here the week before campgrounds opened in this area, around May 7th. I had a pop up trailer and got there around 5pm on a Friday. Most spots were already taken and the road was a bit washed out. We got stopped by a camper letting us know not to go further because of the road condition and we shared a spot for the night. I would recommend this spot if you have a 4 wheel drive car with high clearance. Later in the season when the water levels are lower it might be easier to navigate but we saw a car or two get towed out

Month of VisitJune
C
Reviewed May. 13, 2021

Favorite place

This is my go to when I need to escape the city whether it be a night during the week, or adventure weekend, it never fails me. Quite, beautiful, definitely good use of your overlanding vehicle and skills.

Month of VisitJune
  • Review photo of Gordon Gulch Dispersed Area by Christopher M., May 13, 2021
  • Review photo of Gordon Gulch Dispersed Area by Christopher M., May 13, 2021
Rob B.
Reviewed Apr. 19, 2021

Great Spot!

Great spot for dispersed camping. Road a little rough especially with snow; 4x4 is probably necessary to avoid getting stuck. Really pretty, spread out spots.

Site4
Month of VisitMay
  • Review photo of Gordon Gulch Dispersed Area by Rob B., April 19, 2021
  • Review photo of Gordon Gulch Dispersed Area by Rob B., April 19, 2021
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J
Reviewed Apr. 8, 2021

Perfect spot

This place is a bit of a drive but it’s perfect. In the trees and away from people! We stayed here for one night and there wasn’t very many people. The road is muddy and you do need a high clearance truck/car.

  • Review photo of Gordon Gulch Dispersed Area by Jaqueline E., April 8, 2021
  • Review photo of Gordon Gulch Dispersed Area by Jaqueline E., April 8, 2021
M
Reviewed Feb. 24, 2021

Rare Free Camping Near Boulder

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.

Month of VisitJuly

Frequently Asked Questions

Are fires allowed at Gordon Gulch Dispersed Area?

Yes, according to campers on TheDyrt.com, fires are allowed at Gordon Gulch Dispersed Area, although make sure to check current fire restrictions in the area.

Does Gordon Gulch Dispersed Area have wifi?

No, according to campers on TheDyrt.com, Gordon Gulch Dispersed Area does not have wifi.

Is there cell phone reception at Gordon Gulch Dispersed Area?

According to campers on TheDyrt.com, Verizon signal is good, AT&T is poor, and T-Mobile is good.