We got there around 9am on the Friday before Labor Day and it was already packed. We found two spots available and chose #37. Beautiful views throughout the campground (not from our site) we hiked, the kids played in two different creeks, and we enjoyed having space between ourselves and other campers. Incredible stars, and quick access to the trailhead (which was packed all weekend) Since it was a holiday weekend, cars were constantly driving up the road in search of a site. We even had one night where a group set up camp in a non-site area right beside us and drunkenly sang Queen songs until 4 am but thankfully the ranger kicked them out a few hours later. When we left on Sunday afternoon there were many spots available. Definitely need a vehicle with high clearance since the road is very rocky. There are few places to turn around and if you come on a busier weekend, you may want to grab the first spot you see.
Kirby Gulch is free camping with hiking and creek access. This is a large free camping area with 43 sites.There are multiple styles of sites for camping.
This campground is just past Burning Bear Campground and before you get to the pass summit.
There are no bathrooms or picnics tables so please clean up after yourself. When you pull in off the main road, the road turns into a washboard and you drive up into a meadow with multiple sites for RV’s and tents.
The sites surround the outside of the meadow. As you head into the loop you will get more tree cover and creek access from the sites on the left. The road heads back to open up to a few more secluded spots right on the creek. There are actual camp sites for you to use with semi-established fire rings and flat areas for tents.
Small pull behind campers fit back here but not large RV’s. There isn’t space to turn around once you get on the road until you get to the end that has a parking area for the trail head.
This campground was completely full the weekend of Memorial Day but most of the sites were empty during the week days.
The hiking is great, it heads through treelines and along the creek up to a marshy meadow with beautiful views of snowy mountain peaks.