Camping is allowed at numbered designated campsites. No fee is charged. Practice Leave No Trace Principles.
Camping is limited to 14 days in one location. After 14 days, your camp must be moved at least three miles away.
Maximum stay is 28 days within a 60-day period. After 28 days, all property and people must leave the Roosevelt National Forest.
Note: This campground is only accessible via 4x4 vehicles. Do not attempt in your sedan or lower SUV.
Bigger note: The map to this campground is wrong. Follow the directions, not the map.
The camping sites are sparsely shaded and well used- we found a lot of trash at our site. Each campsite is equipped with a fire pit, picnic table, and room for 2-3 tents. There is no water, trash, or toilets.
We got there around 9pm on a Friday (not the brightest idea) and could not find any open spots, off the road or in the campground. We camped in a field behind the parking lot for the night, and were told in the morning by a (very nice!) ranger that camping anywhere but the designated spots carries a minimum $300 fine, so we moved to a newly vacated spot. If you are going to camp at an undesignated spot, be sure to leave by 8am or earlier so as to not get yourself fined.
There are only 6 camping spots easily accessible from the parking area, along with ~4 more down by the water (about a 1/2 mile walk), and ~6 along the road. These all fill up quickly after 5pm thanks to their closeness to Boulder.
The recreation at Gross Reservoir, accessible via beach about ~1/2 mile walking from the parking lot, is delightful. You do not need a boat permit - just a life jacket on board (1 for each person). No swimming is allowed in the reservoir and there is often a ranger on the lake ensuring everyone is following that rule.
If you are late to the campsite and absolutely need to find somewhere to camp (do not start a fire, even in "rocked-in pits" that have been used before), try:
West of campsite 24 (there's a ridge with 2 primitive campsites or the field)
North of campsite 24 (there's a field)
Between campsite 24 & 25 (there's a field)
Just South of the south parking fence (there's a field)
The directions under the description are not correct they bring you to this back road in the middle of no where. Looked like people had camped there and would be a great place to camp but very remote and obviously no amenities. Not sure who put those directions up.
Good hiking spot that takes you down to the reservoir. Not to far from the campsite. There is camping only in designated area.
Given that this is so close to boulder, a ton of people come here. Our campsite definitely had litter laying around which was really sad to see. It is awesome that it's so convenient but I wish people would practice leave no trace. We tried to drive in Friday night and all the campsites were full so some kind people let us share theirs. I'd suggest getting their early to get a good spot!
Great spot for early sunrise or sunset views. Plenty of room for multiple tents. Thuroughly enjoyed our time here.
Gross Reservoir is not gross! It is an awesome SUPing, kayaking, or canoeing option close to Denver and Boulder. The Winiger Ridge campground is at the end of forest road 359 on the west side of the reservoir. There are around 30 well spread out campsites - some on the shoreline and some covered by forest. It is a free, first come first serve campground with minimal facilities. The bathroom is all the way up at the top of the road. While the campsites are great, exploring Gross Reservoir is the real reason to come. There are a lot of inlets to paddle into and trails to explore. However, there are some cons to the reservoir; there are a lot of rules that are strictly enforced. There is no swimming in the reservoir, which is very tempting. You can only launch your boat at the boat launch on the southeast side (far from the campground) of the reservoir that is monitored by a ranger. He requires you to have a life vest, whistle, and your name written on your boat. Violating the rules is punishable by a fine. He enforces the rules by driving around the reservoir in his motorized boat every hour or so catching people who are swimming, don't have a life vest, etc. So, it's best to just follow the rules here or go somewhere else. Besides that, it's a good spot for a little getaway from the city.
The Gross Resevoir outside Boulder is a great place for people to go for some recreation just outside the city. People commonly drop in a paddleboard or kayak. I sadly don't have either, but I do have hiking boots and the hike from the nearby Forsythe Canyon Trail (moderate difficulty, one tricky section 3/4 of the way) which leaves from the parking lot area. It is a great 1 mile loop that ends at the north west side of the lake. I took a hammock with me and planted myself on one side of the lake's perimeter, overlooking a nice section of the resevoir.
Campsites are best accessed with a 4WD vehicle. There is a schematic map near the entrance to help you with the designated camping plots. This is also your last look at a bathroom - there are none located within the campgrounds. Bring in your own water as well.
If you're OK with primitive, this place has sites well dispersed for some privacy in off peak seasons. Since it is so close to Boulder, it is a common spot to see a lot of campers.