Annie C.

The Dyrt Pro

St Charles , MO

Joined July 2016

I'm a hiker, explorer, road tripper, and camper with wanderlust in my veins.

Dispersed, hot springs, donkeys. What more could you want?

Once you get past the fact that this is truly dispersed, with no toilets, water, or trash, and no real established sites and no trees, you then remember, this place has wild hot springs and wild burrows. WILD BURROWS!! WILD HOT SPRINGS!! So, you roll up to this big open area with tons of“roads” cut in everywhere(careful, there are some deep ruts, holes, and deep sand) and pick a place to park for the night. Pitch your tent or set up your rig. Then go sit in one of the hot springs(there are 3 or 4). One is really deep and you can jump in. One has a large plastic tub wading pool that spills out into two more shallow pools. At sunset, kick back in your chair or in the hot spring and watch and listen to the wild burrows come in from the desert to drink and graze. Not too shabby. BUT. It is a popular place to camp as a result. So beware that some campers are lacking in their LNT principles- there is trash, broken bottles, cans, and feces scattered about. The roads are a mess. There is no one to pick up after you, so camp clean and be kind!

Rv only, and only when nothing else is going on

Typical of a county park and fairgrounds campground, this is meant for RV campers only. In fact, there is a sign that says tent camping is not allowed. There are water and electric hook ups and a dump station, with a couple of trees for shade(nothing you could hang a hammock on). The campground is closed for special events at the fairgrounds, and you are right next to the Rodeo Arena. The flip side is that you ARE on the Lonliest Highway in America.

Cute little state park in town

Neat little campground close to town with lots of mining history on display. There are 10 sites that are nice sized, some private and some out in the open. Site 7 is my top pick, and it has good hammock trees. While there is a nice bathroom, there are no showers. There is a dump station for RVs. There is a lot of road noise from the busy highway. I was surprised to see peacocks roaming in the campground, and in town there were wild horses grazing on the median in front of the local casino. There are some short trails you can hike along the water canal.


Super small BLM campground with just 9 sites. It’s right next to the Big Hole River. Super buggy, bring the industrial strength mosquito repellent! There is one semi clean vault toilet and one bear box for the entire campground to share. There are some dispersed sites up the road and some beautiful views of the river and ranch horses as well.

Camped at Fourth of July in July!

Only 6 sites with about half of them along the creek. This is a popular campground because of the access to the well shaded creek that is gray for playing and fishing. There is a short paved bike trail that circles the campground, going behind sites and through the day use area. There are two vault toilets at either end of the campground and day use area. Be sure to give FULL pumps on the water pump if you want water- it takes 10!

Dusty and close to the road

Dispersed camping next to the creek(Anvil camp sites are on the other side of the creek). This is really pretty but REALLY close to the VERY dusty forest service road. But, it’s not too far from another designated dispersed area  (Kendall) with vault toilets. The coolest little rabbits are running all over this site with white feet. Great views and the creek is nice and loud.

Moose watching?

Just 5 spots on this loop campground, with the water pump in the middle. You are fairly close to the road, but it is quiet at night and there is a little creek running not too far away to provide some white noise. All sites have nice shade and hammock trees. Vault toilet is clean and stocked. Go up the road a bit and check out the Grand Vista, especially at dawn and dusk. Maybe you will get to see a moose feeding down along the creek.

Quiet camping near the creek

A sweet little first come forest service campground about a half mile back from the main road. It is super quiet back here, with the added bonus of the creek tinkling away below the campground. It’s run by a concessionaire and is super clean even without a host on site. The campground is set up like a figure 8 with sites on both loops, and a group site at the bottom of the figure 8. Three vault toilets and four or five working water spigots. No trash cans or dumpsters, so pack out. Sites aren’t too close to each other so there is some privacy, and there are lots of trees for shade and hammocks. Choose your site carefully as they are not all level and some are much larger than others.

Hot springs. What else is there?

This is a very small campground, less than a dozen sites, with two very large group sites near a sand volleyball court. There are some trees, but not enough to provide deep shade or decent hammock hanging. BUT. Right across the road are steps that take you to a nice clear hot spring pool. The campground seemed crowded even though it really wasn’t. And it’s right on the road at street level so there is a fair amount of road noise. I might skip this one in the future are there are better campgrounds further up the road.

Close to hot springs

This is a small arid campground on the side of a hill. The most level(and largest) spots are inside the loop, in the middle. The sites on the outside edge either slope or are small because they are on the hill. Cool hippy dude is the campground host and he is pretty friendly and vigilant watching the comings and going’s. There is$5 day use parking if you just want to check out the big draw here- hot springs! A half mile hike will take you to the hillside hot springs with pools at river level as well as a few pools on the hillside. Watch the trail(and campground) for rattlesnakes!

Beautifully updated

One of those lucky days. Mountain Virw just reopened an hour before I got there after being closed for more than two years. Everything is brand new feeling! The fire pits are new, the tables not but they are in great shape. The vault toilets are new but the pits maybe aren’t. My site (14) is right on the river with easy access. The highway is close but the river drowns out some of the noise and then it gets quiet late. This is a first come first serve campground that I suspect will be full all of the time. I lucked out and got a site before it went public that it had reopened. Camped next to a member of High Pine Whiskey Yell and got invited to hear the band play that evening at The Lowman Inn. Awesome bluegrass band! And of course spent time with my body planted in the river.

Historic campground

Just 6 sites here (try and get #6, it’s really close to the river) on a traditional and ancient campsite that Native Americans used for a long time. The campground has the basics: picnic tables, fire pits, a vault toilet (in need of servicing), and dumpster. There is also a trail head right in camp as well as another trailhead on the other side of the Deadwood River. Across the road is a nice little interpreter site with info about the wildlife as well as river running info. You aren’t too far from several hot springs too.

Great Lake views

While you have great views of the lake from just about any site, you also lack any shade or hammock trees here. It looks like the campground is still in long slow recovery from fire mode here. There are lots of little (5’ or less) trees growing on the slope and a few in the center of the two loops, but that’s about it. But the wildflowers are nice. The campground is fairly quiet and very friendly. Clean vault toilets. Rv and tent sites are all together, with loop A being reservable.look at sites carefully if you are tent camping as not all sites have a spot for a tent. Also, I only saw 2 or 3 bear boxes for the whole campground to share.

Close to Philipsburg

Right on top of the highway, you definitely get some road noise here. The trees are pretty thin (maybe not good for hammocks), but there are a lot of them which provide a bit of privacy. The restrooms needed to be cleaned when I was there, but it had just been a busy weekend. No Georgetown lake access from the campground, but there is lake access right across the street at the day use area. You’ve got the ususal picnic tables and fire rings and some sites also have grills. Watch carefully as not all sites have a level place to put a tent. You are only 11 miles from Philipsburg where you can get a shower and a beer in which ever order you want.

Great views

About 5 minutes outside of Telluride and Mountain Valley is this basic campground with amazing views of the mountains. Choose carefully because not every site has views. The best part of this campground is it’s location- only 15 minutes down the mountain to Telluride and all it has to offer. Otherwise…. Well, it’s a nice place for an overnight that surprisingly doesn’t has a lot of road noise for how close to the road it is.

Dispersed up on the pass

When you first pull in you will see several dispersed sites up and to your right. These are nice, but they fill up quickly. Instead, take a left onto Galloping Goose Trailhead road and pick one of the sites that back up to trees and have gray Mountain View’s. Be careful though as further down the road it becomes private property with no camping. Also, watch for winds if you want a fire. This is dispersed, so no toilet (tho there is one across the highway at the entrance) and no picnic tables. Fire rings made of stacked rocks mark sites. Also, be bear aware and keep your food inside your locked car.

Close to Lowman

Nice little campground with less than a dozen sites. Everything is very flat here so no worries about finding a level site. The river is nearby but there is no real access here. Go down the road a bit and you will have some nice water access. The campground is clean and maintained, with the usual picnic tables and fire pits. No dedicated tent pads, but lots of cushy pine needles for under your tent. Lots of trees that are good for hammocks, just know that you might get a drop or two of pine sap dripping on you. Pop down to the Lowman ranger station down river a few miles to get some good maps; while you are at it, stop in at the Lowman Inn for some killer pizza.

Hot springs. ‘Nuff said.

Not gonna lie, the draw here are the hot springs. An easy quarter mile hike to the springs from the campground. The hottest pools are close to the cascades, coolest are near the river, and there is a cast iron tub inside a decrepit shack if you are game. The campground is nicely separated into a tent section and an Rv section with an additional couple of walk in sites along the hot springs trail. I liked the walk in sites because they had the most privacy with some low shrubs as well as tall trees. There are plenty of trees in the main tent and Rv loops to put up hammocks. Both loops had their own vault toilet and pump water as well as dumpster.

Quiet but no services

Up near the top of the pass is Bench Creek campground. There are only 6 sites on this lollipop loop, all on the non-highway side. But you can hear the highway from everywhere in the campground. Sites 2, 3, and 4 back up nicely to the creek. Vault toilet but no water or trash, so pack in pack out. Across the highway are some OHV trails, so you will also get some of that noise in the day. Every site has the standard picnic table and fire pit, but fire season is real, so maybe skip the fire.

On the river and close to hot springs

Just a short ways out of Lower Stanley is the Salmon River campground. There are sites on both sides of the road, but the best sites are riverside, especially numbers 7,13, 14, and 15 as they are closest to the river and have short trails to the water. Otherwise, the sites are pretty much the same with level areas for tents, some shade trees (might. Ot be mature enough for hammocks), and the campground is clean even after a holiday weekend. The super friendly hosts will come by to take your payment, exact cash is much appreciated. One of the draws of this campground is the fishing. The other is that you are fairly close to Boat Box Hot Springs.