Ashley & Derek V.

Dallas, TX

Joined July 2018

We are avid hikers, campers, and general outdoors enthusiasts. Follow us on our adventures www.knownothingnomads.com or @knownothingnomads

Great location and very accessible!

We stayed at Gore Creek for only one night, but we were very impressed! It only takes 10 minutes from downtown Vail, but the campground feels like it's in the middle of nowhere. Lots of trees, and the sites are fairly private. Each site had a bear locker, fire pit, picnic table, and long parking spot (30+ ft). Gore Creek runs right next to the sites on the left side of the campground. I would recommend trying to get one of those because the sound of the river drowns out the road noise that you can hear in the distance. The bathrooms were amazingly clean so that was a very nice surprise. I would definitely stay here again if we were in the Vail area.

Permanently closed

We talked to the owners of the nearby Pine Creek Cookhouse and they said that both Castle Creek and Pine Creek campgrounds are permanently closed. We drove out there to camp and were disappointed when we couldn't find any campsites. If you follow the dirt road towards Pearl Pass there are a few dispersed sites but that's it.

Permanently closed

We talked to the owners of the nearby Pine Creek Cookhouse and they said that both Castle Creek and Pine Creek campgrounds are permanently closed. We drove out there to camp and were disappointed when we couldn't find any campsites. If you follow the dirt road towards Pearl Pass there are a few dispersed sites but that's it.

Perfect location for Guadalupe Mts Ntl Park

This is the best place to be when hiking/touring Guadalupe Mts National Park, especially if you plan to hike Guadalupe Peak (the trailhead is in the parking lot). The sites are nice - some are a short walk-in, some are right next to your parking spot.

We don't RV, but the RV sites were underwhelming - it's just a parking lot with no hookups.

The restrooms were nice and clean, but no showers. This wasn't fun when you're sweaty and stinky from hiking all day. There was also a dish washing station. There's one bathroom with flush toilets, and another at the other end of the campground with vault toilets. The closest hotel, store, and restaurant are all ~30 minutes away in White's City so bring everything you need.

There's no campfires allowed (ever), plus they had a slightly increased burn ban when we were there so we couldn't use camp fuel products but I understand that you normally can use them. Good thing we had a backup butane stove.

It's a very pretty location and is a great campground, especially for being in the middle of nowhere!

Decent, but right next to the main road

This campground is easily accessible from the main road and has quite a few campsites. It's nice but we like to be more secluded while camping, so we were extremely disappointed that it's right next to the road. If you're looking for a more classic camping "experience", I would try somewhere else.

Pros: easy, sites are fairly private

Cons: lots of road noise, nothing special

Great place, especially in the fall!

We were here last fall and the colors were simply gorgeous. It was quite chilly in the morning and evening/night, so pack warm clothes! It's isolated, beautiful, and has clean, easily accessible restrooms. There's also potable water spigots. The sites aren't very private, but there's isn't that many sites so it balances out.

While 4x4 isn't required, I definitely wouldn't take any larger vehicles or tiny cars this way. The road is steeply inclined and bumpy.

We had a great time and would definitely stay here again!

Amazing!

We stayed here for most of our camping trip to Colorado and loved it! It's easily the most beautiful campground we've stayed at. There's only ~5 sites, each with a picnic table and fire ring. Right now there's a burn ban so we unfortunately didn't get to enjoy a fire. There's vault toilets that aren't very clean. The site is maintained by volunteers and is free to camp at (donations welcome) so make sure you bring everything you need including water and toilet paper. The lake is beautiful and has a ton of Rainbow Trout!

We would recommend 4x4 to get there, but it's not required. If you're going to go past the campground, 4x4 and/or decent clearance is a must. Along the road to the campground, there's 22 free dispersed sites with bear lockers. After the campground, there's free dispersed camping. So even if you can't get a site at Portal, there's quite a few options in the immediate area.

There's lots to do in that area. We hiked to Anderson and Petroleum lakes and that was beautiful! The turn off is about 10 minutes South of Aspen, then you drive 6.4 miles on a dirt road to the campground. If you drive another 3.5 miles on the dirt road, there's a trailhead for the lakes there. There's no drinking water, no cell service, but lots of beautiful nature and amazing hikes!

Also, it's quite colder than town and other campgrounds in the area - during the day, it could be 80 in Aspen but only 65 at the campground. It got into the 30s most nights so make sure you bring warm clothes and a nice sleeping bag, but shorts for the warm sun during the day!