Hayley K.

The Dyrt Pro

Denver, CO

Joined July 2016

Former outdoor guide who loves traveling and exploring new and quiet places. Year round camper.

Really Beautiful site surrounded with incredible rocks and river play

This is an incredibly pretty campground. There is a big loop with a field in the middle for larger parties. Lots of tubing and fishing in the creek. You can't get fully into the campground unless you have a reservation so it is really safe. 

Lots of families with kids camp here and it is a lesser-known camp pretty far out of town so it is a lot of returners and locals.

Beautiful and Right on the Creek

Beautiful scenic spot right on the creek. It is a smaller campground The sites are secluded and surrounded with shrubs for privacy. There are some really cool spots across the creek against the rocks. 

There are fire rings and picnic tables at each site that are unkempt well. The bathrooms are cleaned often. You can't use this campground as a day use lot, you will need to pay for a site. 

There is also lot of beautiful rock formations and trails you can get to from here. Fishing is good in the creek and you might even find a piece of gold or two.

Good on East Side of lake but can be windy during Spring

This campground is on the East side of Turquoise lake and the sites are within a 2 min walk to the lake. There is a beach down by the lake for relaxing and hanging out. 

The sites are good sized and the trees help make the sites feel more private. They are pristine and the bathrooms are super clean. 

Campground includes picnic tables, fire rings, pedestal grills, potable water, and vault toilets. Firewood is available at the host site.

$24.00 fee per site for overnight camping. Maximum 8 people per site: 2 tents and 2 vehicles or 1 recreation vehicle. There are first come first serve sites as well as reservation sites.

Good for a last resort stop but that's it.

This is a great small town overnight stop. It is on the side of the road in the last town before you hit no mans land heading west. There is power for RV’s and picnic tables. There is also a water refill and a park for kids to play. It is the last place to stop for water or dumping after steamboat springs. 

There are 20 spots open for tent or rv camping. The park is maintained but not manned on site, and payment was an envelope (honor) system based on what you used- electric, dump, shower, etc.$20 a night with electricity and$15 without.$3 for showers.$5 dump station use. Open 24/7 year-round. No reservations needed. Sites are first-come, first-served.

Tent only and WORTH it

This is the best campground at Turquoise lake for tent campers. mostly because it is a tent only campground. There are two loops that you can camp in and the spaces are really far apart. 

The loops are right on a beautiful beach with lots of space for hanging out on the sand or swimming. 

The sites are large and have tons of space for multiple tents. It is quiet and serene with beautiful large open spaces for tents and could be a great spot for a group to reserve an entire loop. 

The parking is in the loop with multiple parking spots per site but they are right next to each other. No Rv’s are allowed to camp here.

Perfect campground for those with larger boats.

This is an interesting design for a campground that is well thought out for lakeside camping. It is a large parking area that can accommodate boats and trailers. The campsites for tents are around the outside of the lot so you can park on the inside and set up your personal space on the perimeter.

There are a dumpsters and bathrooms that are cleaned three times a day.

Beautiful Campground set in tall trees and lakeside

This campground is offset from the lake a bit. It is large and there are two loops of campsites. 

The camp hosts are very active and are on top of the cleaning of the bathrooms and the sites. 

The sites are large and can fit smaller rv’s, all size of tents, and hammock camping. 

The road heading around the loop makes it tight for large rv’s or pull behinds. The campground is beautiful and tree filled. Lots of shade at each site. There are ample bathrooms and the sites are immaculate.

A cornucopia of glamping and camping options

This park has so much character that it should have it’s own tv show. There are conservation areas, trails galore, historical buildings, and a beautiful lake that is surrounded with alpine forests. 

The staff is really sweet and willing to help in any way they can. We lost our pump for our inflatable and they found us one to borrow. 

The campground is large and can accommodate a lot of campers, the bathrooms are fully equipped and clean. It was quiet at night which was surprising since you are basically in a cul-de-sac of tents and rv's. There are cabins and yurts to rent as well. They are even building (or just finished) a new section of a campground that looks like it will accommodate more rv’s and boats. It is called fisherman’s paradise.

There is also a day use area with grills and picnic tables. 

The road to get out here can be rough in bad weather but low clearance is fine to get out here. WInter excursions are probably a bit tougher and would require an all wheel drive.

Beautiful Lake and Lots of camping options

The reservoir has restrictions on all boats so make sure you follow the rules or else they can hit you with a huge fine. 

The campgrounds are large and can accommodate a lot of people and large and small rv’s. 

There are multiple loops near the water and a larger camping area on the north mesa overlooking the lake. Most of the sites have some sort of shade whether that is a picnic canopy or trees. The lower sites near the lake are tightly compacted but can fit RV's and have tent pads with gravel. There are trash cans placed throughout the park for easy access. 

There is a dump station, water on site, and clean bathrooms. Each loop has a camp host so the sites are clean and maintained. They are very friendly but are always on site and the quiet hours are heavily enforced.

The lake is stunning blue and large enough that you will rarely run into other people while out on it. There is a boat ramp for launching on the lake.

There are day use areas with covered picnic tables that you can hang out at and a nature trail through the marsh that you can walk.

Beautiful location with tightly packed campsites

Although the camping area is small it more than makes up for it in the walk in sites space and the beauty of the waterfalls. 

This is a typical state park that works for all types of camping. There are pull-through sites for RVs, tent sites, and walk-in sites that are more spaced apart. 

The bathrooms are well maintained and the campsites are great for all types of tents. Keep in mind that the main attraction of the park is the falls so there will be traffic all day heading out to the trailhead to visit the falls. 

The sites are tightly packed together and typically booked months out. I got really lucky and snagged one of the walk-in sites that didn't show due to rain. 

The parking area is small to keep the trails uncluttered but there are still plenty of people that are fishing, hiking, and playing in the caves. 

Because of the rain, I was the only one on the trails when I headed out around 8 am. The parking lot was empty and I was able to sit and enjoy the falls solo. By the time I left the trail the lot was packed and there were lots of fisherman and kiddos heading out to hit the beaver trail for secret fishing spots.

Dirty and Next to the Highway but Good River Access

This is a last resort campground. It is on the side of the highway, no shade except by the river, and the sites are right on top of each other. There are only 6 sites. 

There is easy river access so if you are looking for just a spot to stop overnight or to cool down by the river this would be fine. But I wouldn't use this location as a get away destination.

The bathroom is disgusting and the trash was overflowing when I stopped here. I don’t know how often this spot is patrolled or cared for.

There is a rafting guide company that comes through every couple of hours during the day to put in or take out of the river. They park their buses under the only shady spots in the extended pull out to keep them cool. I don't blame them, this location gets hot.

Group Campsite Perfect for Large Events

We were doing research for an upcoming large event and we came across this campground. 

This is a Group site that is at the base of the Colorado Trail in the middle of Buffalo Creek. 

This is a reservation only campground so you can’t get into the campground without a reservation. There is a large parking lot at the entrance to the campground with a pit toilet bathroom and multiple trails nearby. 

There are 2 sites in the campground. There are 25 cars spots per site that are available. The campground is $150 a night but would be great for large events since there is plenty of space. When we called to reserve the site we found out that we were too early to book since they release availability on a rolling basis. On July 01, 2020 at 08:00 am MDT, availability will be released through July 01, 2021.

Perfect Mountain Escape for Climbers and Hikers

There are two campgrounds at Rifle Mountain Park so this beginning information fits both sites so it should be in both reviews. 

Take State Hwy 13 or Railroad Avenue(which becomes 13) North through the City. Take a right on Hwy 325(bowling alley at the corner), this will head you toward Rifle Creek Golf Course and Rifle Gap State Park. Drive over the dam at Rifle Gap and continue on Hwy 325 past Rifle Falls State Park(GO THERE!) until you reach the Rifle Fish Hatchery. The road will change to gravel after the fish hatchery. The entrance to the park starts about 2000 feet after the road turns to gravel. 

There is a $5 day pass for the park that you can pay on site in cash. This is not the same as the state parks pass. This park is maintained by the town of Rifle, not the forest service or park service. Just past the park is national forest so if you want free camping, you can go past the park and camp in forest service land. 

This park is absolutely stunning! There are sky high walls of red and orange rock on both sides and a creek running down the park with lush greenery everywhere. Plenty of camping areas located in the park but they do fill up fast on weekends. 

Sites are $10 plus $5 for each additional vehicle. They are smaller sites but with all the activities to get into you will get lost in the beauty that is Rifle Mountain Park. There is firewood for sale and group camping areas if you are in need of more space. 

This park is best known for its climbing routes and fishing. But it is a great place for biking and hiking too. 

This site has a big more space between sites. There is room for up to 2 cars at each spot or the perfect space for an RV or campervan. There is also another offshoot road for group camping that seemed to be blocked of by a group so you couldn’t even drive through it to get a spot. Since this park is monitored by the town and not state or national parks, there doesn’t seem to be someone regulating the space.

Huffman Gulch Campground in Rifle Mountain Park

There is a $5 day pass for the park that you can pay on site in cash. This is not the same as the state parks pass. 

This park is maintained by the town of Rifle, not the forest service or park service.

This park is absolutely stunning! There are sky high walls of red and orange rock on both sides and a creek running down the park with lush greenery everywhere. 

Plenty of camping areas located in the park but they do fill up fast on weekends. Sites are$10 plus$5 for each additional vehicle. They are smaller sites but with all the activities to get into you will get lost in the beauty that is Rifle Mountain Park. 

There is firewood for sale and group camping areas if you are in need of more space. This park is best known for its climbing routes and fishing. But it is a great place for biking and hiking too. 

This campground is in the middle of the park and is spread on both sides of the road. They are a little tight together but with all the greenery it feels more secluded. There are picnic tables and fire pits at each site and a small group camp spot. The camp host is very sweet but only seems to be there part time.

Quiet but Obviously Well Used Area

We had set up a small tent in a spot in Buffalo Creek and headed out for a hike and when we returned our tent had been stolen. We were just glad that we didn't put everything out. So we went in search for a more remote spot. We headed out to get to the backroad of Buffalo Creek through Bailey and found this spot. I think it might still be part of Buffalo Creek Recreation Area but it is after the split so we wanted to differentiate this one from the main camping area. 

The site was large (could easily fit a large RV) and tree lines but was pretty close to the road. There were cars going in an out but everyone was being super cautious and going slow. There were perfect trees to set up dog runs (see photos for rope lines). 

There were plenty of spots to use the bathroom that were hidden and far enough away from people but there was bathroom trash left all over the place and feces that was left unburied. Our dog quickly found and got into it. She got a bad stomachache after eating poo So I beg of all who camp, clean up after yourself!

After we did a trash clean up and burials, it was a pretty nice spot. Shaded, secluded, and only 4 miles away from Wellington Lake. There are also hiking trails close by and you can head down the road to hit the biking trails too. 

Be aware that there are sites on this road but people will still pull into parking areas and wander off behind other sites to camp. We were hiking around with the dogs and ran into (literally) a large encampment behind some big rocks that we could not see or hear until we were right on them. They were not camped in an actual camping spot. 

We also got to test out Campfare meals on this trip, I would recommend them for long backpacking trips but not really great for front country. They are pricey and work best as complimentary items to each other instead of stand alone. But on a through hike they would be a well received treat.

First to Review
Perfect high altitude get away

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.

Creekside camping at it's finest

This campground is deeply hidden down a dirt road and under a cliff. The sites are secluded and well maintained. There are pit toilets throughout the sites. Fire rings are clean and even some of the campground have logs set up to sit on around the fire. 

The road to get up here is a pretty rough and I would say that RV's and small cars might have a bit of a hard time but it is doable. 

It is down the road from Wellington lake too so there is hiking, biking, swimming, and fishing all from one campground. 

The sites are smaller so it is better for tent camping rather than RV camping.

In order to get to our site, we even got to cross a little bridge over the creek. It made for an extremely sound night's sleep. The creek wasn't too high and was perfect for us to relax with our feet in.

Expensive but beautiful Lake front camping

This is such a beautiful site and with covid rampant, it was basically empty. You could only use the lake if you had existing reservations so it was pretty open and empty. 

The sites were well spaced out and there was plenty of space for tents and vehicles. The staff were friendly and accommodating and gave plenty of space while checking in. You check in at the front office before you head to your site. You can't get into the campground without a reservation so it felt really safe and secure. 

This is a privately owned campground and there is maintenance staff on site 24-7. There is also a general store and clean bathrooms. 

We only spent one night here but I wish we could have stayed longer.

Free camping but fills up fast on weekends

This place is great for outdoor enthusiasts. We stayed here a couple weekends in a row and we were able to try out some different spots and trails close to those spots. This free campground is perfect! 

There are some sites that are better than others for group sizes and it isn’t very RV friendly. 550 is a washboard road that ends up at Wellington Lake. You can get here from the Pine junction side or the Bailey side. 

Our site on this trip was#27 and we really loved it. It was downset from the road so we had a little privacy and the sites are large and far apart from each other so we were able to socially distance within our own group. There was plenty of tree coverage for rainstorms and shade but not too much to where you couldn’t find a tent site easily. 

There is an active fire ban in the area and the neighbors were lighting 5ft tall fires with gasoline which put us at risk. If you are going to be camping in BLM or Wildlife Areas please follow the restrictions and don’t put others at risk with no cell phone service. 

The trails and stream aren’t too far from the site so you can easily hike or bike there. We hiked out to the 96 burn area to explore and we ended up doing a nice 7 mile loop to get down to the creek for a cool down. 

There are no bathrooms so the first day we got there we did a trash clean up of the backwoods of our site from toilet paper left out there. 

This "campground" is not super large RV friendly so if you are in a large RV try and get site 13 or head to one of the established campgrounds down the road or try for the group camping area that you can see in my pictures.

Great Campground for Hikers and Bikers

This campground is set a couple miles down road 550 after all the free recreation area campsites.

The sites are pretty close together but there are well maintained pit toilets as well as a dumpster on site for trash. The surrounding area is filled with hiking and biking trails, including the Colorado Trail. 

The campground is over 7k feet of elevation and a lot of trails intersect so make sure you keep track of where you are and what trail you are hiking on for the day. Not many are loops on their own. 

There are a couple pit toilets places throughout the campground. Clean fire rings and picnic tables at all the sites. 

Keep your eyes out for ticks and mosquitos. We found a couple of ticks on the dogs after they ran through the tall grass and the creek. 

Across the road is a creek that is great for water hangouts and light fishing. We were here in May and the weather was about 70 during the day and 35-40 at night with plenty of shade and wind protection. It has sites for RV’s, tent, or van stay.