Boondocking Near Me

Colorado

National Forest

San Juan National Forest
37°30′N 107°39′W
1,864,595 acres (7,545.7 km2)
San Juan National Forest includes Chimney Rock National Monument and elevations that range from 5,000 ft (1,500 m) to over 14,000 ft (4,300 m). The forest’s Weminuche Wilderness is the largest in Colorado at 499,771 acres (202,250 ha).

Rio Grande National Forest
37°43′N 106°37′W
1,837,661 acres (7,436.8 km2)
The headwaters of the Rio Grande are in the San Juan Mountains in the western part of the forest, while the Sangre de Cristo Mountains form the eastern boundary. Elevations reach 14,345 ft (4,372 m) at the summit of Blanca Peak, overlooking the San Luis Valley and Great Sand Dunes National Park.

Uncompahgre National Forest
38°16′N 108°07′W
951,767 acres (3,851.7 km2)
The northern portion of the San Juan Mountains and the Uncompahgre Plateau is located in this national forest. The forest also contains Uncompahgre Gorge and three wilderness areas.

San Isabel National Forest
38°24′N 105°56′W
1,108,639 acres (4,486.5 km2)
There are 19 of Colorado’s 54 fourteeners in San Isabel National Forest, including the highest point, Mount Elbert at 14,440 ft (4,400 m). The forest includes the Sawatch Range, Collegiate Peaks, and Sangre de Cristo Range and is managed together with Pike National Forest.

Gunnison National Forest
38°41′N 106°41′W
1,666,514 acres (6,744.1 km2)
Gunnison National Forest is located in the Rocky Mountains near Gunnison, Colorado. Among the seven wilderness areas in the forest are the Maroon Bells–Snowmass Wilderness. The Slumgullion Slide is a giant landslide due to the mineral montmorillonite.

Grand Mesa National Forest
39°05′N 107°54′W
345,939 acres (1,400.0 km2)
In western Colorado, Grand Mesa National Forest covers part of Battlement Mesa and most of Grand Mesa, the largest flattop mountain in the world with an average elevation of 10,500 ft (3,200 m). There are over 300 lakes in the forest. It is managed together with Gunnison National Forest and Uncompahgre National Forest.

Pike National Forest
39°10′N 105°27′W
1,096,146 acres (4,435.9 km2)
Pike National Forest includes Pikes Peak at an elevation of 14,115 ft (4,302 m) and three wilderness areas. Since 1975 the forest has been managed together with San Isabel National Forest.

White River National Forest
39°34′N 106°53′W
2,287,495 acres (9,257.2 km2)
White River National Forest has eight wilderness areas, twelve ski resorts, four large reservoirs, 2,500 mi (4,000 km) of trails, 1,900 mi (3,100 km) of roads, and ten peaks higher than 14,000 ft (4,300 m) in elevation.

Arapaho National Forest
39°41′N 105°56′W
720,418 acres (2,915.4 km2)
Arapaho National Forest is in the high Rockies and includes six wilderness areas. It is currently managed jointly with Roosevelt National Forest and Pawnee National Grassland. The highest paved road in North America ascends Mount Evans at an elevation of 14,265 ft (4,348 m).

Roosevelt National Forest
40°32′N 105°35′W
814,090 acres (3,294.5 km2)
Located in the Rocky Mountains of northern Colorado, Roosevelt National Forest has part of six wilderness areas. It is managed together with Arapaho National Forest and Pawnee National Grassland.

Medicine Bow–Routt National Forest
41°14′N 106°15′W
2,210,327 acres (8,944.9 km2)
This forest contains many ranges of the Rocky Mountains with elevations ranging from 5,500 ft (1,700 m) to 12,940 ft (3,940 m). There are ten wilderness areas and Rob Roy Reservoir, which covers 500 acres (200 ha).

Manti-La Sal National Forest
38°23′N 109°01′W
1,269,984 acres (5,139.4 km2)
Including the La Sal and Abajo mountains of eastern Utah, elevations in this forest reach 12,721 ft (3,877 m) on Mount Peale. The Dark Canyon Wilderness is the only wilderness area in the forest.

BLM (Bureau of Land Management)

Dispersed Camping

There is paid camping on land from the Bureau of Land Management but there is dispersed camping (camping away from developed recreation facilities and paid camping) that is allowed on most of the remaining property. Dispersed camping is allowed as long as it follows the state’s guidelines, is not posted as “closed to camping”, and is not in conflict with authorized uses or affects wildlife and natural resources.

You can stay on dispersed camping sites not to exceed 2 weeks within a 28 consecutive-day period. Camping rules vary depending on the office of location and they cannot leave any personal property unattended for more than 10 days or 12 months in Alaska.  Please check with your local office for details on camping limitations.

These rules may change so please consult the BLM website.

Selecting a Campsite

You can find dispersed campsites along most of the secondary roads which can be recognized by flat areas that show that it has been camped before. It is recommended to reuse past dispersed camping sites to lower the potential of disturbing the surrounding area.

Please follow the no-trace rule when dispersed camping so that we can use this privilege.

Please consult the regional information for the state you wish to camp in before picking a spot.

Colorado State Office
2850 Youngfield St.
Lakewood, CO 80215
Phone: 303-239-3600
Fax: 303-239-3933

US Forest Service (USFS) Campground

Dispersed camping is the term used for camping anywhere in the National Forest OUTSIDE of a designated campground. Dispersed camping means no services; such as trash removal, and little or no facilities; such as tables and fire pits, are provided. Some popular dispersed camping areas may have toilets.USFS (US Forest Service)

Consult this list of USDA US Forest Service Offices to find out where you are allowed to disperse camp.

Please follow the no-trace guidelines.

Region 2: Rocky Mountain Region
1617 Cole building 17
Lakewood CO 80401
303-275-5350
TTD / TTY: 303-275-5367

National Park Service (NPS) Campground

The National Park Service calls boondocking “Backcountry Camping” and the only allowed boondocking is hike-in only so no RVs or vehicles are allowed.

Allowed Commercial Properties

  • Casinos
    (Sometimes it is allowed in the parking lots. Look for signs and call for permission.)
  • RV Shows
    (Sometimes RV Shows will allow camping there.)
  • Sporting Events
    (Sometimes tailgating overnight is allowed.)
  • Walmart
    (Sometimes they let you park in the parking lot. Ask first.)