Dispersed camping in the Sawatch

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colingoodman
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Dispersed camping in the Sawatch

Post by colingoodman »

Last summer I hiked in and camped in the basin near Winfield to tag Huron and the Apostles over a couple days. Despite the nice views it was fairly quiet and quite easy to find a good campsite.

Are there any other areas like this in the Sawatch? Quality camping with no reservations needed that makes tagging one or more 14ers/centennials easy.

Thanks in advance.
Skimo95
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Re: Dispersed camping in the Sawatch

Post by Skimo95 »

There are several FSR, CR, and BLM roads that offer this. I found part of the fun chasing centennials was discovering new camping spots and taking back roads I’ve never been down. If there are any areas in particular you’re looking at, send me a PM and I’ll let you know what worked for me. These areas can get crowded on weekends which will keep a lot of people from posting the best spots online. Some people will even use apps like iOverlander and onX to help.
Last edited by Skimo95 on Wed Jun 19, 2024 8:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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madmattd
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Re: Dispersed camping in the Sawatch

Post by madmattd »

Pretty much every Forest Service Road in the Sawatch has dispersed camping options. Halfmoon Road (to Elbert/Massive) is the biggest/most abundant, plus CR390 to Winfield as you mention, but virtually every 14er/13er in the Sawatch has solid dispersed camping options along the access roads to the various THs. I've never had an issue finding a spot near wherever I wanted to hike. And the less popular the mountain/route, the easier it is to find a spot, especially in the Sawatch. Just make sure you are on FS/BLM land and not private land (which is often but not always signed as such) - many of the mapping services out there have a way to check for public/private land.
Ptglhs
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Re: Dispersed camping in the Sawatch

Post by Ptglhs »

colingoodman wrote: Wed Jun 19, 2024 8:50 am.
Are there any other areas like this in the Sawatch? Quality camping with no reservations needed that makes tagging one or more 14ers/centennials easy.
A road which doesn't lead to a 14er TH will have a lot less competition for spaces than one which does. But pretty much any dirt FS road will have dispersed camping options.
seannunn
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Re: Dispersed camping in the Sawatch

Post by seannunn »

Take the road outside of Buena Vista toward the (fee based) Railroad Bridge campground. Turn left at about 3 miles and go up a hill; there are 2 large free campsites up there (near Turtle Rock). Those aren't dispersed but they are free.
Also there are several dispersed campsites on the same road.

Sean Nunn
"Thy righteousness is like the great mountains."

--Psalm 26:6
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two lunches
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Re: Dispersed camping in the Sawatch

Post by two lunches »

i echo the answers here- camping in the sawatch is incredibly easy to find. there is excellent camping on the way to n. cottonwood creek th by harvard and columbia, and there are a few dispersed areas off cottonwood pass that haven't been mentioned yet.

you could also consider looking around the colorado trail- within 1/4 mile of any segment TH you can find a nice, flat spot for a tent, and alternatively an abundance of places to park a car for the evening.

maybe it sounds counter-intuitive, but seriously, just allow some extra time to drive around wherever you're headed. you'll find what you're looking for.
“To walk in nature is to witness a thousand miracles.” – Mary Davis
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