9 Must See Dispersed Camping Near Glenwood Springs

Last Updated on September 20, 2023 by

Glenwood Springs, Colorado, is a great place to visit in the summer.

Take a dip in the region’s famous hot springs, stroll through downtown, or hike one of the area’s well-known trails. Whatever adventure you choose, you’re guaranteed to have a great time in Glenwood Springs.

You’ll be happy to know that there are many wonderful options for free, dispersed camping around Glenwood Springs for campers.

This dispersed camping guide for Glenwood Springs attempts to make your life easier by listing our top selections for dispersed camping in the area.

We have got you covered whether you are towing a trailer, grinding it in your Jeep, or just seeking some easy riverside camping.

Dispersed Camping Near Glenwood Springs

 Here is our list of best dispersed camping near Glenwood Springs.

What are the Best Dispersed Camping Near Glenwood Springs?

1. Coffee Pot Road Dispersed Camping

In the vicinity of Glenwood Springs, Coffee Pot Road offers spectacular views and excellent dispersed camping. You will find yourself on the opposite side of Glenwood Canyon but still within 30 miles of the city.

Coffee Pot Road goes into the Flat Tops and eventually links to the same road system as the Transfer Trail mentioned above. Checking out the Deep Creek Overlook for some breathtaking views is a must!

This is an excellent alternative if you’re coming from the east because you’ll get off I-70 a little sooner and hopefully avoid going through the Canyon.

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Although most trucks/SUVs can navigate the road, it can be windy in certain areas. As you navigate your way up, be cautious to drive slowly and carefully.

It’s also worth noting that some pullouts along the road have been used as campsites despite not being within the National Forest’s boundaries. Please check the MVUM to make sure you’re camping lawfully!

There are no amenities along Coffee Pot Road, so bring all you need and always camp in a manner that leaves no trash behind.

2. Four Mile Road Dispersed Camping

Near Glenwood Springs, Four Mile Road provides excellent dispersed camping. You’ll enjoy great, wide-open sights from this region, which is located southwest of town and adjacent to the town of Carbondale.

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Even though there aren’t too many trailheads readily accessible from the dispersed camping area, plenty of hiking and biking opportunities are nearby.

You’ll leave Glenwood Springs on Highway 117, heading south, making sure you are not on Highway 82! Proceed on 117 for another 14 miles before seeing any campsites. Off of Four Mile Road, many little offshoot roads lead to calmer and more private campgrounds.

Most cars typically use the road, though it becomes rougher as you travel further back. Since there are no toilets or water in this location, you must plan ahead to be self-sufficient.

Do not forget to pack out all of your garbage as you leave.

3. Lyons Gulch Boat Launch Camping

The Lyons Gulch Boat Launch/Campground, while not a recognized dispersed camping place, is a nice free camping alternative near Glenwood Springs.

From May 15th to November 15th, this BLM campground provides five campsites all along the Colorado River, including access to a vault toilet.

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The quick river access and shady sites are popular with campers. However, this is a highly popular place during the summer, so arrive early if you want to have a campground!

Lyons Gulch lies east of Glenwood Springs and north of the I-70 Dotsero exit. Simply leave the highway at Dotsero and follow Colorado River Road north until you reach the camping spot on the right.

4. Buford-New Castle Road

Buford-New Castle Road is yet another choice for dispersed camping that is less than 30 miles from Glenwood Springs. Along the stretch of the major road that runs through the Flat Tops, numerous dispersed camping sites are available.

No RVs or sedans are allowed on the route, which is reserved for 4WD vehicles with high clearance.

The beauty of the Buford-New Castle Road is that it allows you to go across a huge forest area searching for the ideal camping for your needs. Because this is a remote section of the state, please come prepared!

It’s easy to get to the camping site from Glenwood Springs. Simply leave I-70 at New Castle and follow Highway 245 north. Turn right at the fork in the road marked West Elk and Buford to get on Buford-New Castle Road. Continue until you reach the National Forest, where you can camp anywhere.

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5. Transfer Trail Dispersed Camping

The Transfer Trail, also known as FR602, is a four-wheel-drive route that extends north of Glenwood Springs further into the Flat Tops Wilderness Area.

Once you enter the National Forest, dispersed camping is permitted throughout the length of the route.

Take into account that this is a very rocky route and that only high-clearance 4WD vehicles should attempt it.

It’s also highly popular among ATV riders.

There are numerous offshoots off FR602, allowing you to choose a more tranquil campsite, as well as a few lakes near which you can camp. Bring plenty of supplies, as entry to this area, is tough, and you don’t want to end up going back to town for something that you forgot!

Take 6th Street towards north away from town, where it will ultimately change into the Transfer Trail, to reach here from downtown Glenwood Springs.

Continue on until you reach the National Forest and begin to see campsites.

6. Coal Creek Road

Near Glenwood Springs, Coal Creek Road provides some lovely creek-side dispersed camping. Even though closer to Carbondale, Glenwood is still less than 30 miles away, the sights are well worth the trip.

There are 4-5 pullouts along a well-graded gravel road where camping is allowed in close proximity to Coal Creek.

This region is also less busy than many of the other dispersed campgrounds in the area, giving you a better chance of finding a quiet spot. When you’re in the region, don’t forget to visit the historic town of Redstone!

There are no facilities along Coal Creek Road, so bring all of your waste with you.

The riverbank position of these campgrounds necessitates the use of Leave No Trace camping techniques.

7. Ami’s Acres Campground

Ami’s Acres campsite, family-owned and operated since 1973, provides exceptional camping value in a great Glenwood Springs location.

This unusual property is located three miles west of downtown Glenwood and is bordered on all four sides by mountains with sights of the Colorado River.

RV camping, group camping, tent camping,  and Mountain Man cabins are all available at Ami’s Acres.

Large RV camping sites have parking for up to two more cars, full hookups (electric, sewer, and water), and simple pull-through access for your convenience.

RVs up to 42 feet in length are permitted. Smaller RV sites with only electricity and water are also available; however, these are closer to the bathhouse and may suit your needs better.

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There are some very private and secluded tent camping sites and a few walk-in sites with wonderful views.

The majority of the sites feature mature trees and tables and are isolated from the campground’s RV area.

8. Deep Lake Campground

Deep Lake Campground is located on the east side of 37-acre Deep Lake, at an altitude of 10,580 feet.

The campground, which is nestled in a thin spruce/fir forest, offers beautiful sights of Deep Lake, the adjacent subalpine meadows, and the beginning of the Deep Creek canyon.

Deep Lake Campground is the Eagle Ranger District’s largest and busiest campground. It features 35 campsites with picnic tables, fire rings, and flat gravel roads that can accommodate RVs up to 35 feet in length.

9. Elk Creek Campground

Elk Creek Campground is located near the junction of the upper Wilson River and Elk Creek and is surrounded by some of Oregon’s best and most difficult Coast Range hiking.

The campsite is a really good starting point for hikes up Kings and Elk Mountain.

With views out to the Pacific and east to the high summits of the Cascades, Kings Mountain alone has approximately 3,000 feet of elevation gain.

The steep-pitched trail on neighboring Elk Mountain will leave even the most seasoned hiker out of breath.

You can also have the opportunity of dispersed camping in some areas throughout Deep Lake Campground.

Don’t forget to pack your trash along to dispose of it later.


This article discussed all of the best dispersed camping near Glenwood Springs.

We hope you’ve found all you need to plan for an amazing dispersed camping vacation near Glenwood Springs, and we’re confident you’ll find the right spot for your next adventure!


Where is the best dispersed camping site near Glenwood Springs?

Following are enlisted some of the best dispersed camping sites near Glenwood Spring:

  • Coffee Pot Road Dispersed Camping
  • Four Mile Road Dispersed Camping
  • Lyons Gulch Boat Launch Camping
  • Buford-New Castle Road
  • Transfer Trail Dispersed Camping
  • Coal Creek Road
  • Ami’s Acres Campground
  • Deep Lake Campground
  • Elk Creek Campground

Is dispersed camping still allowed in Colorado?

The majority of free camping in Colorado is found in national forests, followed by BLM land (Bureau of Land Management). Camping for free is sometimes referred to as dispersed camping, which means camping in regions other than campgrounds that have been allowed.

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About Ted Mosby

I am Ted Mosby from Cleveland, Ohio. I am a Freelance Architect. I live in New Jersey, USA right now and I take my RV every alternate weekend. I own a Forest River Berkshire XLT Diesel 45A Class A Motorhome. As I am a Freelancer I can work anywhere so most of my work is done inside my camper remotely.