Setting up your own campsite away from developed fee sites, also known as dispersed camping, is allowed in most places. From getting away from it all to just enjoying a weekend with friends, dispersed camping can make for a great story.
Bring everything you need!
Pick a site that has been used before, instead of creating a new site.
Keep your vehicle on hardened surfaces and park within 300 feet of roads. Vehicles should stay within 100 feet on roads on Pole Mountain.
Keep all food locked up and out of bears’ reach.
Use existing fire rings or earthen pits when building campfires.
Follow all current fire restrictions.
Know additional regulations for the areas that you are visiting.
Camp within 1/4 mile of developed campgrounds, trailheads, or picnic areas.
Camp or build campfires within 100 feet of lakes, streams, or trails.
Build new rock fire rings.
Leave trash, food, or other debris in the area when you leave.
Take up residence on National Forest System Lands or exceed stay limits (see below).
- Stay Limits
- On the Routt National Forest, the stay limit is 14 days in a 30-day period while dispersed camping.
- On the Medicine Bow National Forest, the stay limit is 16 days in a 30-day period while dispersed camping.
- On the Thunder Basin National Grassland, the stay limit is 16 days in a 30-day period while dispersed camping.
- In some areas, camping may be done only in designated dispersed sites. Currently, 30 sites exist in the Bear River Corridor and 73 sites exist in the Pole Mountain Corridor along Vedauwoo road.
Use the links below to explore the wide range of dispersed opportunities the forests and grasslands have to offer. For comprehensive information on dispersed camping opportunities, please contact the ranger district office in the area you plan to visit.
Dispersed Camping Areas
- California Park/Black Mountain Area
- Sawmill Creek Campground
- Flat Tops Area
- Allen Basin Reservoir & ATV Trail #1181
- Crosho Lake Recreation Area
- Trout Creek Recreation Area
- Yampa Ranger District Office
- Gore Range Area
- Red Dirt Reservoir Recreation Area
- Rock Creek Recreation Area
- Sarvis Creek Wilderness
- Laramie Peak Area
- Douglas Ranger District Office
- North Laramie River Trailhead
- Roaring Fork Creek Trailhead
- Twin Peaks Trailhead
- Mount Zirkel/Park Range Area
- Mount Zirkel Wilderness
- Parks Ranger District Office
- North Routt County Area
- Pole Mountain Area
- Pole Creek Dispersed Campground
- Vedauwoo Designated Dispersed Campsites
- Sierra Madre Area
- Brush Creek/Hayden Ranger District Office
- Encampment River Wilderness
- Huston Park Wilderness
- Snowy Range Area
- Laramie Ranger District Office
- Miller Lake Dispersed Campground
- Pinkham Mountain Trailhead
- Platte River Wilderness
- Savage Run Wilderness
- Steamboat Springs Area
- Hahns Peak/Bears Ears Ranger District Office
- Thunder Basin National Grassland
- Troublesome/Gould Area