Dispersed Camping

Dispersed Camping

Dispersed camping is camping outside of developed campgrounds on the Rio Grande National Forest.

Pick up or download a Motor Vehicle Use Map to learn where dispersed camping is allowed. Remember, just because it is allowed along a road does not mean there will be sites availabe or suitable for camping. 

Dispersed camping is not allowed in the following areas:

  • Road 250, from Hwy 17 turnoff (Horca) north to Stunner Pass Except in two designated, signed, areas.
  • Signed areas in Trujillo Meadows Reservoir and campground areas.
  • Road 360 from Hwy 160 to Beaver Creek Reservoir.
  • Road 410 from Hwy 160 to Big Meadows Reservoir.
  • Big Spring & Poso picnic areas.
  • North Crestone Trailhead.
  • Within 300 feet of Machin Lake
  • Within Wheeler Geologic Area except designated sites.

There are a few things you can do to help:

  • Camp at already used dispersed camping sites.
  • Camp at least 150 feet from water sources.
  • All vehicles must stay within 300 feet of the center line of a designated road.
  • Pack out all of your trash and dispose of it properly.
  • Dig a pit for your toilet needs at least 150 feet from water and cover the pit before you leave.
  • Always dump sewage from trailers and motor homes at designated dump stations.
  • Do not leave campfires unattended. Fires must be extinguished before you go to bed and before you leave. Drown  and check with the local Forest Service office for current fire restrictions.
  • Motorized travel is allowed only on authorized roads and trails. Obtain a Motor Vehicle Use Map from any of the offices or online.
  • Camping is limited to 14 days, any 30 day period, on the Rio Grande National Forest.
  • All hay must be certified weed free.

A Rio Grande National Forest visitor map can be useful for information regarding the main roads, private land, trails, landmarks and other features. Maps may be purchased at sjma.org/shop.