Dispersed Camp at the Buffalo Creek Area in Pike National Forest

Colorado Buffalo Creek Area

  • Activities:

    Chillin, Camping, Photography, Mountain Biking, Running

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Spring, Summer, Autumn

Forest
Scenic

Over 5 miles of free camping in beautiful Pike National Forest only an hour away from Denver. 

50 miles from Denver, nestled in Pike National Forest, there are dozens of free dispersed camping sites. With quick access to the Colorado Trail and Buffalo Creek Mountain Bike Area, these campsites make for a perfect weekend getaway. 

The campsites begin on Forest Road 550, and are clearly marked with signs (be sure to follow these diligently, as a hefty ticket will be the result of parking/camping outside of designated areas). The road is dirt, but is well maintained and easily accessible to all cars. You can stay at the same site for up to 14 days. Sites range in size from large group campsites with parking that can accommodate trailers or RVs to small single-tent locations. Don't get discouraged if you don't see a site open immediately, the sites continue all along the road, and there is a campground, too. 

This area is heavily used during the day because of the Colorado Trail and the access to mountain biking trails, but finding a campsite in the morning is no problem.  

Coordinates for Forest Road 550: 39.343327,-105.258293

Pack List

  • Camping gear
  • Bear-proof storage (bears frequent this area)
  • Layers (at almost 8,000' in elevation, the nights and mornings can get chilly)
  • Camera
  • Water (stream access, but no campsites alongside it)
  • Hiking and biking gear
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Reviews

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I loved this camping area because it's so close to Denver - I don't have to worry about fighting people for a spot because I can get there in like an hour and a half after work. Didn't like how busy the roads were at night (at least one car every hour or so), or how dirty our campsite was (spent 15 minutes picking up the previous occupants trash before we could even start to think about unpacking). HOWEVER, once we got it cleaned up it was a great spot to pitch a tent and hang the hammock for the weekend!

about 2 months ago
about 2 months ago

I have not actually camped at this area but REALLY want to! The dispersed spots look unreal- large, open areas with boulders everywhere. A group of us went to camp here this weekend but there is a fire ban in Jefferson County if you're not at an actual campground. Buffalo Creek Campground was closed, so we drove a little further down Highway 126 to the Lone Rock Campground and had a blast!

11 months ago
11 months ago

This is a great place to camp if you plan to spend a weekend biking or running the Buffalo Creek trail system. Fairly easy to find spots and most of the ground is pretty level for tenting.

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

Haley BakerExplorer

Technology and Digital Collections Librarian trying to have an adventure every weekend.

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