Dispersed Camp at the Buffalo Creek Area in Pike National Forest

Buffalo Creek Area, Pine, Colorado, United States

  • 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
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Community Photos

+ Add Photos

Reviews

Overall rating: 

Leave a Review

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!

7 months ago
7 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!

over 1 year ago
over 1 year 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 Baker Explorer

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

Are we missing something? Suggest an edit

Nearby Adventures

Hike the Sugar Bowl Loop in Kings Canyon NP

Tulare County, California

First and foremost, to get to this trailhead you need to drive down a 2-mile, one lane dirt road that is quite steep.

7 Saves

Hike to Ehukai Pillbox

59178 Ke Nui Road, Hawaii

This hike starts directly across from Banzai Pipeline, the famous barreling wave at Ehukai Beach.

7 Saves

Winter Hike to Calypso Cascades

1046 County Highway 115, Colorado

While most people go snowshoeing near the Bear Lake or Glacier Gorge area in RMNP, Wild Basin is a much less trafficked option.

5 Saves