Jun 21, 2022 - News

Fall River Reservoir has free Colorado camping without reservations

Fall River Reservoir, featuring Alayna's dogs Ralfie (left) and Rocco. Photo: Alayna Alvarez/Axios

I have a secret to share with you.

  • An old friend recently turned me on to a camping spot at Fall River Reservoir, near Idaho Springs and Georgetown, that I decided to check out with my fiancé and the pups over the weekend.

Why it matters: It's increasingly difficult to camp in Colorado without a reservation, especially at a place offering prime mountain views and ample privacy just an hour from Denver.

  • This area not only offers plentiful camping spots — many of which are next to the fast-flowing Fall River —but also boasts a beautiful lake perfect for kayaking and kicking back with a beer. And it's all free, with no need for advanced booking.

Details: Fall River Reservoir on national forest public lands, meaning dispersed camping is permitted at no cost, with a few exceptions.

  • The site also allows bicycling, off-highway vehicle riding and RV campers.

Of note: If you go, be sure to check out the 1-mile dog-friendly loop around the reservoir, a popular trail for birding, hiking and fishing.

Be smart: After turning left on Rainbow Road, be prepared for it to be rough and super rocky the farther you go.

  • Make sure you're traveling in a four-wheel drive vehicle with high clearance, and pack a solid spare tire just in case.

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