Set against a backdrop of the stunning Tenmile Range, Breckenridge is a perfect summer getaway. This mining town turned ski resort and outdoor mecca attracts visitors from all over who enjoy unrivaled access to the outdoors as well as a quaint and authentic town.
We think one of the best ways to visit is to plan a free, dispersed camping trip near Breckenridge, CO. You’ll get to enjoy some of the area’s highlights, including several soaring 14,000′ peaks, excellent shopping and dining, and endless opportunities to explore the great outdoors.
Yet finding a great dispersed campsite can often be difficult with confusing regulations and conflicting information. To help make it a bit easier for you, we’ve compiled the best dispersed camping near Breckenridge, CO in one easy to read guide.
Let’s get started.
Breckenridge, CO Dispersed Camping Guide
- The Basics
- The Best Dispersed Camping Areas Near Breckenridge, CO
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When to Camp Near Breckenridge, CO
Situated at an elevation of 9,600′, Breckenridge and the surrounding wilderness have a short camping season. Expect snow to linger well into June and the flurries can often start as early as late August or the first part of September.
All that means that the primary camping season will run from approximately mid-June through the end of August. If you have an RV or trailer you can certainly extend that a bit, but keep in mind that roads may still be snowed in.
If you’re looking for more camping in the area, be sure to check out our Lake Dillon Camping guide.
What to Bring
Preparing for a dispersed camping trip near Breckenridge involves more than deciding which campsite best fits your needs. There is also the important job of making sure you have all the right gear you’ll need to ensure a great trip.
We’re sure you’ll already have the essentials like a great tent, sleeping bags, and camp chairs, but below are some of our favorite items specifically for dispersed camping:
- Map: A good map is essential to making sure you are on public land, exploring the area, and learning more about your surroundings. We recommend this National Geographic version for a good overview of the Breckenridge region.
- Coleman Camping Stove – This classic piece of gear is perfect for cooking up deluxe campsite dinners.
- Portable water container – These portable water containers are a lifesaver, especially as some camping areas do not have water available.
- Cooler – Keeping food and drinks cool is essential when camping, particularly in the hot afternoon sun. We can’t recommend Yeti enough!
- Bug Spray– The mosquitos can be pretty nasty in the summer months, but good bug repellent makes a huge difference.
- Portable Toilet– Even if there are vault toilets near your campsite, you might prefer this clean, private, and convenient option. It’s a great way to ensure you leave no trace! Also, don’t forget to pack TP!
Our dispersed camping checklist has everything you need.
Want to know the essentials for your next camping trip?
Our dispersed camping checklist has all the camping essentials plus specific items for dispersed camping.
Permits and Fees
One of the major benefits of dispersed camping is that it rarely requires any specific permits or fees.
At of the time of writing, permits were not required to camp at any of the locations included in this guide. However, it is always a good idea to do a quick internet search or check with the local field office before setting out.
Fees are not required to park or camp at any of the BLM or Forest Service lands included in this post.
Your best bet is to contact the Dillon Ranger District for the most up to date information. Additionally, we always recommend reading the latest Forest Service Orders which provide up to date info on closures, restrictions, and other important information.
View the Forest Service Orders for White River National Forest here.
Download Our FREE Dispersed Camping Cheat Sheet
Our free printable cheat sheet outlines how to find the perfect dispersed campsite for your next trip.
Fire restrictions are becoming more and more common as Colorado’s summers become warmer and drier. As such, don’t count on being able to have a campfire when dispersed camping near Breckenridge.
It is essential to check for the latest restrictions before heading out on your camping trip. This website has a comprehensive list of links to all current fire information in the state of Colorado, including USFS and BLM areas.
- Elevation: This is definitely the high elevation camping! Many of the dispersed camping areas near Breckenridge are at 10,000 feet or higher. Bring warm gear and a sturdy tent to prepare for the ever changing weather conditions that are common in these areas. Snow can come at any time of year!
- Water: The majority of the sites included in this guide do not have a water source. Given that, it is important to bring all the water you’ll need, or have a plan for how you’ll get it.
- Wildlife: Store all food, trash, and other scented items in your car to avoid attracting bears and other wildlife. Bears are highly active is this part of the State!
- Leave No Trace so that others can enjoy these beautiful places, too.
For more information check out our complete guide to dispersed camping in Colorado here.
Dispersed Camping Near Breckenridge, CO
The following list contains what we consider the six best dispersed camping areas near Breckenridge, CO. We’ve done our best to include a variety of options in the surrounding area. The map below gives an overview of each site’s location with a full description included in the following section. Enjoy!
Find Your Next Dispersed Campsite
Our online video course will teach you everything you need to know to find your next free, dispersed campsite.
Learn how to find the best campsite locations BEFORE you head out. No more showing up to crowded sites with all the spots taken!
In this course, we’ll show you how to research free, public campsites, read USFS maps, locate public land, and plan your next dispersed camping trip.
- How to find areas that allow free, dispersed camping
- How to use public maps to narrow down your search
- How to use online apps to identify where camping is permitted and view the surrounding terrain
- How to view your exact location in relation to camping opportunities when you’re out looking for a site – even without cell phone service!
- Confidently plan your next camping trip
Lower Crystal Lake
Distance to Breckenridge: 6 miles
Water: No, but may be taken from Lower Crystal Lake
Lower Crystal Lake is a beautiful alpine lake that has space for a few dispersed campsites. You’re very close to Breck here, just six miles from downtown. However, be warned that the road up is rough and only suitable for 4WD vehicles with high clearance.
From Lower Crystal Lake there are several excellent hiking trails including Upper Crystal Lake and Crystal Peak. Although there are no facilities here, you may be able to pull drinking water from the lake, just be sure to treat it.
This is high-alpine country, so minimizing your impact here is essential. Please be sure to pack out all trash and practice Leave No Trace principles. Please be sure to not take your vehicle off the road here, as there has been some damage done to the sensitive alpine vegetation as a result of vehicles.
Importantly, you are not permitted to camp within 100′ of a body of water, so be sure you’re tent or camper is set-up at least this far from Lower Crystal Lake. You can find more details in the Forest Service Order here.
Distance to Breckenridge: 11.5 miles
Georgia Pass is a beautiful mountain pass that connects Breckenridge with Park County. The road is popular for for off-roading, hiking, and mountain biking as the Colorado Trail connects at the top of the pass. Along both the north and south sides of Georgia Pass there are ample dispersed campsites.
When coming from the Breckenridge side of the pass you’ll need to get past American Gulch before camping is permitted. There are several sites tucked into the trees as well as a broad field at the top of the pass. Be warned it can get very windy here!
To get here from Breck head up Tiger Road on the north end of town all the way to a junction signed for Georgia Pass. Stay right at the junction and keep an eye out for signage permitting camping. There is no water on Georgia Pass, so plan to come prepared.
North Fork Road (Swan River)
Distance to Breckenridge: 10.6 miles
North Fork Road is a very popular dispersed camping area near Breckenridge, Colorado. You won’t find much privacy here as the camping areas are two large clearings that can each accommodate multiple groups. The Colorado Trail is very close by, so this is a great location if you’re looking to do some hiking or mountain biking.
North Fork Road is also known as Forest Service Road 354, and branches off from Tiger Road just before reaching Good Time Adventure Tours. Remember that there is no camping permitted along Tiger Rd, and you are likely to receive a ticket if you try. However, once you turn off onto North Fork Road, it is just a short distance to the camping area.
Given the popularity of the area and the lack of water or restrooms it is important to practice Leave No Trace principles when camping here.
Boreas Pass Designated Dispersed Camping
Distance to Breckenridge: 3 miles
Boreas Pass offers some stunning dispersed camping near Breckenridge. This beautiful mountain pass connects Breckenridge with the town of Como and features some of the best views of the Tenmile Range in the area. You’ll find tons of dispersed campsites all along the route, so don’t be discouraged if the first few sites are taken.
The campsites here are designated dispersed sites, of which there are 23 along the Pass. You must camp in one of these designated sites, or you will be fined by the USFS. Please also be sure you are storing your food in bear resistant containers and not parking overnight on the shoulder of the road.
This is also one of the most convenient camping areas for visiting Breckenridge, as you’ll only be a few miles from the downtown.
Getting to Boreas Pass couldn’t be easier. Simply head to the south end of town and then turn left of Boreas Pass Road/County Road 10. Continue for several miles before campsites begin to appear on both sides of the road. There are no facilities along Boreas Pass, so come prepared with everything you need and be sure to practice Leave No Trace camping.
Find some additional details on dispersed camping along Boreas Pass in this Forest Service Order.
Blue Lakes Dispersed Camping (Not Recommended)
Distance to Breckenridge: 10.4 miles
Water: No, but water may be taken from the lakes.
Blue Lakes Road is a very popular dispersed camping destination near Breckenridge, but keep in mind that the dispersed camping rules are a bit muddy. Between the USFS land in the area as well as the fact that much of it is under the jurisdiction of the Colorado Springs Utilities it creates a difficult situation for campers.
However, there is no location near Blue Lakes that is on USFS land that permits dispersed camping given you will be within 100′ of a water source.
This area has seen heavy impacts from campers in the past few years, so we highly recommend looking elsewhere and making Blue Lakes a day trip.
Distance to Breckenridge: 11 miles
Hoosier Pass, which connects Breckenridge with Fairplay, offers some good roadside dispersed campsites. These aren’t the most secluded and you can expect a bit of road noise, but they are a convenient location with beautiful surroundings.
Keep in mind this area is over 10,000′ in elevation, so you’ll want to come prepared with plenty of water and other necessities for high altitude camping! Hoosier Pass is directly south of Breckenridge along Highway 9, and you’ll find the campsites located at the top of the pass along County Road 2. The sites begin almost immediately off the highway and continue back along the dirt road.
There are no facilities here and the road gets pretty rough away from the highway so be sure to come prepared.
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Have a great trip!
We hope we’ve provided all of the information you need to plan a dispersed camping trip near Breckenridge, Colorado and we know you’ll find the perfect campsite for your upcoming adventure!
Be sure to let us know in the comments below if you have any questions and be sure to tell us about your trip!
Looking for other great dispersed camping in Colorado? Be sure to check out our other guides below:
- Dispersed Camping Near Aspen
- Dispersed Camping Near Buena Vista
- Dispersed Camping Near Colorado Springs
- Dispersed Camping Near Telluride
- Dispersed Camping Near Leadville
- Dispersed Camping Near Silverton
- Dispersed Camping Near Steamboat Springs
- Dispersed Camping Near Denver
- Dispersed Camping Near Fort Collins