Dispersed Camp at the Buffalo Creek Area in Pike National Forest

Buffalo Creek Area

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
Show More
Activities Chillin, Camping, Photography, Mountain Biking, Running
Skill Level Beginner
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Features
Forest
Scenic

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Mountain biking, great views and Ticks

This camping area is remote enough to feel far away from civilization. In reality, it is only a half hour drive off 285. My friend and I went mountain biking to the creek. The trail is mostly downhill on the way there. There is plenty of firewood there, so no need to bring that! Just a heads' up there are a bunch of ticks, so make sure to do frequent tick checks... we brought home ten with us! Overall, it was a great beginner mountain biking trail and rad campsite!

Great Weekend Getaway

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!

Camping

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!


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

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

Nearby Adventures

More Nearby Adventures

Hike to Buffalo Creek Falls

268 Saves

Fish Cheeseman Canyon

140 Saves

Hike the Eagle's View Trail

665 Saves