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Colorado State Parks

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USA Parks
West Region
White River National Forest
Campsite Availability
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White River National Forest © MICHELLE LONG
White River National Forest White River National Forest © MICHELLE LONG
This is a view from the top of Blair Mountain looking east.
White River National Forest McDonalds Flats Campground, Silverthorne © Annick Desjardins
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900 Grand Avenue
Glenwood Springs, Colorado   81602
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Located in the heart of the Colorado Rocky Mountains, approximately two to four hours west of Denver, lies the White River National Forest. The Forest provides an excellent variety of recreation opportunities in all seasons with eleven ski areas, eight designated wildernesses, several National Trails, approximately 70 camp and picnicgrounds, and over one and one-half million acres for general motorized and non-motorized backcountry enjoyment. Popular recreation activities on the Forest include downhill and cross-country skiing, developed and dispersed camping, four-wheel driving, sightseeing, photography, hunting, fishing, hiking, boating including sailing and whitewater rafting, snowmobiling, picnicking, bicycling, horseback riding and backpacking.
Featured Areas within the Park
 Hiking Trailyes
1. Maroon Bells Scenic Area: This is one of the most popular camping spots in White River National Forest, offering stunning views and plenty of hiking trails.

2. Difficult Campground: Located near Aspen, this campground offers a variety of campsites for tents and RVs with amenities like picnic tables, fire rings, drinking water etc.

3. Chapman Campground & Group Sites: It's located on the Fryingpan River which provides fishing opportunities along with scenic beauty.

4. Silver Bell Campground: Nestled among aspen groves at an elevation around 8k feet above sea level providing beautiful view to campers.

5. Difficulty Creek Dispersed Camping: A free dispersed camping area that allows you to get away from it all without any facilities or services provided by traditional campgrounds.

6. Ruedi Marina Campsite: Offers both tent sites and full hook-up sites for RV's right next to Ruedi Reservoir where visitors can enjoy boating activities too.

7. White Star Camprgound: Situated beside Twin Lakes reservoir,offering great mountain vistas.

8. Pine Cove Day Use Site: Ideal spot if looking forward day trips into wilderness areas nearby.

9. Gold Park CG (Holy Cross City Rd): Perfect place who are seeking solitude while enjoying nature.

10. Heaton Bay Cmpgrnd: Provides access Lake Dillon making it perfect location those interested in sailing,fishing,kayaking etc.

White River National Forest is located near Avon, Edwards

1. Maroon Bells Scenic Loop Trail: This 3-mile loop trail is one of the most photographed spots in Colorado, offering stunning views of two peaks over 14,000 feet high reflecting off a glacial lake.

2. Hanging Lake Trail: A moderately difficult hike that spans about three miles round trip and ends at an awe-inspiring turquoise-colored lake with waterfalls cascading into it from above.

3. Missouri Lakes Basin Hike: An approximately seven mile out-and-back trek through alpine meadows filled with wildflowers leading to multiple lakes nestled among towering mountain peaks.

4. Booth Falls & Booth Lake Trails: These trails offer hikers options for both short (four miles) or long hikes (ten miles), featuring scenic vistas including aspen groves, waterfalls and panoramic overlooks on their way up towards Vail Mountain's back bowls area.

5. Gore Creek Day Use Area Trails System: Comprises several interconnected loops ranging from easy walks along the creek side to more challenging climbs providing breathtaking views across Eagle's Nest Wilderness.

6. Holy Cross Wilderness - Fancy Pass-Missouri Lakes Loop: Approximately eight-mile-long strenuous hiking route taking you past beautiful alpine lakes surrounded by rugged mountainsides dotted with colorful wildflower displays during summer months.

7. Eaglesmere-Surprise Lake Loop: Nearly nine-miles circular path traversing dense forests, crossing creeks before reaching serene Surprise and Upper Cataract Lakes perfect for fishing enthusiasts.

8. Mount Elbert North Route: The highest peak in Colorado offers this moderate difficulty fourteen:mile return journey which rewards climbers spectacular panoramas stretching far beyond Rocky Mountains' boundaries.

9. Quandary Peak East Ridge: Another popular fourteener ascent via well-marked six-and-a-half mile track presenting unforgettable summit experiences atop snow-capped ridges overlooking vast expanses below.

10. Crystal Mill Outback Trek: Roughly eight:mile round trip leading to one of the state's most iconic landmarks, an old wooden mill standing precariously on a rock ledge above Crystal River.

11. Lost Man Loop: A moderately difficult 8.8 mile loop trail that offers scenic views and is perfect for wildlife spotting, with opportunities to see moose, elk, marmots and more.

12. Snowmass Lake Hike: This twenty-two miles long strenuous hike takes you through lush meadows, dense forests before culminating at pristine lake shores offering unmatched tranquility amidst nature's grandeur.

13. Mount Massive Southwest Slopes: Another challenging fourteener climb spanning nearly fourteen:miles return journey rewarding hikers panoramic vistas across Sawatch Range peaks.

14. Cathedral Lake Trail: Approximately seven:mile out-and-back path winding its way up steep terrains towards high-altitude alpine lake surrounded by jagged granite cliffs resembling cathedral spires hence giving this route its name.

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Located west of Denver, Colorado the forest is easily accessed via Interstate Highway 70. For directions to the various parts of the forest, contact the address below.

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Colorado State Parks