Camping in/near Salida CO

Forums Mountain Bike Forum Camping in/near Salida CO

Viewing 17 reply threads
  • Author
    • #217833

      Going on a trip in July, I’ve decided to base myself somewhere in Salida. I was looking for super cheap/free camping. Does anyone know of any sweet spots that fit the bill?


    • #217847

      I’ve camped in the Salida area quite a few times. My new favorite spot is the forest road next to the Little Rainbow trailhead, camped there the last two times I was there. It’s great because I can ride my new favorite loop in the area before breakfast, up little rainbow and down lost trail.  I’ve also camped off of road 240 near Maysville.  Further away, but less people. Also tons of spots and great trailheads near St. Elmo.
      <p style=”text-align: left;”>BTW, I think I responded about your last trip to Copper Harbor, how’d that go?</p>

      • #217864

        Hey rhut! Copper Harbor was amazing. Best bike trip so far. We did end up seeing the Northern Lights too! The entire experience was magical. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction dude! I understand CO is a busy place, but the less folks the better. Ill look into those spots.

        Greg! Definitely looking to get intimate with the Monarch Crest trail system. It seems like that would be a good shuttle run. Any other must rides? Ill probably be spending about 10 to 11 days in/near Salida, then its off to Jackson WY  for about 4 or 5 days.

      • #217866

        When are you planning to be here?

        O’Haver lake is a developed campground near the Crest network that’s quite good, but there’s dispersed camping down near Shirley Site below O’Haver, and all up and down Marshall Pass. You can also try Starvation Creek road. All of these zones will put you near the end of several Crest descents.

      • #217871

        Ill be roaming around July 1st thru 16th.

    • #217859

      Great places all over the Salida region! What trail(s) are you planning to ride? I’d suggest trying to find dispersed camping close to those trailheads.

    • #217869

      Enjoy dispersed camping in YOUR National Forests.

    • #217878

      Kind of a random thought, but bring a water purifier and then disperse camp fairly near a creek so you have an endless supply of water.  I just use a steri-pen in places like CO where the water is clear and sediment is not an issue.  So easy; so fast.  You can carry one in your bike bag too and enjoy the fresh CO water any where on a ride without concern.

      • #217886

        Great thing to consider mongwolf. I have a Sawyer Mini filter that should do the trick. Really handy as I can just attach the sawyer into my hydropacks line.

    • #217900

      If your spending that much time in the area, you really need to figure in a few days camping and riding at Crested Butte.  Not too far from Salida area.

    • #217917

      I am actually looking to head to Salida tomorrow and ride Saturday and Sunday.  I will be camping as well.  Looks like it could be a solo trip so if anyone is interested in linking up for a ride, let me know!  I will post on here as well with where I camp to help out your trip in July.


    • #217919

      Re: cyclosaur

      Nice, you should have a great time! Be forewarned that the crest could still be somewhat snowy right at the beginning of the month but we’ll probably be going for it anyway. Just be prepared for some glissading and plan accordingly!

    • #217932

      Pgoldsmith: Thats great! Ill be looking forward to that. I will also be going solo, so if anyone wants to ride with a flatlander sporting a gravity itch, thatd be cool!

      Greg: Sounds like fun. I’m no stranger to the snow. Mountains will be new, so I’ll be sure to respect the trails lest I plummet to a rocky doom 🙂

    • #217959

      Oh! By the way, I’m ill equipped in the 4WD department. Mustang with a bike rack (far from the best vehicle for bikes). I’m fine with a little rowdy offroading, but the campsite cant be 4WD accessible only.

    • #217963

      That will definitely limit your options 🙂 You can still get to Shirley Site and O’Haver Though

    • #217975

      I’ve been eyeballing Shirley site. That seems like a winner. Do you know if there is running water nearby that I can purify?

      • #217995

        Shirly site is on a big stream that runs high in the spring–only problem could be potentially flooded sites! Also, this area tends to fill up with campers–best to try to snag a spot end of weekend or mid-week.

    • #218048

      With the mustang, I’d ignore any of the suggestions I gave you. We’ve got a Subaru Outback that does just fine, but I’d be worried about losing some under body on a sporty car 😉


    • #218050

      Yeah, its a relic that’s stuck with me from a different life. As long as it doesn’t rattle apart, I’m fine. Maybe I’ll take it off some sweet jumps and get a Subaru after 🙂

    • #218648

      Re: cyclosaur

      I didn’t end up going two weeks ago but I was in Salida over the weekend for a backpacking trip with my wife.  We stayed at O’ Haver campground the first night and then hiked into Hunt lake for an over-nighter.  A couple thoughts:

      O’Haver campground was packed.  We took a spot from someone who didn’t use their reservation…we got lucky.  I would opt to find somewhere else to camp if its on the weekend.  Otherwise, I suspect you’d be fine there.  It was a nice campground.

      The trail we did was a portion of:—hunt-lake-trail.html

      It was an awesome trail for hiking and I’d prepare for some serious hike-a-bike.  There were definitely areas that were impassible by bike as we were   post-holing for a good portion of the hike.  We ended up doing the 4 mile stretch coming in from the North and hiking Southwest.

      Good luck with your adventure! Hopefully the snow is all melted if you were trying to get some high alpine riding in.  That was our first time in Salida and the town was amazing.  So far it’s my favorite town in Colorado.

    • #218719

      Hopefully the snow is all melted if you were trying to get some high alpine riding in.

      Can guarantee you snow won’t be all melted 🙂 It’s still snowy up there!

    • #259886

      Going to bump this old post to not create my own..

      Same question just different needs….

      Looking to do some family mtb camping.  In need of camping close proximity to trails so that way members of the party can come and go without the need of getting into a vehicle and also ease of use with kids.  Hoping for a situation that is like 18 road in Fruita, but Salida style.  Let me know if this is possible or am I being too difficult.

      Thanks in advance!

    • #259956

      Have not been to Salida, but I’m pretty sure there is alot of dispersed camping around. 14er trailheads are a good place to start.

Viewing 17 reply threads

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.