Wednesday ยท September 13, 2023
Experience the Freedom of Elk Creek Dispersed Campground in Colorado
Author: Admin
Elk Creek Dispersed Camping in Colorado | Top Horse Trails

In the heart of Colorado's majestic landscapes, Elk Creek Dispersed Campground stands as an unspoiled haven for those who seek the untamed beauty of the wilderness. A place where nature takes center stage, this campground offers a unique opportunity to reconnect with the great outdoors. Conveniently nestled in the midst of the South San Juan Wilderness, Elk Creek beckons travelers with its lightly wooded terrain, babbling creeks, and a wealth of outdoor experiences.

Campground Diversity

Elk Creek Dispersed Campground presents a diverse range of camping experiences, with three loops accommodating a variety of preferences. Notably, one loop is dedicated to overflow camping, and here's the best part - there's no fee required for camping in this section. Dispersed camping restrictions are in place, ensuring that this natural wonder remains pristine for generations to come.

As you explore the campground, you'll find yourself surrounded by spruce and Ponderosa pines, their boughs reaching skyward to create a protective canopy. Underfoot, the terrain is blanketed with lush grass, with some sites thoughtfully positioned alongside the tranquil Elk Creek.

Nature's Playground

Elk Creek Dispersed Campground isn't just about the campfire tales and starlit nights; it's also your gateway to a wealth of outdoor adventures. The nearby South San Juan Wilderness beckons with its rugged terrain and pristine beauty, inviting hikers, backpackers, and explorers to venture forth. As you wander the trails, be prepared to be captivated by the breathtaking scenery and the harmony of nature.

Campers at Elk Creek are also in proximity to the Elk Creek Falls Trail, a 3.5-mile trek that unveils the tallest waterfall in the state. For those with a taste for the historical, the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad offers an unforgettable journey through the annals of time. This steam-powered marvel traverses 64 miles, taking you through abandoned mining towns and the region's rich heritage.

Camp at Elk Creek

Elk Creek Dispersed Campground offers a unique camping experience. Sites 29 through 42 are conveniently located in the overflow loop, while all other sites are side-by-side pull-throughs. Please note that these sites do not feature tables, and only seven sites are equipped with grilles. Firewood is readily available for a fee, ensuring you stay warm on those chilly Colorado evenings.

Whether you're a destination camper, eager to immerse yourself in the natural world, or a transient traveler seeking respite along your journey, Elk Creek Dispersed Campground welcomes you. It's a place where the rugged grandeur of Colorado meets the tranquility of a mountain creek. Here, amidst the pristine wilderness, you'll discover the true essence of camping – the freedom to roam, explore, and unwind in a world untamed by time.

In every rustling leaf and babbling brook, Elk Creek in Colorado whispers tales of adventure and serenity. It's a place where the journey is as enchanting as the destination, and where every moment is a treasure waiting to be discovered.



From Antonito, CO, take US Rt. 285 south 0.3 miles to State Rt. 17. Continue straight on Rt. 17 and go 22.6 miles to the campground sign. Turn right at the sign onto a dirt road and 0.1 miles to a "T" intersection. Turn left and go 0.4 miles to a "Y" intersection. Bear right and proceed into the campground.


Elk Creek Dispersed Camping offers the following facilities and amenities:

  • Dispersed camping sites
  • Horse trails
  • Grills


Cost Details:

  • Single site - $29 to $33/night
  • Special site - $34 to $38/night
  • Day use - $12/day (picnicking)
  • Fee envelopes and a collection box are located near the entrance.



  • Reservations can be made online at
  • Open Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day.
  • One access to the train is in Antonito, CO, online at Cumbres-Toltec Scenic Railroad or call (719) 376-5483 for more information and reservations. This is a bear country; practice safe food storage techniques.


If you want to discover and explore other campsites and horse trails, here are some of them that you may visit:



SOUTH SAN JUAN WILDERNESS - Green Lake to Blue Lake Loop off 250

KLAMATH NATIONAL FOREST - PCT CA Section R Seiad Valley to HIghway 5 Siskiyou Mountains

Elk Creek Dispersed Camping does require reservations for overnight accommodations. Please visit their page here on Top Horse Trails - Elk Creek Dispersed Camping for more information.