BLM Camping

Colorado River Headwaters Byway

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is responsible for 1 in every 10 acres of land in the U.S.

The Colorado River Headwaters Byway follows the Colorado River from its source in Rocky Mountain National Park to State Bridge, Colorado, on Highway 131. Along the way, you can view beautiful lakes, such as Grand Lake and Lake Granby, and enjoy the scenic Rocky Mountains. Popular activities in this area include boating, whitewater rafting, hiking, and soaking in the nearby Hot Sulphur Springs. 

Much of the land along the byway is Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land where you can enjoy camping with your RV. Camping on BLM land outside of developed campgrounds is called dispersed camping. You can camp anywhere on BLM land as long you do not disturb the natural setting. The BLM requests that you look for sites that have already been camped on, which you can find by looking for flat, packed-down ground with little vegetation on it. Dispersed camping is free, and it will offer your family a great sense of adventure far from other campers.

What to See and Do

What to See and Do

Hiking and BikingHiking and Biking

Adams Falls Trail

Adams Falls Trail is a loop trail that passes a beautiful waterfall. The trail is inside Rocky Mountain National Park, so you will need to pay a fee to enter. The trail offers scenic views of Grand Lake and the Rocky Mountains. It is good for all skill levels.

Length: 0.8 miles

Intensity: Easy

East Inlet Trail to Lone Pine Lake

East Inlet Trail offers wonderful views of a waterfall, lake, forests, wildflowers, and mountains. Wildlife can often be seen along the path. Go early to avoid the crowds on this popular trail.

Length: 10.6 miles

Intensity: Moderate

Gore Canyon Trail

The Gore Canyon Trail near Kremmling follows the Colorado River through Gore Canyon. The trail winds along above the river, and you can view river rapids from above. Be careful because sections of the trail can become washed out. Bring trekking poles to help you through. It is worth hiking this trail for the amazing views.

Length: 2.8 miles

Intensity: Moderate

Fishing and BoatingFishing and Boating

Grand Lake, Shadow Mountain Reservoir, and Lake Granby are all popular for both fishing and boating. In addition, the place where the Colorado River, Blue River, and Muddy River converge near Kremmling is a great spot for trout fishing. Many of the other rivers and lakes in the area offer boating and fishing as well.


Rocky Mountain National Park, at the start of the byway, is a world-class climbing destination. Summer and fall are the best seasons for rock climbing because the weather is moderate and it stays light longer. Wildlife such as mountain lions, bighorn sheep, bears, and eagles can often be seen while climbing. Popular spots for climbing in the park include Lumpy Ridge, the Diamond and the Casual on Longs Peak, and the Love Route on Hallet Peak.

Wildlife ViewingWildlife Viewing

Wildlife is plentiful in Rocky Mountain National Park and at other spots along the byway. You are sure to see some deer, bighorn sheep, mountain lions, bears, eagles, falcons, or snakes during your visit.


You will find places all along the byway to stop and have a picnic. Popular stops include Grand Lake, Lake Granby, Hot Sulphur Springs, Kremmling, and State Bridge.


Bureau of Land Management Camping

RV Camping Caravan Icon

There are several campgrounds within Rocky Mountain National Park for RV camping, but none of them offer hookups. There are also some Bureau of Land Management campgrounds with primitive campsites along the route. If you would like to stay at a campground with hookups, you have options in the area near Kremmling. Red Mountain RV Park has full hookups for RVs, and Wolford Campground and Marina on Wolford Reservoir has electric hookups, water, and a dump station. The campground offers boating and fishing as well as camping.

Free Camping Campground Icon

Bureau of Land Management free camping is available on BLM land along the Colorado River Headwaters Byway. Look for primitive BLM RV camping sites at the Cabin River Campsite, Toadflax Island Campsite, Pyrite Campsite, and Ponderosa Campsite. More primitive camping locations can be found on the BLM website or by searching for "BLM camping near me."

RV Rentals Near Colorado River Headwaters Byway Plan your next adventure

Planning Your Trip

Credit: Vanna Mae, @vannamaeart

Planning your Colorado River Headwaters Byway BLM trip

The Colorado River Headwaters Byway is 80 miles long, and there are lots of things to see and do along the way. You could choose to camp in a centrally located place and take day trips to the attractions you want to see, or you could plan your route and stop at a different campground each night of your trip. If you are going to camp on undeveloped sites on BLM land, you may want to equip your RV with a generator so that you will have electricity. Be sure to bring a camping toilet since there will be no facilities at the primitive campsites. You must also bring plenty of water for drinking, cooking, and washing up.

If you love to fish, bring your fishing gear because there will be many places along the way that are great for fishing. If climbing is your thing, don't forget your climbing equipment. For boating or river rafting, most places will be able to rent you the boat or raft that you need, but if you have a boat, bring it along so that you can boat anywhere you like.

Be sure to be aware of the weather that is expected. In the higher elevations, it can snow not only in winter but also in spring and fall. Nights will be cold in any season at this elevation. Before you head out on your trip, check out our blog for all you need to know about BLM camping.

Leave No Trace Leaf

The BLM advises visitors to "leave no trace." This means that you should leave your campsite the way that you found it. Do not leave any garbage; pack it out with you. The same applies to your activities during the day. Don't toss garbage out of your car or boat. Don't disturb the wildlife or natural settings. People enjoy being in nature without any traces of human habitation. Be sure to keep the BLM land in pristine condition so that other visitors can enjoy the same experience that you enjoyed.

Leave No Trace

Colorado River Headwaters Byway Location

The Colorado River Headwaters Byway starts in Rocky Mountain National Park. From Denver, take US-25 north to Mead. In Mead, turn and go west on US-66. When US-66 meets US-36, take US-36 west until it meets US-34. Take US-34 around Rocky Mountain National Park to Grand Lake, where you will meet up with the byway.

Address: Kremmling, CO 80459 

Ready to visit Colorado River Headwaters Byway? An RV rental is a great way to experience your destination. Not only will you be close to all the action, but at the end of a long day exploring, you’ll have your RV to return to for the night where you’ll enjoy a full kitchen, bathroom, and nice soft bed. Not sure about renting an RV? Here’s a step-by-step guide to renting an RV with RVshare.