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Get away from the daily grind; plan a camping trip to the White River National Forest. East, west, north or south, Glenwood Springs is surrounded by the nation’s most visited forest for recreation. The White River National Forest spans 2.3 million acres in Colorado and includes eight wilderness areas, 12 ski resorts, four major reservoirs, ten fourteener peaks, approximately 2,500 miles of trails and 1,900 miles of roads!

With all this open space, there are abundant places to backpack and go backcountry camping, with each location offering backcountry visitors the opportunity to experience the magnificent natural beauty of Colorado. Set up camp near a lake, at the edge of an aspen grove or at a site with panoramic views of the sunset.

The White River National Forest is a year-round outdoor playground. The trail and road systems allow for numerous activities including hiking, biking, horseback riding, as well as motorized recreation like dirt biking, ATVing, jeeping, and snowmobiling. Hunting, fishing and wildlife viewing are other popular pursuits. However, visitors to Glenwood Springs should be aware that many of the White River National Forest activities, including camping, are  accessed via unpaved roads that often require four-wheel drive. Visitors wishing to backcountry camp should not expect to find quick access to campsites in the immediate Glenwood Springs area.

Contact Information

White River National Forest

900 Grand Avenue
Glenwood Springs, CO 81601
Adventurous Camping

For the more adventurous explorer, visitors can choose to overnight in forest service campgrounds or in primitive camping sites. In addition to following leave-no-trace ethics, remember to set up camp 100 feet or more away from trails and water features such as lakes and streams. Detailed information about campgrounds and trails, including driving directions are listed on the White River National Forest website. To speak one-on-one with a ranger and purchase maps, visitors can stop by the White River National Forest Administrative Offices in downtown Glenwood Springs.

Close-to-Town Camping

For more camping options closer to town, Glenwood Springs’ campgrounds offer outdoor enthusiasts plenty of options. Choose a riverside resort in Glenwood Canyon where there’s always something to do like rafting, biking, and zip lining; or stay in town for easy proximity to Glenwood’s top attractions. For those who want more creature comforts in a rustic setting, there are cozy cabins for rent, and even luxe bed and breakfast accommodations on private woodland properties.


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Visit Glenwood Springs

We are pleased to announce the US Forest Service rebuild of the Hanging Lake Trail that is set to begin this spring will allow for hiking on a limited basis through the construction period. Reservations will be available weekly, with available hiking dates and times released every Tuesday at 8:00 am MDT. This system aims to streamline access to the trail during construction, while ensuring a smooth and enjoyable experience for all visitors.

 Visit the Hanging Lake page HERE for more information and the booking portal.