Crested Butte’s newest form of camping makes spending the night in the backcountry more sustainable and enjoyable by containing impacts to specific areas and limiting over-crowding in popular spots. In designated camping areas, all roadside vehicle and tent campers must camp ONLY in designated sites. Sites are designated by a numbered wooden post and a metal fire ring. In all designated areas, this regulation applies to the entire drainage, right up to its boundary with either wilderness or another ranger district. At this time, all designated sites are first come first served. If you know you are arriving late afternoon or early evening on a Friday, please have other forms of accommodation in mind as all sites may be occupied upon arrival.

Designated Camping Regulations:

  • Camp only at designated sites
  • All sites are first come first serve
  • Fires are only permitted in established metal fire rings
  • Extinguish all fires so they are cold to the touch before leaving the fire
  • Campers are responsible for knowing any local fire restrictions and only burning when permitted
  • Sites are limited to two vehicles only per site
  • No stay can exceed 14 days
  • No site saving- it is illegal to leave property unattended for more than 24 hours
  • Pack out all trash, including human waste
  • Do not leave any food or garbage unattended or out in the open, as it attracts wildlife
Crested Butte Camping

Washington Gulch Drainage offers 48 sites located along the main road corridor

  • Sites in Washington Gulch are signed WG 1-48.
  • WG 3-26 are located just beyond the National Forest boundary, and many of these sites are large enough to accommodate RVs and Trailers, and are within walking distance of a vault toilet.

Slate River Drainage offers 43 sites broken up into the following areas:

  • Roadside sites – site numbers SR 1-19. All located along the main corridor of Slate River Rd #734 starting 5 miles out the road.
  • Musicians Camp sites– site numbers MC 1-17. This is a concentrated area of sites approximately 6 miles up Slate River Rd. These sites can accommodate larger RVs and Trailers and provide access to a vault toilet.
  • Poverty Gulch sites – site numbers PG 1-7 are remote sites located along Poverty Gulch Rd. Poverty Gulch Rd starts 7 miles out Slate River Rd. A HIGH CLEARANCE 4×4 vehicle is necessary to reach these sites. Do not expect to reach these sites in the spring during peak runoff season due a dangerous river crossing.
Gunnison - Crested Butte
There are many established campgrounds located within the Gunnison Valley, some managed by federal entities and others that are privately owned. These campgrounds offer significantly more amenities than designated or dispersed camping areas but require a nightly fee. These amenities can include picnic tables, water, toilets, electric hookups, tent pads, showers, and more. Some of these campgrounds allow you to book nights ahead of time, which we highly recommend if you want to be certain you will have a place to camp when you arrive.