Crested Butte, Colorado, is a destination that boasts cool alpine temperatures, gorgeous wildflower patches and epic mountain bike rides. One of the best ways to enjoy the natural wonders of the greater Crested Butte area is to lodge among them. With nearly two million acres of National Forest, camping opportunities in Gunnison and Crested Butte abound. From primitive camping to complete convenience facilities, you can enjoy the great outdoors to your satisfaction. One of the larger and more popular places for enjoying the Curecanti National Recreation Area with your RV is the West Elk Marina located just off Highway 50, west of Gunnison. There are also numerous locally owned and operated resorts and campgrounds that cater to RV guests. Check with the BLM and Forest Service local office (970/641-0471) M-F 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., to reserve some campsites before you arrive.
If you are interested in reserving a USNF, NPS, or BLM Campground, you can also call (877) 444-6777 or log-on to their National Reservation site to check availability atwww.recreation.gov.
Curecanti National Recreation Area and Black Canyon National Park
Campground name # of Units Reservation/Fee
Elk Creek 160 Y/$12-$18
Lake Fork 90 Y/$12
Stevens Creek 53 Y/$12
Cimarron 21 N/$12
Dry Gulch 9 N/$12
Ponderosa 28 N/$12
Gate View 6 N/0
Red Creek 2+1 Group Y/$12-$28
East Elk Creek Group Site Y/$53
- Curecanti Reservations – www.nps.gov/cure/planyourvisit/camping.htm
- Black Canyon Reservations – www.nps.gov/blca/planyourvisit/camping.htm.
Other Forest Campgrounds
Though the Forest Service lists only those three campgrounds as options under Crested Butte, there are dozens of other campgrounds in the greater Crested Butte-Gunnison area. In fact, the Gunnison Crested Butte Tourism Association lists more than two dozen other forest and Bureau of Land Management campgrounds. These range from tiny, three-site areas to larger areas with more than 60 campsites. Most have between 10 and 25 campsites and are located between 8,000 and 10,000 feet.
BLM and USFS Campgrounds
- Information: www.blm.gov/co/st/en/fo/gfo/recreation_information/camps.html
- Map: www.blm.gov/co/st/en/fo/gfo/recreation_information/campmap.html
- Additional Resources: http://www.forestcamping.com/dow/rockymtn/gunn.html
Crested Butte is located at an elevation just under 8,900 feet. Many area campgrounds are even higher in the mountains and snow can last into summer. The general summer camping season lasts between Memorial Day and Labor Day, but some campgrounds have a very short season that begins in June or July and lasts through September or October. Summer temperatures typically peak in the low to mid-70s, making for sunny and comfortable weather.