East Fork of the San Juan River (Free Camping!)

East Fork of the San Juan River (Free Camping!)

Want to a new spot to go camping in Colorado for Free?

The East Fork of the San Juan River is located in Arculeta County, Colorado. It is north from Pagosa Springs roughly 9.75 miles, then turn east on Forest Development Road #667. 

After about .75 miles you will see the East Fork Campground and you can learn more about paid camping at this site (26 spots) on the link. If you want a free camping spot for up to 14 days, continue on the road and do not turn into campground.

Free Camping Spots on Road #667

The best camping on this road are up about 3 miles and after you cross two bridges. Yes, there are a few that are before the two bridges, but the best ones are further up. The road is a bit bumpy at times and after 5-6 miles, the road does begin to get even worse for big RVs, so find a spot before that.

The East Fork River follows the road for almost the whole road, and it is beautiful. We were able to find multiple spots that allowed for campers or trucks to pull through and all the way around to making parking, unloading and setting up camp very easy.

We found a beautiful spot that had access to the river and shade. This was the ideal place to spend a few nights and enjoy the beauty that surrounded it. Here is a quick snap of our spot, plus super easy to pull the camper through and set up a nice ‘free’ camping spot.

The views were incredible, plus there are multiple day hikes that you can take from here. Most of the camping areas open up into a meadow of sorts, and there are lots of areas that you can overlook the river, or the mountainside. Some of the day hikes are: Sand Creek Trail, Silver Falls Trail and Quartz Meadow.

For Fishing, it would be best to have a flyrod or lightweight small spinners. There are multiple brown and rainbow trout in the river. The river is narrow, however there are multiple deeper sections of ‘pools’ that allow great fishing, or jumping in.

River access at campspot on the East fork of the San Juan River outside of Pagosa Springs, Colorado

This was the view from our campsite, about 10-15 feet from our spot.

We also saw people tubing the river, and even just to cool off, you could bring a tube to chill in.

All in all, a beautiful spot to camp, hike and fish. The road was somewhat busy with ATVs, side by sides and other cars, but during the evening no one was driving on it.

We would give it a rating of 9 out of 10. The road was a bit bumpy for the camper, doable, but not a good road for small clearance cars or campers, unless you went super slow.

What about you, did you enjoy this free spot to camp in Colorado?

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