White River National Forest, Colorado, USA
White River National Forest
Rediscover Nature at the White River National Forest
Whether enjoy flying down a mountain covered in white powder or prefer challenging the equally white rapids of a wild river, White River National Forest is the place to be. Located in northwest Colorado, the 3,571-square-mile reserve is one of the largest protected wilderness areas in the USA. Rent that RV and bring along those mountain bikes, fly fishing poles, and snow toys of course if you’re coming in winter. Don’t forget a good set of binoculars for some serious nature watching. Get settled in your camping spot among the trees or along a riverbank. You’ll start to relax and rediscover the natural world.
Hike near an open meadow and you’ll often find deer or elk grazing away. If you’re on a highway, it’s not unusual to find elk and bighorn sheep nipping shrubs along the shoulders. Sometimes they even make you wait while they take their time sauntering along the paved road. Just get out the camera and take some memorable photos.
If you opt to fly-fish in one of the trout filled rivers, you may run into moose. They tend to graze on the edges of quiet ponds where they find their favorite water plants. You may not even see a moose until its head splashes above the surface, sometimes with greenery hanging from its antlers. They prefer the underwater buffet. The ducks and other waterfowl sometimes take to the air to get out of the way.
Bears, bobcats, mountain lions and lynx inhabit the park. Most of the time the critters keep to themselves and stay in the back country, but if you’re in one of the more remote campgrounds you might get some night visitors.
Keep your eyes peeled for eagles and other raptors as you explore the park. They too prefer the more remote areas. White River National Forest is home to several forest and meadow birds, such as chickadees, jays, swallows and the nutcracker. You might even catch the sound of a woodpecker as he hammers away in search of dinner, or an owl hooting in the moonlight.
RV Camping in the White River National Forest
Camping in the White River National Forest really gives you a back to nature experience. Most campgrounds do not have hook-ups or dump stations, especially the smaller ones. Dump stations are available at the Edwards Rest Area from April to October, and at the Blue River Wastewater Treatment Plant on weekdays year-round. Be sure and empty your waste tanks and make sure you have plenty of food and fresh water onboard. Most RV park campgrounds can handle rigs up to 30 feet.
Pets, on leash, are welcome. They must be leashed while on the trails as well. Vehicle use passes are needed for some areas, and reservations, available through Recreation.gov, are advised. Winter camping is a also a big draw because of all the skiing opportunities. Two examples of resort style RV park campgrounds with hook-ups are below.
Tiger Run RV Resort
The year-round Tiger Run RV Resort, in Breckenridge, has 200 sites with concrete pads and full hook-ups that can handle hard-sided rigs up to 35 feet. Surrounded by the Ten Mile Mountain Range and close to the Blue and Swan Rivers, this place offers year round fun, without giving up any creature comforts. Six ski resorts and several fly fishing opportunities are within a 15-minute drive. More than 60 miles of hiking and biking trails surround the resort, including paved paths that go from Breckenridge to Vail. At the resort, enjoy the clubhouse with its fitness center, pool, hot tubs and guest game room. Leashed pets are welcome; they even have their own dog park. WiFi is available.
Glen Canyon Resort
With 72 full service campsites, some fronting the Colorado River, the Glenwood Canyon Resort can handle rigs topping 40 feet. Riverfront sites fit smaller rigs. Head to the Adventure Center and challenge the climbing wall or fly high above the ground on a zip line. Book a whitewater rafting trip or take to one of the hiking or biking trails. Meet fellow campers at the resort’s bar and grill. Up to two leashed pets are welcome.