alta lakes dispersed camping

alta lakes dispersed camping

Alta Lakes Dispersed Camping

Alta Lakes, located in the beautiful San Juan Mountains of Colorado, offers a serene and picturesque destination for outdoor enthusiasts seeking an authentic camping experience. Dispersed camping, also known as primitive camping, allows visitors to enjoy the unspoiled natural beauty of the area while being free from the constraints of established campgrounds. In this article, we will explore the various aspects of Alta Lakes dispersed camping, from its stunning location to the necessary preparations and guidelines for a successful trip.

1. Location:
1.1. Overview: Alta Lakes is situated near Telluride, a charming mountain town known for its world-class skiing and vibrant festivals. The camping area is nestled at an elevation of 11,000 feet, surrounded by towering peaks, crystal-clear lakes, and lush alpine meadows.
1.2. Directions: To reach Alta Lakes, follow County Road 61 (Last Dollar Road) off Highway 145 for approximately 12 miles. The road, albeit rough and bumpy, leads you to the camping area, which features several dispersed sites along the lakeshores.

2. Campsite Selection:
2.1. Options: Alta Lakes offers a variety of dispersed camping sites, each with its own unique charm. These sites are not marked, allowing campers to choose their preferred location based on availability and personal preference.
2.2. Considerations: It is advisable to select a site near a water source for ease of access. Campers should also be mindful of environmental protection by setting up camp on hardened surfaces to minimize impact on the delicate ecosystem.

3. Amenities and Facilities:
3.1. Facilities: Alta Lakes dispersed camping does not provide any formal amenities, such as restrooms or showers. Campers must come prepared with their own supplies, including portable toilets and fresh water.
3.2. Pack-in, Pack-out: As with all dispersed camping areas, campers are responsible for their own trash and waste removal. It is essential to practice a \”leave no trace\” philosophy and pack out all garbage, ensuring the preservation of the natural environment.

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4. Activities and Recreation:
4.1. Hiking: The surrounding San Juan Mountains offer an extensive network of hiking trails, providing ample opportunities to explore the area’s stunning landscapes. A popular trail near Alta Lakes is the Alta Lakes Loop Trail, which traverses through wildflower-filled meadows and offers breathtaking views of the lakes.
4.2. Fishing: Alta Lakes is known for its excellent fishing opportunities. The lakes are stocked with trout, attracting anglers of all skill levels. Catch-and-release is encouraged to preserve the fish population for future generations.
4.3. Wildlife Viewing: The San Juan Mountains are home to a diverse array of wildlife. Campers at Alta Lakes may spot mule deer, elk, or even the elusive black bear. Patience and respect for the animals’ habitat is essential when observing wildlife.

Alta Lakes dispersed camping offers a one-of-a-kind experience for nature enthusiasts seeking solitude and tranquility in the heart of the San Juan Mountains. With its breathtaking scenery, ample outdoor recreation, and the freedom to choose one’s campsite, Alta Lakes is a destination that promises unforgettable memories. Respect for the environment and careful preparation are crucial to ensure a positive and sustainable camping experience. So, pack your gear, head to Alta Lakes, and immerse yourself in the beauty of Colorado’s wilderness.

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