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BACKPACKING TIPS AND REGULATIONS
Campers go hunting, hiking, driving and horseback riding throughout the
forest in many areas where developed camping areas are not available.
Finding a site to camp and enjoy these activities in remote areas away from
developed campgrounds has become a popular form of camping; the Forest
Service calls it dispersed camping. Dispersed camping is
permitted in most areas of the Dillon Ranger District. Unlike
developed campgrounds which are designed and maintained to protect the
vegetation, soils and natural setting; camping in undeveloped areas requires
help from the camper to leave the site in the same condition in which it was
found. Help preserve the pristine condition of these remote areas by
following these guidelines:
DISPERSED CAMPING AREAS IN THE DRD (click here for details)
DISPERSED CAMPING RULES AND REGULATIONS
Dispersed camping is allowed at various areas on the National Forest and is subject to the following restrictions. Camping more than 28 days within a continuous 60 day period, when not otherwise restricted, and occupying any campsite for more than 14 days during this 60 day period within 3 miles of the previous campsite where not otherwise restricted. 36 CFR 261.58(a) and UFC-01-06.
Dispersed camping within the Wilderness Areas are subject to the following additional restrictions:
1. Entering or being in the area with more than 15 people per group with a maximum combination of 25 people and pack or saddle animals in any one group. 36 CFR 261.58(f)
2. Camping within one hundred (100) feet of any lake, stream, Forest Development Trail, or any "No Camping" or "Wilderness Restoration Site" signs. 36 CFR 261.58(e).6.
3. Building, maintaining, attending, or using a campfire within one hundred (100) feet of any lake, stream, or Forest Development Trail or within ¼ mile of treeline or above treeline. 36 CFR 261.52(a).
4. Storing equipment, personal property, or supplies for longer than 72 hours. 36 CFR 261.57(f).
5. Hitching, tethering or hobbling any pack or saddle animal within one hundred (100) feet of any lake, stream, and Forest Development Trail. 36 CFR 261.58(aa).
6. Possessing a dog, except working stock dogs or dogs used for legal hunting purposes, unless under physical retraint of a leash not to exceed six (6) feet in length. 36 CFR 261.58(s).
7. Possessing, storing, or transporting any plant material, such as hay or straw. NOTE: Exceptions are allowed for livestock feed and bedding that has been certified weed free. 36 CFR 261.58(t).
8. Possessing or using a wagon, cart, or other vehicle, including wheelbarrows and game carts. 36 CFR 261.57(h).
9. Shortcutting a switchback in a trail. 36 CFR 261.55(e).
Vehicles MUST remain on the road shoulder or in widened pull-outs, where they won’t interfere with traffic or damage vegetation. Please note that some county roads may have parking restrictions. It is your responsibility to determine if you are parked legally. No services are provided, so please be sure to “Pack it in – Pack it out”. NO FIREWOOD CUTTING except dead and downed wood. Please make use of existing campsites and fire rings (if they meet the above criteria) instead of creating a new site.
Be aware of intermingled private lands
within the White River National Forest. Forest maps area available at
the Dillon Ranger District office, street address 680 Blue River Parkway in
Silverthorne. If you have any questions on where you can camp, please
ask for information at the Dillon Ranger District office, phone
For short trips take a supply of drinking water from home or another
domestic water source. For longer trips, boiling water for a minimum
of 5 minutes is the most effective treatment for giardia cysts and
other waterborne disease organisms. A longer boiling time may be
required at higher elevations.
Using a camp stove has less impact on the environment and provides fast,
clean cooking heat. If you must use a campfire, check at the
Dillon Ranger District to make sure there are no restrictions on campfires
in the District.
When finished with the campfire ring, pack out
unburned trash - leave the site clean for the next campers. If no fire
ring exists, select an area away from trees and shrubs and then clear away
any pine needles, twigs or ground cover to bare mineral soil. Use the
"Pit Method" for campfires: remove a small chunk of sod down to the
cool soil to form a shallow pit, save the sod for later use, build the fire
in the pit without making a rock ring. When done with the campfire,
extinguish fire with water and stir ashes until they are cold to the touch.
"Scatter" or haul away cold ashes. Replace the sod in the pit.
Build a fire only as large as is needed. Never leave a
campfire unattended. When you are done with the fire or leaving the
campsite make sure the fire is DEAD out!
A dog's natural instinct is to chase other animals, sometimes including
strange people. If dogs are brought along on a camping trip they
should be kept under control at all times to avoid frightening wildlife and
other campers. If your pet is in a Wilderness area, they MUST
be on a leash not longer than six (6) feet at all times!
Before taking your
dog into the backcountry, please check out some important information by
clicking on Spike.
Select a suitable screened spot at least 200 feet away from open water,
your camp and trails. Dig a small hole 6 to 8 inches deep. After
use, fill the hole with the loose dirt and tramp in the sod with your foot.
Nature will dispose of the waste in a short time through decomposition.
Toilet paper should be burned or packed out.
Pack out all trash. Cans, bottles, aluminum foil and anything that
will not burn must be carried out. Paper and other burnable items can
be burned in a small fire. Please do NOT bury
garbage or trash.
Use a bucket or wash pan for washing dishes, clothes and bodies. Be
sure to wash well away from lake and stream banks. Use biodegradable
soaps. Dig a small hole to pour the soapy water into after you finish
washing - this prevents bits of food and soap from polluting the area around
your camp. Remember: soap pollutes the water and
injures fish and other aquatic animals - please do not wash in lakes and
Bury fish guts in latrine holes. Do not leave along lake and stream
CLICK HERE FOR INFORMATION ON LEAVE NO TRACE
ENJOY YOUR WILDERNESS CAMPING EXPERIENCE!!