Coal Creek Road

White River National Forest

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Coal Creek Road
Redstone, CO 81623
Official Website

GPS: 39.1921, -107.2838

Last Price Paid: $0
Open Seasonally: Yes
Elevation: 7755 ft
Tent Camping: Yes

Accessibility is not guaranteed, always scout ahead before driving down dirt roads.
Learn more: Boondocking 101

1 person has reviewed this location.

Ratings Summary

Site Quality

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John T

21 Coachmen Viking 21RD
66 reviews
Nightly rate: FREE!
Days stayed: 14
Site Number: 1st on left, 39.1921, -107.2838

John T would stay here again

“Idyllic location beside a cascading creek”

Reviewed Jul 08, 2018

Overall Rating

Coal Creek Road (Forest Road 307) is in the White River National Forest, off Hwy 133 in the picturesque little village of Redstone, right by the historic coke ovens. The 18 mile drive south from Hwy 82 at Carbondale, through the Crystal River Valley, is beautiful, and it's even more beautiful to the south from Redstone to McClure Pass. Note that if you're coming from the east, vehicles over 35 ft in length are prohibited on Hwy 82 through Independence Pass, with a $1500 fine. That road has sharp switchbacks, in some places the lanes are only 6 ft wide, and some parts are single lane.

Coal Creek Road is a good, paved, 2-lane road that runs uphill through the narrow canyon alongside the creek. It replaces a narrow gauge railroad that used to serve the coal mine. There are at least half a dozen campsites, starting at 2.3 miles from the highway, and ending at a large turnaround at 3.8 miles. The turnaround is so large that you could probably camp there too without interfering with the horse trailers that use it. The road then goes on to the old mine at Coal Basin, but it was blocked with a locked gate when I was there. Don't stop at the first campsite, the others are much better.

I camped at a large site 2.6 miles in from the highway (coords in site number above), at 7,800 ft elevation. There was a fair downhill slope to the site, but I was able to level. It was an idyllic location, with the sound of the cascading creek about 30 ft down in its canyon beside the site. It was completely quiet except for the occasional vehicle, mostly horse trailers going up to park at the turnaround.

There is no cell signal. The closest signal is just south of Carbondale, 18 miles away. In one of the shopping center parking lots, I got 4G with 2 Mbps down and 4 up.

In Redstone, there is a restaurant, general store, and gift and antique shops. Horse riding is available behind the historic coke ovens. There is free water and dumpsters at Redstone Campground (Forest Service) just north of the village. There is no dump station in the area, but there are free dump stations at some of the rest areas on I-70. I dumped at Edwards rest area to the east; there is also Rifle rest area to the west.

The True Value in Carbondale has the cheapest gas in the area, dedicated RV gas and diesel pumps, and propane refills. There is a City Market with good grocery prices, and two laundromats. Carbondale bans plastic bags, so take your own to the stores.

Site Quality

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  • dry camping
  • Dispersed Camping
  • recreation trail
Site Amenities:
  • fire ring


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