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West Chicago Creek Campground

Arapaho National Forest

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West Chicago Creek Rd. Idaho Springs, CO 80452 303-567-3000 970-295-6600 Reservations: 877-444-6777 Official Website

GPS: 39.6791, -105.6573

  • Overview
  • Q&A
  • Reviews (2)
  • Amenities

Overview of West Chicago Creek Campground

Number of Sites 16

Reservations yes

Open Seasonally mid-May - Sept.

Elevation 9,612 ft / 2,929 m

Max Stay 14

Tent Camping Yes

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Reviews of West Chicago Creek Campground 2 people have reviewed this location.

Ratings Summary

Overall Rating
Site Quality
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Aurora, CO 25' Bigfoot 25B25RT Nissan Titan
5 reviews

Reviewed 8/9/2019

Nightly rate: $20
Days stayed: 0
Site Number: 2
Overall Rating

Stayed at West Chicago Creek campground (National Forest) for three nights. It's only about an hour and a half west from Denver. Great campground host, Mike was very knowledgeable about the area. Flowers blooming in wild profusion. Had a really tasty lunch at Echo Lake Lodge. I can recommend the mushroom swiss cheese burger. Deer wandered through the campsite every day and everyone was startled at about 5 a.m. when a bear tipped over a large dumpster trying to get into it. The next day the state wildlife employees set a trap for it (second time offense) but it hasn't yet returned. There's only fifteen sites and it is a bit popular so recommend reservations. Most all sites are level from side to side and maybe a slight incline or decline from front to back. Some sites are close together but not badly so and #1 and #2 have good separation. Last 1/8 mile getting to campground go slow due to rough road and very steep grade. However, while there I saw a 45' fifth-wheel pull in, but I can't recommend anything larger than 25' for most sites. About 150' west of the campground is a trailhead that is popular and did create considerable traffic and dust from the dirt road. But, it is very quiet once the sun sets.

Site Quality

This review is the opinion of a Campendium member and not of

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Jonesboro, GA 30' Jayco Ford 2013 F-150 Ecoboost
42 reviews
“Pristine, Quiet, Amazing!”

Reviewed 6/21/2016

Nightly rate: $10
Days stayed: 1
Site Number: 7
Overall Rating

I LOVED this campground! We just got back from a 4700 mile trip around the West in which we stayed about about 9 different campgrounds ranging from private, state park, national park, national forest and Cracker Barrel. Out of them all, this was by far my favorite.

If you enjoy peace and quiet with a big dose of fresh air and aspens, this is the place for you. It is dry camping, so it's not for everyone. We didn't have reservations so we just showed up hoping for a site on Memorial Day. We were in luck with only 4 other campers in the CG. Be warned, the drive up is a little bit harrowing, especially if you are pulling a camper. Coming off of the interstate it's about a 4 mile drive when you pull onto a dirt road. From here it's about another 2-3 miles. The last mile or so will test your mettle a bit as there are a couple intense switchbacks that my wife was quite a bit unsure of. The last few hundred yards are a bit bumpy but then you arrive and you forget it all.

As we arrived, the CG hosts rushed out to meet us and welcome us. It's like they hadn't seen a person in a week and couldn't wait to say hey. They were extremely friendly and helpful, probably the most so of any CG host I've ever met. We did a quick drive through and decided on site 7 which I loved. We have a 30' TT and could probably fit into most sites.

The site itself was pretty level, only needed one set of blocks under the wheels and not much needed front to back. The quirk was that the fire ring and picnic table were on the opposite side of our door but not a huge deal. The table was good quality but a bit low to the ground.

So why was I so taken by this CG? I think it's just the solitude and peacefulness of it. It's so far up the road that you're unlikely to have much if any traffic, even in the busy times. When we arrived, the freshness of the air and the sound of the river below and the view (this site had a good view) put me in an instant chill mode and put a smile on my face.

There's a trail about 100 yards from the CG. We hiked about half a mile of it and it was pretty. Supposedly moose had been spotted recently. While you're here, make sure to go up to the top of Mt. Evans (it was closed the day we were there).

Just of note, there is one water spigot with REALLY good water pressure and a two door vault toilet that was clean and smelled good. You could also purchase wood bundles from the CG host for $5. No cell service at all. Overall, one of the best places we've ever stayed!

Site Quality
Noise would stay here again

This review is the opinion of a Campendium member and not of

1 review not included in the overall rating

noted 11/6/2019

Two years as campground manager and I love my office! Opens the week before Memorial Day and closes the last weekend of the calendar summer. I highly recommend reservations at between Memorial Day and Labor Day as weekends are always booked solid and the popularity has seen increased reservations throughout the week as well. If you don’t have a reservation, don’t plan on a walk-in site being available. There are 4 walk-in/first-come-first-served sites (1, 14, 15 & 16) and the 2020 season will have site 13 back in use, for a total of 15 rentable sites. Sites 2,4,5,7,9,11 & 12 have a path from the site down to the creek about 40-60 meters downhill. Most foot traffic down to the creek follows a ‘closed road’ that provides access to the privately owned cabins in the area. As long as you don’t have AT&T, you can probably get 1-2 bars of 1X signal, but you will have to climb up to ‘cell phone rock’ uphill across from the entrance... or drive into town. 2018 had great water, but 2019 the well was dry and I expect 2020 will also have a dry well. Plan on bringing at least 2 gallons of water per person per day for drinking and cooking. The creek water can be used to put the fires out... drinking water is precious.

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Jonesboro, GA 30' Jayco Ford 2013 F-150 Ecoboost
42 reviews
West Chicago Creek Campground

Date of Travel: May 30-31, 2016 Total Cost Per Night: $10 Address: W Chicago Creek Rd, Idaho Springs, CO 80452 Site: 7 (Dry camping) Elevation: 9600′ Have you ever experienced that sensation where yo...

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  • dry camping
  • fishing
Site Amenities
  • fire ring
  • picnic table
  • restrooms: vault
  • water available


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