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Climbing and Fly Fishing from Denver?


Original Post
La MoMoface · · Arvada, CO · Joined Apr 2008 · Points: 60

Hubby isn't a climber, so I'm looking for areas where there is decent fly fishing and climbing, and bonus if there is camper trailer friendly camping. So far, Shelf because it's near the Arkansas and 11 Mile Canyon with the So. Platte. Any others that are weekend trip (3-4 hours drive) from Denver?

andrew.reed · · Louisville, KY · Joined Oct 2014 · Points: 35

You can camp, climb, and fish at 11 mile canyon.  Depends on the time of year, I believe the campgrounds do not open until memorial day weekend.  

La MoMoface · · Arvada, CO · Joined Apr 2008 · Points: 60

Yeah, winter CG closures are kind of a bummer - we have this new trailer we picked up in January and are having a hard time finding places to actually camp. I would have thought the KOA's in ski towns would at least have plowed flat spots, alas no. 

andrew.reed · · Louisville, KY · Joined Oct 2014 · Points: 35

Yeah, then Shelf or maybe Oak Creek Canyon outside of Canon City if you can figure out where to park the rig!  Maybe some more adventurous climbing in Brown's Canyon in BV?

the schmuck · · Albuquerque, NM · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 110

Piedra river by Pagosa. Stellar on both counts.  Rifle is great for both also. 

Wes Farrar · · DENVER, COLORADO · Joined Nov 2016 · Points: 35

free camping along the arkansas near bob's rock north of buena vista and along cr. 375

Tim Stich · · Colorado Springs, Colorado · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 1,470
La MoMoFace wrote:

Yeah, winter CG closures are kind of a bummer - we have this new trailer we picked up in January and are having a hard time finding places to actually camp. I would have thought the KOA's in ski towns would at least have plowed flat spots, alas no. 

Just drive past the turnoff to Elevenmile and past Blue Mountain campgrounds (unless you like developed sites). On your left is a fire road a mile or so past that leads to open national forest land you can tent camp, park a camper, etc. for free. Google maps even has some of the roads listed, but a topo of the area would be great, too. No closures.


Also, you can camp right next to Duck Rock, Chicken Rock, and Feral Petunia near Wilkerson Pass. Be aware, plenty of other gun shootin', dirt bike ridin' yokels will be your neighbors. Yeeehaw!

T G · · Boulder, CO · Joined Jun 2015 · Points: 1

The 3-4 hour radius is tough. I can't really speak to trailer camping, but there are some good places to climb & fish:

  • Turkey Rocks and proximity to Deckers area and the South Platte
  • Escalante Canyon and the Gunnison R near Delta
  • Black Canyon and the Gunnison R (spicy climbing, though)
  • Empire and tributaries of Clear Creek (it's all FS land around there- theoretically should be able to camp, but I don't know for sure)
  • Independence Pass area and the Roaring Fork R
  • Fremont Canyon, WY - though a bit outside the 4-hr driving radius

Farther afield in CO, UT, and WY open up more options, but they're probably not weekend trips...

And of course the obvious locations that don't really accommodate the camping requirement:

  • Boulder Canyon
  • Eldo
  • Clear Creek
  • Anywhere near Estes Park and the Big Thompson (Lumpy, the Crags, etc.)
  • Poudre Canyon near Ft. Collins and the Poudre R
slim · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2004 · Points: 1,107

for short day tripping boulder canyon, south saint vrain, clear creek, and the poudre have some pretty fun trout slayin'.  for weekend trips with the camper various areas in the south platte might work (cathedral spires, small domes around deckers, helen's dome, big rock, wigwam dome).  elevenmile has good fishing and pretty fun/diverse climbing.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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