An area steeped in frontier history, Gypsum is a municipality in Eagle County, Colorado. The Gypsum Campground is managed by the US Bureau of Land Management, and it is a developed public site which borders Eagle River between Edwards and Dotsero. The surrounding landscape is dominated by greenery as well as steep slopes and cliffs which tower up to 800 feet above the river.
This primitive campsite includes a boat launch and access to the river, making it ideally located for those who enjoy water sports like rafting. Local wildlife is abundant including foxes, deer, heron, bald eagles and so many other species native to the region. For those who love to fish, the river provides a chance to land the catch of the day, with several prime fishing spots nearby. From backcountry camping underneath the starry skies to the chance to marvel at the impressive scenery surrounding the river, this is a camp location that provides an ideal opportunity to reconnect with nature.
If you are planning to hit the road for a Gypsum adventure, our park guide of the BLM-managed campsite includes everything you need to know before your trip.
The campground is located around one and a half miles from Gypsum town center, approximately 30 minutes from Beaver Creek and 45 minutes from Vail. Interstate 1-70 runs along the north of the town, and you should take exit 14 and turn south. Turn right on to Frontage Road and then travel 1.5 miles past the roundabout before taking a left to the Gypsum Recreation Area.
Driving conditions are usually good, but the roads can get icy in the winter and may be subject to closure. Check out the weather forecast and local travel news before you set out on your journey.
There will be space to park your vehicle at the campsite, and there are parking lots nearby which provide access to the various attractions in the area.
The campsite is situated 1.6 miles from the center of town which does have community transportation available, including a transit bus service that will take you around Eagle County. The nearest airport is the Eagle County Regional Airport, located in Gypsum just off Highway 70. There are flights here from 14 domestic and international cities in the winter and flights to Dallas and Denver in the summer. If you are planning on traveling to Gypsum by plane, you may wish to hire a vehicle to properly explore the area.
Surrounded by the White River National Forest, the Sylvan Lake State Park is a beautifully peaceful woodland park situated in the heart of the Rockies. This is a family-friendly campground, with a wide choice of onsite activities, including fishing, skiing, bird watching, hiking, cycling and so much more.
There are forty-six private campsites, with sites accommodating tents, trailers, and RVs. Whilst there no hookups available, there are flush toilets and coin-operated showers that are open in the summer months only.
Maintained by the Bureau of Land Management, the Gypsum Campground is a primitive site with minimal facilities, but there are permanent vault toilets available. Generators are allowed at the campsite, but if they are noisy, you may need to turn them off during quiet hours. This is a pet-friendly campground, and pets should be leashed and under control at all times.
Availability is on a first come first served basis and the BLM-site is closed in the offseason, which is November 15 - May 15. Each site includes parking, a panic tablet, and a fire ring with a grill. There are only eight campsites available, and not all of these can accommodate an RV or motorhome.
Another BLM managed campground, the Eagle River Wolcott site is another primitive option with both RV and tent campsites available. This campsite is accessible from Hwy 70 and it is around 17 miles from the Gypsum location.
Accessible year-round, this is a remote and secluded camp location, providing the perfect opportunity to connect with nature amongst the spruce-fir and aspen forests. Fishing is popular here, with excellent access to the river. There are restrooms on-site, as well as electric hook-ups and picnic tables, and pets are allowed but should be kept on a leash at all times.
Float down the cool waters of the Eagle River with rafting being one of the most popular recreational activities at the Gypsum Campground. The River spans 61 miles and the floating season runs from late May to July.
If you prefer a more white-knuckle raft experience, the upper section of the Eagle River is fast, with little time to catch your breath between the rapids. The lower section is much calmer, and you will be able to take in the scenery as you meander along the bends of the river.
With the chance to stroll through the breath-taking Colorado wilderness as you reconnect with nature, there is a choice of trails in the area to suit all ages and abilities. If you wish to travel a bit further afield, the Hanging Lake Trail in Glenwood Springs is particularly impressive, with breath-taking scenery and calm waterfalls.
The Colorado Rockies provide a picture-perfect backdrop and you will not want to forget your camera. Plus, you may just spot some of the local wildlife!
With plenty of opportunities to see wild animals in their natural habitat, you will definitely want to take your binoculars with you on this trip. Bird watchers will be thrilled with the opportunity to spot ducks, geese, blue heron, bald eagles and so much more.
The nearby Gypsum Ponds State Wildlife Centre is particularly popular, with a range of migrant and breeding bird species as well as muskrats who enjoy floating in the ponds. There are also reports of mountain lions in the area and as always, it is imperative to stay away from wild animals and do not try to approach or feed them.
You will not want to leave your fishing gear at home for this trip! With excellent access to the river, the Gypsum Campground is a prime camping spot for those who love to fish. The fishing is great year-round at this BLM site but spring and early summer are particularly popular due to the fruitful Caddis hatches.
Wild brown and rainbow trout are a popular catch for dry fly fishers, and the float season runs from April- July. As always, it is important to check out the state information regarding regulations and permits.
If you are planning on visiting Gypsum off-season and enjoy winter sports, you will certainly want to visit one of the nearby world-class ski attractions, including Vail, Beaver Creek, and Aspen. Ideal for cross country skiing and off-piste fun, such locations ensure the perfect winter getaway.
The Minturn Mile is one of the world’s most legendary off-piste ski runs, and it is accessed from the cable car on Vail Mountain. This slope has become a bit of a tradition but it is not for the faint-hearted.
Another popular sport in the winter months has to be snowboarding, with a wide variety of locations to choose from, each of which promises exceptional scenery and some of the best powder in North America.
There are slopes to suit all abilities and levels and snowboarders from all over the world travel to play here. If you are looking to brush up on your board skills, there are also several academies and schools in the area which provide both skiing and snowboarding lessons.