Primarily managed for the purpose of recreational mountain biking, The Crown Special Recreation Management Area (SRMA) is now a popular destination for many more outdoor activities and fun opportunities. This Bureau of Land Management property located roughly seven miles southeast of Carbondale in Colorado can be easily accessed by campers coming in motor and recreational vehicles.
Your time here will be well spent enjoying any of the recreational opportunities offered to guests. From the exciting hike up Mount Sopris to mountain biking, and equestrian riding, you’re guaranteed a good time here. The fun does not end at this BLM park as White River National Forest is a hub for even more things to do. Hunting, OHV riding, picnicking, scenic driving, and water activities abound here for visitors that wish to take their adventure one step further.
This BLM SRMA is particularly popular for the spectacular views of Mount Sopris and the Roaring Fork Valley that every visitor here gets.
Depending on the form of camping you’re prepared for here, you’ll get to choose where to go. Primitive, tent, and vehicle camping opportunities are provided in White River National Forest.
The Crown Special Recreation Management Area lies about seven miles southeast of Carbondale, Colorado. Accessing the BLM park from Carbondale is quite straightforward. From the town, follow Colorado Highway 133 south to the intersection of Prince Creek Road (Co Road 111), then take a left and drive about four miles to the BLM recreation area. Prince Creek Road is semi-developed and maintained when open, so you are free to come in whatever vehicle you wish for the vacation. This road is however closed in winter.
Plenty of parking options are available for you to choose from when you’re making your way to The Crown SRMA. These parking areas are available as pull-offs from the highway and access route. For mechanized activities, you are required to go the upper parking lot two miles from the lower access parking lot. Parking in areas not designated for such is prohibited.
Carbondale / Crystal River KOA lies six miles south of Carbondale town, along Colorado Highway 133. This campground lies within a beautiful setting that keeps vacationers wanting to extend their stay. What’s more, there are plenty of activities and nearby attractions here that keep guests engaged all throughout the duration of their stay.
Camping opportunities here range from cabins to tent sites, and RV sites. There are 13 cabins, 15 tent sites, and 24 RV campsites. Full and partial hookup options are provided within campsites here. Other amenities that you’ll be able to use while camping here include a pool (available from June to September), Wi-Fi, bathrooms & showers, picnic tables, and fire grills.
Things to do range from fishing, to mountain biking, rafting, and hiking the Crystal Valley Trail.
The maximum vehicle length that can be accommodated in the campground is 110 feet. Reservations are accepted for the campsites, and pets are welcome.
Redstone Campground is a Forest Service Campground in White River National Forest set within scattered aspen groves that lie on a ridge above the Crystal River. From this campground, you will get to see red rock outcroppings and cliffs, while enjoying your privacy within the well-spaced campsites. You can make reservations for your campsite of interest ahead of your visit.
Thirty-seven standard campsites are available in this campground, all of which are able to accommodate tents, RVs, and trailers. Amenities that you’ll be able to use here include picnic tables, campfire rings, potable water, a picnic shelter, and flush toilets. Seventeen campsites here have electric hookups for RVs and motorhomes, while 19 campsites have water hookups. Firewood is available on site.
There’s nothing stopping you from fishing, hiking, horseback riding, and viewing scenery in this campground.
The maximum RV/vehicle length in this campground is 40 feet.
The Crown SRMA is primarily managed for mountain biking activities. As a result, there are dedicated trails for the sport in the area, particularly around the Prince Creek drainage area. As you ride your bikes up the landscapes in this park, you’ll enjoy spectacular views of the Roaring Fork Valley and Mount Sopris.
The mountain bike trail that runs parallel to Prince Creek Road is open year-round, even when the BLM park is closed, meaning you can enjoy riding all year.
While you’re enjoying your vacation at this BLM property, you definitely want to explore Mount Sopris. This mountain rises from the floor of the Roaring Fork Valley offering unbeatable views of places miles away. Your hike to the peak could be on Thomas Lakes Trail or Dinkle Road.
As you make your way to the peak, expect to see beautiful meadows teeming with wildflowers, clear high-alpine lakes, and open vistas. See if you can spot Indian paintbrush, wild iris, Rocky Mountain columbine, and golden banner, as well as marmot and pika.
Plenty of hiking opportunities are available at White River National Forest, so you get to choose which adventure best suits your interests or skill level. Simple and short interpretive day hikes are available, and so are longer, more strenuous treks. There are some areas in the Forest where you do not need to put your pets on a leash while you’re hiking. A good example is the Flat Tops Wilderness Area in the Forest.
Equestrian trails are also available here, so if that’s what interests you, feel free to come along with your horse.
Because hunting is allowed within White River National Forest, lovers of game frequently visit the park to pursue big game hunting, game bird/waterfowl hunting, and small game hunting opportunities. This activity is managed and regulated by the state through the Colorado Division of Wildlife. You’ll require hunting licenses to go after game here.
The Forest is a significant habitat for game such as deer, elk, mountain goat, mountain sheep, bear, and many other species of wildlife.
OHV riders can enjoy road riding, trail riding and camping opportunities at White River National Forest because this park is supportive of the recreational activity. If you have an all-terrain vehicle, feel free to ride within the designated sections of the park open to ATV recreation.
It is important to note that off-road/travel is prohibited. In addition, your OHV must have current state registration before you ride it in the park. You should also take note of seasonal closures of OHV routes before you head out.
The Flat Tops Trail Scenic and Historic Byway is a fantastic auto touring route open to guests that want to get breathtaking views of the beautiful landscapes, rivers, and streams in the region. This byway connects Meeker and Yampa, cutting right through the White River Plateau Timberland Reserve.
It’s helpful to note that the roads can be muddy when wet, so your choice of vehicle should be such that you won’t have issues navigating the byway after it rains. In winter, the byway is closed on the west side at about mile point 31, and at Dunkley Pass on the east side.