Boondocking outside Denver, Colorado



Magnolia Ridge
Nederland, Colorado
GPS: 39.957461, -105.446305
Elevation: 8465'
Dry camping only

Road trip: Night 1.
I have a van that's unfinished inside, an air mattress, someone up for an adventure, and have never done this before. Do we stay close to home and test out Vanlife? Of course not! We started with a 10 hour drive north to Colorado. After having dinner and visiting a friend in Denver, the search started for a free camping site. We wanted to head a little north to get closer to our destination for the rest of the week (Wyoming) so we picked a site that had good reviews and didn't say "you need 4WD to get here". There were a lot with that requirement, it seemed!

An hour drive or so started on highway 72. It was a gorgeous drive. The further up the climb was into the mountains, the more the roads seemed with take sharp turns and crazy winding spots. Once you're on Magnolia, it was a sharp turn onto a dirt road to get onto the Bureau of Land Management spot of land. That means most of the way was paved. Easy for any vehicle to get to! Vincent the Van fit perfectly into the very first spot that looked usable along the fence.

After getting settled in, we walked down to the parking lot where others were parked. There was room for maybe 10 vehicles or so. I saw at least 4 or 5 tents spread out, about 50yards or so from the parking lot (in all directions). It seems ideal for vanners and tent campers. There was a road that was closed past this parking lot and 'welcome' sign. It looked like 4WD would be necessary to get down that road. A bit of traffic during the night since Magnolia is a road with homes on it, but not loud enough to disrupt sleep. Would be a great place to set up for a few nights!


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  • Charles Butcher on

    Wow this sounds glad you started the blog. I would like to hit some of the same spots. Thanks for writing.

  • Claudia on

    Glad to be a part of your adventures. What fun that must have been. :)

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