Campfire Ranch: Camping Made Easy

Last time I tried to camp in Crested Butte we couldn’t get a reservation so instead we drove around for more than four hours trying to find a dispersed spot. In total, we spent 9 hours driving around only to end up sleeping in our car. 

This time, we booked what I thought was the impossible: a last minute camping spot near Crested Butte just as wildflower season was getting started. Campfire Ranch is an amazing and unique experience for a few reasons, the first being that you can only book a spot 14 days out so there is always a chance to get a last minute campsite.

We started planning our trip Tuesday for the weekend and drove down knowing we had a guaranteed place to sleep.

The other big thing that made this experience so convenient- we rented most of our gear and it was set up and waiting for us when we arrived. This made it the easiest camping trip to pack for I’ve ever experienced.

We rented tents, sleeping bags, sleeping pads (I was skeptical when they said I had to try the sleeping pad, but they were right – the Hest sleeping pad might as well have been an actual bed) all of which was set up and waiting for us when we arrived. We also had camp chairs, a Yeti cooler filled with potable water (their water is SO tasty) and an entire camp kitchen.

Campfire Ranch has a few locations and we stayed at their site on the Taylor, which is about 20 minutes from Crested Butte right on the Taylor River as you’re driving from Denver. All the sites are walk-in, just a short jaunt from the parking lot. The campsite is right off the road so we were initially worried about noise from the highway, but truly all we heard was the river so it was lovely.

A few other favorite amenities:

  • Incredibly clean bathrooms – I’ve never experience a vault toilet that doesn’t smell but somehow they’ve worked some sort of magic
  • Unlimited firewood – I’ve done last minute late night runs for firewood before and this was so much easier and convenient
  • Welcome beer – Beer and seltzer were waiting to welcome us, they even brought over a few beers for the few in our group who were late arrivals
  • Sunday Pancake Breakfast – Super fun surprise to find out every Sunday they make breakfast

Amenities aside, what makes Campfire Ranch so special are the people. Truly some of the kindest humans I’ve had a chance to interact with. From a super easy check-in process, to recommendations on places to go and what to do, we felt incredibly welcomed the entire time.

One of the members of our group had lost their camping gear in a house fire recently and the Campfire Ranch crew surprised them with a gifted tent – an incredibly generous and unexpected gesture. We also left behind some shoes by mistake so they texted us and offered to ship it back if we weren’t able to swing back by.

I feel like Campfire Ranch is perfect for a few different groups:

  • People who don’t have all the gear – which is so expensive to buy absolutely everything you need
  • Families traveling from out of state – flying with all your gear would be a huge hassel
  • New campers – this is a great way to try it out and see if you like it before investing 
  • Last minute planners who want a guaranteed site

I can’t recommend the experience enough and can’t wait to get back. I especially want to try their backcountry hut near Silverton and their microcabin – tiny, tiny cabin with bed and four walls! 

And despite Brewster’s RBF… I promise he loved his time at Campfire Ranch too!

Kylie Bearse

Kylie Bearse

When I’m not exploring the trails, I’m a Meteorologist! You can see me every weekday morning on Fox31 KDVR from 4:30-10am! Have a weather question? Don’t hesitate to ask!

Kylie Bearse

Kylie Bearse

When I’m not exploring the trails, I’m a Meteorologist! You can see me every weekday morning on Fox31 KDVR from 4:30-10am! Have a weather question? Don’t hesitate to ask!

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Kylie Bearse

Kylie Bearse

When I’m not exploring the trails, I’m a Meteorologist! You can see me every weekday morning on Fox31 KDVR from 4:30-10am! Have a weather question? Don’t hesitate to ask!

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