Elk Wallow Campground Camping Review

Rating: 7.0/10. From 9 votes.
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Elk Wallow Campground Camping Review

Elk Wallow Campground Overview

Elk Wallow Campground is a nice small campground tucked away up this dirt road off the main Frying Pan River Road. There are only about half a dozen campsites here so it fills fast. However, it is tucked away and campsites are first come, first served, so this is a nice campground gem.

The campground is well wooded with pine and aspen. The area is covered with wildflowers. For wildlife viewing and convenience this is a great campground to enjoy.

This is a good spot for a quiet camping trip or as a backup place if one of the campgrounds nearby is full.

Elk Wallow Campground Information

Region: Southwest Colorado
  1. From Basalt take the Frying Pan Rd south east for 19.4 miles.
  2. Turn left on County Rd 4 and follow it for 6.4 miles.
  3. Turn left onto Co Rd 4B and follow it for 3.2 miles.
  4. Elk Wallow Campground is on the south side of the road.

Google Map

Geo Loc 39.34385, -106.61257
Forestry: White River National Forest
Elevation: 8,800 Feet
Camp Sites: 7 Campsites of all Types ~ Tent or Camper Trailer
Cost: $13 a Night – No Reservations
Season: Peak Season is late early May through early September.
Activities & Amenities: Bird Watching, Fire Pits, Stream Fishing, Hiking, Hunting, Photography, Picnicking, Self-Pay Station Tables, Wildlife Watching Opportunity, Vault Toilets

Elk Wallow Campground Campsites

The campsites at the Elk Wallow Campground are well-spaced. Each campsite has a good amount of room for both vehicles and tents. The trees help to give the area a little more privacy.

The elevation at Elk Wallow Campground is just under 9000 feet. This is definitely something campers should keep in mind when camping here. It can be cold at night, even in the summer. With the high walls of the Frying Pan River valley, weather can sneak up on you quickly. Make sure to always keep warmer clothes and at least a poncho handy.

The campground itself is surrounded by a split pole fence to keep campers in. There is not a lot of area to explore as this campground is surrounded by a lot of private property. Make sure you are aware of where you are going and be sure it is OK if you choose to explore the immediate area.

The campsites are great for tent camping or trailer camping. Most of the parking spaces are relatively flat. However, there is no electricity or water in these sites so it is not an ideal place for RV camping. If you’re thinking about bringing your RV, it should probably not be longer than 30 feet.

Campsite Amenities at Elk Wallow Campground

The picnic tables are the wood and concrete kind. They are stable and cannot be moved. However, they may get dirty or have splinters so it is a good idea to have tablecloths and bench covers if possible.

The fire pits here are a mix of different types. It makes you wonder if they used the leftovers from the surrounding campgrounds.  So take note of what you have at your campsite and take the proper precautions. And remember, always put your fires dead out.

Remember to use local wood to help stop the spread of bark beetles. Never burn green wood or chop down living trees! Wood bundles can be picked up at Basalt just down the valley if deadfall cannot be scavenged.
If you have stayed at the Elk Wallow Campground, please leave a comment below. Remember to mention the exact campsite you were in. This will really help other campers that are thinking about going to Elk Wallow Campground.

Amenities at Elk Wallow Campground

This is a more rugged campground than others and this should be kept in mind when choosing your camping location. The campsites are designated but they are not groomed and boxed in.

There is no water so make sure to bring in your own. Water spigots can be found at Chapman Reservoir or Ruedi Reservoir nearby. Bottled water can be purchased in Basalt.

There is no electricity at Elk Wallow Campground. Cell service cannot be expected here either. You may be able to get a bad signal but it is not something to count on when camping here.

There are no dumping stations for RVs either. This is really not an ideal place for RV camping.

There is no trash service here so make sure to take out everything. This is also deep inside of bear country so make sure to follow good food habits at all times!

  • Never leave food out.
  • Never leave coolers where they can be seen at a distance.
  • Never leave trash food, scraps, shells, or anything else on the ground.

This is an excellent place to watch wildlife. There is a huge diversity here and careful and patient campers can expect to be rewarded. Make sure to have your cameras ready at all times so you can catch those moments when you spot wildlife. The meadow also makes a fine place to watch for birds. The lush wildflowers draw all kinds of birds from all over the region. Binoculars or a spotting scope are a great thing to have when camping at Elk Wallow Campground.

Things to do around Elk Wallow Campground

Wildlife viewing is a fantastic thing to do outside of the Elk Wallow Campground when camping here as well. There is a huge area that is open and perfect for seeing what Mother Nature has to offer.

Chapman Reservoir is a few miles further down the main canyon if you are looking for shore fishing.

Ruedi Reservoir is a few miles north on the main canyon. It is a great place for large boats to fish, sail, kayak and more.

There are a lot of jeep and 4×4 trails in the area to explore if that is your passion. Be sure to check out the local conditions, weather, and reports. A decent road can turn into a treacherous one easily.

The city of Basalt is just about 30 minutes away from The Elk Wallow Campground. This is very convenient if you find you need more supplies or the weather turns foul.

Final Thoughts on Elk Wallow Campground

Elk Wallow Campground near Basalt is a nice and quiet place to go camping. The scenery here is good. If you are lucky you might get lots of wildlife visiting the meadow nearby.

The altitude can make it a chilly place to go camping. Tents and trailer campers work well here but it is not well suited for an RV.

The proximity to Basalt makes it a nice option for those that like to have civilization close in case of emergencies. This is a good out of the way camping area to get some peace and quiet. Remember to be animal aware and prepared for the weather and you should have a great time camping at Elk Wallow Campground.

Rating: 7.0/10. From 9 votes.
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