McClure Campground, CO

Charlene at McClure
Charlene, my RV, at McClure campground

CAMPGROUND NAME: McClure Campground
LOCATION: Along CO 133 roughly halfway between Paonia and Carbondale, roughly 30 miles to either.
KIND: Forest Service
SEASONAL: Yes. Late May to the end of October. Check with the Forest Service for exact dates before you go
FEES: FREE
RESERVATIONS: No
CAMPGROUND WEB SITE
CAMPGROUND BROCHURE
HOSTED: No
PHONE: (970) 874-6600
EMAIL: r2_gmug_visitor_information@fs.fed.us
GPS: These coordinates are to the campsite where I parked inside the campground N39.12359, W107.31295
GOOGLE MAPS

ACCESS: Highway 133 to the campground is a paved secondary highway. The campground road is paved.
SITES: The Forest Service site and campground brochure say there are 8 sites, but I think I counted 10
PULL THRU: The literature says 2
BACK-IN: At least 6
MAXIMUM RIG SIZE: The campground brochure (link above) says “there are 8 sites with an average spur length of 35′ and there are two pull-through sites that will accommodate larger RVs”.
TENTS: Yes
LEVELNESS: You can expect to do some leveling
SURFACING: Dirt and gravel parking aprons but the campground road itself is paved.
SHADE: This is a very woodsy campground with lots of shade
SPACING: SSome sites offer more privacy than others.
TENT PADS: I don’t recall seeing pads but there were certainly tent campers present including Chris, “The Real King of the Road” whom I interviewed and blogged about.
FIRE GRILLS: Yes
PICNIC TABLES: Yes
PETS: On leash, I’m assuming because that’s pretty universal

PeeWee at McClure Pass
Look everyone! It’s PeeWee! He’s at McClure Pass in Colorado. Hi PeeWee!

HOOKUPS: None
DUMP STATION: No

CELLULAR: I didn’t make any notes about cell reception but I wouldn’t count on it here.

TV
Over-the-air: I didn’t check
Cable: No
WiFi: No

RESTROOMS: Vault toilets
SOAP: No
SHOWERS: No
TRASH: No
WATER: No
LAUNDRY: No
RECYCLING: No

BUGS: Since I was there in July a couple months has passed. As I write this report in late September I don’t remember bugs as having been a problem.

Sign at the entry to McClure
This sign at the entry explains a little bit about the campground

NEAREST FACILITIES:
The Forest Service web site for the Bogan Flats campground which is just a few miles from McClure campground says “Nearest Services : Coffee Bar, Store – Marble (5 miles east); Grocery Store – Redstone (8 miles north) Gas Station – Carbondale (25 miles north); Dump Station – Glenwood Springs (35 miles northwest); Drug Store – Carbondale; Physicians – Carbondale; Hospital – Glenwood Springs; Church – Marble/Redstone”

McClure Campground is a FREE Forest Service Campground roughly 30 miles north of Paoinia, and roughly the same distance south of Carbondale, Colorado, along route 133. It’s just to the south of McClure Pass, and as you might expect, at some elevation–somewhere in the 8,000′ area if I’m not mistaken. There is a 14 day stay limit. This is a lovely, heavily wooded locatio set amidst a mixture of aspens and conifers. I remember walking around the campground after a rain. It was silent and green, the moist air laden with the the scents of the forest.

One of the campsites at McClure campground
One of the campsites at McClure campground

Another Forest Service campground, Bogan Flats, is located a few miles away along the road to Marble. Sites there are reservable through reacreation.gov. The 2014 rate for Bogan Flats was $22. There are no hookups there either. Personally, I preferred the woodsy environment of McClure as well as the $22 price advantage.

At McClure there are 10 campsites by my count (stated as 8 in the available literature) set among aspens and pine, maybe fir–I still don’t know the difference between the latter two. There is a wooded hillside running along the back side (the far side from 133). You really feel like you are in the woods here and it’s quite lovely in that regard. The traffic noise does, IMHO, detract a little from the woodsy atmosphere of the place. On the other hand I can hear crows, or are they ravens?, and a 4 point buck in velvet walked through a couple times that I noticed. If you like chipmunks this part of Colorado seems to support a plethora of them.

Slow Groovin BBQ bar and Grill in Marble
Slow Groovin BBQ bar and Grill in Marble

The campground road is paved, but somewhat narrow. The campsites are dirt and gravel. Some of the sites are pull-throughs, but it’s hard to imagine a big rig pulling through a couple of them. Maybe one is workable. My 33′ Class C fit fine in space #2, which is a back-in, with room to spare lengthwise, but it took a few maneuvers to wiggle it in and it involved some small branches rubbing the sides of the rig. It’s like that here–kind of tight. An expertly driven 40 footer might be able to find a spot here, but the place is better suited for smaller rigs, IMHO, say in the 30′ and under range. I’ve never driven another RV so I’m guessing as to larger rigs. The Forest Service web site lists the maximum spur length as 35′.

The campground is adjacent to route 133 and traffic passing by is audible, but it can be several minutes between vehicles, and as you’d expect there is less traffic at night. 133 is a two lane, secondary highway.

View from McClure Pass
View from McClure Pass

Some of the campsites are more level than others but for most of them I think you can expect to do some leveling. I had four plastic blocks under my rear right wheel and was still tilted.

McClure is equipped with vault toilets; there are picnic tables and metal fire rings at each site, but there are no hookups, no trash containers and no water.

Sites here are non-reservable. When I arrived on a Tuesday in late July roughly half the sites were occupied. I believe it was roughly the same the next day although some of the faces were different.

This is a fairly remote area. Don’t expect to find a grocery store or gas station around the corner. Marble is the nearest town and I’m uncertain if they have either, but they do have the Slow Groovin BBQ Bar and Grill. Seriously. That’s what it’s called.

Marble is so named, I presume, for the marble quarry located there and the town is home to a number of sculptors that work in marble. I understand they have an annual sculpting contest which draws sculptors from other locations. I interviewed Greg Tonozzi who lives in Marble and who has been sculpting for some 40 years. According to the Wikipedia page on Marble, CO, “The marble of the quarry is considered to be of exceptional quality and has been used for the Tomb of the Unknowns, as well as for parts of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., and civic buildings in San Francisco. It was also used for the construction of the Equitable Building, a historically important early skyscraper in New York City.”


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