Erickson Springs is located in the Gunnison National Forest west of Crested Butte. The equestrian camp is located furthest from the main road. You'll pass the ATV parking area, the campground (no horses/pack animals allowed) and then enter the horse camp. We pulled in with a few hours to spare before dark and set up camp in the ATV parking area. There was plenty of room and it was not over crowded as most of the hunters park and carry all their gear up the mountain to another camp. The ATV parking area is primitive camping but there was a stream running through that we could have used to water the horses. We set up camp, two LQ Horse Trailers and a tent (those guys were brave). We had four horses in a portable electric fence behind our trailer and our friend had his horse tied out on a stake. Blaze orange is recommended during hunting season, we were there during the second Elk Season.
The water was turned off in the campgrounds when we were there but there are pit toilets that are open year round. We carried in people and horse water, also Certified Weed Free hay is required when camping in Colorado's State/National Parks.
Check below for GPS Coordinates, Todd got a new gadget!
Update 11/08/02: Once again we found ourselves camping and riding the Gunnison National Forest during hunting season. We again parked in the ATV parking area as it offers the most space for our group (one other horse trailer and the guys in the tent) The horse camp at the end of the road is used mainly by hunters who are parking their rigs and heading into the wilderness for the week. This is also where the trailhead is. There is a nice, fairly level, trail that runs along anthracite creek, you can find it in section 521 of the topo maps listed as a pack trail. For this reason the trail is well maintained with some areas that are at creek level and others that are way above it. We took advantage of the spots we could get the horses into the creek for a drink, keep in mind they will drink twice as much water if they aren't used to being at this altitude (over 6000 feet). We were fortunate that Colorado had lifted the burn ban, it helped chase the chills away in the morning and we were also able to do almost all of our cooking outside our camper. I've finally gotten some pictures that just might show you how amazing this place is. It's not as good as being there though, trust me. This is going to be a yearly stop for sure. Happy trails!!
The terrian is rugged with some water and fire service road crossings. Horse shoes are recommended and we carried easyboots just in case. This is where conditioning the horses is so important. We were camped at 6300 Feet above sea level and the horses were drinking twice what they normally drink to stave off the affects of the higher altitude. Keep in mind this is a true wilderness area, we saw Mule Deer, Elk, Wild Goats and one of the guys watched a Bear, that was about 200 yards away, for an hour or so.
From I 70 Highway West of Denver turn south onto Highway 133 at Glenwood Springs. Follow 133 South through McClure Pass and along the Muddy River to the Paonia Reservior. Turn left (East) toward Crested Butte on CR12. Follow the road until it turns to blacktop again and there is a small bridge. Erickson Recreational Area is the first left after the bridge. You'll find the general area on most maps represented by the hairpin turn in the road to Crested Butte. The recreational area is on the banks of Anthracite Creek.
Erickson Springs N38o 57' 21.5" by W107o 16' 02.8"
See you on the trails!