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Camping at Baby Doe Campground

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Overview of Baby Doe Campground

Baby Doe Campground is located within the Leadville Ranger District of the Pike & San Isabel National Forests, Cimarron & Comanche National Grasslands (PSICC). It is situated near Turquoise Lake, approximately 5 miles west of the historic mining town of Leadville, Colorado.

This campground is named after Elizabeth McCourt Doe, who was nicknamed "Baby Doe" and is part of the local mining history lore. The campground offers a scenic spot for campers to enjoy the natural beauty, experience outdoor recreation, and engage in historical sightseeing.

Campground Features and Amenities


  • Camping sites: Baby Doe Campground provides multiple campsites, some of which have views of Turquoise Lake.
  • Picnic tables: Each campsite typically has a picnic table.
  • Fire rings: Most sites are equipped with fire rings or grills.
  • Drinking water: Potable water is available through hand pumps or spigots scattered throughout the campground.
  • Restrooms: Vault toilets are typically provided and are accessible.
  • Garbage disposal: There are usually trash services, but it's always good to practice "Leave No Trace" principles.


  • Baby Doe Campground usually includes a number of sites that are more accessible to those with disabilities.

Activities and Recreation

  • Fishing: Turquoise Lake is a popular fishing destination, known for its stock of trout.
  • Boating: Boating is allowed on Turquoise Lake, but there are regulations concerning the use of motors.
  • Hiking: Numerous hiking and mountain biking trails can be found around Turquoise Lake and in the surrounding area.
  • Wildlife viewing: The area is rich with wildlife, and visitors might spot marmots, deer, elk, and a variety of birds.
  • Scenic drives: The Top of the Rockies Scenic Byway offers breathtaking views and a chance to explore historical Leadville.
  • Winter sports: In the winter months, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling are common in the area.

Campground Regulations and Reservations

  • Reservations: Campsites can typically be reserved online through the national reservation system, Recreation.gov, or by phone.
  • Campsite capacity: Most campsites are designed to accommodate a certain number of visitors and vehicles—exceeding this limit is usually not allowed.
  • Pets: Pets are often welcome but must be kept on a leash and under control at all times.
  • Quiet hours: Campgrounds usually enforce quiet hours to ensure a peaceful experience for all campers.
  • Fire restrictions: Depending on the time of year and fire danger levels, there may be restrictions on campfires.
  • Stay limit: There is likely to be a maximum number of consecutive days that campers are allowed to stay in order to ensure availability for others.

Access and Local Attractions

Getting There:

  • Baby Doe Campground is accessible by car via well-maintained roads leading out of Leadville. It's advisable to check road conditions before traveling, especially in winter.

Nearby Towns and Services:

  • Leadville: This historical mining town offers food, fuel, and basic supplies. It's also home to museums and other attractions.
  • Buena Vista and Salida: These towns are a bit further but also provide additional services and dining options.

Points of Interest:

  • Healy House Museum & Dexter Cabin
  • The National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum
  • The Tabor Opera House

Emergency Information: Always be aware of the nearest medical facilities and have a way to contact emergency services, especially when in backcountry or remote camping areas.

For the most current information on Baby Doe Campground, including fees, detailed maps, or specific restrictions, it's always best to contact the local ranger district or visit the official Forest Service website.

Location of Baby Doe Campground
Other Campgrounds in Pike and San Isabel National Forests and Cimarron and Comanche National Grasslands PSICC
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