Dearhamer Campground offers low-key, beautiful camping right on the banks of Ruedi Reservoir. This reservoir is a mecca for boaters and fisherman in the Aspen and Basalt area. Before the dam was built in the early 1960s, the Fryingpan River flowed unimpeded through this area and was known as one of the premier fly fishing locations in the world. The section of river from the dam down to the town of Basalt is still considered exceptional and is designated a Gold Medal fishery by the state. The lake and the river upstream also have excellent fishing. There is a complex of four campgrounds clustered around the west side of the lake with a large boat ramp, but for those seeking a quieter spot to camp on this lake, Dearhamer Campground is just the ticket.
Located at the inlet of the reservoir, the Dearhamer Campground is convenient for launching a canoe or kayak in the lake or walking upstream to fish or explore the river, which has strong flows even into fall. The lake level does typically drop in late summer or fall, but it is still beautiful from the campground. There is just one short road with campsites on either side, and many have lake or stream access and views. A typical bare-bones forest service campground, Dearhamer Campground has vault toilets and drinking water. Some of the sites are large enough for a 35-foot RV, but most are better suited to tents or small trailers.
Beyond the campground there is the tiny town of Meredith (basically just a post office and a fishing store) and a larger campground, Chapman, further up the Fryingpan River. The area around Dearhamer Campground is beautiful, and there is wonderful fishing and solitude along the shores of the enchanting river.