Joy is described as a feeling of great pleasure or happiness, so it’s no wonder that Oh Be Joyful Campground in the heart of the Gunnison National Forest is a popular place for outdoor enthusiasts to lay their head at night between adventures in the region.
Those adventures are seemingly endless and include abundance of hiking and backpacking trails, world-class mountain biking, paddling, fly fishing, horseback riding, skiing, four-wheel roads, wildlife watching, and more. While campers are immersed deep in a valley along the Slate River, the town of Crested Butte is located a convenient 5 miles away with restaurants and stores to resupply.
The campground itself gets its name from a nearby stream that features massive waterfalls and colorful wildflowers in the summer months. There are 15 campsites, and over half are accessed by high-clearance vehicles that can safely cross the Slate River when water levels are low late in the season. The campground can accommodate RVs, although the short, rough road down to the campground may be unsuitable for larger rigs. There are no hookups or potable water sources, but each site contains a fire ring and a picnic table.
The views from the campground are particularly stunning, especially in fall when much of the valley is blanketed with gold aspen leaves. As if the scenery wasn’t enough, there’s one more reason to be joyful: All sites are free of charge and available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
The campground is open year-round, though half of the campground is inaccessible when the Slate River is running high with spring snow melt.