Campground Decommissioned: The End?

Have you ever wondered what happens to developed campgrounds after they’re decommissioned?  I hadn’t. In fact, I wasn’t even aware that campgrounds were being actively decommissioned until I started my internship and was actually able to see one in person.  Turns out, it’s not uncommon for decommissioned developed campgrounds to be turned into dispersed campgrounds.  

So, what is a dispersed campground?  While I don’t have an official definition, this is basically a dispersed camping area that happens to be a decommissioned campground.  This means there are generally no maintained amenities or infrastructure.  There may be overgrown pull outs, abandoned fire rings/grills, tent pads, picnic tables, or unit markers.  

What the heck does that look like? A little like this:


Old Campsite
Old Restroom

This is Pole Creek Dispersed Campground, formerly Pole Creek Campground.  It directly connects into the Tie City/Happy Jack Trail Systems located just off I-80 east of Laramie, WY.  This is a great area for mountain biking, hiking, trail running, and cross country skiing.  You can reach the campground from the trail system following Pole Creek Trail if you want to do some exploring.  There is also a road that gets closer to the campground.  I am not sure if this is open yet (status is OPEN though), so check with the Ranger Station before you head out! More information can be found here: Pole Creek Dispersed Camping

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