BACKCOUNTRY HUNTERS & ANGLERS
2023 COLORADO RENDEZVOUS
SOAP CREEK CORRALS, GUNNISON COLORADO
A CALL TO THE WILD:
The Gunnison Region BHA folks are pleased to bring the ‘23 Colorado Rendezvous to the West Elk Mountains! Come celebrate your Public Lands accomplishments from past years, dream-up projects for the future, and revel in the present; in some of the most spectacular, humbling, awesome, wild Public Lands-scape this side of anywhere! Come join us June 9-11 on the south end of the rugged West Elk Wilderness for a weekend of backcountry respite & camaraderie.
THE RENDEZVOUS SITE:
The Soap Creek Corrals dispersed camping area is a literal stone’s throw from Soap Creek. Located in the Gunnison National Forest, campsites are shaded by the towering cottonwood and spruce trees that surround sunny open meadows. Porta-pots will be available, and a vault toilet is located at the corrals.
Adjacent to the dispersed camping area is Soap Creek Campground, which has 21, first-come first-served sites. Sites include a picnic table and fire-ring for $14/night. The campground has a hand-pump water well, vault toilet and firewood for sale. This is bear country, so bear-proof protocols for food and trash must be followed.
From east of the divide, take Highway 50 approximately 27 miles west from Gunnison to Highway 92. Turn north and follow 92 about a mile and a half, across the dam, to Gunnison County Road 721. Take CR 721 approximately 7.5 miles to the Soap Creek Corrals.
From west of the divide, take Hwy 50 east from Montrose about 35 miles to the turn off to Hwy 92. County Road 721 is a windy dirt road, however it is smooth and mostly wide all the way to the Rendezvous site - perfectly suitable for trailers.
ON YOUR TO DO LIST:
The scenery in the Soap Creek drainage is spectacular; cottonwood riparian bottoms, conifer and oak-brush covered slopes, and dynamic volcanic cliffs and towers overlook the rendezvous site, making for excellent wildlife watching; bear, elk, deer, and an abundance of bird species call this area home. Fishing on Soap Creek can be excellent, though water may be high in June, & Blue Mesa Reservoir, famous for its Kokanee and Laker fishing, is just downstream.
Hiking and horseback trails depart the corrals and tread deep into the West Elk Wilderness, and Forest Road 721 continues up Soap Creek for several more miles of excellent scenery and fishing access, though 4WD is recommended. Under-control dogs are permitted - and there ARE horse corrals there, available for public use. Soap Creek Road is hilly but bike-able if that’s your thing. We’ll also be hosting some fun, “backcountry” games!
Thursday: Head to Rendezvous and get there a day early!
Friday: Do yer’ thing - hike, ride, fish, or just chill in camp, soaking up the scenery.
Saturday: Start your day doing what you missed yesterday. Come early afternoon, gather back up for some backcountry games and fun. On towards afternoon, we’ll “round-table” and have a Q&A with local resource managers. Then, bring on your best “game” for a shared wild feast, and finally, pull up your chair around the campfire for story-telling and socializing.
Sunday: Wet a line one more time, pack-up, say goodbye to old and new friends, and drive safely! Don’t forget one last glance in the rearview mirror to remember why we do what we do.
LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING YOU IN THE WEST ELKS!