A float trip on the Upper Colorado is an amazing experience – whether you are an angler plying for hungry trout or a rafter out on a summer day with a group of friends, the stretch from State Bridge to Dotsero in central Colorado is an adventure you will never forget. But due to the patchwork of private and public lands, camp options can often be tricky to figure out, and if the river is busy, a challenge to have enough spots for everyone.
This stretch of the Colorado is predominantly within Eagle County, which has been actively acquiring parcels along the river over the years to be designated as county Open Space, securing the natural and wild character of the river for future generations. Most recently, Eagle County has acquired a historic property along the river that will become a welcome respite, as well as another overnight camp option, for adventurers on this stretch.
Spencer’s Cabin, just upstream from Burns, was originally a federal mining claim in 1906. But the mining effort was a bust, and the property sat idle for decades. In 1994, Spencer DePree bought the property as a private hunting and fishing getaway and built a 190 square foot cabin with a loft sleeping area. Used mainly for personal weekend trips, the cabin has no utilities or running water, but is remote and has a lovely front porch.
Toby Sprunk, director of the Eagle County Open Space (ECOS), recently announced the addition of Spencer’s Cabin to the county’s open space portfolio as part of the Colorado River Initiative, a concerted effort from ECOS and their partners to protect the Colorado River corridor through land acquisition and conservation easements.
Targeting the summer of 2015, Spencer’s Cabin is planned be available for rent to boaters and anglers. The cabin itself will remain in its original configuration, although Eagle County may add a vault toilet system and picnic tables to the property, making it more accommodating for visitors. Public access is only available from the river, as there is no public road access and the parcel is surrounded by Bureau of Land Management land, making it an even more unique place for recreational visitors to relax and partake in the quiet solitude along the river.
Eagle County Open Space and American Rivers encourage you to check out Spencer’s Cabin when planning your next trip down this amazing stretch of the Upper Colorado!