Colorado Camping – Tent & RV
Colorado is a camper’s paradise, with a plethora of interesting locations to stay, both in campgrounds and in dispersed campsites. Some websites are free, while others need a fee. Some are designed to accommodate RVs, while others are designed to accommodate solely tents. Free campsites are always available on a first-come, first-serve basis, although paid campgrounds can occasionally be requested in advance.
Tent and RV Camping in Colorado
Because more than a third of Colorado’s land is public, federally owned land, it is simple to discover camping opportunities all around the state of Colorado. Some of the nicest campgrounds are difficult to find, while others are simply missed. State and national parks are excellent places to camp.
Camping in Colorado City Parks
Most local city parks do not provide camping, although there are a few exceptions. They provide guests with the opportunity to spend the night in beautiful spots across the state. Most campsites in municipal and county parks demand a fee since there is typically no free, scattered camping available in these locations.
Camping in Colorado National Grasslands
On the eastern plains, there are two national grasslands: the Pawnee National Grassland in the northeast and the Comanche National Grassland in the southeast. Both campsites have constructed campgrounds as well as dispersed camping opportunities. High temperatures, a lot of wind, and the possibility of thunderstorms are all to be expected in the summer.
Camping in Colorado National Forests
Because they span such a large area, the vast majority of people will end up camping in one of eleven national forests. A diverse range of landscapes and elevations may be found across the Colorado Rockies, where they are found in large numbers. Camping is available for a fee as well as for free in this area.
Camping in Colorado National Monuments
Camping is permitted at five of the national monuments, which are all located in breathtaking surroundings. You may choose from a variety of campgrounds with a variety of amenities, as well as free, rustic campsites. Dogs are not permitted on most trails in national parks, in contrast to the laws in national monuments, which are more pet-friendly.
Camping in Colorado National Parks
Campgrounds are available for use by visitors in each of Colorado’s four national parks, which are located throughout the state. Dogs are permitted in all camping places and paved sidewalks; but, due to the strict laws in place in national parks, they are frequently not permitted on official hiking paths and trails.
Camping in Colorado National Recreation Areas
Both of the national recreation facilities in this region are excellent places to go water skiing and tubing. Colorado’s longest reservoir, Curecanti, is located in the state, and Arapaho has a total of five lakes to pick from. And there are a plethora of paid campsites at each of these locations.
Camping in Colorado State Parks
Of the forty-two state parks, thirty-three (33%) offer camping facilities.
If glamping is more your thing, some companies even rent yurts and cottages. Visitors to Yampa River, located in the northwest corner of the state, can even stay in a teepee. In addition to the park cost, the majority of campsites charge a per-night fee in addition to the park fee.
Camping in Colorado State Wildlife Areas
The use of a state wildlife area (SWA) for camping is authorized if you have a current hunting or fishing license. Camping is often available for no charge. Throughout addition, there are more than 300 SWAs in the state of Colorado. The majority of campsites are rudimentary; however, there is generally at least one vault toilet in close proximity.
Featured Colorado Campgrounds
These are a few of the most notable campsites in and around Colorado. The majority of them charge a fee and provide a variety of facilities. A tent pad and a fire ring will be provided at certain sites, while others will have a table, electricity, water, and complete connections at other locations.
Guide to Camping in Colorado
There is a campground at Moraine Park. Christian Collins provided the photograph. Because more than a third of Colorado’s land is open to the public and surrounded by recreational opportunities, finding nice camping is not difficult. Always remember to leave no trace when camping and to choose pre-existing sites if possible. The major season is often from late April through October, however the exact timing varies depending on region. Many higher-elevation campsites don’t open until Memorial Day weekend or later.
There are certain campgrounds that may be reserved, and others that are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Popular campsites tend to fill up quickly, so make your reservations as soon as you are able.
In addition to this, several parks charge an entry fee.
Camping Near Me in Colorado
Fortunately, there is ample camping space in Colorado for everyone. Depending on your preferences, you may choose to remain near to a lively home base like Aspen, or you may prefer to travel further out to less busy campgrounds. Many communities display local camping options, including both scattered and campsites.
- Allenspark, Lyons, and Longmont
- Aspen, Basalt, and Snowmass Village
- Allenspark, Lyons, and Longmont
- Aspen, Basalt, and Snowmass Village There are three of them: Aurora, Brighton, and Parker. Bailey, Conifer, and Pine are examples of conifers. Buena Vista and Nathrop
- Breckenridge, Copper, Dillon, Frisco, Keystone, and Silverthorne
- Breckenridge, Copper, Dillon, Keystone, and Silverthorne Caon City
- Castle Rock, Larkspur, and Monument
- Caon City
- Castle Rock, Larkspur, and Monument Cedaredge, Collbran, and Mesa are three of the most popular names in the world. Colorado Springs
- Cortez, Dolores, and Mancos
- And the surrounding areas. Craig and Hayden are a couple. Crashed Butte, Cripple Creek, Divide, and Victor are some of the ski resorts in the area. Denver, Deckers, and Sedalia are all nearby. Dinosaur and Rangely
- Durango and Bayfield
- Eagle and Vail
- Fairplay, Hartsel, and Jefferson
- Dinosaur and Rangely
- Durango and Bayfield Among the cities included are Fort Collins and Loveland, Fort Morgan, Georgetown, Empire, and Idaho Springs. Glenwood Springs, Carbondale, and Rifle
- Golden, Black Hawk, and Central City
- And other communities in the Colorado Rockies. Grenville and Grand Lake
- Grand Junction, Fruita, and Palisade
- Greeley and Briggsdale
- Kremmling, Hot Sulphur Springs, and Parshall
- La Junta and Lamar
- Lake City and Lake George
- Leadville and Twin Lakes
- Littleton, Lakewood, and Morrison
- Montrose and Delta
- Naturita, Nucla, and Gateway
- Ouray and Ridgway
Dispersed Camping vs Campgrounds
A campground in Rocky Mountain National Park with a view of the mountains. Photo:pdthornto Whatever your budget, you’ll be able to locate camping that fits your needs. Free campsites are available, with the majority of them being scattered camping in national forests and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land. A ring fire marks the location of these previously utilized campsites (stone circle for fire pit). If primitive campsites with no facilities, such as a toilet, aren’t your style, managed campgrounds may be a better fit for your needs.
Showers and laundry are available for a small fee in only a few places.
The latter comprises simply electricity and water, whilst the former includes sewage as an additional feature.
The majority of these campsites are built to accommodate RVs and travel trailers that are rather large in length.
Walk-in campsites are the most convenient alternative for tent campers in campgrounds, while they are not always available. Maroon Bells is an excellent location for them. They need a short walk from the parking lot, but they are rewarded with greater solitude and space between sites.
Camping on Federal Lands
Pike National Forest offers dispersed camping opportunities. Jake Bellucci provided the photograph. Colorado’s federally administered lands cover more than one-third of the state’s surface area. Consequently, there is a lot of land to choose from while looking for a location to rest your head. From free, isolated campsites to contemporary, amenity-rich campgrounds, there is something for everyone. Federal lands include national forests, national wilderness areas, and other similar places, as well as Bureau of Holdings Management (BLM) land.
- There is scattered camping as well as controlled campsites in the area.
- Forests of the United States (National Forests): (NF) The Rocky Mountain Region is home to eleven national forests, all of which are managed by the United States Forest Service.
- National Grasslands (National Grasslands of the United States): (NG) Two national grasslands, which are also administered by the United States Forest Service, are located on the eastern plains.
- In some areas, camping is permitted.
- You may also call 877-444-6777 or go to recreation.gov to find a campground near you.
Camping Gear Checklist
The Great Sand Dunes are illuminated by star trails. Photo courtesy of Shannon Dizmang Car camping is popular because people are habitually overpackers, which makes it convenient. A few other goods, as well as an enormous cooler filled with your favorite grilled meats, fresh vegetables, and ice-cold beer are simple to pack. You also simply have to travel a few steps to reach your camping spot. Everyone understands that they must have a tent and a sleeping bag in order to sleep peacefully at night.
Remember to bring a hammer to pound those posts into the ground, and keep in mind that the sun is too darn bright out here and that you should carry sunscreen.
Check out our vehicle camping gear checklist for a comprehensive list of the finest stuff to bring camping with you.
- Tent, poles, and stakes, or a recreational vehicle (RV)
- Sleeping bag – a bag that is at least 40 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer for the mountains in the summer
- A tarp or footprint – to be used as a floor beneath the tent
- Sleeping pad — the air-filled ones are very comfortable
- Water and food are essential. Sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat
- Warm clothing, rain gear, and long underwear are recommended. Flashlights and additional batteries are recommended
- Lanterns are also recommended. A knife, a compass, a mobile phone, and a camera are all recommended. Supplies for cooking (camp stove, can opener, cooler, cooking utensils, aluminum foil)
- Firewood, firestarter, and waterproof matches are among the materials you’ll need. First aid kit (affiliate link) including bandages, sterile gauze, antiseptic wipes, burn ointment, and other necessary supplies
- And Personal hygiene products such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, towel, soap, toilet paper, razor, and nail clippers
- And Cleaning items such as dish detergent, a sponge, paper towels, and waste bags are required. Tools: screwdriver, ax, duct tape, water cleaner, whistle, and other miscellaneous items To pay for the campsite (a range of dollars and quarters), firewood, and other expenses in cash,
Latest in Camping
View the camping blog for more information.
Make sure you have your fishing rod with you.
There’s a good chance you’ll come across a good fishing area. In addition, practically every campground is within walking distance of several excellent hiking trails.
Colorado Tent Camping & Campgrounds
Camping, campgrounds, and similar terms Tent sites are available in Colorado. Campsites are suited for overnight camping for a family and often have a fire ring or grill, picnic table, access to local drinking water, modern bathrooms, and hot showers. Campsites are also excellent for group camping. Tent sites can accommodate a tent, pickup truck, van, or vehicle. Leave Your Tent at Home When You Go Glamping in Colorado Glamping in Colorado should surely be on your bucket list if you haven’t done it already.
It may not feel like home, but it is a vast improvement!
Recently, we have seen businesses refurbishVintage Travel Trailersfrom the 1950s and 1960s; buildOversized Canvas Tentswith hardwood floors, windows, sliding glass doors and chandeliers; convert MongolianYurtsandBell Tentsinto year-round lodging with wood floors, gas stoves, plumbing and electricity; and the latest trend is to repurposeConestoga Wagonsused by early American pioneers to transport their families west.
Tent camping locations are listed by towns and areas.
Tent camping at its finest in Colorado.
Best Tent Camping, RV Parks & Cabin Rentals in Colorado
Colorado has a lot to offer campers and hikers, with its woods, deserts, rivers, mountains, and other natural features. A Colorado camping vacation will allow you to experience millions of acres of stunning splendor and innumerable natural treasures that are just waiting to be discovered. The following are some of the highlights of some of the top tent camping and RV park campsites, as well as cabin rental opportunities in Colorado.
RV Park Camping in Colorado
Check out our top selections for the finest RV parks in Colorado; from Denver to Colorado Springs, you’ll be able to find a great place to park your RV and enjoy the outdoors. Explore the park’s 20 miles of hiking and biking trails, as well as the park visitor center and one of the numerous group picnicking areas. Water, power, and sewer hookups are available at over 50 campsites, which are ideal for RV camping. More information may be found here. While camping in the Rocky Mountains, you’ll be near to the conveniences of Estes Park while enjoying the solitude of the mountains.
More information may be found here.
While camping at one of the full hookup RV campgrounds, you may take part in activities such as fishing, boating, and water skiing, among others. Is there no RV? Rent an Airstream trailer or one of the campground’s seven cottages, or bring your own. More information may be found here.
Best Vacation Cabin Rentals in Colorado
Are you looking for the ultimate romantic getaway? Not feeling like sleeping in a tent, or arranging a family gathering and in need of alternative accommodations? We can help. Do you require a hunting or fishing cabin? Take a look at our top recommendations for the greatest Colorado cabin vacation rentals. Reverend’s Ridge Campground has a number of cottages and yurts that may be reserved all year long at a reasonable rate. Hiking, fishing, and even snowshoeing are available throughout the winter months.
Although mostly known as a photographer’s paradise, the aspen and conifer woods are also excellent for hiking and animal observation.
More information may be found here.
Relax and enjoy one of the group picnicking places for a snack after a swim, or go for a leisurely bike ride or trek in the surrounding region.
Best Tent Camping in Colorado
Looking for the greatest tent camping spots in Colorado? Look no further. Check out our selection of the best campsites and camping places in the country. From amazing facilities to nearby attractions, these parks will give you and your family with a memorable camping trip. This park is well worth the short journey from Denver because of the miles of hiking and bike trails. There is something for everyone at this campground, which features unique attractions such as a dog training facility and a model airplane field.
- More information may be found here.
- Hiking and bike routes give classic recreational opportunities, while shooting ranges provide a refreshing twist from normal park activities.
- More information may be found here.
- There is no shortage of room to unwind after a day spent on the water, thanks to the 348 available sites.
Easily one of the most rewarding places for the adventurous Hipcamper, Colorado is a must-visit. Colorful Colorado will not disappoint you no matter how many times you come. It offers an outstanding variety of hiking, camping, and fishing opportunities, all while enjoying some of the most mild weather the United States has to offer. The magnificent Rocky Mountain National Park is a standout among the world’s natural wonders. Easily one of the most rewarding places for the adventurous Hipcamper, Colorado is a must-visit.
- It offers an outstanding variety of hiking, camping, and fishing opportunities, all while enjoying some of the most mild weather the United States has to offer.
- Take a 75-minute trip northwest of Denver and you’ll come across more than 100 peaks that exceed 11,000 feet in elevation.
- Hikers with a lot of ambition will want to try their hand at Uncompahgre Peak, which rises to a remarkable 14,309 feet in elevation.
- Strawberry Park Natural Hot Springs may be found in Steamboat Springs, on the state’s northern border with Colorado.
- Surprising facts In Rocky Mountain National Park, the Trail Ridge Road has the distinction of being the highest-elevation paved route in North America.
- Let’s get this party started!
3. The United States Air Force Academy is located in Colorado Springs. 4. There are 52 separate mountains in the state that are higher than 14,000 feet in elevation. 5. A visit to Pikes Peak by singer Katherine Lee Bates was the inspiration for the iconic song “America the Beautiful.”
Colorado Parks and Wildlife
Camping in Colorado is appealing for a variety of reasons, one of which is the opportunity to lie under a starry canopy and fall asleep to the sounds of nature. The Centennial State’s breathtaking natural beauty, lack of mosquitoes, and variety of outdoor activities make it one of the most popular camping destinations in the United States. More than 4,000 campsites are managed by Colorado’s state parks, which are spread throughout the state. We have everything from wilderness sites for those who choose privacy to full-hookup sites with individual pressurized water, sewage, and electricity hookups for those who prefer convenience.
Select your park
The park you’re searching for can be found in the following list.
Find your park
Explore all of the parks with the help of thepark finder.
Reserve by Phone or Online
Reservations for campsites, cabins, yurts, and guest houses can be made online or by phone at 1-800-244-5613. The reservation line is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week to accommodate your needs. Please keep in mind that certain cabins and guest homes must be rented through the park directly. These exclusions are described in further detail on the respective park sites.
The amenities available differ from park to park. Make use of thePark Finder and choose the “Facilities” option to sort by the facilities that are provided. Among the amenities available are:
- Depending on the park, different amenities are provided. For a list of available amenities, go to the “Facilities” page on the Park Finder and choose “Amenities.” There might be a variety of amenities, like as
More Outdoor Recreation Information
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at [email protected] or [phone number].
Perfect for Staycations!
Our parks provide the ideal backdrop for holidays that are both economical and family-friendly. This gives you the opportunity to choose from a wide range of great campsites, cabins, and yurts, while also giving you the opportunity to explore and learn about Colorado’s rich terrain and attractions. OurPark Finder and the Facilities page can help you locate the facilities you’re looking for, since offers differ every park and may include the following features:
- Cabins, yurts, and teepees
- Picnic tables
- Laundry facilities
- Hot showers
- Rest rooms with flush toilets
- A convenience shop
- And other amenities
Certain parks provide group cam ping spaces, which are perfect for school field trips, family reunions, and other group activities of many kinds. In order to make a reservation for a group facility, contact the park office of your choosing. Customers who book their reservations online or through a call center for numerous locations will be required to submit the name of the principal occupier at each location. Everyone who lives in the principal residence must be at least 18 years old and have a user account in the system.
Customers who need to make bookings for numerous locations, such as Boy Scout organizations, family reunions, schools, and other gatherings, but whose principal occupants are not known in advance, will need to call 1-800-244-5613, which is the number to dial.
Our friendly and skilled reservation specialists can assist you in finding the ideal location for your vacation, whether you want to stay in a cabin, yurt, tent, camper, trailer, or recreational vehicle.
Reservations can be made online or by phoning 1-800-244-5613, which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- Especially during the summer months, it is highly suggested that you make reservations. The reservation process can be completed up to six months in advance. If you are making a reservation fewer than six months in advance, you will have more possibilities on weekdays throughout the summer. Sites that have not been booked will be accessible on a first-come, first-served basis. Almost 300 of our locations are wheelchair accessible
- Our campgrounds are available all year round in many cases. In addition to camping costs, daily park admission fees (about $7-$9/day per car) are charged, or a valid yearly pass (the greatest deal!) must be presented at all times.
Camping in Colorado: 11 Amazing Campsites
The information provided here is only a taste of what 11 campgrounds throughout the state have to offer. Consider staying at a lakeside resort on one of Colorado’s many lakes.
Rocky Mountain National Park Camping
Glacier Basin Campground is located close to Estes Park. Accessibility: There are four accessible locations. One of the most popular national parks in the country, which marked its 100th anniversary in 2015, offers a limited number of camping alternatives. Glacier Basin is a favorite of ours because of its views of the Continental Divide, as well as its proximity to Estes Park’s facilities and the shuttles that operate across the area, which make visiting the park a breeze!
Harding Spur Campground is located inside Stagecoach State Park. Steamboat Springs is a short drive away. A one-stop leisure destination, this park offers great hiking and bike routes, birding chances, ranger-led events, beach volleyball, and water sports options, among other things. A large number of anglers are attracted to the area because of its reputation for producing enormous, hard-fighting rainbow trout and pike. The largest pike ever taken in Colorado was captured here, and it weighed 31 pounds, 11 ounces when it was released.
By camping standards, the Grand Junction KOA’s sites are the height of luxury: think swimming pool, Wi-Fi, on-site bike rentals, and one-room cottages with mini-fridges. Grand Junction KOA is located near: Grand Junction Take an ATV ride across the breathtaking views between the high desert of Colorado National Monument and the shady lakes of Grand Mesa, if you can pull yourself away from the campground. There are several ATV tracks that weave through the region, so you can see everything.
Miles of Shoreline
Curecanti National Recreation Area, Gunnison Lakeside Resort, Gunnison, Colorado Near:GunnisonandMontrose As U.S. Highway 50 weaves its way through the high-mountain desert, the scenery suddenly opens out to reveal a vast expanse of glittering blue water and talus-sloped hills. This is where the crystalline waters of the Gunnison River congregate before making their way through the sheer cliffs of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. It has 93 miles of shoreline, a plethora of recreational opportunities, and beaches that are fit for lounging.
Hike Among the Ancients
Morefield Campground is located within Mesa Verde National Park. Near:Cortez Accessibility: On Apache Loop, there are accessible campsites available. This campground, tucked away in a canyon inside the park, is renowned for its wonderfully calm and serene environment — with the added benefit of being only a half-hour drive from the area’s famous archeological monuments. Hikers will also appreciate the variety of paths available, including both leisurely and strenuous routes. Take the Knife Edge route and watch the sun set over the Montezuma Valley for a memorable experience.
Strike It Rich
Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area, Railroad Bridge, Arkansas In the neighborhood of Buena Vista This leisure area, which encompasses 150 miles of the Arkansas River’s rafting paradise, caters to whitewater enthusiasts of all ability levels.
Afterwards, you may try your hand at gold panning, which you can do pretty much anywhere along the river’s banks once your rafting and kayaking adventure is over.
Chatfield State Park is located on the D Loop. Loops BCNear:Littleton has 12 accessible campsites available, all of them are within walking distance of the town. Chatfield Reservoir, located in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains about 15 miles from Denver, is the most convenient place in the metro region to launch a boat. While lounging on the beach or fishing from your boat on the lake, keep an eye out for the numerous model airplanes and hot air balloons soaring across the sky – or build and fly your own model airplane or hot air balloon.
Jacks Gulch is located in the Roosevelt National Forest. Accessibility: There is one group camping that is easily accessible. In the neighborhood of Fort Collins With campsites with corrals and a nearby network of paths through aspen and ponderosa pines, Jacks Gulch is ideal for horseback riders on a relaxing vacation. Furthermore, the campground is close to the Cache la Poudre River, which is Colorado’s only federally designated Wild and Scenic River and is popular with anglers and whitewater enthusiasts both.
Echo Lake is located in the Arapaho National Forest, close to Idaho Springs. Take a canoe trip around this smooth five-acre lake at the foot of Mount Evans to get up up and personal with nature. Take a detour up the country’s highest paved road, the Mount Evans Scenic Byway, which passes beside other alpine lakes, enormous granite cliffs, forests of twisted, ancient bristlecone pine, and the occasional scampering mountain goat or bighorn sheep.
On the Hunt
Jackson Lake, Fox Hill Campground, Fox Hill Campground State Park is a park in the state of New York. In the neighborhood of Fort Morgan No other way to describe this park than as an oasis in the midst of Colorado’s vast eastern plains is adequate to the task. Each summer, its warm, South Platte River-fed water, sandy bottom, and beaches attract swimmers and waterskiers seeking a refreshing respite from the heat. It’s also a great place to go duck hunting, pheasant hunting, upland bird hunting, and deer hunting (archery).
It is located within the Comanche National Grassland. Springfield is in close proximity (dispersed, undeveloped campsites) Investigate the greatest collection of dinosaur trackways in North America, which you can trek beside — and sometimes even through — on stretches of the Picketwire Canyontrail. Explore the vestiges of the Santa Fe Trail’s mountain branch, a historic trail that connected pioneers to the then-untamed Wild West during the late nineteenth century.
RV parks in Colorado Colorado cabins for rent are available for rent. How to set up your camping spot in Colorado The Sleep Somewhere Cool Blog is a place where people may share their experiences of sleeping somewhere cool.
Camping in Colorado: The Basics
Fortunately, there are several campgrounds to choose from, making it simple to locate a calm site to go down to basics and rediscover the simplicity of nature. Here’s a breakdown to assist you in determining which kind of camping is ideal for you, as well as some fundamental information you’ll need to make the most of your camping experience.
Check out our Colorado campsite listings as well as our list of 11 Amazing Campgrounds. You’ll quickly find that birdcalls, meandering pathways, and languid afternoons are all welcome distractions from the stresses of regular life after you’ve set up camp.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF CAMPING IN COLORADO
Campgrounds in Colorado provide a diverse selection of varied experiences to choose from. It doesn’t matter if you want to commune with nature or prefer a trip that includes more creature conveniences; we have something to fit your preferences — including accessible campsites in many of our state and national parks. Here are a few camping techniques that are suitable for both beginners and experienced campers: Camping in a tent is the most popular type of outdoor recreation. For the most part, there are two types: The first option is to camp in a designated campground with your automobile near by (this is referred to as “car camping” in some circles).
- Additional conveniences such as restrooms, showers, and an electrical outlet will frequently be available to you.
- It has the advantage of putting you further away from other campers in a more natural and secluded environment, which is often in a clearing with only an existing fire ring as its only amenity.
- Glamping is a more opulent style of camping (the term is a combination of the words “glamour” and “camping”) that is becoming increasingly popular.
- This strategy is ideal for folks who want to be near to nature but aren’t yet comfortable sleeping in the open air.
- A wonderful alternative for those who like to sleep in an actual bed while yet being close to facilities.
- Backpacking or bikepacking—whichever you like.
- After breakfast, you’ll set off on a hike or horseback ride through the woods to reach your campground.
- First-time travelers might consider taking shorter excursions.
- Using dispersed camping, backpacking, and bikepacking techniques, you’ll be bringing all of your supplies, including your tent, food, and sleeping gear, along with you on your journey.
Picking a Campsite in Colorado
In Colorado’s state parks and public lands systems, there are thousands of campsites, and there are hundreds more in private campgrounds. You merely need to choose the region of the state that you wish to visit, select a site that has the facilities you require, and make your reservation. Colorado State Parks are located throughout the state. Camping Colorado State Parks is responsible for the administration of 41 parks located around the state. More than 4,000 campsites are available inside the system.
- Some parks also offer amenities such as laundry facilities and playgrounds.
- Campgrounds sometimes fill up months in advance, so prepare ahead of time and make a reservation as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.
- Forest Service to manage 14 million acres of land in the state’s 11 national forests and two national grazinglands, while the Bureau of Land Management is in charge of another 8.4 million acres.
- At recreation.gov, you may make reservations for activities and events near you.
Campground listings on COLORADO.com, the Colorado Campground and Lodging Owners Association, and the Colorado KOA Owners Association are just a few of the resources available for making reservations and locating campgrounds.
What You Need to Know
Even in the warmer months, the weather may change in an extremely short period of time. In order to be comfortable, it is recommended that you dress in layers. You may be needed to obtain a pass or permission depending on your location. Review the websites given above, as well as the information placed at the campsite gates, to prepare for your trip. Due to the fact that campgrounds might fill up months in advance, it’s essential to make a reservation as soon as possible. Keep an eye on where you are and follow any posted signs and warning messages at campgrounds and trailheads.
Expect to see a variety of animals, ranging from chipmunks to bears, depending on where you choose to stay.
(For example, some campgrounds require that food be stored in bear lockers, which are enormous metal cabinets located in parks that bear paws cannot access.) Remember to take good care of Colorado throughout your travels by following our Seven Take Good Care of Colorado Tips.
Keep in mind that many of these items may be leased from local outfitters if you aren’t ready to make the investment in your own equipment. A tent with a rain cover is provided. Down sleeping bag (even in the summer, temperatures in Colorado’s highest elevations can drop below freezing). Pillow and sleeping pad (which will keep you warmer than sleeping on the ground) are recommended. Make use of your campsite’s fire pit with a camp stove and/or matches. Ensure that you have plenty of drinking water and food (if you’re hiking or camping in a scattered location, you may want to learn about water-purification tablets and techniques.) Can opener, aluminum foil, paper plates, cups/mugs, cutlery, multifunctional knife, trash bags, and paper towels are all good to have around the house.
Flashlights/headlamps/lanterns Sunscreen, insect spray, a first-aid kit, and toilet paper are all recommended (Learn what to dowhen nature calls in the great outdoors.)
Other Trip Ideas
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Yes, You Can Find Free Camping in Colorado
Many of Colorado’s top camping spots are well-known: from Rocky Mountain National Park to the southern San Juans, mountain views are apparently endless—though many of these locations fill up quickly and demand reservations as well as site fees. If you’re camping on a tight budget or simply don’t want to deal with the hassle of making reservations, there’s plenty of free camping in Colorado to choose from. If you go outside the confines of national and state parks, you’ll discover campsites on National Forest or Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land that provide equally breathtaking Rocky Mountain vistas and, in some cases, more isolation.
If you know where to look, finding free camping in Colorado may be a simple task.
There are times when traveling down a promising dirt road until you locate a gorgeous pull-out with just the right amount of room for your tent is necessary.
If you need to camp at the last minute, you may utilize The Dyrt PRO’s Offline Maps and Map Layers to identify free camping spots in your area. They will direct you to free camping areas, regardless of whether or not you have access to cellular service or internet access!
Pro Tips for Discovering Free Camping in Colorado
Some of the greatest places to locate free camping in Colorado are on National Forest or Bureau of Land Management (BLM) property. Camping in national forests is completely free, no matter where you are in the country, unless otherwise specified. Colorado is home to 11 national forests that total 14.5 million acres, making it the state with the most national forests. The Arapahoe National Forest resides on the edges of tiny mountain communities along the Front Range, such as Idaho Springs, and is home to a variety of wildlife.
- Also in the southern portion of the state, there is a lot of National Forest property available for recreation.
- You are not permitted to stay for the entire summer (there is a 14-day maximum), but you will most likely want to.
- Pets, for example, must be kept on a leash in wilderness regions.
- However, sometimes the ideal camping place may be discovered by simply driving down a gravel road and seeing where you wind up!
- The majority of the time, no permits or fees are necessary for camping in these locations.
- If you have any questions regarding the restrictions in a given location, you should contact the local ranger station for clarification.
- This involves setting up camp at least 200 feet away from lakes and streams, packing out all rubbish, and making every effort to leave everything in the same condition as you discovered it.
- Bring wag bags or dig a hole for your human waste, and be prepared to carry anything you bring in with you.
5 Free Designated Campgrounds in Colorado
We can’t go out and explore forest service roads in search of all the free camping spots for you since that would be half the pleasure.
However, if you’re searching for a free established campsite in Colorado, here are five that campers on The Dyrt have raved about:
1.Portal Campground —Aspen
Featured image courtesy of The Dyrt camper Christina S. is a writer and editor based in New York City. When most people think of Aspen, they conjure up images of opulent skiing and luxurious accommodations. That is not the situation at Portal Campground, and we mean this in the most positive way imaginable. Even though there isn’t a lot of free stuff in this resort town, driving down the road toward Independence Pass will reward you with a camping area that rivals any ski town hotel in terms of quality and convenience.
- It’s important to note that this specific campsite is small, so try to stay on weekdays if at all possible, or arrive early to ensure you obtain a place.
- ‘This campsite is located deep in the bush,’ says the host.
- This is a free campsite with vault toilets that is open all year.
- Along the road leading to Portal Campground, there are additional 27 free campsites available.” Kelly Z., a Dyrt camper, says:
2.Gordon Gulch Dispersed Camping —Nederland
Featured image courtesy of The Dyrt camper Karl G. is an American businessman and philanthropist. Free camping possibilities abound in Colorado, particularly in the Front Range, which runs the length of the state’s southern Rocky Mountains. Our favorite free camping area is also surprisingly accessible, making it a great weekend getaway. To find a no-fee location in Gordon Gulch, head north of Boulder toward the town of Nederland, which is about 30 minutes away. Boulder and Denver are both within driving distance of this location, making it an excellent weekend vacation destination.
- The convenience of camping but still feeling like you’re far away from it all – what could be better than that?
- If you have the opportunity to arrive early, please do so.
- “Not all campgrounds are truly so flat, but it is free and in the picturesque Boulder, CO setting, so I can’t complain.” —Dyrt camper, to be precise.
- is a pseudonym for Elisha E.
- The Dyrt PROallows you to download maps and camping information even when there is no cell coverage.
3.Anvil Dispersed Camping —Silverton
Annie C., a camper at The Dyrt, sent this image. One hour north of Silverton, you’ll find County Road 7, a dirt road that takes a detour away from Highway 550 and takes you deep into the San Juan Mountains, where you’ll find a stream flowing beneath the majestic San Juan Mountains. Do you think this would be a good area to pitch a tent for the night? The good news is that you can camp there for nothing. This is a unique opportunity for RVers seeking free camping in Colorado since the route to the campground is quite moderate for a dirt road, so you can bring your camper along with you.
From here, it’s only a short drive to the eccentric village of Silverton, which is worth visiting.
While you’re poised on this ledge, bear in mind that there are fire laws to follow.
While there are no contemporary conveniences on site, there is a creek nearby where you may collect and filter water, as well as lots of expansive mountain vistas to take in.
The time limit is the standard fourteen days, as is customary. Several of the “sites” include fire pits, and there are a couple of picnic tables dotted about the area. There are a couple of locations that are directly on the water.” —Annie C., a camper from the Dyrt
4.Alta Lakes Campground —Telluride
Maggie S., a camper at The Dyrt, sent this image. Alta Lakes is a basic campsite located just outside Telluride on the opposite side of the San Juan Mountains. There are around 20 dispersed camping sites in the region, but it is quite popular, so get there early to secure a place. You’ll enjoy spectacular views of the San Juan Mountains from the Alta Lakes region, as well as access to some of the best fishing in the country in turquoise alpine lakes. You’d be hard pushed to find a finer spot for free camping in Colorado than here.
As a last reminder, because you’re so near to one of the local lakes, remember to observe Leave No Trace principles and to establish your tent at least 200 feet away from the water.
With the right guidance, even small trailers may reach half of the locations.
In addition, Telluride ski mountain is directly behind this campground, and for a longer journey, you may go down to mountain village, which is around 5 miles away.” Maggie S., a Dyrt camper, says:
5.Peru Creek Road —Montezuma
Daniel B., a camper at The Dyrt, provided this image. The Peru Creek Road location, which is located under Horseshoe Basin, provides basic camping with majestic mountains (including the 14,000-foot Greys Peak) surrounding you on all sides. You’ll be pitching your tent right below treeline, with easy access to panoramic vistas of the high alpine peaks in the distance. That also implies that it will be cool or frigid at night, even during the middle of summer, so dress in layers. But it will be worth it to wake up to the dawn high in the mountains, despite the freezing evenings.
It doesn’t matter what you select, the Peru Creek region provides authentic Colorado camping without the hassle of fees or reservations.
With our mountain bikes, we were able to get a little further down the road.
In the surrounding region, there is a really fascinating mine, which you should check out.” —Leah W., a camper at the Dyrt
- In our Year in Review, you may learn about the latest camping travel trends for 2020. Finding Free Camping in National Forests
- A Checklist for First-Time RVers
- How to Find Free Camping in National Forests
- With the Dyrt Map Layers, you can find free camping spots. The Ultimate Guide to Free Camping
- The Ultimate Guide to Free Camping
- Wifi for your RV: Everything You Need to Know About It
- Best Overland Routes in North America
- 7 of the best routes in North America
- 14 Wilderness Survival Tools You Should Have in Your Backpack If You’re Going Camping
- Here are some items to include on your primitive camping checklist:
These are the 7 Best Places to Go Camping in Colorado
Colorado is one of the most beautiful states in the country when it comes to natural beauty and wonderful recreational adventures. There is a lot to see and do in the area, from the beautiful panoramas of Granite Mountain National Park to the rocky spires ofGarden of the Gods and the breathtaking views along the San Juan Skyway Scenic Byway, among other things. Spending a few nights camping beneath the stars is one of the greatest ways to get a feel for these surroundings. In the event that this seems like your style of travel, and you want assistance in determining where to set up your tent, we are here to assist you.
It is important to note that Recreation.gov makes it simple to book camp sites in advance.
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Lauren Breedlove is the founder of TripSavvy. The Maroon Bells are without a doubt one of the most well-known landmarks in the whole state of Colorado. This spectacular site, which is comprised of a pair of 14,000-foot summits that are among the most photographed peaks in all of North America, provides amazing vistas throughout the year, regardless of season. Those who choose to backpack or camp in their cars will discover three campsites in the shadow of the mountain that each allow access to this amazing wilderness environment, which includes the stunning Maroon Lake, for their convenience.
They are all equally beautiful and must-see destinations for campers of any level of experience.
You may take advantage of this if you need to do a supply run to get additional food or beverages, or even if you simply want to take a stroll about town for a little while.
Piñon Flats Campground
Image courtesy of Michael Scace / EyeEm/Getty Images Travel to the Great Sand Dunes National Park in the southern portion of the state for a completely different camping experience. Rather than the Rocky Mountains, this site has more in common with the Sahara, with towering dunes standing in for snowcapped peaks on a hot, dry day. Located in the heart of this spectacular location, Pion Flats is the perfect site to camp and offers easy access to surrounding hiking paths that meander over and around dunes that may reach heights of up to 700 feet.
- In Pion Flats, there are five distinct campsites that are accessible to people using wheelchairs.
- Skiing and snowboarder may be the unofficial winter sports of Colorado, but carving your way down a giant dune is just as much fun as skiing or snowboarding.
- Because wheeling over sand can be highly hard, even with the proper equipment, they are best suited for short lengths trip through the dunes.
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Oh Be Joyful Campground
Photograph courtesy of Tomofbluesprings/Getty Images The Oh Be Joyful campground, which is located not far from Crested Butte, not only has a lovely name, but it is also in a fantastic position. The camping area serves as an entrance to a vast region known as theRaggeds Wilderness, which is accessible only by boat. Its elevation spans from 7,000 to 13,000 feet, spanning more than 65,000 acres and encompassing an area of more than 65,000 acres. The Raggeds also provide opportunities for hiking, fishing, and mountain biking, in addition to the breathtaking vistas of the towering mountains that dominate the horizon line.
Oh Be Joyful includes 13 different alternatives for people who use wheelchairs or mobility aids.
There are a plethora of fantastic restaurants, bars, and stores to discover, all of which are brimming with mountain-town charm. 04th day of the year 2007
Photograph courtesy of Greg Thow/Getty Images Guanella Pass is located in the Pike National Forest, about an hour’s drive outside of Denver. It is a popular hiking destination. With its elevation of 11,670 feet, the campground is easily accessible by foot or automobile, making it a popular choice for those seeking a challenging trip or a more relaxing getaway. The campground is well-known for its amazing views of the night sky, which allows guests to take their stargazing to a whole new level.
Instead, you may just rest at your campground, take pleasure in the company of your companions, and take pleasure in one of the greatest outdoor playgrounds that the state has to offer.
Continue to the next section, number 5 of 7.
Angel of Shavano Campgrounds
Photograph courtesy of David L. Brown/Getty Images For those who wish to genuinely get away from it all, theAngel of Shavanocampgrounds should be included to their list of outdoor excursions. There are 20 unique campsites at this campground, which is located within the San Isabel National Forest and is hardly ever busy. Because of its distant position, it takes three hours to travel from Denver to get to the site, which contributes to the high cost of living in the area. Fortunately, even during the busiest summer months, it is typically very simple to secure a parking space as a result of this practice.
As a magnificent refuge, the densely forested national forest provides plenty of seclusion and tranquillity for anyone seeking to get away from the rush and bustle of contemporary life.
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Bear Lake Campground
Photograph courtesy of Rhona Wise/Getty Images Located within Rocky Mountain National Park, Bear Lake is a picturesque campground that is likely to satisfy outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds. Anglers seeking to reel in some Colorado trout will find this location to be excellent. Fortunately, the neighboring Cucharas River offers good possibilities to accomplish exactly that, attracting both casual and serious fly fishermen seeking to spend some time on the water in the process. This campground also gives convenient access to the 14-mile-long Indian Creek Trail, which is available to hikers, mountain bikers, ATVs, and horses, among other activities.
A designated accessible camp site is not available at Bear Lake campsite since there are no such sites. No matter what you choose to do while staying at our campsite, you’ll be surrounded by plenty of Colorado’s signature mountain beauty to keep you engaged the whole time you are there. 07th of July
Moraine Park Campground
Ronda Kimbrow is a model and actress. Photograph courtesy of Getty Images Rocky Mountain National Park has five excellent campgrounds to choose from, but Moraine Park is by far our favorite of the bunch. Not only does the site provide campers with spectacular views of the stunning scenery for which the park is known, but it also provides them with the opportunity to see passing animals. Because the park is home to a variety of wildlife, including black bears, moose, mountain lions, sheep, and elk, tourists with keen eyes can frequently spot these animals walking through their natural environment.
Camping at Moraine Park is another alternative for folks who have difficulty getting about.