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Best Camping Near Water In Colorado

List Of State Parks With Camping

Free Dispersed Camping With Lakes in Colorado (2-3 hours from Denver)

All told, Colorados state parks offer over 4,000 campsites and 58 cabins and yurts with nearly 300 ADA-accessible campsites. Some park cabins accommodate up to 20 people, some yurts lodge as many as 6 and some allow pets. Note that some cabins and yurts require visitors to stay for at least two nights. Any sites not reserved are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Colorado State Parks All Require Reservations

Fret not reserving campsites is easy. Reservations can be made online at cpwshom.com or by calling 800-244-5613 up to six months in advance to the day of arrival.

Reservations ensure you have your site of choice, with RV hookups , for the duration of your stay. Be aware that the maximum number of nights one can stay in a Colorado state park cannot exceed 14 days in any 45 day period.

Possible Amenities If your idea of camping is staying at a 2-star hotel, the park amenities available may surprise you. And in case you forgot something from home or run out of creature comforts , convenience stores and/or marinas are available at some locations. Amenities can include:

  • Picnic Tables

Questions about reserving a campsite? Find a FAQ section here.

Camping At Staunton Pine

  • Address: 12102 S Elk Creek Rd, Pine, CO 80470
  • Contact: 303.816.0912 | staunton.park@state.co.us | Website
  • Facilities: Picnic Sites, Group Picnic Area
  • Recreation: Biking, Cross-Country Skiing/Snowshoeing, Fishing, Geocaching, Hiking, Horseback Trails, Ranger/Nature Programs, Rock Climbing, Walk-in Backcountry Camping, Wildlife Viewing

Want to prepare for a trek at one of CPWs more adventurous parks? Need to introduce newbies to backpack camping? Colorados latest state park may be just the ticket. Staunton lies but 40 miles southwest of Denver , close enough for a relaxing weekend outing but challenges visitors with an altitude of 8,215 feet.

Upon arriving at the park, visitors enter a panorama of granite cliffs, mountain forests, meadows and swift-moving streams ideal for outdoor adventuring. Rock climbing draws many to Staunton, as does fishing in streams and ponds. Theres also a wide variety of wildlife and birds here, ranging from raptors, forest birds and riparian species to large ungulates like elk and deer, predators and small ground mammals.

Those interested in Colorado history will want to see the Staunton family cabin, an early sawmill and a sportsmans club from the days when the park was privately owned. Hardcore campers can take advantage of walk-in outback campsites in the 3,800-acre park.

Best Campgrounds In Colorado: Timber Creek Campground

Timber Creek Campground. Located on the west side of Rocky Mountain National Park, this campground is located at a higher elevation, affording wonderful views of the wide-open spaces. All sites are first-come, first serviced, and each has a picnic table and fire ring. It is a dry campsite, with toilets but no showers, however, you can get a pass from the campground to access showers at a nearby motel, if you need it. Lots of wildlife. Nightly rates are $26.

We wrote a 7 Day adventure Guide to Colorado- and watch the video below.

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Tiger Run Resort Rv Park

Upon first look at the Tiger Run Resort RV Park, the words “roughing it” go right out the window. This is Breckenridge “comfort camping” at its finest, with the beautifully cared for and expansive RV park.

The park features full service RV sites, as well as mountain cabins that are beautifully appointed. The resort sits right between the Swan and Blue Rivers, in the shadows of the Tenmile Range. When you think of convenient and comfortable camping, you are thinking of this campground.

All RVs must be 20 feet in length, not including the hitch. They also must be vehicles that are less than 20 years old. The gates to Tiger Run are exclusive, so if your RV is older than 20 years, you’ll have to send current photos of the interior and exterior in order to be approved for a reservation.

The resort operates year-round and features a pool and fitness center, clubhouse, hot tubs, game room, tennis courts, volleyball, basketball, fishing, fire pit, and laundry.

Address: 85 Revette Drive, Breckenridge, Colorado

Twin Lakes And Chaffee County Road 399

Where to go Dispersed Camping in Colorado

If youve got a high clearance vehicle, head down County Road 399 outside of Twin Lakes. Continue 2 miles past the junction with Highway 82 for some exceptional camping.

What I love most about this area are the beautiful rocky peaks. Youll be nestled close to some of Colorados best 14ers, amazing fishing, and a few 4WD adventures.

Head up to the end of the road for the start of Grizzly Peak, the highest 13er in Colorado. Take the alternate fork in the road to explore old mining ruins and beautiful mountain views.

Local Tip: There is endless free camping along the Leadville to Salida corridor. Check out Caffee County Road 390 for more spots.

Also Check: Camping World Used Rv Warranty

What To Pack For Camping In Colorado

We have a comprehensive list of what to pack for a camping trip, but below weve included some specific suggestions for camping in Colorado.

  • Water, water, and more water!Dont underestimate the amount of water youll need. Staying hydrated not only helps keep your temperature regulated but can also prevent altitude sickness. We recommend bringing a hydration daypack with 100oz of water for hikes, and sipping constantly from a water bottle back at camp.
  • Sun Protection: Youll need plenty of environmentally-friendly sunscreen, as well as a hat, long-sleeved shirt, and sunglasses. The Colorado sun is scorching, especially. at high altitude or in the desert.
  • Moisturizer & Lip Balm: Colorado air is DRY, especially in higher altitudes and in the desert! Bring more than you think youll need and apply regularly.
  • Layers: Regardless of the weather forecast but especially if rain or snow is predicted pack some warm clothing, even if it seems hot. A lightweight rain jacket is always a good idea, as is a packable down jacket or fleece jacket and a warm hat. Additionally, if you have space, it never hurts to pack extra blankets for an overnight in case the temperature plummets.

Weve also got more suggestions on what to pack for hiking in Colorado in our guide to the best hikes near Denver, and of course, a detailed camping packing guide!

The Best Dispersed Camping Near Lake City Colorado

*This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure for more info.

Set in Colorados San Juan Mountains, Lake City is a gem of a mountain town. From driving the famous Alpine Loop, to hiking a fourteener, to a relaxing fishing trip, youre sure to find the perfect outdoor activity here. However, given its remote location and small town vibes, accommodation can be tricky to find in Lake City. Luckily for you, it is easy to plan a free, dispersed camping trip near Lake City, Colorado.

Weve created this Lake City dispersed camping guide to help you find the perfect campsite for your next visit. Youll find all the must know information on dispersed camping, maps, and detailed campsite descriptions, all designed to help you plan the perfect Lake City getaway.

Recommended Reading: Free Camping Cedar City Utah

Finding Free Campsites With The Dyrt

More recently, weve switch to using The Dyrt Pro to find National Forest boundaries. Using the map layers you can easily find exact boundaries for:

  • Bureau of Land Management Areas
  • National Parks
  • National Forests

You can download the maps for offline use and see exactly when you cross into forest areas.

Our favorite part about the app is that there are thousands of user-submitted reviews that include photos, amenities, and reports about campsite conditions.

And the reviews are not limited to paid campgrounds only.

Anyone can submit a review of any area so there are plenty of free and dispersed camping sites in there as well.

Camping At Rifle Gap Rifle

South Mineral Campground Colorado: Waterfalls, 4×4 Trail Rides, and Camping (near Silverton)
  • Address: 5775 SH 325, Rifle, CO 81650
  • Contact: 970.625.1607 | rifle.gap.park@state.co.us | Website
  • Facilities: Visitor Center, Boat Ramp, Dump Station, Group Picnic Area, Picnic Sites, Primitive Campsites
  • Recreation: Biking, Boating, Cross-Country Skiing/Snowshoeing, Fishing, Hunting, Ice Fishing, Ice Skating, Jet Skiing, Ranger/Nature Programs, Sail/Paddle Sports, Snow Tubing, Swimming, Water Skiing, Wildlife Viewing, Winter Camping

While Rifle Falls is oriented toward land-based activities, Rifle Gap focuses more on water sports. Totaling 1,333 acres, Rifle Gap lies at an elevation of 6,000 feet and is located 200 miles west of Denver.

Positioned on the north side of Rifle Gap Reservoir and Grand Hogback ridge, this CPW park offers both motorized and non-motorized boating on the lakes 359 acres. Visitors fish the lake year-round in pursuit of trophy perch and northern pike, trout, bass and walleye. Expect to see plenty of ice-fishing here in winter. All winter sports except snowmobiling are allowed.

Wildlife watching is also popular here and animals are often seen from campsites. Alas, Rifle Gap has no trails but adjacent to the park is BLM land that can be hiked. Note swimming is only allowed at the parks swim beach.

Choose from 3 campgrounds with 89 campsites , 14 picnic sites, and a group picnic area. Theres also a boat ramp and a dump station.

Read Also: Blm Camping Near St George

Horsetooth Reservoir South Bay

Why you should camp here: Fort Collins backyard reservoir is perfect for stay-cations and some low-key camping fun.

  • Reservations accepted: Yes
  • Campsite type: Tents, RVs, Boat-in
  • RV hookups: Yes

Horsetooth Reservoirs South Bay Campground offers over 150 campsites perfect for any adventure. There are even 15 campsites you can only reach via boat. The boat-in sites are in small inlets or shores along the reservoir and there are only 2 sites per inlet, and 1 per shore. Talk about privacy!

Horsetooth can be crowded in the summer, but its hard to beat a quick getaway like this one! I wouldnt recommend camping here if you are looking for peace and isolation since Horsetooth is so close to town. But if youre from around the area and just looking for some easy camping fun, or youre taking the kiddos out for the first time, then this campground is perfect!

Family-friendly and with plenty of amenities, space, and options, theres something for everyone here. One great perk of camping near town, you can always just pop in for some great food or the local breweries such as Odell and New Belgium for some post-outdoor activity brews.

Lake Pueblo State Park

Lake Pueblo State Park has more than 4,600 surface acres of water where people can water ski, sailboard, jet ski, fish, and boat. There are opportunities to bike, both on a paved trail in the park as well as on an extensive trail system nearby.

There are almost 400 campsites with a picnic area and fire pit. The three areas include Arkansas Point Campground, Juniper Breaks Campground, and Northern Plains Campground. Showers, playgrounds, and toilets are available at the electrical campgrounds.

640 Pueblo Reservoir Road, Pueblo | 800-244-5613 | cpw.state.co.us/placestogo/parks/LakePueblo

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John Martin Reservoir State Park

Situated in Southeastern Colorado, John Martin Reservoir State Park provides a chance to boat, bike, picnic, and play a round of disc golf. East of Lake Hasty, there is a nine-hole disc golf course. There are almost 400 species of birds in the county, making the park a birdwatchers paradise.

There are two campgrounds available Lake Hasty Campground and The Point Campground. Lake Hasty Campground has flush toilets, showers, a laundry facility, and a dump site. At each of the 109 campsites, there are electrical hook-ups and shade. The Point Campground has no electric hookups, no water, and only vault toilets.

30703 Co. Road 24, Hasty | 719-829-1801 | cpw.state.co.us/placestogo/parks/JohnMartinReservoir

Popular Campgrounds To Explore Colorful Colorado

11 Best Places to Camp Near Lakes in Colorado

August 10, 2020 | By Joybeth Sullivan

The moment that you enter the state of Colorado, you may never want to go inside again.

And, luckily, if you go camping in Colorado, you dont need to. From deserts and canyons to the snow-capped Rocky Mountains, you can curate the Colorado camping experience of your dreams.

After extensive research on campsites across the state of Colorado, we have chosen 10 popular campgrounds around Colorado from the Front Range to the Western Slopes to get you started. When camping, always research and prepare for your chosen campsite. And, as always, leave no trace and respect your surroundings.

Note: Due to COVID-19, there may be additional closures or restrictions. When planning your next camping trip, be certain to check with the campground directly for any current restrictions or required reservations.

Read Also: How To Go Camping For The First Time

Blue Mesa Reservoir Curecanti National Recreation Area

Blue Mesa Reservoir is the state’s largest body of water, which means abundant recreation and lounge-worthy beaches. As U.S. Hwy. 50 winds through the pinyon-dotted, high-mountain desert between the rural communities of Montrose and Gunnison, it opens up into a broad landscape of sparkling blue water and talus-sloped hills.

Note: Blue Mesa Reservoir’s marinas are closed for the summer 2022 boating season.

While much of the shoreline is rocky, youll find good swimming areas at the Bay of Chickens, Dry Creek and Old Highway 50 beach. The water is always cool, and theres nothing more refreshing on a hot day spent in the high-altitude sun.

Best Places To Camp In Colorado

Our research is editorially independent but we may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

With so much breathtaking mountain scenery, its no surprise that Colorado offers practically an endless number of amazing places to camp, but with so many great sites, how do you decide just where to go? This list features the best of the best, making that decision just a little bit easier.

YOU’RE ALL SET!

Located five miles southwest of downtown Aspen up Maroon Creek Road, the Maroon Bells are one of Colorados most iconic landscapes as a twin set of 14ers that mirror off Maroon Lake. There are three campgrounds set within the woods by West Maroon Creek: Silver Queen, Silver Bar and Silver Bell Silver Bell offers walk-in sites that are great for tent camping, which is available from about late May through late September. If you want to enjoy the most breathtaking scenery without the big crowds, try to come during the second half of September when you may be able to enjoy the brilliant golden leaves, set against the snow-dusted Bells. The campgrounds include water and trash facilities as well as vault toilets reservations are a must and can be made through recreation.gov.

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We Have Selected What We Think Are The 10 Best Campgrounds In Colorado For Rvers Just In Time For Your Fall Camping Getaway Colorado Is Awesome During The Fall

With such incredible destinations as Garden of the Gods, Pikes Peak, the Colorado National Monument, and Mesa Verde, Colorado has a surprising variety of landscapes that will take your breath away! It is tailor-made for RV exploring

Colorado is a spectacular, wide-open state. You will no doubt clock in a lot of traveling time, both in getting here and traveling around the area. If you havent already heard, we like to tout our 330 Rule. This is when you are traveling, always stop for the day when you have either, 1) driven 330 miles, or it is 3:30 in the afternoon. That way, you have time to relax for the evening and do some exploring, and you will be less exhausted from driving.

Camping On Federal Lands By Lakes

MILL CREEK BEST REMOTE COLORADO CAMPGROUND

Camping on federal lands in Colorado is a great option, and there are several opportunities to do so near a scenic lake. Not all campgrounds offer common amenities, such as toilets and showers. The U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management offers further details about camping on federal lands.

Recommended Reading: Poler Camping Stuff Wearable Sleeping Bag

List Of The Best Colorado Dispersed Camping Areas

1. Red Feather Lakes Deadman Road

Located just an hour from Fort Collins, this area is a labyrinth of forest service roads that offer endless camping opportunities. Dispersed sites are abundant in this area. One of our favorite spots is located at the junction of Deadman Road and Forest Service Road 502.

How to Get There: The area is located up Deadman Road, northwest of Red Feather Lakes. To get there from Fort Collins, take US Hwy 287 north to Livermore, turn west onto County Road 74E towards Red Feather Lakes. Turn left on County Road 86 . There are spots all along Deadman Road, which runs about 15 miles.

Colorados Great Outdoors

2. Jones Pass

This area offers some great off-road driving and dispersed camping sites. Its located just an hour from Denver and provides quick access to the Continental Divide. Some of the campsites have amazing views perfect for staring down valley while roasting marshmallows over an open flame.

How to Get There: Drive west on I-70 from Denver. Take exit 232 from I-70 onto US Hwy 40, and head towards Empire/Winter Park. Continue on US-40 west past Empire. Take a left on Henderson Mine Road to Jones Pass Road.

3. Caribou Townsite

The Caribou Townsite has 11 designated camping spots that can fill up quickly especially on the weekend. This is an exceptional location, camping next to Colorados famed Indian Peaks Wilderness Area. Its just miles away from the funky mountain community of Nederland.

4. Guenella Pass

5. Montezuma Road

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