Best Camping Sites In Colorado To Visit In 2021
Theres no doubt that Colorado is one of the most stunning American states. The Centennial State is abundant with arid desert terrain, monumental snow-capped mountains, and dramatic river gorges.
One of the best ways to experience this breathtaking setting is camping.
Those looking to escape city life will be pleased to know that Colorados campgrounds are among the countrys best. Once youve spent the day enjoying the states majestic scenery, be it through hiking, off-roading, or biking, youll be able to end the day by relaxing under the stars.
However, with so many great sites, choosing where to go can be a daunting task.
To help get you started, weve compiled a list of Colorados best campgrounds and included all the necessary info youll need for planning.
Great Lakes Of Colorado
The largest natural lake in Colorado, and five other great ones.
There are water sports galore and even more to explore in the surrounding wilderness. Campgrounds surround Lake Granby and free camping can be found in the Arapaho National Forest.
- Arapaho Bay CG hidden away near Monarch Lake, 84 sites, basic, Reservations
- Stillwater CG lakeside, 107 sites, basic & electric, Reservations
- Green Ridge CG south end of Shadow Mountain Lake, 75 sites, basic, Reservations
- Willow Creek CG secluded next to Willow Creek Reservoir, 35 sites, basic, non-reservable
Dispersed camping can be found across Hwy 34 from the south end of Shadow Mountain Lake. Take County Road 4, , back a few miles to the Stillwater Pass area. Sites are evident.
Activities: Biking, Boating, Fishing, Hiking, Horseback Riding, OHV
- Granby Ample places to eat and shop. Have fun at the bike park at Granby Ranch.
- Grand Lake A lakeside town with a picturesque main street. Its the western gateway to the Rocky Mountain Natl Park.
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Ice Fishing On Lake Winnipeg
If youre planning on enjoying some ice fishing this season, one of the top spots to visit on your next winter fishing excursion is Lake Winnipeg in Manitoba. Its one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world, spanning over 250mi from its northern shore to southern.
The southern lake basin is where youll find the best angling, with people saying theyve been able to catch greenback walleyes that weighed in at over 10lbs.
Jellystone Park Larkspur N1 For Kids
Location: 650 Sky View Ln., Larkspur, CO 80118Contact: or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Outdoor kitchen stations
- Restaurant and bar
Jellystone Park Larkspur provides a Yogi Bear-themed RV stay amidst some of Colorados most stunning beauty.
This large RV park also provides plenty of activities for all ages within its property, including access to a water park, a hot tub and an impressive variety of sporting venues. In fact, many of those staying here focused nearly all of their time on what is available on site.
However, even those who do decide to focus their stay here on in-park activities get to enjoy some up-close beautiful nature at times, sometimes including seeing gorgeous deer stop by the area. Many guests have also reported that its cleanliness, including of its bathrooms and showers, exceeded their expectations.
However, those who do not like crowds may want to give this place a pass on busy weekends. Also, note that its spaces that are next to the track tracks and Interstate 25 can be noisy.
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Colorado State Park Yurts
Doesnt the word yurt just sound wonderful? Many Colorado State Parks provide campers with the option to rent a yurt. And to that I say, What are you yurting for? OK, that doesnt quite work, but you get what I mean.
Some of the parks with yurts include Golden Gate Canyon, Pearl Lake, and Ridgeway. If you love being in nature but want a little extra security and a few more amenities, a yurt could be the perfect solution.
Located in Granby, Colorado, this camping resort is essentially the Disney World of camping experiences. The property features tent campgrounds, RV campgrounds, vacation rentals, Conestoga wagons, Airstreams, and yurts.
The amenities are endless a general store, multiple restaurants, a bowling alley, an arcade, a sports court, an amphitheater, an off-leash dog park, hot tubs, and a wellness center. If you want to go camping but not rough it, this resort-style experience is waiting for you.
Vasquez Ridge Temporarily Closed To Camping
Free camping only a few miles from downtown Winter Park.
Enjoy Winter Parks beautiful setting in the Rocky Mountains and Vasquez Ridge. Dispersed camping is the main draw, with hiking, fishing, and off-highway-vehicles other common activities.
There arent any campgrounds back at Vasquez Ridge, but there are some in the area. Nearby Saint Louis Creek offers two, and they connect with Vasquez via forest service roads. Theres also one right on Highway 40 before town, near Berthoud Pass.
Best Camping Sites:Dispersed camping is all thats available back at Vasquez Ridge. Its everywhere once you reach the Arapaho N.F.
- Saint Louis Creek CG a few miles north in Fraser, 16 sites, basic, non-reservable
- Idlewild on Hwy 40 south of Winter Park, 23 sites, basic, non-reservable
Activities: Biking, Fishing, Hiking, OHV
- Winter Park This town is fun year-round. The resort features a summer alpine slide and bike park. Lake Granby and Grand Lake are also easy trips north.
Dispersed camping and three campgrounds on this national scenic byway.
This stunning byway summits at 11,669 feet, twelve miles outside of Georgetown. The views are incredible, especially during autumn. There is lots to do, including fishing at Clear Lake near Georgetown, and a chance to hike an easier 14er, Mount Bierstadt.
Dispersed camping places are readily available on both sides of the pass. There are also three reservable campgrounds.
Activities: Biking, Fishing, Hiking
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Pion Flats Campground At Great Sand Dunes National Park
Pitch your tent at Piñon Flats Campground to gain access to the Great Sand Dunes National Park, one of the great wonders of Colorado! Nestled on the edge of the San Luis Valley in the embrace of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, this field of brilliant yellow sand stretches as far as the eye can see. Home to the tallest dunes in North America, this iconic landmark is a must-see.
Whats so cool about this place? Theres evidence that humans were active in this area as far back as 11,000 years ago. Today, 19 Native American tribes maintain active cultural affiliation to the Park and surrounding area. For instance, the Navajo hold the area as sacred and part of the boundary of The Navajo Nation nearby Blanca Peak, or Sisnaajini, the White Shell Mountain, play a prominent role in the Navajo origin story.
Because of its unique landscape, NASA used the park to test rovers, including two Viking spacecraft that first landed on Mars. And Bing Crosby was inspired by the parks singing sands phenomenon that he wrote his 1940 hit love song The Singing Sands of Alamosa in honor of the place. Its definitely a fascinating area.
What to Do Nearby
How to Get There
This campground is easily accessible from major roadways. Take I-25 from the north or south to Walsenburg . From there, head west on US-160 past Fort Garland. Turn north on CO-150 in Alamosa County.
Base Camp At Golden Gate Canyon
- Central Colorado
At 9,230 feet, the Base Camp at Golden Gate Canyon provides an amazing mountain experience for its visitors. But that is not all that it offers. For example, you can fill up on gas and propane here, get your food and drinks at its convenience store and take advantage of its open-air pavilion for your special events.
It is also conveniently situated within miles of Golden Gate Canyon State Park and next to the Peak to Peak Scenic Byway and the Gilpin County Community Center. If you want to gamble, casinos in Black Hawk and Central City are 10 minutes away. More amenities may be found in Golden, a 20-minute drive from here.
This camps cabins have an inviting woodsy decor. Note, however, that you need to bring your own bedding.
Those taking their RV here will be able to take advantage of at least 20/30 amp electricity some sites offer 50 amp service grills, picnic tables and, in most cases, fire rings. However, do take into account that the sites are relatively close together, which may be bothersome during the years busier times.
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Chatfield State Park Littleton
Chatfield State Park is just 45 minutes from Denver and is one of the metro areas most popular destinations, thanks to the opportunity to play on the beach, take part in a wide range of water sports, hike barbecue, view wildlife and more. And, all can be enjoyed while soaking up views of the Rocky Mountain foothills. There are nearly 200 campsites, for both tents and RVs, and each one includes a picnic table, grill and is within walking distance of the water. On the 880-acre, surface of the water, you can kayak, fish, boat, paddleboard and canoe. If you dont have your own watercraft, boat rentals are available. While on land, there are scenic trails for horseback riding, biking and hiking throughout the area. Facilities also include a marina, a restaurant, and even a model airplane field with paved runways, frequency posts and field regulations for radio-controlled aircraft.
Falls Campground Rifle Falls State Park
Set in Garfield County, Rifle Falls State Park is a popular local haunt with some pretty cool natural sights to marvel at. Specifically, its the 70-foot triple waterfall that barrels its way over a travertine dam on East Rifle Creek thats the centerpiece of it all. The surrounding landscape is home to elk, coyote, rainbow trout, and the adorable golden-mantled ground squirrel, among others.
The best place to camp in Rifle Falls State Park is Falls Campground, of course. Within easy striking distance of the falls themselves, this lush, well-equipped campsite is a family-friendly spot. There are various hiking routes close-by. Its popular with photographers, too. Plus, theres nothing that quite beats going to sleep with the meditative sound of rushing water.
Amenities: Campfires allowed, Toilet available, Pets allowed, Potable water available, Picnic table available
Campsite fee: From $22 per campsite per night.
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North Rim Campground Black Canyon Gunnison National Park
Where can you possibly see Precambrian rocks, as well as some of the most jaw-dropping cliffs, craggiest spires, and the steepest cliffs in all of North America? At Black Canyon, that is! This amazing region tucked in Gunnison National Park boasts some of the best views and activities such as trout fishing, kayaking, biking, hiking, horseback riding, rock climbing, and more. If youre the intrepid-on-wheels kind, then why not drive along the roads of the north and south rims? Another set of people wholl love this place are wildlife lovers, as they can spot everything from golden eagles and elk to mule deer while traversing the myriad trails.
Plus, the fact that you can camp here overnight is a delightfully unexpected bonus! Of the three designated campgrounds, the North Rim campground is the remotest and the most primitive of them all and also the best. Remote and with just 13 first-come, first-served sites, the summer-only campground can be accessed via a road whose last seven miles are unpaved. Even though the campground is small with limited services, the sites are spread out in the treeline and spacious. Thats why this place fills up quickly during the summer, especially during weekends.
Faqs About Camping In Colorado
- Can you go camping during the Covid-19 pandemic in Colorado?
Most of the campgrounds and RV parks in Colorado are open during pandemic with certain social distance rules and safety restrictions.
- When does camping season start in Colorado?
The camping season in Colorado lasts from mid-June through September. That is when you will find the best weather. However, if you would prefer to skip the crowds, we recommend you plan your camping trip for spring.
- How much does RV camping cost in Colorado?
The prices vary depending on the season, location, and amenities of the campground. However, the rates in RV parks in Colorado are usually around USD$ 50 per night.
- Where can I park my RV for free in Colorado?
You can camp with your RV for free in Colorado on public lands administered by the USFS or the BLM. Also some of the areas of Colorado State Parks, US Army Corps of Engineers, Fish and Wildlife Service.
- Fishing, hiking, biking
Set between the mountain towns of Frisco and Breckenridge, Tiger Run Resort is accessible from Highway 70, yet quiet and surrounded by spectacular nature. It is a perfect home base for adventurers that provides its visitors with a myriad of things to do all year round.
Tiger Run Resort is simply an awesome place for outdoor lovers, as well as glampers.
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Angel Of Shavano Campgrounds
Those looking to truly get away from it all will want to add the Angel of Shavano campgrounds to their list of outdoor destinations. Located inside the San Isabel National Forest this campground has 20 individual campsites and is rarely ever crowded. This is due in part to its remote nature, which requires a three-hour drive from Denver just to get to the location. The upside is that this usually makes it extremely easy to reserve a spot, even during the busier summer months.
Situated along the 486-mile Colorado Trail, Angel of Shavano offers excellent hiking and mountain biking, as well as fishing in the North Fork Reservoir. The thickly-wooded national forest is also a beautiful retreat, offering plenty of solitude and tranquility for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of modern life. Lacking in accessible camp sites, Angel of Shavano is not the best option for wheelchair or mobility aid users.
North Of Pagosa Springs
Teal campground is on the western shore of Williams Creek Reservoir and features dramatic views of the San Juans towering above the lake. Cimarrona Peak and Chief and Toner mountains dominate the horizon to the north. To the east, Rock Mountain juts out of the surrounding slopes. Behind the campground, the slopes are covered in aspen groves. The 343-acre reservoir has good trout and kokanee salmon fishing in early summer. Small sailboats, canoes and kayaks are frequently on the lake. Hikers can drive to the nearby Williams Creek and Cimarrona trailheads. The campground has two loops. The right loop has just five sites, all with excellent views and lots of shade. The left loop has 11 sites close to the lake. Sites 6-12 overlook the water. These sites are closer together and have less shade, but you are also allowed to walk your tent down and pitch it in small clusters of pines.
If you go: 16 sites for tents and RVs up to 35 feet. No hookups. San Juan National Forest, Pagosa District, 970-264-2268, www.fs.usda.gov/sanjuan
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Vallecito Campground San Juan National Forest
Nestled down in the southwest corner of Colorado, San Juan National Forest is a mixed bag of high desert mesas, wildflower meadows, and jagged Alpine peaks. Its a complete wonderland of serenity, stretching out for 1.8 million acres across ten counties. Theres something for everybody climbing, hiking, angling, mountain biking, skiing the list goes on.
Naturally, camping here is the best way to experience all that San Juan has to offer. The best campground here is Vallecito its very popular . Located on Vallecito Creek, it has well-kept amenities, restrooms, and trailheads on the doorstep. For some, its the best camping in Colorado.
Amenities: Campfires allowed, Toilet available, Pets allowed, Potable water available, Picnic table available
Campsite fee: From $24 per campsite per night.
Rocking Mountain National Camping
One of the best-known camping sites this place is a must try if you love to camp with your family. Enjoy sitting on the cliff of a mountain and take a dip in the crystal clear river. Cook your fish and also do not forget to take your beer along if you want to enjoy your trip.
Rocking mountain national camping in Colorado
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Best Camping Places In Colorado
Spectacularly blue lakes, undulating sand dunes, lush forests, and snow-capped mountains nope, thats not a country, but just the state of Colorado! Boasting one of the most stunning sceneries in the United States, Colorados wilderness has it all. With sights such as the breathtaking Blue Mesa Reservoir, the winding roads of the Million Dollar Highway, and the grandeur of the Rocky Mountains National Park, Colorado is an outdoor lovers dream haven. Whats more, its also a much-loved camping playground! The best camping places in Colorado include everything from lush wilderness to spots beside lakes. Camping under the stars is one of the best ways to explore every nook and cranny of this state. With Covid-19 driving people to explore vacations in the wild, it seems like the right time to go camping in Colorado.
So, what are you waiting for? Pack your backpacks and load up the RV, and head out to these best camping places and spots in Colorado, some of which lie right near lakes!