Thursday, May 16, 2024

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Camping Near Water In Colorado

Rule No : Know How To Start A Fire

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

Staying warm is important, but making smores is critical. U.S. Forest Service Rocky Mountain Regional Office spokesperson Lawrence Lujan explains how to get a campfire burning safely.Karah Kemmerly

1. Before your trip, check the current fire restrictions and regulations in the area at or by contacting the local sheriffs office, the U.S. Forest Service, or the National Park Service. Contact the campground to see if digging a fire pit is permitted. Then, make sure to pack fire-building supplies, including fire-starter sticks, a shovel, and matches, plus water for putting it out.

2. If theres a fire ring where youre camping, use it . If not, build your own fire pit. Head downwind at least 15 feet from your tent to an area without dry grass and leaves or low-hanging tree limbsor clear a 10-foot area of vegetation. Then dig a one-foot-deep pit and encircle it with rocks.

3. Fill your pit with small twigs and dry grass or leaves, then ignite your campfire with a match or lighter. Gradually add small sticks and larger wood in a crisscross pattern over the kindling, but keep the fire a manageable size.

4. Before you head to bed, extinguish the fire. If possible, allow the wood to burn down until its all ash. Drown the pit completely by pouring water over it until the hissing stops, adding dirt, and stirring. Repeat this process until the site is totally cold.

Camping Near You Find A Free Campsite

Whether you just need to know where to camp nearby or you want to plan a free camping road trip, we’ve got you covered. You can simply use your smart phone’s GPS to find camping near you or even use our trip planner to plan your route from coast to coast.

Our community provides the best free camping information available. Free campgrounds can be hard to find. makes it easy. We give you a simple, map based search engine to find free and cheap camping areas. Community reviews and ratings provide you with up to date information and help you select the best camp site for your next camping trip.

This is a platform for sharing campgrounds and camp sites you have discovered. We are community driven, and while we will be adding many free camping spots, we hope that you will add some of your favorite camping places as well. By sharing camping information freely, we can all spend less time researching campgrounds, spend less money, and more time camping. If everyone contributes a few campsites, we’ll all have more places to go camping.

Please come back and let us know what you find!

We are not actively seeking Wal-Marts, truckstops or other parking lots and will not be adding very many of these. There are enough Wal-Mart and truck stop directories out there already. However, if a member of the community finds one of these locations to be useful for overnight RV parking and creates an entry, we may approve the listing.

Please come back and let us know what you find!

Bear Lake Campground West Of Yampa

West of Yampa, youll find the Bear Lake Campground .

The lake is situated in the Bear River Valley, close to the Flat Tops Wilderness Area, the second-largest wilderness in Colorado. The lake is enclosed by the towering, volcanic cliffs of the Flat Tops, while the valley is refreshingly lush with spruce, fir, and aspen.

Thanks to the Division of Wildlife and Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests joint management efforts, the trout fishery here is excellent. On Yamcolo Reservoir, youll find a boat ramp for larger vessels, while Bear Lake welcomes hand-powered and electric craft users.

For those who prefer to keep their feet on dry land, the Mandall Lakes Trail starts opposite the campground and takes you all the way up to Flat Tops Plateau. A few more trails begin at the Stillwater Reservoir. The countryside here is peaceful, and the views are spectacular.

This is the most suitable campground in the valley for RVs and families, and its divided into two loops. There are 43 sites for RVs up to 30 feet and for tents, one triple site, and two walk-in tent sites. You cant book in advance here, and there are no hookups. Sites cost from $10 to $30 per nightCall 970-638-4516 for more information.

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Sylvan Lake State Park

This state park located a few miles outside of Eagle, Colorado is home to a beautiful alpine lake. There are rustic cabins for rent, as well as campsites dispersed throughout the park. This is mostly a fishing and paddle boarding lake. An easy mile loop around the lake makes for great hiking with kids. It is a really fantastic place to get away from it all.

Campgrounds Near Tarryall Reservoir

Blue Water RV Park ,Parker ,Arizona

The paved County Road 77 north from Lake George connects Highway 24 with Highway 285 by Jefferson. Its a beautiful hour-long drive that passes by Tarryall Reservoir on the way. This state wildlife area is another splendid place to fish and boat, with several campgrounds and dispersed camping nearby. The lake is only thirty minutes north of Lake George, so its easy to access town if you need supplies.

Read Also: Rhode Island State Park Camping

Pion Flats Campground Great Sand Dunes National Park

Piñon Flats is located in Mosca. The campground is situated in the Great Sand Dunes National Park.

The campground dates back 60 years and is designed in a series of loops whose outermost sites give you access directly to trails, leading to the famous sand dunes. The dunes are the tallest in North America, forming the centerpiece of the parks diverse landscape of wetlands, grasslands, alpine lakes, tundra, and forests of conifer and aspen.

When the sun goes down, you can take in the glorious spectacle of a starry sky on a clear, moonless night, or enjoy a surreal stroll across the dunes under the magical light of a blazing full moon. If you come here when the Medano Creek breaks through to flow above ground, you can enjoy some extraordinary mountain beach fun, splashing around icy clear shallows that appear at the bottom of the dunes.

RELATED: Best Hiking in Great Sand Dunes NP

The campground has 88 sites that accommodate tents and RVs up to 35 feet. Also, there are three group sites for tents only. For the best mountain views, choose a site at the north end of the loops. Note that the group loop offers three sites for dispersed camping.

If you plan on coming here from mid-May through mid-September, its advisable to make a reservation, which you can do by calling 877-444-6777 or through At the time of writing, single sites cost $20 per night.

River Island State Park

River Island is the second of two amazing Parker, AZ area state parks! The same rules apply here as they do at Buckskin mountain…Choose your adventure and have a great time doing it! Find yourself lost in silent reflection while taking in the unforgettable Colorado River country beauty or get out on the water and let horsepower drive your memories home! Explore the trails and learn intimate secrets of the western Arizona desert before returning to the quiet campground for a good meal, night sky appreciation, and a good night’s rest before tomorrow’s adventures. Click below to find out more about this little park on the river with BIG opportunities for fun!

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Cache La Poudre Scenic Byway

Campgrounds run nearly the entire length from Fort Collins to Walden.

This national scenic byway follows the Cache La Poudre River for most of the way, so the scenery and recreation are spectacular. Rafting is common in parts, and there is plenty of other activities do in the Roosevelt National Forest.

The 101-mile byway is fine for all cars and takes about 3 hours, so any bargain car rental will do. If renting a car for your trip, most 2WD cars will be fine for driving around Colorados scenic summer roads. However, if youll be enjoying the forest roads, pay attention to its ground clearance the most, and opt for something higher.

There is lots of dispersed camping if you know where to look. There arent any sites on the byway itself, but numerous side roads hold campsites in the Roosevelt N.F.

Best Camping Sites:

Dispersed camping is a bit tricky on this byway since there are no sites directly on the highway. But there is still plenty. South of Walden, there are lots of free sites, minutes from the mostly ghost town of Gould. Take CR 21 a mile or so back to the national forest.

Check out this Roosevelt Ranger District PDF map of Canyon Lakes North to identify more dispersed camping .

Activities: Boating, Fishing, Hiking, Horseback Riding, OHV, Rafting

Nearby Towns:

Getting There:

Lakes, high mountains and lots of camping.

Two campgrounds are reservable at Twin Lakes and one on the Aspen side of the pass. Dispersed camping be found in the hills above Twin Lakes.

Map Of The Best Places To Camp In Colorado

EPIC Free Camping in Colorado | Waterfalls, Hot Springs, + RV Boondocking in Salida

Weve created a map of all the best campgrounds in Colorado! Bookmark this post or save the map to your phone to come back to it later.

  • Camping Tip: Theres a very good chance that youll run out of cell service somewhere along the way to your campground. To make sure you dont end up getting lost, download The Dyrt on your phone before your trip. The free version of the app is awesome, but the paid version lets you find camping from your vehicle even when you dont have WiFi or cell service, and includes downloadable maps, offline campground locating, and even waived fees on campground bookings. If you camp frequently, its well worth it!

Contributor Bio: Lyndsie Clark grew up in Boulder, Colorado as the only child of hippie parents. As a bored extrovert, she spent a large part of her childhood in her head, creating stories. In her free time, Lyndsie is an outdoor adventurer, music-lover, and an enthusiastic patron of local businesses. Residing in Denver, one of the great microbrew capitals of America, it is her goal to try beer from every brewery in Colorado! Currently, she is a blog writer in the areas of travel, pets, food, self-help, adventure, and in-home technology.

Are you ready to pitch a tent in one of the best places to camp in Colorado? Which one of these camping spots in Colorado would you want to visit first? Drop us a comment below!

Psst: Looking for more outdoor adventure this summer? Take a look at some of our other posts:

Read Also: Camping Sites In Colorado Springs

Chatfield State Park Campground

Image from The Dyrt camper Vangmany S.

This campground lies on the banks of the Chatfield Reservoir, in the vast and scenic Chatfield State Park. Youll find this site easy to reach from Colorado Springs just follow I-25 north for an hour, turning off just before you reach the town of Littleton.All of the sites have electrical hookups, tent pads, grills, and picnic tables. There is also an absolutely massive large group camping area, which can accommodate up to 360 people. If youd prefer to get away from the crowds, you can head down one of the many hiking trails and take in the surrounding wildlife.

This site was the cleanest Ive ever camped at. The gravel was freshly raked, both around the picnic table and on the tent pad.Katie M.

  • Price: $36-41

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!

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Best Camping Spots Near Colorado Springs Colorado

Nestled at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and the doorstep of Pike National Forest, its no surprise that Colorado Springs is overflowing with great campgrounds.

Camping in Colorado Springs is a wonderful way visit this unique city and landscape. Whether youre looking for a home base to tour the city or heading deep into Pike National Forest, the Colorado Springs area has you covered!

There are so many attractions around Colorado Springs, its honestly hard to decide what to do sometimes. If youre looking for a little adventure inspiration, check out our article on the best hikes around Colorado Springs or visit the citys adventure guide for tips on what to do. Dont forget to ask your campground host for ideas, too!

Ready to pitch your tent? Heres a list of the best campgrounds around Colorado Springs, covering everything from national forest campgrounds to state parks and private camping resorts.

Why you should camp here: A backpackers dream, where hikers are greeted with a hot meal and warm bunk.

  • Reservations Accepted: Yes
  • Best Seasons: Year-round
  • Campsite Type: Cabins, bunkhouses, lean-tos, tents

Youll find Barr Camp along on the Barr Trail, the most popular route to the Pikes Peak summit. This unique camp offers many lodging options that cater to any hiking party.

Barr Camp makes it possible for hikers to test their skills in the winter months. I know I would only want to hike Barr Trail in December if I could expect hot meals and a roof over my head!

Sacred White Shell Mountain

Read Our Ranger Lakes Campground Camping Review

Sacred White Shell Mountain is a gem of free camping in Colorado. Located way down south in the San Luis Valley, this BLM land is the perfect place to set up camp if you want to explore Great Sand Dunes National Park. Its only about a 15 min drive from this camping area to the entrance of the National Park, yet it still feels secluded and uncrowded.

Youll find plenty of dispersed sites with space to spread out along Lake Como Road. Just be aware that this starts as an easily passable dirt road, but eventually becomes super rocky and requires high-clearance 4WD, so stop at one of the earlier sites if your vehicle cant handle that.

This area also makes a great base camp if you want to summit the 14er of Blanca Peak. Even if you dont hike the peak, you can appreciate the beautiful views of Mount Blanca from your campsite.

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River Run Campground Granby

River Run Campground in Granby is a very new facility thats described as a cabin rental, glamping, camping, and RV resort.

This is a large, sprawling site with 400 camping, RV, and vacation rental options. Theres a zero-entry pool, onsite SUP, fishing, and kayaking on the Colorado River. At the end of the day, you can eat in one of the two restaurants. Theres even a mini-bowling alley to keep the kids amused!

If youre looking for a family-friendly getaway with plenty of things to do onsite and is equipped with all the comforts of home, this could be the ideal vacation destination for you.

For more information on rates, availability, and more, check out the River Run website at this link or call Granby, 888-814-7202. In our opinion, probably the best RV camping in Colorado.

What Is Dispersed Camping

All free camping in Colorado is dispersed camping. This means there are no amenities. You are expected to pack it in, pack it out, and practice Leave No Trace.

Only embark on a dispersed camping adventure if you know how to properly dig a hole and poop in the woods . Pack out all of your toilet paper and pick up dog waste before you leave.

Youll also want to make sure you bring enough water for the time youre at camp. Dont forget a trash bag .

Lastly, only stay in previously established sites. This ensures that no new campsites are created, which leads to more human impact on the environment.

Read Also: Rv Camping Near Sevierville Tn

Why Not Park Your Rv At Wineries And Breweries

A membership with Harvest Hosts allows you to park your RV or trailer at thousands of locations across the United States.

These include wineries, breweries, farms, golf courses, and much more!

A Harvest Hosts membership costs just $79 per year. But, you can save an additional 15% off with our code: BEYOND15

Sounds pretty cool, doesnt it? For more information, check out our full Harvest Hosts review.

Colorado Rv Sites Offer Utility Hookups

Wupperman Campground – Lake City Colorado

A Full Hookup RV site has its own electrical, water & sewer connections. Most sites offer 20, 30 or 50 amp electrical service. Other amenities include: cable hookups, WI-FI, patios/decks, and shade canopy/pergola. Luxury RV Campsites have water, sewer and 50 amp electric hookups, PLUS they are 45+ feet long, have room for slideouts on two sides and have a patio/deck in addition to a picnic table and fire ring/grill.

Also Check: Camping For Kids In California

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