Table of Contents Show
- Colorado Camping Is in a League Of Its Own
- When Is the Best Time to Go Camping in Colorado?
- The Best Campgrounds to Try in Colorado
- 1. Kelly Dahl Campground, Nederland
- 2. Tunnel Campground, Larimer County
- 3. South Fork Campground, South Fork
- 4. Rainbow Lakes Campground, Nederland
- 5. Guanella Pass Campground, Idaho Springs
- 6. Chatfield State Park Campground, Littleton
- 7. Grand Junction KOA Holiday, Grand Junction
- 8. Bear Lake Campground, La Veta
- 9. Lowry Campground, Dillon
- 10. Base Camp at Golden Gate Canyon, Black Hawk
- Enjoy Camping in the Centennial State
Many people dream of camping in their RV or tent in a stunning location. Those dreams can become a reality if you choose to camp in Colorado. Colorado has remarkable scenery, a rich history, and incredible outdoor adventures.
Is it time to start planning your Colorado camping trip? Let’s look at all of the possibilities.
Colorado Camping Is in a League Of Its Own
Colorado has idyllic destinations for every RVer or tent camper. You may experience the prairie grasses of eastern Colorado, mountain streams teeming with trout, or sites overlooking Anasazi ruins on the Western Slope.
With 36% of their land owned by the federal government, Colorado has forests, lakes, and land that can be a playground for all. Many campers find enjoyment in dispersed camping. Others enjoy backcountry hikes, rock skiing down giant dunes, or soaking in a hot spring.
You could find all of this on public land. It’s easy to see why Colorado can be a magnet for camping enthusiasts!
Pro Tip: Looking for privacy and some room to stretch your legs? You should learn more about dispersed camping.
When Is the Best Time to Go Camping in Colorado?
If your RV is a four-season vehicle, you can enjoy Colorado camping any time of year. However, the vast number of outdoor activities that campers love to engage in are usually popular during the summer months.
Hiking through national forests or up mountainsides, fishing in lakes or reservoirs, and shooting the rapids on a whitewater river are activities best enjoyed during the summer.
Many campers use their RVs as a home base for ski holidays or snowshoeing treks when the snow is deep. Ice fishing, snowmobiling, and sledding are best to experience in the colder months. Some also like the solitude of off-season camping.
The only detriment to camping in Colorado from October through April is that open campgrounds are challenging to find. In the off-season, dispersed camping may be your only option.
The Best Campgrounds to Try in Colorado
It isn’t easy to narrow down a list of our favorite campgrounds in Colorado, but here are ten that will have you feeling that Rocky Mountain high once you’ve tried them!
1. Kelly Dahl Campground, Nederland
Address: CO-119, Nederland, CO 80466
About: Kelly Dahl Campground is along the Peak-To-Peak Highway near Nederland and Black Haw. It has 46 campsites that will accommodate both RV and tent campers.
Peak season for Colorado camping here is May 20 through September 18, with fees for non-electric sites at $25. The off-season is September 19 through October 9, at $18.75.
All campsites are non-electric and sites 1-20 are first-come, first-served. You can reserve all other sites through their website.
2. Tunnel Campground, Larimer County
Address: Colorado 80236
About: Tunnel Campground lies upon the banks of Tunnel Creek, about 70 miles northwest of Fort Collins in the Rawah Wilderness.
It has 49 campsites on a first-come, first-served basis. Each site has a picnic table, fire grate, tent pad, and bear locker. There is communal water for most of the season.
Campsites range from 20’ to 70’ for tents or RVs. The campground is open from June 17 through October 10.
3. South Fork Campground, South Fork
Address: 26359 US-160, South Fork, CO 81154
About: This privately-owned campground lies just outside the southwestern mountain town of South Fork. It is open from May 1 to October 1 and has 50 RV sites along the Rio Grande River.
With rates from $35 to $45 per night, guests have amenities like a clean bathhouse, community building with satellite TV, a BBQ and events pavilion, and free wifi at your site.
4. Rainbow Lakes Campground, Nederland
Address: Nederland, CO 80466
About: Located 12 miles northwest of Nederland, the Rainbow Lakes Campground is 10,000 feet in the Arapaho National Forest. There are 15 first-come, first-served campsites. The camps are for tents and small trailers and have tent pads and bear lockers.
A vault toilet is also available. Fees are $18 to $33. The campground is open from June 10 through September 18 and is in high demand as a site for Colorado camping, so it fills up fast.
5. Guanella Pass Campground, Idaho Springs
Address: Guanella Pass Rd, Idaho Springs, CO 80452
About: Located seven miles south of Georgetown, the Guanella Pass Campground sits at 10,900 feet and is close to fishing and hiking venues.
Its 18 non-electric campsites are for smaller RVs and tents. There are vault toilets, hand-pumped potable water, and trash dumpsters available. Nightly fees are $23.
6. Chatfield State Park Campground, Littleton
Address: 11500 Roxborough Park Rd, Littleton, CO 80125
About: Chatfield State Park is the most urban campground location on our list. It is on the southeast side of the Denver suburbs, just minutes from the metropolitan area.
The park has 197 reservation-only campsites within four different campgrounds. It offers boating, hiking, and bicycling activities and is open year-round.
Camps have water and electricity, and a few have full hookups available. The campgrounds have flush toilets, hot showers, and laundry facilities. There is also a restaurant in the park. Nightly prices are from $36 to $41.
7. Grand Junction KOA Holiday, Grand Junction
Address: 2819 US-50, Grand Junction, CO 81503
About: Explore the Western Slope of Colorado from the KOA in Grand Junction for Colorado camping. The KOA has 64 RV campsites and seven tent sites, ranging in price from $50 to $65.
The campground offers hot showers, a laundry facility, community room, playground, mini-golf, wifi, and a pool. It is open year-round, and its location makes it a good home base for exploring Colorado National Monument, the Book Cliffs, and red rock country.
Pro Tip: Before staying at the KOA in Grand Junction, read the top regrets of staying at a KOA RV park.
8. Bear Lake Campground, La Veta
Address: La Veta, CO 81055
About: The Bear Lake Campground is in the Cuchara Mountain Range and San Isabel National Forest. It is open from May 13 through October 9, with peak season requiring reservations from June 10 through August 12.
It has 14 small campsites with no amenities. Bear Lake Campground is best for tent campers, and the nightly cost is $23.
9. Lowry Campground, Dillon
Address: Lowry Campground, Dillon, CO 80435
About: Lowry Campground is on Dillon Reservoir just outside of Breckenridge. It has 27 campsites, three of which are tent-only sites. The other 24 campsites have electrical hookups.
The camping season stretches from May 21 through October 3, and the campground has vault toilets and potable water. The nightly fees are $24 to $29.
10. Base Camp at Golden Gate Canyon, Black Hawk
Address: 661 CO-46, Black Hawk, CO 80422
About: Base Camp Campground is 12 miles outside Black Hawk. It has 18 RV campsites with electric and water hookups and eight tent sites with no hookups.
With a full-service store and amenities like a shower house, laundry room, wireless internet, and a playground, the campground is a great place to stay while exploring the nearby gambling towns of Central City and Black Hawk. The cost to stay at Base Camp ranges from $35 to $80.
Enjoy Camping in the Centennial State
There is no need to put your dreams of camping in Colorado on hold. There are many campsites in many of the most picturesque locations and even more dispersed camping on public land.
Make reservations early where necessary, and plan on exploring as much of The Centennial State as possible. It’s unlikely that you would never tire of its beauty.
If you go, Colorado may lure you back again and again! When is your favorite location for Colorado camping?