For the best camping in Colorado, there are a few important things to know. One of them is the kind of camping that you want to do. It could be tent camping in Colorado, or it could also be RV camping in Colorado.
If you are the adventurous sort and you do not mind going an extra step, you may also find out places where you can engage in cowboy style camping.
There are so many campgrounds in Colorado, all of them offering authentic camping experiences. Let us just say that if you have never hiked or camped in Colorado, you have “truly” never camped. I mean, the experience that you get here is so original, so one with nature. And tell you what too, one camping trip is not enough. You will have to come back for more.
Because of the diverse camping experiences that you enjoy in Colorado, it can be hard to truly enjoy for the first time. However, with thorough preparation, you can get off to an exhilarating camping experience. If you do not want to spend too much, even free camping is available!
Whether you are looking for dry camping experience, a mountain camping experience or any other, Colorado has your back on everything when it comes to the outdoors.
Here are the best types of camping in Colorado by type
Tent Camping In Colorado – 4 destinations
So many campgrounds in Colorado offer tent camping. Of course, even RV camping enthusiasts eventually have to do tent camping. It is flexible and more one with nature. So pack up your tent for all seasons.
Even for the cold times, Colorado still offers some of the best camping destinations. It is the place that you check out for winter, fall, spring and summer camping.
Mueller State Park for best camping in Colorado
You can go for tent camping in the Mueller State Park, which lies on more than 5000 acres of land. There are miles and miles of biking and hiking trails. You may also go for hunting as well as horseback riding.
If you are looking for a place for tent camping, this is the best of them all, the State Park is beautiful and even has play areas for children. In addition, you can do all types of camping, including tent camping. One of the best spots to camp with your tent is the Prospector Ridge. You may also hike the Outlook Ridge Trail and catch the wildflowers in full bloom.
When you get to the park, go to the office for visitor information. Stuffed heads of popular animals adorn the walls, thereby giving your young ones a thrilling experience from the word go. In the information office, you will get all the information that you need about different campgrounds in the park that offer tent camping.
Mountain Park Recreation Area – Camping in Colorado
This is also one of the most popular areas for tent camping in Colorado. It is well organized, with deep fire pits and picnic tables. There are bathrooms and shower rooms which are quite clean and in best condition. It is in the Roosevelt National Forest.
There are all of 55 campsites. Some of them are single and some are double family sites. The costs starts anywhere from $25 per night, but you can get more up to date reports from the offices or on their official website.
The first 32 campsites have hookups, so you should have a camping experience that is pretty close to a glamping experience. They offer the kind of campsites where you can use a transparent bubble tent. Sites 33 to 55 have no hookups, pretty rudimentary but that is deliberate. You can get a good dry camping experience.
There are even group campsites that are designed to hold groups of up to 75 people.
Cheyenne Mountain State Park – best camping in Colorado
Both tent and RV camping are allowed in the Cheyenne Mountain State Park. First, there are 10 walk-in tent camping sites, where you can set up your tent and enjoy your rendezvous with nature like a true mountain man.
There are also 51 fully-fledged RV campsites with hookups and everything. In total, this makes it 61 campsites that are almost fully occupied throughout the year. It is recommended that you make your reservation in advance.
There are trails for hiking and mountain biking. You may even get lucky and see some wildlife such as coyotes. If you are looking for a place where you can camp and be one with nature for the entire time. You will love the tent camping experience so much you will want to come back for more.
Granite Tent Campground – camping in Colorado
One cannot have a complete list of the areas for the best camping in Colorado if they do not include Granite Tent Campground. The cost used to be $12 per might, you can always check on their official site to get the current rates.
This campground has six tent sites. It is only used for tent camping. You will find the campground at the end of the Taylor Canyon. You are not required to make any reservation, just drive in or walk-in and if there are campsites remaining, you will get one. They are allocated on first come first served basis.
There is no water, so make sure to bring your own. This is also black bear country, so you are required to store food and water in the right way, locked up in your own car. There is a vault toilet too, reasonably clean and usable. You may even stay a couple of nights here for your tent camping Colorado experience.
RV Camping in Colorado – Best 4 RV Campgrounds
There are hundreds, possibly running into thousands of RV campgrounds in Colorado. RV camping is a thrilling experience and like glamping, you can live in a home away from home, in your RV.
Here are the best RV campgrounds in Colorado:
Dolores River Campground – RV and Tent Campsites
This is one of the best campgrounds not only for RVs, but pretty much every other kind of camping. If you are looking for tent camping, cabin camping or RV camping, you will love this place. It is close to the Dolores River.
It is also very clean and big, something that you only notice when you get inside. There are 16 campsites, and each has picnic tables and patio. It is definitely one of the best campgrounds in Colorado. Take your family for a serene camping time.
Because this is a family owned campground, its services, cleanliness and ambience is above what you find in national parks. You will buy your groceries in the nearby towns of Dolores and Cortez.
Other activities that you may engage in here include fishing in the available ponds, of course, you are not required to have a license. You can also go hiking. Food trucks come into the campgrounds two nights a week.
There is WiFi, cable TV and good mobile reception. The water pressure is alright and the park manager is always onsite should you need anything checked. From this campground, you will be able to make day trips to places such as Durango and Pagosa Springs.
If you go for camping in the fall, you will love the foliage. Overall, the Dolores River Campground offers some of the best camping in Colorado for RV lovers.
Elk Creek Campground and RV Park
This is one of the most popular campgrounds for RV camping and tent camping as well. However, it is mostly known for RV camping because it has roomy campsites for large RVs and motorhomes.
The bathrooms and the showers are very clean. Basically, all the campsites are well organised. The only arising issue is that the roads into the park are a bit narrow, but that has never stopped even the big motorhomes from getting to the park.
You will get RV sites with all hookups. If you want to explore the Rocky Mountain State Park, this is the place to go for your RV camping experience. There are 5 campsites in this campground. They all have 30 Amp power hookups. They also have fire rings and picnic tables. If you lack a sewer hookup in your site, do not worry because there is a dump nearby.
You will see wildlife such as foxes, deer and moose. They scallop through the campsites every now and then and the good thing is that there is enough space between the lots. You may make a reservation online for a campsite, but you cannot reserve a specific lot.
There are trees all round; you will feel as if you are in a meadow. The surface is gravel, quite good even if it rains. Hands down, this is one of the best campgrounds for the best camping in Colorado. You will love the ambience, the organization and the hospitality.
Garden of the Gods Campground
Sometimes, you just want serene destination that you can run to for a camping vacation after a full year in the office. This is what you get from the Garden of the Gods RV resort and campground.
Apart from the fantastic name, is there anything else that makes this campground a must-visit for you? Of course, there is. It has some great campsites for your RV with good WiFi connection as well as telephone reception.
Amenities such as bathrooms and shower rooms are very clean. This campground is in one of the prime locations for sightseeing and hiking. If you get one of the cabins, you will love its ambience and cleanliness.
The roads in the campground are made of asphalt. The sites themselves are made with gravel. The hookups for sewer and electricity are very good. There is water too and whats more, this campground is located in a prime location where it in the middle of many attractions.
The town of Manitou is close, and so is the Red Rock Canyon. However, the main center of attraction is the Garden of the Gods National Natural Landmark with its awesome hiking trails and the photogenic rock formations. Access to the park and the nature garden is free of charge. You will definitely want to take your children there.
It is easy to navigate the roads in the campground even when you have the biggest motorhome but some people have said they had problems steering their 45-foot motorhomes around.
Goldfield RV Park – Best camping in Colorado
This is not a big RV campground, but it still offers some of the best camping in Colorado. It is very close to the Garden of the Gods, and that is probably the reason why this campground is always full.
Because of the small size, some people say that it looks more of an RV park than a campground. However, the close proximity to the Pikes Peak and to town makes it a nice stopover point for people who live in their RVs.
The RV parks are clean. You will also get free WiFi and cable. Hookups to sewer and electricity are available. Although this park is a bit crowded, you will love its ambience. The shower rooms and bathrooms are quite clean too.
You can make reservations online or on the phone. The prices are affordable, which you can check on their official website. If you would like to enjoy your time in an urban tent campsite, it is available. However, it is most popularly known as a pull-through RV campground.
Best free camping in Colorado
Does Colorado offer free camping? Yes it does. As one of the top camping destinations in America, Colorado has many free campgrounds. Also called dispersed camping, it just means a free campground, where you do not pay an entrance fee.
Here, I will bring you just a few of them:
Portal Campground in Aspen – free camping in Colorado
If you love mountain camping or an experience that is close to it, just go to Aspen and find the Portal Campground where you will find it nestled among tall pines, serene and just waiting for you. The good thing is that camping here, with an RV or your tent is free of charge!
This is a small campground, so you should coincide your camping time to when there are not many visitors. Also, it may not be the kind of place to bring a spanking 45 foot motorhome because the roads a bit narrow and they can be a bit hard to negotiate.
About amenities, well, there are vault toilets, reasonably clean. The available campsites are 27 in number. Find out on their website whether you need to make a reservation for one in advance. There are hiking and biking trails and you can arrange to do fishing, and catch your own dinner. Horseback riding and ATV biking is also allowed.
Fires are allowed, you may bring your pets and there are picnic tables for a perfect family vacation.
Jones Pass – best boondocking in Colorado
When you want a camping experience that is bare of everything modern – no hookups, no nothing, you need to go to the Jones Pass. It is a bit high so you should be ready for alpine weather, you know, with clothes to keep you warm and all that. However, it is a secluded spot, which means there is not that many people. You cam enjoy your serenity and solitude here.
To access free camping, just take the way down the Forest Road 202. Drive until you pass the Henderson Mine. You can keep driving all the way to the pass or you can hoose any spot after the mine since that is where free camping starts.
Some of your views while camping here will include the Indian Peaks, Eagles Nest Wilderness and the Rocky Mountain National Park. You will need a SUV to access free camping here since the road is a bit on the rough side. If you are truly spirited, you can even drive a teardrop camper up the pass.
Alta Lakes Campground near Telluride
This primitive campground is located about 5 miles from Telluride. It is quite popular with many people, so you should go early during the weekends so that you can get a spot. It offers some of the best camping in Colorado.
Alta Lakes Campground has about 20 primitive campsites but Alta is the best of them all. You may want to do tent or car camping here because it can be a bit hard for an RV to get there. Alta Lakes is called so because of the three lakes available there. You will most probably camp beside one.
This is one of the best high altitude dispersed camping sites. There is a lot to do while you are there, including fishing in one of the lakes. Fires are not allowed all of the time, but with good timing, you can also catch the wildflowers at full bloom.
If you are up to hiking, take the five-mile trail to the town. You may also go for skiing on the mountain that is just behind the town of Telluride. Just ensure that you bring the right gear because the air can get a bit cold up here.
For free camping in Colorado, you will be getting yourself quite a deal here. If you love fishing, bring your gear.
Choosing the place for the best camping in Colorado, a state that is known for its incredible outdoor spots can be hard. However, if you are a camping enthusiast, I have brought you a few of the tent campgrounds, RV campgrounds and even free campgrounds. What more can you ask for? Start planning your next camping adventure in Colorado.