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30 of the Best Places to Go Camping in Colorado

Colorado is home to some of the best camping in the world.

Whether you prefer lakes, rivers, mountains, or even desert, there’s a Colorado campground that’s perfect for you.

We’ve done the legwork for you and narrowed down your options to just 30 of the absolute best campgrounds to help you plan the perfect family camping trip.

Now, let’s dive right in!

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These Are the Best Campgrounds in Colorado

Here is the best camping in Colorado whether you camp in a tent, RV, or a van.

1. The Crags Campground (State Forest State Park)

Mountain views of State Forest State Park in Colorado.

Let everyone else head over to nearby Rocky Mountain National Park while your family checks out the Crags Campground.

Located in State Forest State Park, this campground is one of the best places for car camping in Colorado.

Not only is there world-class climbing nearby at Nokhu Crags, but there’s also hiking and fly fishing via the American Lakes Trail.

The access roads can be pretty rough, but most vehicles should make the drive just fine. No RVs or trailers are allowed at this campground.

The Crags Campground itself is quite primitive. It has 26 campsites each with a picnic table and fire ring.

No bear boxes are provided so make sure to practice proper bear country food storage. The only campground amenities are pit toilets and a hand pump water pump.

Learn more about The Crags Campground.

2. Camp Dick (Roosevelt National Forest)

Camp Dick Campground in Colorado.
Photo by Gary Barnes CC 2.0

Adjacent to Middle Saint Vrain Creek, Camp Dick is easily accessible via the Peak to Peak Scenic Byway.

The pet-friendly campground has plenty of space for your dogs to run. The sound of surrounding water is relaxing. Plus, it’s a great place to take a dip on warm days.

Other nearby activities include fishing, horseback riding, biking, and simply enjoying nature. Rocky Mountain National Park is just 25 minutes away.

Tents and RVs are welcome. Amenities include pit toilets, running water, and trash service.

Learn more about Camp Dick.

3. Guanella Pass Campground (Arapaho National Forest)

Photo shot at Guanella Pass in Colorado.
Photo Rob Lee CC 2.0

You’re going to love the pioneering spirit that camping at Guanella Pass encourages.

Take in reenactments of wagon days or explore old wagon trails and ghost towns. Collect your own campfire wood in the spruce forest, hike burly trails, or spend the entire day trout fishing.

RVs and tents are both welcome. Although RVs are encouraged to avoid driving on the Guanella Scenic Byway. The campground is at over 10,000 feet in elevation, so expect cold nights, even in summer.

Learn more about Guanella Pass Campground.

4. Mueller’s Campground (Mueller State Park)

View of Colorado forest in the fall with the colors in the trees turning yellow.
Photo Cheddar CC 2.0

Mueller’s Campground has black bear, deer, elk, fox, coyotes, and bighorn sheep all living nearby.

Then you’ve got stunning views of the Continental Divide to the west and Pikes Peak to the east. Fo fishing, check out Four Mile Creek. For hiking, check out the trail to Dome Rock.

RVs and tent campers are welcome. Pets are allowed. This campground has flush toilets, potable water, and an RV dump station during the summer season.

Learn more about camping at Mueller State Park.

5. Dunton Hot Springs (Telluride)

People sitting around large fire pit at night in Colorado.
Photo by Automotive Rhythms CC 2.0

Want to turn camping into glamping?

Then Dunton River Camp is for you. More like a resort with a relaxing outdoor atmosphere, we believe this is one of the best places for glamping in Colorado.

Dunton Hot Springs, just across the mountain from world-famous Telluride, is a renovated Old West town with full modern amenities. The meadowed property also has a saloon, dancehall, hot-spring bathhouse, and access to a private stretch on the Dolores River.

For a taste of luxury camping, book your stay in one of the eight large safari tents set atop wooden platform with luxurious furnishings inside.

Learn more about Dunton River Camp.

6. Turquoise Lake Recreation Area (San Isabel National Forest)

View of beautiful Turquoise Lake in Colorado with mountains on all sides.
Photo by Carsten ten Brink CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

With a total of eight campgrounds, Turquoise Lake has a ton of different options to choose from.

The campgrounds are all set alongside or at least near the 1,800 acre lake surrounded by a thick evergreen forest and some of Colorado’s most spectacular mountains on all sides.

Molly Brown Campground and Baby Doe Campground are two of our favorites in the area.

Don’t forget to check out the 12-mile bike trail that starts in nearby Leadville and loops through Mineral Belt. It’s a fairly easy trek that the whole family will enjoy.

Learn more about Turquoise Lake Recreation Area.

7. Granite Tent Campground (Gunnison National Forest)

View of beautiful lake in Gunnison National Forest with mountains in background.
Photo by Matt Santomarco CC BY-NC 2.0

As the name implies, this stunning Colorado campground is for tent campers only.

With just six campsites total, Granite Tent Camp is perfect for those that love privacy and solitude while camping. All of the campsites are well spaced. Most are located near the river.

Camp here and you’ll hear the river sing its soothing lullaby at night. The mornings can be a joy as you listen to the lunkers splash and leap.

It’s said that many of the lunkers (an angling term used for exceptionally large fish) migrate from nearby Harmel Ranch Resort’s private stretch of the river.

Learn more about Granite Tent Camp.

8. Aspen Campground (Jefferson)

Photo of Jefferson Lake in Colorado.
Nearby Jefferson Lake Photo by Brad Patterson CC BY-ND 2.0

Just a stone’s throw from Jefferson Creek, Aspen Campground sits near Jefferson Lake, one of Colorado’s highest elevation lakes.

The campground is incredibly peaceful thanks to the surrounding groves of aspen and spruce as well as bordering mountain peaks stretching up to 12,000 feet high.

In addition to the camping and great fishing, Aspen Campground is notable for its location next to the Colorado Trail which stretches 471 miles between Denver and Durango.

Although technically open during the winter, the access roads are very rough, so consider this campsite seasonal.

Learn more about Aspen Campground.

9. Kelly Dahl Campground (Roosevelt National Forest)

Kelly Dahl is one of our favorite Colorado campgrounds for a quick weekend getaway.

Not only is the campground itself something special, but countless outdoor activities are waiting seemingly right outside of your tent.

In addition to hiking, you can head over to the nearby town of Nederland to take in some cultural events or even go to the skate park.

The campground is ideal for children as it has a small playground located onsite.

Learn more about Kelly Dahl Campground.

10. Thunder Ridge Campground (Colorado Springs)

Located above the Rampart Reservoir, Thunder Ridge Campground is popular for fishing, boating, and hiking.

Nearby Pikes Peak is one of the country’s tallest mountains, stretching over 14,000 feet. It makes for great views.

Thunder Ridge campground itself is quaint, quiet, and a fantastic place to sit around the campfire and get to know your family better. You can even bring the family pet!

Learn more about Thunder Ridge Campground.

11. Kelly Flats Campground (Fort Collins)

Photo of Kelly Flats Campground near the river in Colorado.

We think Kelly Flats Campground is one of the best places to camp in Colorado thanks to all the nearby outdoor activities!

In addition to hiking, fishing, and mountain biking, you can sign up for a guided raft tour of the river. If you’re lucky, you might even see some wildlife on your stay.

The river flows right through the campground and there’s outstanding fishing just steps away.

This little first-come, first-served campground is already peaceful, but for those that want even more privacy, four walk-in campsites are available.

Learn more about Kelly Flats Campground.

12. Long Draw Campground (Roosevelt National Forest)

If you want to socialize and meet new people, set up at Red Feather Lakes or Poudre Canyon.

But, if you want a little privacy, head on to Long Draw. This campground promises wilderness and solitude, but also has amazing RV camping.

Expect to be surrounded by woods with lots of shade. This makes it perfect for staying cool in summer (but not so good for those that rely on solar panels for their RVs).

If you’re a hiker, you’ll love the Corral Creek trail.

Learn more about Long Draw Campground.

12. Bear Lake Campground (Sangre de Cristo Mountains)

View of the amazing Sangre De Cristo Mountains at sunset.
Sangre De Cristo Mountains Sunset Photo by Dave Hensley CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Marvel at the forest of fir and spruce bordering the Sangre de Cristo Mountains during your stay at Bear Lake Campground.

This family-friendly campground is perfect for those that love fishing, whether in a lake or a stream.

Views include granite domes and open meadows. And, of course, the beautiful sight of Bear Lake itself.

This is a great place to head for a genuine Colorado camping experience.

Learn more about Bear Lake Campground.

14. Saddlehorn Campground (Colorado National Monument)

Sun high above the mountains, shot from Saddlehorn Campground in Colorado.
Saddlehorn Campground Photo by Daveynin CC BY 2.0

Saddlehorn Campground is part of the Colorado National Monument, sometimes called “the heart of the world.”

Once upon a time, you could visit the national monument for days without seeing a single soul. But, now that the masses have discovered this beautiful canyon country outside of Grand Canyon, this secret treasure isn’t so secret any longer.

No matter. Colorado National Monument is still just as much of a joy to visit thanks to its forest, rock formations, and hiking trails. The Upper Monument Canyon Trail is one of the best in the area.

When it’s time to retire for the night, check out Saddlehorn Campground, the only developed campground in the national monument.

Learn more about Saddlehorn Campground.

15. Vallecito Campground (San Juan National Forest)

Photo of the Colorado forest.
  Photo by CrankyPK CC BY-ND 2.0

For families that love adventure, Vallecito Campground is just for you.

Do know that this isn’t the campground for privacy – it’s among the largest and most popular campgrounds in the San Juan National Forest.

In addition to camping, your family will love all the nearby fishing and hiking opportunities.

Learn more about Vallecito Campground.

16. Moraine Park Campground (Rocky Mountain National Park)

Photo of Long's Peak in Colorado.
Longs Peak Photo by Sasha Vasko CC BY-NC 2.0

Moraine Park is our favorite campground in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Not only is the location amazingly convenient, but the views from the campground are out of this world. And that’s not to mention the occasional mule deer, elk, or coyote to wander through.

Moraine Park welcomes tent campers and RVers alike. The campground has flush toilets, potable water, and even dish-washing stations during the summer season.

Make your reservations early if you plan to camp here during the summer months.

Learn more about Moraine Park Campground.

17. Oh Be Joyful Campground (Gunnison National Forest)

Oh Be Joyful Campground stays true to its name – camp here for a Colorado camping experience that will bring joy to everyone’s heart.

Located near Crested Butte and within Gunnison National Forest, the campground is set among alpine meadows and high serrated peaks.

Fish on the Slate River, take a dip yourself, or find some time for a little kayaking.

Want to hop into town for a little bit? The shops and restaurants in Crested Butte are just a few minutes away.

Learn more about Oh Be Joyful Campground.

18. Big Creek Lakes Campground (Routt National Forest)

Photo showing the wintertime mountains in Routt National Forest.
Routt National Forest Photo by Brendan BombaciCC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Big Creek Lakes Campground is part of the Parks Ranger District in Routt National Forest.

Located near Mount Zirkel, one of the most imposing peaks in the Rocky Mountains, this campground boasts inspiring summit views.

The peaceful blue lakes will make you never want to go home. Our family loves the two-mile trail along Seven Lakes. You might even see a moose!

Learn more about Big Creek Lakes Campground.

19. Rosy Lane Campground (Gunnison National Forest)

Photo of beautiful Emerald Lake in Colorado.
Emerald Lake Photo by Shutter Runner CC BY-NC 2.0

Like many of Colorado’s best campgrounds, Rosy Lane is located at a high elevation, over 8,600 feet.

This makes it an ideal place to escape the summer heat, but means it’s all but inaccessible during the wintertime.

At Rosy Lane, opportunities for rafting, boating, swimming, and fishing abound. Try to score a shaded site under a row of beautiful aspen trees.

Learn more about Rosy Lane Campground.

20. Elk Run and Fisherman’s Paradise Campgrounds (Sylvan Lake State Park)

Sylvan Run State Park is home to some of the best camping in Colorado, especially if you have an RV.

Two campgrounds are set on the lake: Elk Run and Fisherman’s Paradise.

Both campgrounds are incredibly beautiful. The area is set in the heart of the Rockies. Take in the groves, wildflowers, wildlife, and, of course, the really, really, really big mountains!

During the summer, the lake is perfect for kayaking or canoeing. This campground is perfect for family relaxation.

Learn more about Sylvan Run State Park.

21. North Rim Campground (Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park)

View looking out from Windy Point in Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park.
Windy Point Photo by Texas Tongs CC BY-NC 2.0

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is amazing – and camping at North Rim Campground will make your visit even better.

The remote campground is located off an unpaved road, although all vehicles should be able to make the drive just fine.

The campground is quite small and the campsites aren’t all that spacious, so we recommend camping elsewhere in a large rig (although small RVs and trailers should be fine).

Do be ready to look down into the 2,000 foot deep canyon, fly fish in amazing streams, and take photos that will pale in comparison to the real-world views you’ll experience.

Learn more about North Rim Campground.

22. Cold Springs Campground (Arapho National Forest)

Wintertime in the Arapho National Forest.
Arapho National Forest Photo by Brendan Bombaci CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Looking for a remote place to camp in Colorado? Then Cold Springs Campground is for you.

This small, primitive campground is located far off the beaten path, even for car camping. Small RVs are welcome in addition to tents.

You can’t reserve a spot ahead of time (all sites are first-come, first-served), so you might want to get there early. Although usage here is quite light compared to other national forest campgrounds in Colorado.

Enjoy the wilderness, jump in the springs for a quick soak, or visit one of the nearby mountain towns for a nice dinner.

Learn more about Cold Springs Campground.

23. Little Molas Lake Campground (San Juan National Forest)

Photo of Little Molas Lake in Colorado, known for its fishing.
Little Molas Lake Photo by the outside in CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Primitive camping in Colorado just doesn’t get much better than Little Molas Lake.

The campground and, of course, the lake are very popular with the fishing community thanks to the rainbow and brook trout.

Other nearby activities include rock climbing and hiking. The waterfall in Cascade Canyon is worth a stop for all campers.

But get ready to do some real camping as hail, snow, and sudden rain are all common.

Learn more about Little Molas Lake Campground.

24. Hall Valley Campground (Pike National Forest)

Shot of rock formations taken in Pike National Forest.
Pike National Forest Photo by Carol Von Canon CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Surrounded by a dense forest valley of aspens and wildflowers, Hall Valley Campground is undoubtedly in high country.

At nearly 10,000 feet in elevation, you can expect chilly nights, even in summer – but the absolutely beautiful days make braving the cold well worth it (and you can always use a tent heater to stay warm).

The North Fork of the South Platte River is just a hop, skip, and a jump away. And don’t forget about Gibson Lake Trail, which boasts a 1,500 foot climb. It’s great exercise and the views make it well worth the effort.

Learn more about Hall Valley Campground.

25. Belle of Colorado Campground (San Isabel National Forest)

View looking down valley in San Isabel National Forest in Colorado.
San Isabel National Forest Photo by Tinkurlab CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

As a tent-only campground, Belle of Colorado tops our list as one of the best places to tent camp in Colorado, period.

If you can take your eyes off the Sugarloaf Mountains and the broad crystal waters of Turquoise Lake, then take a dip in the lake, camp a line, or maybe even just set up your hammock.

There are only a handful of campsites available – and they fill up fast during the summer. Especially the very best campsites located on the lakeshore. No reservations are available.

Learn more about Belle of Colorado Campground.

26. Pinon Flats Campground (Great Sand Dunes National Park)

Time lapse photo of the night sky in Great Sand Dunes National Park.
Great Sand Dunes National Park Photo by Shannon Dizmang CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Great Sand Dunes National Park boasts the tallest sand dunes in the country and, believe us, they are spectacular to witness.

For those looking to camp on their visit to this national park, Pinon Flats Campground is one of the best places to stay.

The seasonal campground has 86 total campsites. All of these are available to reserve in advance (and they fill up fast – so make your reservations early).

Perhaps the best time to visit with your family is in May when Medano Creek’s melting waters create a natural water park.

Other activities include hiking in the dunes. You can even ski, snowboard, or sled your way back down!

Learn more about Pinon Flats Campground.

27. Pawnee Campground (Arapaho National Forest)

Photo of wildflowers blooming in Arapho National Forest in Colorado.
Arapahoe National Forest Photo by Eric Frazier CC BY-NC 2.0

Taking an RV or trailer on your Colorado camping trip?

Then Pawnee Campground might just be for you. It features a mixture of campsites suitable for RVs and trailers as well as tent campsites (although no RV hookups are available).

Pawnee is often called an alpine heaven and was recently remodeled. Don’t forget to take a hike to Navajo Peak or Mount Audubon. You can also just do some fishing in Mitchell Lake or Lake Isabelle.

Learn more about Pawnee Campground.

28. Florida Campground (Lemon Reservoir)

Florida Campground remains one of Colorado’s best kept camping secrets.

The area is filled with blue spruce, Douglas fir, and aspen trees and Lemon Reservoir is just steps away for boating, water skiing, and fishing.

There’s even an old-fashioned general store nearby to stock up on treats!

Learn more about Florida Campground.

29. Angel of Shavano Campground (San Isabel National Forest)

Photo of mountains in San Isabel National Forest.
San Isabel National Forest East Red Photo by Dana Orlosky CC BY-NC 2.0

Angel of Shavano is one of the most beautiful campgrounds in the country – not just Colorado.

We like it because it’s something of a secret. It has just 20 campsites so it never feels very busy and is almost always peaceful.

The campground is nestled in between two stunning ridges. The famous Colorado Trail passes nearby for biking.

If you have the stamina, take in the hike along Mount Shavano trail (which is open for hiking with dogs).

For fishing, North Fork’s reservoir is the spot to be – but it usually requires 4×4 to reach.

Learn more about Angel of Shavano Campground.

30. Parry Peak Campground (San Isabel National Forest)

To end our list of the best camping in Colorado, we just can’t forget to include Parry Peak Campground.

Not only is the campground itself awesome, but the surrounding area is the place for your Colorado fishing road trip.

Lakes and streams abound. You can access them via kayak or canoe for a fun day on the water.

Nearby Leadville is an interesting town to see and something of a mountain bike mecca. Wonderful hikes and even climbing opportunities are nearby.

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Did We Miss Your Favorite Colorado Campground?

We feel our list of the best camping in Colorado does a great job at covering all of the options.

But, if we did miss your favorite Centennial State campground, let us know in the comments below!

We love to hear from our readers.

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Tuesday 21st of May 2019

This is an awesome resource. I loved reading through these. Thanks for your great tips! I live in Fort Collins and love exploring the state.

Emily Hansen

Sunday 26th of November 2017

This is an awesome list, Ryanc! Thank you so much for sharing. By the way, I'm planning to have a camping adventure with my husband and kids. I'm wondering which among these places are best to visit this fall and preferably kid-friendly. Can you help me decide?


Monday 14th of August 2017

Is that really a picture of Turquoise Lake? Looks like New Zealand!

Bob Meyer

Wednesday 28th of June 2017

I'm told that mosquitoes in the Walden area are very bad at the moment (June 28, 2017). How are they at Big Creek Lakes CG? Thanks -Bob


Thursday 8th of June 2017

Great article... just wanted to let you know that Arapaho is misspelled. You have "Arapahoe".


Saturday 10th of June 2017

Great catch Jason! Fixed.