best car camping in colorado
And for beer, Craft Alley stocks tons of locally made options sold in crowlers (growler cans) filled fresh from the breweries. The upper portion of the wilderness area also offers several trails for ATV and dirt bike riders, making it a haven for the hardcore truck-bed campers as well as the car camping families who haul their kid-size ATVs with them to the campground. Situated in the heart of the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness Area, this campground requires an 8.5 mile trek to get to it. Campers can access water and toilets at … “Nice peaceful campground on the weekdays. Car camping is plentiful, and Angel of Shavano, at the base of Mt. Refuel for more days of hiking at Pure Kitchen, which opened earlier this year, with colorful power bowls, sandwiches, and flatbreads. Tucked away ON TOP OF A MOUNTAIN! Regardless, dispersed camping has one major theme: you can arrive at the site with your car! There’s not much camping in Boulder proper, so if you’re looking for a fun night on the town to start your trip, camp close by in Nederland (a highly underrated, quirky gem of a town in and of itself) at Camp Wilder, located on a secluded private site. As a local of over 11 years, I know all of the secret campsites in the state. Copyright © 2020 Sunset Publishing Corporation. Just 10 minutes from downtown Colorado Springs, Cheyenne Mountain stretches out over 2,701 acres. Colorado Car Camping Gives You Easy Access to the Rockies, This article on Colorado car camping is brought to you by Primus, whose. From Carbondale, you’ll head to Black Canyon of the Gunnison via the West Elk Loop (Highway 133), which follows the Crystal River and a sea of color (especially around McClure Pass, pictured above). Tyler Wildeck is a writer with a passion for all things outdoors. Water is available throughout the campground, as well as picnic tables and fire rings at each site. It’s only a 15 minute drive from Fruita. Home to thousands of weekend warriors, Denver is loaded with outdoor retailers. Colorado Free Camping: Campendium has 1488 reviews of 322 places to camp for free in Colorado Baby Doe is the best of both worlds when it comes to Colorado car camping, offering direct access to Turquoise Lake without being too far off the beaten path. While you could cruise to Aspen and up to one of the great Western scenic drives, the Top of the Rockies, we suggest you earn your views on a hike to Crystal Mills, near Marble. It’s extreme accessibility by car makes it a super popular option for families and weekend warriors looking to get out for a day or a weekend. That said, the activities here are abundant, and include fishing, hunting, and hiking throughout the recreation area, and even into the popular and scenic Indian Peaks Wilderness. The Lincoln Creek dispersed camping area has 22 campsites for car camping along the Lincoln Creek road. “Perfect place for a quiet weekend away near CO Springs. The highest continuous paved road in the country peaks at 12,183 feet. “Excellent stay – camp is at Brainard Lake recreation area and one of our all time favs ! You camp under the pine trees beside the lake with beautiful views of Mt. So this list of best Colorado camping spots (in no particular order) probably will grow over time. I would highly recommend camping at Mueller State Park and would love to return for another camping experience.” — The Dyrt camper Andrea K. Baby Doe is the best of both worlds when it comes to Colorado car camping, offering direct access to Turquoise Lake without being too far off the beaten path. Hikers, climbers, and well-to-do pro athletes congregate in places like Avery Brewing and Upslope (pictured), which is on the outskirts of the town on the way to Rocky Mountain National Park. Campsites are fine, but if you’re going to get to truly know Colorado while saving money, you should look into dispersed camping. If you don’t mind some company, it’s a great way to get introduced to Colorado’s wonderful sights. Baby Doe Campground is located on the eastern shore of the lake, and is walking distance from the shoreline as well as the popular Turquoise Lake Nature Trail. The red rock canyon in this area offers spectacular views and opportunities for hiking, cycling, and climbing. Courtesy of Seth K. Hughes; Features; The Guide to Camping in Colorado. The area is located within 30 minutes of the beautiful Buena Vista, Colorado. Set within unique red rock formations and large Pinyon and Juniper forest, Saddlehorn provides visitors the chance to get away in an area with breathtaking views and ample opportunities for outdoor recreation. Visitors and residents alike will never tire of pitching a tent, eating their weight in gooey s’mores, and soaking in the natural beauty that is a Colorado campground. If you have pups in tow, go for the 7-mile Twin Sisters trail, off Highway 7, or Lily Lake, where you can picnic on boulders overlooking Estes Park. Take the new (opened last year) Dixon Trail, a grueling 15-mile, round-trip hike with big aspen groves at the top. Luckily, some of the best camping in Colorado costs absolutely nothing. For food, Village Smithy (pictured) is a classic for brunch and Señor Taco has some of the best tacos in the area. Apart from the occasional Colorado thunderstorm, this campground is a perfect place to get a taste for Colorado car camping, high altitude views and all! Set up camp at the reservable Moraine Park, which has more than 200 campsites scattered around the forest. #8 Best Value of 224 Colorado Pet Friendly Campgrounds “ However, the inside area is very cozy, with giant Jenga (pieces had just been cut and sanded by one of the employees), a box with table games, a friendly dog , and pizza slices for sale. Salida is one of the most outdoorsy towns in Colorado. “I definitely see why the campground is called Lakeview! The adventure starts in Denver, where you can get supplies before steering west toward Rocky. This article on Colorado car camping is brought to you by Primus, whose Tupike Stove is the ideal setup for cooking up some multi-dish car camping meals or just boiling your morning oats because everyone knows that food tastes better when you are dining outside! Mueller’s campground offers excellent views of the Continental Divide, and includes 134 campsites, each with a fire ring and picnic table. SUNSET is a registered trademark From there it’s on to Rocky Mountain National Park. Hunker down here for two nights. The least-visited national park in the country, Black Canyon of the Gunnison plunges up to 2,700 feet and stretches for 42 miles. Plus, it has electricity and showers. Spend your time tackling a few shorter gold-filled hikes like Alberta Falls (continue to Loch Vale to extend this one) and trails in the remote Wild Basin area. It’s one of Colorado’s most hikeable glaciers. Get any last-minute supplies at Wilderness Exchange, where you can find killer deals on consignment base layers, tents, daypacks, hiking poles—anything you need. The Colorado Trail starts here, too, so the hiking options are plentiful. The Palmer Trail gives you a solid overview and stellar vistas with only a 2.5-mile round-trip detour. There were amazing views of Pikes Peak and so many camping spots…The 5 kids in our group had a great time and I was impressed with how clean the campsites were kept. Highlights include a quick path from campground to reservoir, very friendly camp host, and the campground sites are all very roomy. I’ve spent years camping in dispersed sites in Colorado, and I’ve racked up a few favorite locations. The park has showers and laundry on-site, which is a godsend if you’re flying out of Denver the next day. Drinking water is provided throughout the campground and each site comes with a picnic table and fire ring. At up to $45 a night in Colorado's most popular areas, camping can feel more like a luxury than a chance to get outdoors for a weekend escape. Plan to be out there half the day, then come back for another hot spring soak and shower before retreating to your campsite at night. The first mile is the hardest, so don’t get discouraged on the front end. Mueller State Park is a heavily-visited hiking and camping area located within 45 minutes of Colorado Springs. Hop around between places like Carbondale Arts, Carbondale Clay Center, and Steve’s Guitar, a guitar shop that often hosts live music. Massive and Mt. That said, car camping in Colorado might be as awesome as all of its other outdoor attractions, namely because there are some incredible spots that are surprisingly accessible by vehicle. COLORADO.com campgrounds listings, the Colorado Campground and Lodging Owners Association and Colorado KOA Owners Association are just a few places to make reservations and locate campgrounds. “We came here last year during the summer and it was so beautiful and quiet. Whether you’re looking for a high-altitude adventure or a simple weekend away from the city, Colorado car camping is tough to beat when it comes to destinations just off the beaten path. Ours was wonderful and looking around other people’s were too.” — The Dyrt camper Kayla M. Located in the stunning Brainard Lake Recreation Area, Pawnee Campground includes 47 campsites for tents and RVs alike. Located within White River National Forest, this six-site campground puts you next to one of the major trailheads of the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness area; 10 minutes from downtown Carbondale; and right next to Avalanche Ranch, a cabin lodging area with three hot springs and showers. His favorite place he's ever visited is Alaska, and his favorite activity might be fishing or reading, depending on the day. End long days of hiking and elk spotting, carousing with the locals at Rock Cut Brewing, Lumpy Ridge Brewing, or Elkins Distilling. Passenger cars can make the drive for up to 12 miles along the road. It’s no secret that one of the most beloved pastimes in Colorado is camping. The best way to see it all is by hitting the road. “Just west of Leadville Colorado sits Turquoise Lake at an elevation of around 10,000 ft. Baby Doe Campground is one of the few camps that are situated around the lake on its east side. About 40 minutes from the valley's glittering Aspen, Carbondale may just be one of raddest towns in Colorado. And, you can go to the flagship of the outworld-favorite Topo Designs, in RiNo—they have a repair program to rehab your Topo gear when it gets worn out. Go there to river surf, tube, or rock climb, then head somewhere like Simple Eatery, inside The Trailhead gear shop, or Deerhammer Distilling. One of the most popular places to camp for residents of Colorado Springs, Thunder Ridge campground at Rampart Range Reservoir is a pristine and well-trafficked campground that overlooks the water. Book yourself for the 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. slot to soak away achy muscles and freshen up before you continue on your Colorado car-camping route. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our, The Ultimate Colorado Car-Camping Road Trip, – Each site comes with a fire ring and picnic table, and drinking water and trash collection is available at the campground as well. It’s no secret that Colorado is host to some of the West’s best camping: from Rocky Mountain National Park to the southern San Juans, the mountain views are seemingly endless—though many of these areas fill up fast and require reservations and site fees.. Head out early enough to catch the sunrise and avoid traffic. Explore camper reviews and photos of the campgrounds in Rocky Mountain National Park. The campground offers 50 campsites, and includes restrooms with flush toilets. The campground itself includes 62 campsites, a handful of which have electric hookups. What’s a road trip without stopping at an offbeat only-here kind of place? We planned to soak in the gorgeous Ouray Hot Springs that afternoon and then find a campsite outside of town. In late summer and fall, elk take over the park and its basecamp town of Estes Park. Buena Vista is the nearest town and is home to some of the best white water rafting in all of Colorado. The facility offers 25 campsites that can accommodate both RVs and trailers, but its small size makes for a rich and uncrowded-feeling camping experience. The area is heavily used for hiking and fishing, and is popular large-in-part for its proximity to Pikes Peak, as it sits along the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. I’m reticent to give away all of the good spots, but I’m happy to share enough to get people exploring. Get fresh recipes, wine pairings, weekend getaway ideas, regional gardening tips, home design inspiration, and more. It’s ideal for families who want an easy drive into a campground that offers a classic car camping experience, complete with easy access to the lake and stunning views directly from the campsites. Located just an hour from Fort Collins, this area is a labyrinth of forest service roads that offer endless camping opportunities. 9 remote lakeside campgrounds in Colorado where you can embrace serenity without speedboats By Joshua Berman , Special to The Denver Post Jul 9, 2018, 3:33 pm 1.9K Shares Car Camping Checklist. If you’re willing to brave the chillier temperatures of the fall, Lost Park is the ideal spot for car campers to camp amongst the iconic Aspens, whose colors transform the mountainous region into a living masterpiece. If you’re one of them, know that you can car camp at Bear Creek Lake Camp, which has a walking trail that leads to the venue. Tent Sites are for a tent, pickup, van, or car. This will be the longest day in the car on your Colorado car-camping trip. Clean vaults excellent hosts and cleanest sites – many things to do including hikes on multiple trails and kayaking on [the] lake or just looking for moose and casually relaxing.” — The Dyrt camper Marty L. Located in the Colorado National Monument territory, this campground is unique in its proximity to a wide variety of activities. A small lake on a mountainside flush with gorgeous Aspen trees, Cottonwood Lake campground is a super popular summer destination for Colorado car camping enthusiasts, and particularly for anglers on the hunt for some high altitude trout. Some of the state’s best kayaking and whitewater rafting happens on this part of the Arkansas River. Or, drive a little further east toward Salida and set up camp at Curecanti National Recreation Area, which has three reservoirs, including the state’s largest body of water. Even if it is cheap, gas will still be one of your greatest expenses because it can be difficult to properly gauge how much you will actually use. Kelly Dahl Campground is located just outside of the small mountain town of Nederland, Colorado, and offers some of the best proximity to hiking of all the Colorado car camping destinations on our list. Of the 134, 99 offer electricity as well as tent pads. Colorado Glamping -- … An old mining town, Frisco gets overshadowed by the major ski resorts that surround it (Breck, Vail, Keystone), but that’s what keeps it awesome. Camping near Rocky Mountain National Park is easy with Hipcamp, where private landowners offer one-of-a-kind camping experiences. A tucked-away car-camping site in a sweeping Colorado valley? “Beautiful drive [to get] there over Kenosha Pass, [especially] during Aspen Yellow season. Primus’ Tupike Stove has the capacity to cook you camp worthy meals night after night so you’ll never want to leave the comforts of your campsite! Shavano (a 9-mile fourteener that climbs 4,600 feet), is one of the best spots. 1. Salida is one of the most outdoorsy towns in Colorado. All five of us fit in the tent without problem, once we placed one adult perpendicular to the rest (a family of four or less would be ideal). The hike is about 4 miles each way. September 8, 2019 The oft-photographed 1892 mill, a remnant of the once-prosperous mining town, stands on a rocky outcrop above the Crystal River. If you’re less interested in stopping at Colorado Springs and Garden of the Gods, camp at Mueller State Park instead. Lost Park is Colorado car camping at its smallest, as each site is set evenly throughout a large area, and can accommodate a max RV length of 22 feet. Mountain town culture prevails at this adventure basecamp with a cute, historic Main Street that harkens its frontier-town beginnings. Beer? The largest urban wildlife refuge in the country is a sight to see with its 15,000 acres and more than 300 species—including bison and eagles—set against the Denver skyline. Unique to Mueller is their RV camping loop, which includes 11 campsites that can only be reserved as one group — if you’re friends with enough RVers, you can rent the entire loop out for yourselves. Rocky Mountain National Park offers the quintessential Colorado camping experience, and by pitching your tent at Moraine Park campground, you’re likely to get a closeup look at the mule deer, coyotes and … Car camping is plentiful, and Angel of Shavano, at the base of Mt. 10 Camping Spots In Colorado That Are Crazy Beautiful. The area is also popular for wildlife viewing, as campers can regularly catch glimpses of Bighorn sheep, Golden Eagles, and a variety of other creatures. One of our favorite spots is located at the junction of Deadman Road and Forest Service Road 502.How to Get There: The area is located up Deadman Road, northwest of Red Feather Lakes. Make sure you're properly outfitted with good hiking gear—especially boots with solid traction (the trail is rocky) and maybe traction cleats if you plan to walk up the glacier. Plan for a brewery lunch in outdoor-loving Boulder. Elbert to the south over turquoise water.” — The Dyrt camper Fain H. Located southeast of the small mountain town of Jefferson, Lost Park campground features 12 campsites, each of which are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Black Canyon is well worth the detour, even for a quick view, but if you want to take it slow, there are a few car camping options within the park as well as dispersed camping right outside the southern entrance. People plan entire trips around concerts at Red Rocks. of Sunset Publishing Corporation. With several different areas to fish and hike, this campground is perfect for families toting their fishing gear along in the car as well as those that want a heavy-duty high-altitude hike to round out their weekend camping adventure. To your drive up to the unique yet piercing Elk bugling call you... Town 's Main Street that harkens its frontier-town beginnings … 10 camping spots in... 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