Colorado’s reputation as an outdoor paradise is well-justified. The state boasts mountains, plains and plateau hiking, and camping, world-class trout fishing, two national parks, six national monuments, two national recreation areas and a national historic site, prehistoric Indian ruins, wildlife, dinosaur bones, 37 wilderness areas covering 3.2-million acres, and an extensive and well-maintained system of state parks. Whether you crave backcountry adventure or a more leisurely lakeside fishing and swimming expedition, there is a campground that fits the bill. Here are the best Colorado Campgrounds, in our humble opinion.

1. Moraine Park

MORAINE PARK CAMPGROUND - Rocky Mountain National Park
Moraine Park

Assistant Park Superintendent Sheridan Steel says this is one of her favorite Colorado campgrounds because of the character of the terrain the campground is in.” Meadows are interspersed with big rock outcrops, providing some screening between campsites. In some cases, there is total seclusion, yet it’s close to the road. It is a car camping site, but there are walk-in sites, as well.

Moraine Park gives the kids a chance to climb around on the rocks. Sometimes, the song of the coyote can be heard from the camp. A coyote’s song is one of the most distinctive Western sounds and can be oddly elusive. The downside is it’s full all summer and reservations are required — usually as much as eight weeks in advance.

Directions: Located just a few miles inside the park entrance at Estes Park.

More info: Rocky Mountain National Park Visitor Information: 970-586-1242

2. Glacier Basin

Glacier Basin Campground Camping | The Dyrt
Glacier Basin

More info: Rocky Mountain National Park,970-586-1206

3. Arch Rock

5 Must-See Red-Rock Formations in the U.S. | Sierra Club
Arch Rock

More info: Rocky Mountain National Park,970-586-1206

4. Longs Peak

Longs Peak
Longs Peak, Colorado

RMNP offers some of the best backcountry camping in the United States, with over 250 sites to choose from. It is impossible to choose one from another, except by personal preference. Backcountry rangers list Glacier Gorge, Arch Rock and Longs Peak as three of their favorite sites.

On the east side of the divide, Glacier Gorge, between Mills Lake and Black Lake, is one of the park’s most popular backcountry sites. One of the best Colorado campgrounds, it’s just 4.6 miles from the trailhead, is isolated and offers open-meadow environments and views of the mountain peaks.

For those who want a backcountry experience without the attendant exhaustion, Arch Rock is only a mile from the Arch Rock trailhead. The trail is flat to the Arch Rock. The main destination is “The Pool,” where a river comes over a rock outcrop, creating a small, deep pool. The trail crosses the creek at that point. There’s nothing that says you can’t swim in it, but it’s cold enough that no one does.

Longs Peak, a landmark 14,256-foot mountain, can be accessed from the trail beginning at Longs Peak Campground and climbed without technical climbing equipment — though the hike is very strenuous. This is the park’s highest mountain and should be attempted only in late summer, because of the radically shifting weather conditions that prevail. The north and east faces require technical equipment and expertise, but the Keyhole route can be climbed without it. Nonetheless,the elevation gain is steep (about 4,700 feet) and the walk is 16 miles round trip. Start early to avoid lightning storms in the afternoon. The weather can always be volatile.

Directions: The main offices are in the visitors center on Highway 36 just west of Estes Park, and the Kawuneeche Visitors Center on Highway 34 near Grand Lake.

More Info: Rocky Mountain Visitor Information, 970-586-1206

5. Saddlehorn

Saddlehorn Campgrounds, Colorado National Monument -

There is nothing quite like driving up to Saddlehorn in the dead of night along an eternal, wooded, twisting access road, then camping exhausted in the campground, only to awaken in the morning to realize that you nearly tossed and turned over the cliff in the night. It is impossible to exaggerate the beauty of the panoramic views of this Colorado Campground. The area was established in 1911 on over 20,000 acres. The Colorado National Monument has spectacular geologic features including sheer canyons and towering red sandstone spires. Wildlife abounds, including bighorn sheep, mule deer, eagles and, more rarely, mountain lions. The 80-site campground is open year-round, equipped with flush toilets and sinks only (no showers), drinking water and charcoal grills.

Don’t miss it: Nearby is the Devils Canyon Learning Center animated Dinosaur Museum.

Directions: Take Route 340 out of Fruita, just west of Grand Junction.

More info: Colorado National Monument 970-858-3617

6. Jacks Gulch

Jacks Gulch Campground, Roosevelt, CO: 1 Hipcamper Review
Jacks Gulch

This is a new campground opening in the summer of 1996 that the Forest Service is “very excited about.” There will be group campsites, regular family sites and horse corrals for horse packers and riders.

Directions: Take Highway 14 west of Fort Collins to Pingree Park Road. Follow that road seven miles, then turn right into the campground.

More info: Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forest, 970-295-6600

7. Chambers Lake

Chambers Lake, Arapaho & Roosevelt National Forests Pawnee Ng -
Chambers Lake

This campsite was listed by the rangers and staff of the U.S. Forest Service as one of the 10 best in the agency’s Rocky Mountain region. Parts of eight different wildernesses are found in the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests. This site borders two of them: The Rawah and Comanche Peaks. The Rawah is a 76,394-acre area with elevations ranging from 8,400 to 13,000 feet. The high peaks were carved by glaciers, resulting in spectacular cirque lakes and moraines. Comanche Peaks was added to the Wilderness System in 1980. The area was named for a 12,702-foot peak. Trails provide access into the area that borders Rocky Mountain National Park. Eighty percent of the campsites at this Forest Service facility are barrier-free, including some sites with raised tent pads. There are programs at an amphitheater, a boat ramp and play structure for children. The campground has close access to an alpine lake.

Directions: The campground is 60 miles west of LaPorte on Highway 14.

More info: Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forest, 970-295-6600

8. Crow Valley

Crow Valley Campground, Pawnee, CO: 2 Hipcamper Reviews And 6 Photos
Crow Valley

Colorado is famous for its mountains, but the plains have a lot to offer as well. These Colorado campgrounds, in the Pawnee National Grasslands, are a short drive from the Pawnee Buttes, with landforms reminiscent of classic Randolph Scott westerns. Pawnee Grasslands is “fairly level in elevation,” according to a Forest Service brochure, but the area ranges in elevation from 4,900 feet on the prairie to 5,500 feet at the summit of the Buttes. The hike to the landmark is an easy two miles. The buttes were called “Rattlesnake Buttes” in James Michener’s “Centennial.”

Directions: Crow Valley is at Briggsdale near the intersection of routes 392 and 14, northeast of Greeley.

More info: Pawnee National Grassland, 970-346-5000.

9. Hahns Peak Lake Recreation Area

Hahns Peak Lake Campground - Medicine-Bow Routt Nf (CO), Medicine Bow-Routt  Nfs & Thunder Basin Ng -
Hahns Peak Lake Recreation Area

In addition to the excellent fishing at Hahns Peak Lake, there are hiking and mountain bike trails, abundant wildlife and spectacular wildflower meadows. The campgrounds here in Colorado serve tents and small recreational vehicles. This campsite was listed by the rangers and staff of the U.S. Forest Service as one of the10 best in the Rocky Mountain region.

Directions: From Steamboat Springs, go north about 13 miles on CR 129 until it bumps into FSR 486. The facility is near Steamboat Lake and Pearl Lake state parks.

More info: Hahns Peak/Bears Ears Ranger District, 970-870-2284

10. Elk Creek

Elk Creek Trail - Colorado | AllTrails
Elk Creek

Fishing and scenery are available at this facility near the South San Juan Wilderness and the Los Caminos Scenic Byway. The South San Juan Wilderness covers over 127,000 acres in the San Juan and Rio Grande National Forests. The wilderness straddles the Continental Divide south of Wolf Creek Pass, famous among truckers and country music fans. Elevations within the wilderness range from 8,000 feet to over 13,000 feet. This campsite was listed by the rangers and staff of the U.S. Forest Service as one of the10 best in the Rocky Mountain region.

Directions: From Antonito, go 23 miles west on Highway 17, then a mile southwest on FSR 128.

More info: Rio Grande National Forest 719-852-5941

11. Silver Thread

Silver Thread: Colorado's Scenic and Historic Byways
Silver Thread

These Colorado campgrounds are located near the headwaters of the mighty Rio Grande, and a nearby overlook gives visitors a chance to take it in before it rushes southeast to Texas. There is also the Silver Thread Scenic Byway and two waterfalls, one a half-mile walk from the campground, the other accessible by car on North Clear Creek. This campsite was listed by the rangers and staff of the U.S. Forest Service as one of the10 best in the agency’s Rocky Mountain region.

Directions: The campground is about 25 winding miles west of Creede on scenic Highway 149, from South Fork to Lake City.

More info: Rio Grande National Forest 719-852-5941

12. Trappers Lake Campground Complex

Trappers Lake – Meeker, CO | White River National Forest
Trappers Lake Campground Complex

Features of this complex of four campgrounds near Trappers Lake, Colorado include Old West settings, Flat Tops Scenic Byway and the nearby Flat Tops Wilderness. Trappers Lake Campground is tucked into a finger of the wilderness boundary. Wide canyons, eroded by centuries of wind and water, reach far into the White River Plateau, forming great amphitheaters ringed by rock escarpments. This campsite was listed by the rangers and staff of the U.S. Forest Service as one of the 10 best in the agency’s Rocky Mountain region.

Directions: The campground complex is about 48 miles east of Meeker.

More info: Blanco Ranger District, 970-878-4039

13. Silver Jack Recreation Area Silver Jack Shoreline Trail
Silver Jack Recreation Area

Silver Jack is close to the Black Mesa and Silver Jack reservoirs, 30 minutes from Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Monument, and only a short drive to the Curecanti National Recreation Area. The films “How the West Was Won” and “True Grit” were filmed in the area. The campgrounds in Colorado were listed by the rangers and staff of the Forest Service as one of the 10 best campgrounds in the Rocky Mountain region.

Directions: From Montrose, travel east 20 miles on Route 50, then 22 miles south on CR 69.

More info: Ouray District Office, 970-240-5300

14. Morefield Village

Morefield Campground | Mesa Verde National Park CO |
Morefield Village

Mesa Verde is one of the spectacular, mystical places in the National Park system. In about 400 A.D., the mysterious Anasazi developed a rich culture and civilization here in the Four Corners area, with Mesa Verde as one of their capitals. They built elaborate sandstone cliff cities in the shelter of the canyon walls. Then, in the late 1200s, in only a generation or two, they abandoned their cities and vanished. None of the modern tribes of the area claim the Anasazi as their ancestors Mesa Verde National Park occupies a large plateau and offers a spectacular window on this ancient American culture. Despite many decades of excavation, archeologists still have not uncovered the secrets of the Anasazi. Rooms in the houses are small and blackened by fires, testament to the cold that grips the plateau in winter. It seems likely the tribes were driven away by invaders, but other possibilities include consistent crop failure and changes in the water supply. The campground’s 400 sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis from April 27 to October 14. Amenities include a gas station, store, snack bar, laundry and showers — plus spectacular panoramic views.

Don’t miss it: Nearby, but without close camping access, is Hovenweep National Monument, another Anasazi site. The well-preserved stone towers and other pueblo style buildings are still perched on the canyon walls.

Directions: The park is nine miles west from Cortez on Route 160, or 35 miles west of Durango on the same road. The campground is four miles from the park entrance.

More info: Mesa Verde National Park, 970-529-4465

15. Willow Creek

Review of Willow Creek Reservoir Campground - Temporarily Closed | The Dyrt
Willow Creek

The Arapaho National Recreation Area is just south of Rocky Mountain National Park. ANRA covers 36,000 acres and contains five major lakes: Granby and Grand lakes, and Shadow Mountain, Monarch and Willow Creek reservoirs. Grand Lake is the largest natural lake in Colorado. Located on Willow Creek Reservoir, the campground has 35 rustic campsites with vault toilets, fire grates, picnic tables, a boat ramp and drinking water. At 8,130 feet above sea level, it is not overrun with campers in the summer.

Directions: Willow Creek is off the beaten track, about 13 miles from Granby.

More info: Sulfur Ranger District, 970-887-4100.

16. Stillwater

Stillwater (colorado) Camping | The Dyrt
Stillwater Campground

With 129 sites, these are the largest campgrounds in Colorado on the Arapaho & Roosevelt National Forest.

Directions: Just 8 miles NW of Granby on US Highway 34

More info: Sulfur Ranger District, 970-887-4100

17. Cutthroat Bay Group

Cutthroat Bay Group, Arapaho & Roosevelt National Forests Pawnee Ng -
Cutthroat Bay Group

Both Colorado campgrounds are located on Lake Granby at 8,300 feet above sea level. The lake was sculpted by glacial activity from the last ice age and the islands in the middle of the lake are actually the tops of terminal moraines left by melting glaciers. Stillwater is more heavily used than Willow Creek, due to its modern restrooms, fire grates, picnic tables, boat ramp and drinking water.

Directions: From Granby, the sites are about six miles northeast on Route 34.

More info: Sulfur Ranger District, 970-887-4100

18. Lake Green Ridge

Green Ridge, Arapaho & Roosevelt National Forests Pawnee Ng -
Lake Green Ridge

Located on the south end of Shadow Mountain Lake, there are 81 campgrounds in this Colorado facility, which is less heavily used during the summer season than Stillwater. Facilities include modern restrooms, fire grates, picnic tables, boat ramp and drinking water.

Directions: on U.S. Highway 34, just 12 miles NW of Granby and two miles east on County Road 66

More info: Sulfur Ranger District, 970-887-4100

19. Blue River

Blue River (Colorado) - Wikipedia
Blue River, Colorado

There are about 20 sites in this two-section campground with views of the mountains. A popular fishing site, these Colorado campgrounds are within three miles of the Rock Creek Trail with access to the Alfred E. Bailey Bird Nesting Area and the abandoned Boss Mine. Access to the Eagle’s Nest Wilderness is another benefit.

Directions: From Dillon, go north about nine miles on Highway 9.

20. Sunrise Vista

Sunrise Vista, Steamboat Lake, CO: 1 Photo
Sunrise Vista

More info: Steamboat Lake State Park, (970)879-3922

21. Dutch Hill

Dutch Hill, Steamboat Lake, CO: 1 Hipcamper Review And 1 Photo
Dutch Hill

More info: Steamboat Lake State Park, (970)879-3922

22. Pearl Lake

Pearl Lake State Park Colorado | Near Steamboat Springs
Pearl Lake

More info: Steamboat Lake State Park

Steamboat Lake, one of the most popular parks among the best of the many Colorado campgrounds, has fishing, swimming, boating and beautiful scenery. In winter, there is ice fishing, cross-country skiing and access to 60 miles of snowmobile trails. And the scenery stays all winter, too. Two sparkling man-made lakes — Steamboat and Pearl — are the jewels of the site. Routt National Forest is adjacent. There are rainbow trout in Pearl Lake and cutthroat in Pearl Lake. There are 222 campsites.

Don’t miss it: Steamboat Springs is a charming town in its right and a good choice for those who want a night away from the rigors of the woods.

Directions: From Steamboat Springs, go two miles on U.S. 40 to CR 129. Turn north and drive 26 miles.

More info: Steamboat Lake State Park, (970)879-3922

23. Golden Gate Canyon Park

Golden Gate Canyon State Park |
Golden Gate Canyon Park

Thirty miles from Denver, Golden Gate Canyon, elevation 9,100 feet, offers mountain biking, picnicking and camping. Panorama Point, a popular scenic area, has hosted many weddings. There are 35 miles of hiking trails, 30 miles of bicycle trails, 26 miles of horseback riding, and 168 campgrounds in this part of Colorado.

Directions: Exit Interstate 70 on Highway 58, then take 58 for six miles to Highway 93. Drive north on 93 for 1.5 miles, turn left on Golden Gate Canyon Road, then go 13 miles to the visitor center.

More info: Golden Gate Canyon State, (303) 582-3707

24. Dakota Terrace

DAKOTA TERRACES CAMPGROUND - Reviews (Ridgway, CO) - Tripadvisor
Dakota Terrace

You will get some great mountain views here in campsites 1-79. 

More info: 303-470-1144

25. Elk Ridge

ELK RIDGE CAMPGROUND - Reviews (Ridgway, CO) - Tripadvisor
Elk Ridge

Ridgway offers water sports, fishing and camping in southwestern Colorado’s Sneffels Range, what Colorado State Parks calls the “Switzerland of America.” One of the state’s newer parks, it’s one of the nation’s most accessible for the physically handicapped. Scuba diving, water skiing, wind surfing and swimming, are among the offerings. Dakota Terrace is within walking distance of the lake and swimming beach. Elk Ridge is in a pinyon forest with panoramic views of the San Juan Mountains. There are 283 campsites.

Directions: Take U.S. 550 south of Montrose for 22 miles to the park entrance.

More Info: 303-470-1144

26. Spruce Grove

Spruce Grove Campground, PSICC -
Spruce Grove

This small, 30-site facility is located along Tarryall Creek and borders the Lost Creek Wilderness Area. A trailhead from the campground leads to the Lizard Rock Trail. Rock climbing enthusiasts are attracted to the area, and there’s fishing in Tarryall Creek and in Tarryall Reservoir 12 miles away. No showers or firewood are available.

Directions: From Lake George, go .75 miles on Highway 24, turn right on CR 77 and go 12 miles to the campground.

More info: South Park Ranger District, 719-836-2031

27. Jefferson Creek

Jefferson Creek, PSICC -
Jefferson Creek

There are only 17 sites in this area near Jefferson, and no firewood or showers are available. But it’s surrounded by beautiful sub-alpine scenery and offers easy access to the Colorado Trail. The nearby town of Jefferson was established in 1879, when the Denver, South Park and Pacific narrow gauge railroad came through.

Directions: From Fairplay, take Highway 285 north to Jefferson, turn left on CR 35, go 1.75 miles, turn right on SFR 37 and then three miles to the campground.

More info: South Park Ranger District, 719-836-2031

28. Pa-Co-Chu-Puk

Pa Co Chu Puk, Ridgway, CO: 1 Photo

Pa-Co-Chu-Puk is the Ute Indian word for Cow Creek, and its newest development in the Ridgway State Park. Set along the Uncompahgre River, the site has 81 level campsites with full-utility hookups. The fishing — catch-and-release only — on the river below Ridgway Reservoir is among the best in southwest Colorado. Swimming and boating are prohibited in the area, although these activities are available a short distance away at the reservoir.

More info: Ridgway State Park, (970) 626-5822

29. Ranger Lakes

Read Our Ranger Lakes Campground Camping Review
Ranger Lakes

More info: State Forest State Park, 970-723-8366

30. The Crags

Crags Hike Near Colorado Springs - Day Hikes Near Denver
The Crags

More info: State Forest State Park, 970-723-8366

31. North Michigan Reservoir

North Michigan Reservoir
North Michigan Reservoir

More info: State Forest State Park, 970-723-8366

32. Bockman State Forest

Bockman, State Forest, CO: 1 Photo
Bockman State Forest

A slender finger pointing northwest from Rocky Mountain National Park, the Colorado State Forest offers an extension of the high country scenery and adventures in the national park. The 70,000-acre forest lies at elevations between 8,500 and 12,500 feet. There are over 36 miles of spectacular, challenging four-wheel drive trails. Take a short, one-mile jaunt to Lake Agnes or hardier five-mile trip and 1,400 foot elevation gain to American Lakes. Rustic cabins are available for rent at the North Michigan Reservoir and at the Lake Agnes trailhead.

Directions: From Ft. Collins, it’s 75 miles via Highway 14 over Cameron Pass. From Denver, the route leads over Berthoud and Willow Creek passes to Walden, about a 150-mile trip.

More info: State Forest State Park, 970-723-8366

33. Island Acres

Island Acres

Some 120,000 visitors a year come to Island Acres State Park, located 15 miles east of Grand Junction on Interstate 70 in DeBeque Canyon. The park is an attractive place to fish, camp and picnic. During the early history of Colorado, trappers, explorers and Indians used the island as a campsite. Until 1967, the island was a peach orchard and cattle ranch. A dike built in the 1950s eliminated the island’s characteristics, but improved its access for recreational visitors. The facility is part of the Colorado River Park, which includes two, day-use areas: Connected Lakes and Corn Lakes. Island Acres provides the only overnight camping facilities, along with fishing, trail access, swimming and picnic grounds.

Directions: Take Interstate 70 to exit 47, five miles east of Palisade.

More info: Island Acres Section, 970-464-0548

34. Blacktail Creek

Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests & Thunder Basin National Grassland - Blacktail  Creek Campground
Blacktail Creek

The campsite itself is nothing special, with only eight sites for tents and trailers, but it’s the closest camping site on the west end of the Colorado River Headwaters Scenic and Historic Byway. The byway passes through mountain valleys, past lakes and along historic ranches. It’s 75-miles long, some of which is paved, some not. Elevations range from 9,000 to 6,500 feet.

Directions: To reach the byway, take Highway 324 from Grand Lake at Rocky Mountain National Park to Granby, then Highway 40 to Kremmling, CR 1 to the State Bridge. Don’t travel on the unpaved portions after rain or snow storms. The campground is about 10 miles off Highway 40 on Route 134 north of Kremmling. On the west end of the byway is the Stillwater campground (see Number 33).

More info: Yampa Ranger District, 970-638-4635

35. Pinyon Flats

PINYON FLATS CAMPGROUND - Reviews (Alamosa, CO) - Tripadvisor
Pinyon Flats

You’ll never find out if you’re a desert rat unless you visit some desert-like country. This monument presents a sharp contrast with its vast dunes and the snow-capped Sangre de Cristo Mountains in the distance. The facility has showers and camper supplies are available at a nearby resort or at Alamosa. This is a desert area, most of the vegetation is short pinyon, yucca and sagebrush (which Mark Twain said “makes a passable fire but is a failure as a vegetable”), so it’s recommended you bring your own firewood.

Directions: From Highway 160 14 miles east of Alamosa, turn north on Route 150 to the monument.

More info: Great Sand Dunes National Park, 719-378-6399

36. Amphitheater

Red Rocks Amphitheatre the highest-grossing and most-attended venue in the  world | OutThere Colorado
Amphitheater Colorado

This facility, right next to Ouray, is small and primitive and there is no water. But it’s a fine launching point for two nearby wilderness areas: the Uncompahgre to the west, and Mt. Sneffels to the east. The Mt. Sneffels Wilderness covers 16,500 acres at elevations from a low of 9,600 feet to the peak of Mt. Sneffels at 14,150 feet. It can snow any month of the year in the Rockies — and does — but generally you can expect no worse than a cool mountain climate. Normally, the area is snow-free from mid-July to September, but conditions vary year to year. Note: Motorized travel is prohibited in wilderness areas.

Directions: The campground is 37 miles south of Montrose on Route 550.

More info: Uncompahgre National Forest, (970) 874-6600

37. Big Blue

Big Blue Creek: Campground and Trailhead | Lake City - A Peak Experience
Big Blue

A campsite for the hardy and wilderness bound! This small, little used site is a trailhead for the Uncompahgre Wilderness, formerly called the Big Blue Wilderness (and no doubt there are some crusty locals in Ouray or Lake City who still call it that). There are eight tent sites and three trailer sites, but few other amenities — unless you consider pit toilets an amenity. The site is remote and set at 9,800 feet above sea level. A good site for hikers, it leads to the Uncompahgre Wilderness, which includes two peaks over 14,000 feet: 14,309-foot Uncompahgre Peak and 14,015-Wetterhorn Peak. Wildlife is a typical Colorado mix of elk, mule deer, bighorn sheep, black bear, coyote, snowshoe hares, golden eagle and other little furry things.

More info: Uncompahgre National Forest, (970) 874-6600

38. Silver Bar

Silver Bar Campground, White River, CO:
Silver Bar

More info: Aspen-Sopris Ranger District 970-925-3445

39. Silver Bell

Silver Bell Camping | The Dyrt
Silver Bell

More info: Aspen-Sopris Ranger District 970-925-3445

40. Silver Queen

Silver Queen, White River National Forest -
Silver Queen

More info: Aspen-Sopris Ranger District 970-925-3445

41. Maroon Lakes

Record Visitation at Maroon Bells Scenic Area Is Having a Serious Impact
Maroon Lakes

The Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness Area near Aspen can probably be considered Colorado’s signature wilderness, both for its spectacular beauty and the heavy use the area sees, confronting the many ecological issues posed by human impact on the wild. By far the most popular area in the wilderness is Maroon Lake. The lake is set in a U-shaped alpine valley, sprinkled with wildflowers. Kodak makes quite a bit of money on this site.

The popularity of the Maroon Lakes area has forced the Forest Service to restrict vehicle traffic to the lake during most of the summer. Shuttle buses run from Aspen to the Maroon Lake from July 4th to Labor Day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visitors seeking a greater degree of solitude are strongly advised to visit the Bells after Labor Day or during weekdays at the height of the summer.

Directions: The campgrounds are located along nine-mile FSR 15125, which runs south from Highway 82 about 1.5 miles west of Aspen.

More info: Aspen-Sopris Ranger District 970-925-3445

42. Redstone

Redstone, White River National Forest -
Redstone Campground

More info: Aspen-Sopris Ranger District 970-925-3445

43. Janeway

Janeway, Colorado - A Rowdy Rest-Area

More info: Carbondale Office, 970-963-2266

44. Avalanche

Avalanche Campground Camping | The Dyrt
Avalanche Campsite

Located on the west side of the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness, these sites along the Crystal River see less use. Janeway is set at an elevation of 6,800 feet, but Mt. Sopris, just three miles away, tops out at over 12,000 feet. The facilities are fairly primitive, with water available only at Redstone. There are a total of 44 campsites; trail access to the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness is available at all three.

Directions: The sites are about 27 miles south of Glenwood Springs on Highway 133.

More info: Carbondale Office, 970-963-2266

45. Cuchara, Bear Lake and Blue Lake

Bear Lake Campground | Spanish Peaks County - Explore Southern Colorado's  rich history, natural wonders, and artistic inspiration
Bear Lake

These three sites are just campgrounds, but are near some beautiful and out-of-the-way places in southern Colorado. The Spanish Peaks are known around the world for their unusual volcanic geology. The Indians believed the clouds were born here. The Devil’s Stairsteps, another volcanic formation like the embedded teeth of a giant shark, is nearby as well. There are beautiful views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains from many areas.

Directions: From La Veta, drive about 14 miles south past Cuchara on Highway 12 to the turn to the west for the campgrounds.

More info: San Isabel National Forest 719-539-3591

46. Hornsilver

Hornsilver Campground | Vista Recreation

More info: Eagle-Holy Cross Ranger District, 970-328-6388

47. Blodgett

Blodgett Peak Hike Near Colorado Springs - Day Hikes Near Denver
Blodgett Colorado

Backpackers like to keep their favorite places secret. One of those is the Holy Cross Wilderness near Vail. These Colorado campgrounds cover 116,500 acres, with elevations from 8,000 to over 13,000 feet. Numerous pools, streams and alpine lakes crisscross the area, in beautiful wide valleys with over 160 miles of constructed trails.

Directions: The small campsites are next to each other on Route 24, about 10 miles south of Vail.

More info: Eagle-Holy Cross Ranger District, 970-328-6388

48. Ponderosa

PONDEROSA CAMPGROUNDS - Campground Reviews & Price Comparison (Antonito,  CO) - Tripadvisor

One of nine Colorado campgrounds in the Curecanti National Recreation Area, Ponderosa provides excellent access to Blue Mesa Lake. With a surface area of 14 square miles, it’s the largest lake in Colorado. It and the area’s other lakes, Morrow Point and Crystal, offer super trout and salmon fishing, and extend for 40 miles along the Gunnison River and the Black Canyon. The entire facility covers over 42,000 acres. The site is near the West Elk Wilderness in the Gunnison National Forest, where you’ll find numerous high peaks: the Castles, Baldy, West Elk Peak, West and East Beckwith. Wildlife includes elk, mule deer, black bear, coyote, snowshoe hares, golden eagles and many other critters. Local streams have four species of trout: cutthroat, rainbow, brookies and browns.

More info: Park Headquarters, (970) 641-2337

49. Blue Mountain

Blue Mountain : Climbing, Hiking & Mountaineering : SummitPost
Blue Mountain

Blue Mountain is a 21-site facility about four miles west of Florissant, and is the first of a series of campgrounds along the South Platte. It’s the closest overnight stay to the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument, west of Colorado Springs and not far from Pikes Peak. The monument provides a look back at the prehistoric environment. A feel for the fossil history can be gained with a short visit, but the Park Service recommends at least a half-day trip and attention to the park presentations. There is a rich fossil record of insects and plants, including petrified sequoia stumps.

An old Hornbek homestead provides a rich contrast with the historical settlement of the area. Crowds are rarely a problem. There are nearly 12 miles of trails through the monument, and especially rich are the Walk Through Time (1.5 miles) and the Petrified Forest (one mile).

More info: South Park Ranger District, 719-836-2031

50. Split Mountain and Green River

Split Mountain And The Green River At Dinosaur National Monument
Split Mountain and Green River

These are the only two developed campgrounds in this Colorado park. The stark and beautiful landscape was created by rivers gouging through the area. One of the best ways to see the park is by boat along the Yampa or Green rivers.

Directions: To see dinosaur bones, go to the Dinosaur Quarry, seven miles north of Jensen. The canyon country is visible and accessible by driving north from the visitors center to Harpers.

More info: Dinosaur National Monument, 435-781-7700

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