With overshadowing mountains, pristine lakes, valleys, and the totality of nature and diversity of wildlife one could ever hope for, the state of Colorado sure provides a great selection of the best camping locations in the world. Every twist and turn offer breathtaking views, giving everyone a chance to capture beautiful landscapes. So, where are the best places to camp in Colorado?
To make the most of your time in Colorado, better dedicate some time to research first before setting out. Plan your itineraries and the camping grounds you wish to stay beforehand.
Bear in mind that poorly planned trips frequently lead to crowded camps, unrelaxing environments, and an overall unsatisfactory camping trip.
The good news is that we’re here to help you out with your problem – we researched for you, so all you have to do now is to sit back, relax, read on, and pack your backpacks right after!
5 Best Places to Camp in Colorado
1. The Crags
Planning to go car camping? Look no further than the Crags! The Crags offer a multitude of exciting activities – from hiking, fishing, and trekking, to simply marveling at the primitive campground. Do check out our camping checklist for the ultimate car camping!
Pikes Peak, the mountain which holds the Crags, boasts an impressive backdrop to the entire City of Colorado Springs. Rising thousands of feet from the ground, Pike Peaks is a sight to behold as it beckons hikers, bikers, climbers, and sightseers to its majestic summit. The Crags, a famous hiking trail, is just as majestic as Pike Peak’s summit.
Camping here is like no other. The primitive campsite is deeply shaded with pine, aspen forests, and granite formations. It offers 17 spots for tents, small RVs, and small trailers. Adventurous backpackers can also find primitive backcountry sites near the Crags where a full 360-degree view of the Sangre de Cristo and Collegiate Peaks mountain ranges are waiting.
However, access to this area can be pretty tough. The roads are steep, narrow and winding. Trailer and motor homes are very much welcome in the campground, but we don’t recommend it. If you have the guts, make sure your vehicle’s up to the difficult task.
2. Camp Dick
Adjacent to Middle Saint Vrain Creek, Camp Dick, an old campground established in the 1930s, is an excellent location for anglers, mountain bikers, and pet owners who want to go some place where dogs can have plenty of places to run.
The scenic campground features a stunning glacial valley blanketed by mixed stands of towering forests, as well as an open meadow. The sound of the flowing water from the creek is relaxing, and it’s also an ideal place to take a dip on warm days or go fly-fishing as it’s abundant with trout, browns, and rainbows.
Some trails within the campground are open for hikers, bikers, horseback riders, and runners. Mountain bikers should take note that there are only specific trails for biking — only a few miles from the Buchanan Pass Trail are open for biking.
Additionally, off-road vehicle enthusiasts can also enjoy the long and winding Middle Saint Vrain and Bunce roads.
3. Buffalo Pass
Buffalo Pass, a once historic route, is approximately a 15-mile long stretch of dirt road which spans across the Park Range of the Rocky Mountains.
The scenic road is dotted with vegetation such as sagebrush, gamble oak, pine, quaking aspen, and spruce-fir forests. The elevated road is an excellent spot if you want spectacular views of the Yampa and North Park valleys below.
Because of the Buffalo Pass’ high elevation, it has become popular as a viewing spot for wildflowers which bloom in season, specifically from late June to early August.
The pass offers a few beautiful disperse camping sites with restroom facilities for cars, RVs, and tents. The campsites are on a first come first served basis, and they quickly fill up during the summer season so it’s best to be at the location the earliest you can.
Moreover, there are several hiking, horseback, and vehicle trails available in the pass that suit a range of outdoor activities.
As with most high elevation areas, campers should be prepared for rapidly changing weather conditions. High elevations can cause discomfort due to the thin air and direct exposure to sunlight, so it’s best to bring your sunscreen at all times. Also, lightning storms often come during early afternoons, so campers should always be prepared for departure, if necessary.
Dead trees can also fall without warning so make sure your car or tent is far from them. Lastly, always be aware of your surroundings when you finally decide to visit this campground.
4. Guanella Pass Campground
Looking for some place uncrowded, melancholic, and serene but nevertheless, stunning? You’ll surely love the spirit that Guanella Pass reverberates. This place is the exact definition of “chill”. It somehow reminds us of our old childhood wagon days exploring trails and embarking on “ghost hunts”.
Guanella Pass spreads through two national forests — the Arapaho National Forest and the Pike National Forest. The pass is simply breathtaking! Prepare to be in awe of the marvelous forests and lakes below.
The autumn season which dawns from September and ends in early October seems to be the most favorite time to drive the pass. Golden foliage is falling everywhere, and both sides of the pass offer unique sceneries.
Because of the pass’ scenic and long trails, bikers, hikers, and campers flock to the area during autumn. Goers can also do some fishing at Georgetown and Clear lakes as well as those few lakes along the pass.
5. Mueller State Park Campground
Mueller State Park Campground is open year-round and boasts an extravagance of aspen trees and mixed spruce, a delightful sight for photographers and sightseers. The place also offers panoramic views of the Continental Divide and Pike Peaks.
The park has over 40 miles of trails suitable for hiking, camping, biking, and horseback riding. During the winter months, the iced trail becomes a popular attraction for snowshoeing and cross country skiing.
Due to the park’s 5,121 acres of aspen and conifer forests, wildlife has been abundant in the area. The forest is home to bears, deer, elk, fox, sheep, coyotes, and hawks. The Four Mile Creek nearby is also brimming with trout.
The enormous park offers a hefty number of 132 campsites, including 110 electrical sites for motor homes, trailers and tents. You’ll rarely find this site crowded with people but still, it’s best to reserve a campsite before going.
There you go, folks — 5 of the best places to camp in Colorado. But hey, those are just the tip of the iceberg, friends. Colorado is sprawling with campgrounds and “still hidden” gems. It’s up to you to explore them all! Anyways, no place can disappoint you in Colorado. That state’s like a nature paradise.
Hey,camper! What’s up? Have you been to Colorado? Where did you camp? Can you suggest other beautiful campgrounds there? Let’s chat in the comments section below! Don’t forget to share this post too. Cheers!