Best Camping in Colorado: Top 10 Places to Go in 2024

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Best Camping in Colorado: Top 10 Places to Go in 2024
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Camping is a pleasant way to get closer to nature, particularly in the Rocky Mountains. In addition, Colorado has some of the top campsites in the country and offers fantastic camping almost everywhere. Therefore, this list of the top places to go camping in Colorado will likely expand.

camping in Colorado

Colorado is a gorgeous outdoor playground, from the grandeur of Rocky Mountain National Park to the meandering roadways of the Million Dollar Highway and the spectacular expanse of the Blue Mesa Reservoir. Camping is the ideal way to explore its enormous natural areas!  

Colorado is truly unique compared to most other states! Here are the top ten places to go camping in Colorado that you should check out. Many offer practical facilities and the opportunity to experience Colorado's beautiful outdoors nearby! Remember to use a Jackery Solar Generator to charge your camping appliances with solar energy.

Top 10 Places to Camp in Colorado

Few states can match Colorado in terms of natural beauty and fantastic outdoor destinations. There is much to see and do, from the beautiful views of Towering Mountain National Park, the rocky spires of Garden of the Gods, and the breathtaking views along the San Juan Skyway Scenic Byway.     

Paid-constructed campgrounds and free underdeveloped, primitive campsites coexist here. Some can only accommodate tent-only car camping, while others can accommodate a full-fledged travel trailer. So feel free to travel to the high country after renting an RV in Denver! Let's look at the top 10 places to camp in Colorado.

top places to camp in Colorado

1. Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park

Location: Larimer / Grand / Boulder counties, Colorado, United States

Phone: 970-586-1206

Website: Rocky Mountain National Park  

When to Visit: June & September

Best Campsites: Vasquez Ridge, Green Ridge CG, Willow Creek CG

Established in 1915, Rocky Mountain National Park is a living testament to the magnificence of the Rocky Mountains. Just outside Estes Park, Colorado, Rocky Alpine is a fantastic family vacation spot with outdoor activities, including straightforward nature treks around glacier-fed mountain lakes and risky rock climbs up mountains and waterfalls.

A visitor to the park can embark on many stunning encounters and activities with elevations varying from 8,000 feet in the damp, green valleys to 14,259 feet at the weather-ravaged peak of Longs Peak.

When you visit the Rockies, experience mountaineering, hiking, camping, fishing, and spectacular vistas of craggy peaks, glaciers, and high-mountain lakes when the hillsides and meadows are covered in botanical color in June and July, wildflower enthusiasts are never let down. Since the park is open all year round, those courageous enough to withstand the cold in winter are treated to snowscapes.  

"We have been to RMNP many times and have always loved coming. This was our first fall trip, and we loved seeing the aspens in their yellow color."

2. Great Sand Dunes National Park

Great Sand Dunes National Park

Location: Alamosa and Saguache Counties, Colorado, United States

Phone: 719-378-6395

Website: Great Sand Dunes  

When to Visit: Summer

Best Campsites: Piñon Flats Campground, Medano Pass, Pinyon Flats Campground

The Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve is a national park and preserve in the United States that protects a region of tall dunes that can reach heights of 750 feet on the eastern edge of the San Luis Valley. It also borders a national preserve in the Sangre de Cristo Range in central Colorado.

The largest dune towers 750 feet in the air, and the entire dune field is a 30-square-mile sandbox. Every visitor has a child inside who enjoys sliding down the sand all year long and diving into the soft sand footprints of people who climbed ahead of them.

One of the unique camping locations in the US is Great Sand Dunes National Park. In addition to the dunes, the area offers picnicking, hiking, camping, the problematic four-wheel scenic drive over Medano Pass, horseback riding routes, and the enigmatic Medano Creek. The park's elevation (8,200 feet) and remote setting make it popular with astronomy enthusiasts, and on many evenings from May to September, it even offers special astronomy activities.    

"Here, you can learn about the park and its wildlife, use the restroom, and purchase gifts. Please also note there are great views of the dune field here."

3. Routt National Forest

Routt National Forest

Location: Wyoming-Colorado, U.S.

Phone: 307-745-2300

Website: Routt National Forest  

When to visit: Early spring & late fall

Best Campsites: Rabbit Ears Peak Trail, Fiddlehead Trail, Big Creek Lakes Campground

The Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests cover Northcentral Colorado and central Wyoming. The Gore Range, Flat Tops, Parks Range, Medicine Bow Mountains, Sierra Madre, and Laramie Range are just a few mountain ranges partially covered by the Forests.

For thousands of people, the Forests offer year-round recreational options. Due to the vast geographic region's topography varying drastically throughout the forests, Elevations vary from 5,500 to 12,940 feet. The Forests' climate ranges from semi-arid at low levels to chilly and humid at higher elevations.

This forest contains three unique mountain chains and is situated on both sides of the Continental Divide in northwest Colorado. They are the Elkhead Mountains, another spur stretching westward from the Continental Divide, the Gore Range, a southern offshoot of the Divide, and the Park Range, which forms the Continental Divide. The limitless forests of northwest Colorado are popular for camping, hiking, mountaineering, and winter sports.   

"uge acreage of beautiful national forest set on the Continental Divide, worthy of several photographs from this area. Open spaces with lovely hikes and so much more."

4. San Isabel National Forest  

San Isabel National Forest

Location: 2840 Kachina Dr., Pueblo, CO 81008

Phone: 719-553-1400

Website: Pike-San Isabel National Forest

When to visit: March - November

Best Campsites: Turquoise Lake Recreation Area, Cimarron Campground

The Pike and San Isabel National Forests, Cimarron, and Comanche National Grasslands (PSICC) regions are the most diversified National Forests. The short grass prairies of the eastern grasslands, the alpine tundra of the northern districts, and every kind in between make up these diversified forests and grasslands. Nineteen of the state's 54 fourteeners, including Mt. Elbert, the highest peak in Colorado, are found in the San Isabel National Forest.

This easily accessible national forest is home to many beauties and is only a few hours from Denver. The upper Arkansas River Valley, the eastern slopes of the Sangre De Cristo Mountains, the Wet Mountains, and the Spanish Peaks are all included in the national forest.

San Isabel is a hiking and mountain climbing haven with over a million acres of terrain and hundreds of summits. Basecamps in the region, including Leadville, Buena Vista, Salida, Fairplay, and Westcliffe, are excellent.           

"San Isabel National Forest is beautiful, 15 degrees cooler than the flats, and accessible. It is a beautiful place to hike and camp if that's your thing. Lots of trails, lots of roads that make hiking easy."

5. Maroon Bells

Maroon Bells

Location: Gunnison County, CO

Phone: 970-945-3319

Website: Maroon Bells  

When to visit: Late June to September

Best Campsites: Silver Bell Campground, Snowmass Wilderness Area

Discover how a journey through more than 300 million years of angular stone inspires visitors worldwide to "Defy Ordinary" as you explore Aspen's Maroon Bells, the most photographed mountains in North America. Some of the most breathtaking natural views in the world may be seen at the Maroon Bells, a group of uniquely bell-shaped, wine-colored peaks rising 14,000 feet above the pristine, glacial Maroon Creek Valley.

Silver Bell has walk-in sites that are perfect for tent camping and are accessible from roughly late May through late September. Silver Bell is one of three campgrounds located in the woods by West Maroon Creek: Silver Queen, Silver Bar, and Silver Bell.

The modest National Forest Service campgrounds that line the hiking trails beyond the lake are a great place for campers to discover gratifying, quiet road bikers like riding their bicycles up Maroon Creek Road.

"A beautiful, unspoiled area just on the edge of Aspen. Easy parking and a pleasant walk to the lake. I loved the scenery, and the mountain backdrop was special."

6. Steamboat Lake State Park

Steamboat Lake State Park

Location: 61105 Rcr 129, Clark, CO 80428

Phone: 970-879-3922

Website: Steamboat Lake  

When to visit: Summer

Best Campsites: Dutch Hill Campground, Sunrise Vista Campground

Steamboat Lake State Park, one of Colorado's natural gems, offers something unique for everyone. Whatever your inclination, you're in for some well-earned rest and fun. Less than 30 miles from Steamboat Springs lies one of Colorado's most stunning state parks.

It has a lot of beautiful locations to camp, but it also has a marina where you can hire boats, a swim beach, a visitor center, and 5.5 miles of hiking paths surrounded by Hahn's Peak.

There is a swimming beach and a full-service marina for active water play. Snowmobiling, ice fishing, and tranquil cross-country skiing or snowshoeing in a valley surrounded by snow-capped mountains bring the winter to life.

The red fox, mule deer, and a variety of shorebirds and waterfowl, including sandhill cranes that breed in the wetland areas, are among the animals that wildlife enthusiasts might catch a glimpse of.

"This campground is 45 minutes north of Steamboat Springs, which was perfect. You feel like you are getting away from it all and yet can drive into town for supplies and activities. It's a gorgeous drive along Elk River."

7. Grand Lakes of Colorado

Grand Lakes of Colorado

Location: 14700 US-34, Grand Lake, CO 80447

Phone: 970-627-3402

Website: Grand Lake  

When to visit: Winter

Best Campsites: Arapaho Bay CG, Stillwater CG, Green Ridge CG

Grand Lake is the most significant and deepest natural lake in Colorado. It is situated in Grand County, Colorado, near the source of the Colorado River. The historic village of Grand Lake, which bears its name, is located on its northern shore. There are six excellent natural lakes in Colorado, including the biggest one.

Downtown has anything, like a welcoming promenade with vibrant, independently-owned stores and eateries. During the bustling summer months, entertainment is readily available, and outdoor activities are countless, including camping.

It is located at an elevation of 8,369 feet at the western entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park. This Grand County village has roughly 410 residents, with a spike in visitors during the warmer months. Despite the quieter atmosphere, snowmobiling and ice fishing are popular winter activities.    

"This is my favorite place in the US! I have been to many states, and Colorado is amazing. Grand Lake says it all! If you like returning to when life was slow, and people were friendly, I recommend visiting Grand Lake!"

8. Flat Tops Trail

Flat Tops Trail

Location: Meeker, CO 81641

Phone: 970-638-4516

Website: Flat Tops Trail  

When to visit: September to December

Best Campsites: Chapman Reservoir CG, Vaughan Lake CG

Colorado's Flat Tops Trail Scenic Byway spans 82 picturesque miles. It weaves through lush river valleys, surrounds the abundant Flat Tops Wilderness, and ascends over two of the state's least-traveled passes. You arrive in Meeker at the end of the voyage to a town with a sad heritage and rural beauty.

The Flat Tops Trail in Northwest Colorado is a beautiful area to unwind and take in the scenery. This 82-mile byway, which connects Meeker and Yampa, is appropriate for most autos. There are no other places to fill up once on the road, so at Meeker or Yampa.

Depending on the number of stops, the distance might be covered in 2.5 hours or more. Snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling can all be done in the winter. Bike riding, camping, fishing, hiking, and hunting are among the summer and fall activities.

"This was a great hike, very challenging in some spots, and the views at the top were incredible! I didn't rate it five stars because the pathway markings were limited."

9. Buffalo Pass

Buffalo Pass

Location: Jackson / Routt counties, Colorado, U.S.

Phone: 970-879-0342

Website: Buffalo Pass  

When to visit: Late June to early August

Best Campsites: Dry Lake CG, Summit Lake CG

Buffalo Pass leads northwest from Steamboat to Highway 14, close to Walden. From Steamboat, it is 11 arduous miles to the peak, then 32 miles to Highway 14. The major road to Walden used to be along this ancient path.

The viewing season for wildflowers is condensed due to Buffalo Pass' high elevation, and the ideal time to see them is from late June to early August. The pass is about halfway between Walden and Steamboat Springs.

Although the road is in decent shape, and 2WD vehicles would manage just fine at lower levels, the last few miles and the top is rugged for about four miles. The Park Range is excellently positioned to block the moist air throughout the winter as storms approach from the Pacific Ocean on the west, mainly northwest flow.

"Nice, easy hike with our dog, with great fall views of Aspen foliage and the surrounding mountains."

10. Mesa Verde National Park

Mesa Verde National Park

Location: Mesa Verde National Park, CO 81330

Phone: 970-529-4465

Website: Mesa Verde  

When to visit: Spring to Fall

Best Campsites: Morefield Campground

For more than 700 years, Mesa Verde's cliffs and mesas were home to vibrant Ancestral Pueblo civilizations. Today, the park provides tourists with a breathtaking view of the past while safeguarding the rich cultural heritage of 26 Pueblos and Tribes. Nearly a thousand species live in this World Heritage Site and International Dark Sky Park, some of which are unique to our planet.

Join a tour to learn more about the significance of these historic locations. Park rangers lead guided tours of the ruins throughout the year, giving visitors a detailed insight into life hundreds of years ago.

There are hiking routes in Mesa Verde National Park as well, and many of these lead to picturesque overlooks with stunning views of the surrounding desert.

"There is a lot to do in this park, but the cliff-dwelling Cliff Palace is an absolute must-see. This is the traditional set of ruins you see as they are the largest and most diverse."

Camping in Colorado Essentials

Camping is a fantastic way to see many places quickly and affordably. When camping in Colorado, you won't need to worry about carrying supplies on a long hike through the woods. There are essential preparations before camping, and a checklist may help you remember particular items!   

The camping in Colorado essentials are listed below:

- Campsite Essentials: tent, sleeping bag, table & chair, flashlight, firewood

- Camp Kitchen Essentials: cooking grill, stove, knife, cutting board, coffee maker, food

- Portable Power Generator: Jackery Solar Generator 300 Plus & 1000 Plus

- Clothes & Footwear: water-proof jacket, hiking pants, boots, gloves

- Personal Items: ID, map, cash, bottle, book

- First Aid Kit: personal medication, bandages, finger splints, eye drops

For additional information, check out our camping essentials guide. Whether it's your first camping vacation or you've gone camping before, you'll need camping essentials to make your experience more pleasant and comfortable. Solar generators are a great alternative to gas-powered ones since they are less expensive and emit no pollutants. The next part will discuss the helpful solar generators for camping.

Jackery Solar Generators for Camping in Colorado

A solar generator and solar panels provide essential power for electronics, tools, and anything else. It works just as effectively for camping trips. Aside from that, it is beneficial for the environment because it gets its power from the sun.

Jackery Solar Generators for Camping in Colorado

Jackery manufactures the best solar power stations, solar cells, and solar generators. It is a leading brand of solar generators and one of the best-selling ones. Jackery Solar Generator, combining Jackery Solar Panels with a Portable Power Station, is suitable for camping in many ways.  

They are better for the environment, don't give off smelly fumes, are quieter than gasoline engines, and are easy to move around. Because of their sizes and power, the Jackery Solar Generator 500 and 1000 Plus are the best to bring on your Colorado camping trip.

Jackery Solar Generator 300 Plus

The Jackery Solar Generator 300 Plus is a modern and efficient portable solar generator gaining popularity. The Jackery Explorer 300 Plus is paired with the SolarSaga 40W solar panels, offering a capacity of 288Wh and an output of 300W.

With dual PD ports, this device enables the convenient and efficient fast charging of multiple devices simultaneously, delivering an impressive 100W output power. In addition, it provides a range of charging options, making it highly convenient for outdoor usage.  

The Explorer 300 Plus is impressively lightweight, weighing only 11 lbs. This makes it perfect for any outdoor adventure, whether backpacking or mountain biking. The MPPT charge controller technology ensures maximum solar charging efficiency. The SolarSaga 40W is a convenient and portable option for those who are frequently on the move. With its foldable design, this product offers easy storage and transportation, allowing you to carry it in your backpack conveniently.

The Explorer 300 Plus has a durable LiFePO4 battery and a self-developed BMS (Battery Management System) for enhanced protection. Furthermore, lithium battery technology has engineered the power station to withstand elevated temperatures. This technology guarantees exceptional and dependable cell performance, even in challenging conditions.

Jackery Solar Generator 300 Plus

Jackery Solar Generator 1000 Plus

The Jackery Solar Generator 1000 Plus is the most excellent option for comparable-level portable power stations due to its unparalleled output. It can help in camping, off-road living, home emergencies, and other situations. It's the all-in-one solar generator for your life because it's versatile and extensible in size. 

Supports up to three additional battery packs, bringing the capacity to 5kWh and giving 1-3 days of off-grid backup power. Enjoy the outdoors while camping. A solar generator can power your portable grill, cooler, lighting, and coffee maker, providing comfort and convenience. Stay connected and keep crucial gadgets running with dependable backup power, ensuring safety and convenience during camping.

The Jackery Explorer 1000 Plus portable power station, which has a 10-year lifespan and a Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) battery, delivers a constant voltage and pure sine wave, ensuring the safety of all your electrical appliances. Furthermore, the unique ChargeShield technology and steady power delivery prevent equipment damage.

Jackery Solar Generator 1000 Plus

Camping in Colorado Tips

Camping in a gorgeous place like Colorado can be a lot of fun. However, if you're unprepared, this enjoyable pastime could turn perilous. The next time you go camping in Colorado, use Furthermore, the unique ChargeShield technology and steady power delivery prevent equipment damage.the following tips to stay safe and have a blast.

 1. When in use, keep all gas heaters and stoves outside. Use only battery-operated lamps inside the tent, and avoid lighting a grill too close to it.

 2. It's a fallacy that you won't spot any wild creatures at your campground during the day. Since people are familiar with Colorado parks, animals can safely approach you for food.

 3. A bug bite can cause more harm than merely being annoying. It may result in illnesses that require months to treat. Always have a bottle of bug spray with you, and use it as needed.

 4. It can be very hot or chilly in Colorado, depending on when and where you are camping. It might be both, with oppressive heat during the day and cold at night. You should pack additional clothing so that you are ready for weather fluctuations.   

Final Thoughts

You'll discover the best places to camp in Colorado, whether you float in solitude in a canoe across a serene lake bathed in the early morning sunlight or enjoy the activity of crowded sites with water sports and kid's playgrounds.

With Jackery, you can have a safe and chargeable trip to Colorado! The Jackery Solar Generator converts solar energy into electrical power and stores it for later use. This portable solar generator will keep you constantly powered no matter where you are in Colorado or the type of camping you pick.

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