Colorado's Best Camping Spots

best camping spots in Colorado

From its state parks to its national forests, Colorado is known for its' stunning geographical diversity and is abundant with gorgeous rivers, snow-capped mountains, and arid deserts. The possibilities for camping and outdoor explorations are endless which can make the planning process overwhelming.

If Colorado is on your list for camping this season in your travel trailer, here is our top ten list of the best camping spots in Colorado that you cannot afford to miss.

Red Feather Lakes

best camping in colorado
Located in the Rocky Mountains northwest of Fort Collins, this rustic mountain village is far from hectic city life.

When you head to the Rocky Mountains for adventure and reach the northwest of Fort Collins, you will fall in love with the jaw-dropping views. This Red Feather Lakes is also Colorado’s first designed scenic river. The nearby Dowdy lake has many popular sites for fishing, biking, and hiking as well.

This area was first identified by ranchers around 1900 and today, it has become a popular outdoor playground with beautiful scenery, mountain views, and hiking trails.

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Golden Gate Canyon State Park

Golden Gate Canyon view of wildlife deer
Golden Gate Canyon State Park offers such amenities as electrical hook-ups and tent-sites in two different campgrounds, stocked fishing ponds and picnic sites.

Surrounded by more than 12,000 acres of dense forest and miles of trail, the Golden Gate Canyon State is a camper’s paradise. The stunning location is only 30 miles from Denver and there are two different campgrounds for tent camping. All visitors get to choose from 156 camping sites and there are exciting spots for mountain biking, horseback riding and winter sport.

Tent camping at Golden Gate Canyon Park is available all year round, but you need to remember that they are available on first-come, first-serve basis. You also have the chance to enjoy hunting expedition on the Ralston Creek which is right adjacent to the park.

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Camp Dick

camp dick mountain forest view
The campground is situated on the banks of the Middle Saint Vrain Creek in a glacial valley surrounded by mixed conifer and aspen forests and an open meadow.

Camp Dick certainly provides some of the best camping in Colorado. Camp Dick was established during the mid-1930s and is located in the Middle Saint Vrain Creek. The camping ground is surrounded by conifer forests as well as an open meadow. The trails in the region are open for hiking and biking. Guided horseback riding is just a mile away.

All campsites in Camp Dick accommodate tent camping and you can find picnic tables and campfire rings. If needed, you can purchase firewood at the campsite even during the peak season.

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Turquoise Lake

Hanging Lake clear water day
While you might think Turquoise Lake is named for its blue waters, this fresh glacial lake of nearly 1,800 acres once hosted a turquoise mine. While precious stones are no longer pulled from the earth here, you’ll discover a gem of an alpine lake rich with opportunities for outdoor fun.

Turquoise Lake is a recreation area just outside of Leadville, Colorado. This area is known for boating and fishing. Other popular recreation activities include camping and hiking. There are about 300 campsites in the area spread across eight campgrounds.

You have the option to choose from tent camping and RV camping and the majority of the campgrounds are located on the eastern shore. What campers love about the campgrounds is that they offer picnic tables, fire rings, drinking water, and toilets!

Because Turquoise lakes are located at an elevation of almost 10,000 feet, the camping sites are only open during the summer season. If you are not used to altitude climbing, drink plenty of water and allow extra time for activities. You can however still visit the location as it is one of the popular destinations for ice fishing. To make your outdoor adventures more fun, do make reservations in advance as campgrounds are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

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Saddlehorn Campground

canyon view of rainbow on a sun setting evening
This 80-site campground is adjacent to the park visitor center and several hiking options are nearby, including Window Rock Trail, Alcove Nature Trail, and Canyon Rim Trail.

The site is the only established campground within the monument. All campsites in ‘A’ loop are first come, first served. You can reserve camping sites in B loop up to six months in advance. C loop camping sites are ideal for individual as well as group camping.

Saddlehorn is the only established campsite in the monument and it’s not surprising that all 80 camping sites fill quickly in summer. This mesmerizing location can be found at the end of the 23-mile long scenic drive through the canyons. As you drive to the camping site, you can enjoy expansive views of the Grand Junction and the valley.

Most visitors are impressed with the six-mile-long hike along the monument canyon trail. More adventurous visitors can enjoy desert hiking. If you decide to stay at the campsite, you can enjoy a road bike ride as well as rock climbing.

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Little Molas Lake Campground

view of beautiful Little Molas Lake Colorado
The 137-acre campground sits along the Million Dollar Highway (US 550) in the central San Juan Mountains; the most spectacular peaks in the Colorado Rockies.

People do not hesitate to Little Molas for outdoor adventure. The destination is known for its proximity to Andrews Lake and is located at over 3,300m Little Molas also has excellent hiking access to the Colorado Trail.

While summers in Little Molas Campground are glorious (the high altitude destination is stocked with rainbows), you should be prepared with a solid tent and lots of weatherproof gear to make your outdoor adventure more fun.

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Angel of Shavano

Mount Shavano seen in the distance
The campsites are wooded with aspen and spruce trees. A few of the campsites are located along the stream.

Angel of Shavano campgrounds without a doubt is one of the region’s best-kept secrets. While the camping ground is small and features only 20 campsites, the cozy atmosphere allows you to spend quality time with family and friends.

The variety of recreational activities offered at the Angel of Shavano campground includes fishing, biking, and hiking. This campground interestingly is named after an angel that appears on Shavano Mountains. It lies at an elevation of 9,200 feet and is covered by aspen and pine forests.

Some camping sites along the river are encircled by open, grassy meadows. Because Angel of Shavano is situated at an elevation, you need to take along protective camping gear. Thunderstorms are quite common among the summer months.

The Colorado Trail begins within the Angel of Shavano campground and provides excellent hiking and biking opportunities for adventurous campers. This trail is about 487 miles and the segments range in elevation from 5,500 feet to over 13,000 feet.

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Piñon Flats Campground

Piñon Flats with storm rolling clouds
As the sun sets, watch the light dance over the massive sand dunes, creating a Technicolor display you didn’t even know was possible.

Piñon Flats Campground is located in the Great Sand Dunes National Park. It features high mountain peaks, grasslands, lush forests, sparkling streams and a wide variety of wildflowers.

There are endless outdoor recreational activities and the camping site is perfect for kids who want to explore nature.

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Oh Be Joyful Campground

best camping in colorado
This campground is in a splendid valley just a few miles outside of the ski town of Crested Butte along the Slate River.

Located in the heart of the Gunnison National Forest, the campground is a popular place for outdoor enthusiasts. There are over 15 campsites and adventurers can enjoy an abundance of hiking, biking, skiing, paddling, and wildlife watching.

The camping ground is open all year round and is particularly stunning especially in fall.

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Buena Vista

buena vista best camping in colorado
Buena Vista is sometimes referred as the “banana belt”, because of its temperate and arid climate that provides 300+ days of sunlight.

This beautiful valley is ideal for fishing, rafting, and kayaking. The Arrowhead Point campground has camping sites, cottages and cabins within the perfect mountain settings so you can get back to nature with a fun twist.

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