The red rock canyon in this area offers spectacular views and opportunities for hiking, cycling, and climbing. This area is part of San Isabel National Forest, one of the best areas to camp for free in Colorado. While there are no electrical hookups available here, the campground does offer water, picnic tables, fire rings, and dump stations. 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 first mile is the hardest, so don’t get discouraged on the front end. All Rights Reserved. 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. There’s no shame in car camping. You camp under the pine trees beside the lake with beautiful views of Mt. In his free time, Tyler can be found searching Portland for the next great food establishment or perusing the many bookshelves of Powell's. Consider extending your trip if you want to spend time hiking the lesser-visited western side of the park. To help you get the most out of your experience, we’ve looked far and wide for some of the best dispersed camping in Colorado. Camping along Lincoln Creek is permitted from late May to late September. Check. We camped on the side of the mountain, so when we woke up we were rewarded with the most beautiful overview of the city and mountains.” — The Dyrt camper Keisha M. This article was brought to you by Primus. Beer? You’ll cross one of the highest paved roads in the country (and likely spot elk and moose), then head south toward Frisco, before kicking west to Carbondale. About 40 minutes from the valley's glittering Aspen, Carbondale may just be one of raddest towns in Colorado. And if you're looking for a bit of an adrenaline rush while you're there, you can even go sandboarding while staying inside the park. Angel of Shavano Campground checks that box too. The area is located within 30 minutes of the beautiful Buena Vista, Colorado. Each site comes with a fire ring and picnic table, and drinking water and trash collection is available at the campground as well. Each site comes with a picnic table and fire ring, and the campground offers drinking water, trash collection, and vault toilets for all visitors. “Beautiful drive [to get] there over Kenosha Pass, [especially] during Aspen Yellow season. The best way to see it all is by hitting the road. The springs and shower are accessible with a $16 day pass. The campground itself includes 62 campsites, a handful of which have electric hookups. “Perfect place for a quiet weekend away near CO Springs. If you or your family are interested in seeing the wilder side of Colorado—whitewater rapids, epic, untouched mountain views, native Cutthroat Trout—then this campground is for you. #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. 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. 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.. One of the best fall color spots in Colorado, Rocky delivers on the foliage. 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). Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our, The Ultimate Colorado Car-Camping Road Trip, – On your way out of town, it’s worth a drive or short hike through the Garden of the Gods park with its dramatic red sandstone formations. End long days of hiking and elk spotting, carousing with the locals at Rock Cut Brewing, Lumpy Ridge Brewing, or Elkins Distilling. Due to its elevation and location in Boulder County, Colorado, Pawnee Campground experiences a shorter camping season for many of its sites, as they’re only available starting in early July and running through Labor Day. And don't forget to pack some extra layers (hey, you've got your car, after all), as most of the campsites are situated around 9,800 feet. Mueller’s campground offers excellent views of the Continental Divide, and includes 134 campsites, each with a fire ring and picnic table. 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. It’s no secret that one of the most beloved pastimes in Colorado is camping. 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. Home to thousands of weekend warriors, Denver is loaded with outdoor retailers. On your way out of town, it’s worth taking a small detour to the Rocky Mountain Arsenal Wildlife Refuge. For food, Village Smithy (pictured) is a classic for brunch and Señor Taco has some of the best tacos in the area. The park has showers and laundry on-site, which is a godsend if you’re flying out of Denver the next day. of Sunset Publishing Corporation. Look to River Runners and Absolute Bikes for gear rentals. Explore camper reviews and photos of the campgrounds in Rocky Mountain National Park. The Rio Grande Trail's 42-mile corridor runs through town, so you can easily get between places downtown like True Healing Arts (a wellness center with a free, public garden that has a stone reflexology path perfect for soothing tired hikers’ feet), and the nearby warehouse district with cool and sustainable restaurants and shops like Silo (its farm-fresh breakfasts are out of this world). To get there from Fort Collins, take US Hwy 287 north to Livermore, turn west onto County Road 74E towards Red Feather Lakes. 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. Dispersed sites are abundant in this area. Great scenery, not crowded, plenty of sites to choose from.” — The Dyrt camper Alyssa B. 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