Best Camping in Colorado

Colorado, a state revered for its majestic Rocky Mountains, sprawling forests, and crystal-clear alpine lakes, offers a camping experience as varied as its landscapes. From the tranquility of remote wilderness areas to the family-friendly amenities of state parks, Colorado is a playground for campers seeking adventure and relaxation amidst nature's finest backdrops.

Rocky Mountain National Park is a must-visit for those drawn to the high country. Its awe-inspiring mountain vistas, abundant wildlife, and over 300 miles of hiking trails make it a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Campgrounds like Moraine Park offer spectacular views and easy access to trailheads. The park's popularity means reservations are necessary during peak summer months. For a more secluded experience, backcountry camping permits allow you to find solitude among the park’s rugged beauty under strict leave-no-trace guidelines.

Not to be overlooked, the San Juan Mountains in southwestern Colorado are a treasure trove of natural wonders. Campers can explore Telluride and Silverton's historic mining towns before entering the wilderness. Molas Lake Campground provides an idyllic base for adventures, with access to hiking, fishing, and photography opportunities against the backdrop of Colorado's most photographed mountains.

Lake Pueblo State Park offers a starkly beautiful contrast to the alpine environment for those seeking a mix of outdoor adventure and water activities. With over 60 miles of shoreline, water sports enthusiasts can enjoy boating, fishing, and swimming, while the park’s desert-like terrain offers unique hiking and wildlife viewing opportunities.

For a truly remote and rugged camping experience, venture into the Weminuche Wilderness, Colorado’s largest designated wilderness area. Accessible via the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad or by foot, it offers an unspoiled backcountry experience. Here, you’ll find solitude, breathtaking scenery, and a deep connection with nature that’s increasingly rare today.

Here are a few tips for camping in Colorado: Weather can change rapidly in the mountains, so come prepared with layers and rain gear. Altitude sickness is a real concern; acclimate gradually and stay hydrated. Always check for fire bans or restrictions, especially in the drier, western parts of the state.

Whether you’re pitching a tent beside a babbling brook in a verdant valley, exploring the remnants of ancient civilizations at Mesa Verde National Park, or gazing at the stars from a secluded campsite in the high desert, Colorado’s camping experiences are as diverse and rewarding as the landscapes themselves.