Great Camping Spots in Colorado to Escape the City

Colorado, a place of majestic beauty, wilderness, and wildness, is a wonderful state to explore. Whether you want to scale one of Colorado’s 58 mountains that reach over 14,000 feet (the 14ers) or fish in burbling streams or view the incredible Milky Way at night, you’ll find your getaway. Here are some wonderful memory making camping spots.

The best site in the Rocky Mountain National Park is the Moraine Park Campground with awe inspiring views from almost every campsite. 

  • You can hike, bike or ride a horse along rivers and lakes, up mountains and through meadows.
  • This campground is open all year long, perfect for cross country skiing and snowshoeing in the winter. 
  • Wildlife is plentiful. The chipmunks are friendly and deer wander close. 
  • Trails to Alberta Falls or one of the multiple lakes are particularly gorgeous in the fall.

Two of the most photographed mountains in Colorado, the Maroon Bells are twin peaks that look like bells and are colored…well, maroon. 

  • The color is due to oxidized hematite in the soft mudstone.
  • Unlike most of the Rockies, the Bells are sedimentary rock, formed from the weathering of the range called the Ancient Rockies.
  • Maroon Peak and North Maroon Peak are two of Colorado’s 14ers.
  • There are several campgrounds in the area. Campsites go quickly. Get reservations now.
  • Well-kept trails trails lead to Maroon Lake, Maroon Creek and Crater Lake.
  • During the winter, the T-Lazy-7 Ranch offers snowmobile tours of the Bells.

Close to Steamboat Springs and to two hot springs resorts, Buffalo Pass is a dirt road that climbs to over 10,000 feet.

  • Trails lead to Summit Lake at the top of the pass. 
  • There are campgrounds close to town and at Summit Lake. 
  • Kayaking and self-powered boating is permitted on the lake, along with fishing.
  • The views from the top of the pass of the North Park and Yampa valleys are breathtaking. 
  • Be cautious at the top. Be aware of the symptoms of altitude sickness at these elevations. 
  • Watch the weather carefully. Sudden storms can appear out of nowhere. 
  • And bring industrial strength mosquito repellant.

For a different experience, Great Sand Dunes National Park is unique. The park includes trails through aspen and pine forest and into the Sangre de Cristo Range. 

  • You can sandboard down the tallest dunes in the country – over 700 feet. Be careful though. The sands can get very hot.
  • Sleds and sandboards are available for rent.
  • In the spring and early summer, Medano Creek creates a beach at the bottom of the dunes.
  • Campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Sit at night watching the spectacular starry sky.
  • The park is dog-friendly.

When snow falls on Shavano Mountain, named for Chief Shavano of the Utes, the form of an angel appears.

  • The campground is small with only 20 sites. No reservations are taken. First come, first served.
  • Set in a spruce and aspen forest along a stream, the sites have gorgeous views.
  • Hiking, biking, climbing, fishing are the main recreational activities.
  • The elevation is 9200 feet. Watch for signs of altitude sickness.

Each of these locations will give you days of tranquility and rest or adventure and excitement. Your choice. Create wonderful memories and take incredible photos while you enjoy some of the most majestic scenery on earth.