The Best Places for Family Camping in Colorado

by Samantha Ballenger
Maroon Bells Dusk

When we think of camping, the first things that come to mind are mountains, streams, a roaring campfire, tents, an open sky, and the ability to unplug from our busy lives. The proximity of mountains, rivers, lakes, streams and clear blue sky makes Colorado one of the best places in the United States for camping.

Are you planning a camping trip this summer? Check out this article.

The Top 21 Outdoor Places to Visit.

Rocky Mountain National Park

One of the nation’s most popular national parks, Rocky Mountain National Park is easily one of the best places to camp in Colorado. With over 350 miles of hiking trails and 147 lakes, there is a camping location that will check all of your boxes. Glacier basin campground has views of the continental divide, easy access to hiking trails, and Bear Lake and Emerald Lake. With firepits and picnic tables nearby, you have everything you need for a no-fuss camping trip. In addition to the Glacier basin campground, there are four other campgrounds in Rocky Mountain national park. Rocky Mountain National Park offers first-come, first-served and reservable campsites.

Dunton River Camp

Glamping Tent
PHOTO CREDIT: Jack Richmond Dunton River Camp

Dunton River Camp is more glamping than traditional camping, it could offer the perfect escape for anyone who just wants to pack a bag and go. A luxury tent camp with just 8 luxury tents, Dunton River is more luxury outdoors resort than an outdoor campsite. Experience the San Juan mountain and the meandering Dolores River in the comfort of luxury. Horseback riding, hiking, rock climbing, and more can all be part of your experience. The perfect getaway for friends and family after a long year of being separated.

Kelly Flats Campground

Kelly Flats Campground

With so many activities nearby, the Kelly Flats campground is the perfect family-friendly weekend getaway. Hiking, fishing, and mountain biking are easily doable here. Or sign up for a guided rafting tour down the Cache La Poudre River. The river flows directly through the campground with the ability to fish directly from the riverbank. The campground is first come first serve, so get there early.

The Maroon Bells

Mountains and sky

One of the most photographed mountains in Colorado, the Maroon Bells are a pair of 14,000-foot mountains. Imagine camping in the valley between towering mountains, aspens, and streams. What a perfect escaped from day-to-day life. The Maroon Bells offer three locations for camping, Silver Bell with 14 campsites, Silver Queen offers 6 campsites, and Silver bar has four walk-in campsites. Bring your RV for more luxury or hike into Silver bar for a more rustic experience.

Located near Aspen, the Maroon Bells offers the outdoor camping experience you are looking for and the opportunity to visit Aspen in one trip. Book your campsite in advance here as these are popular campsites.

Mueller State Park Campground


Located close to Denver and Colorado Springs, Mueller State Park is easily accessible and one of the best places to camp in Colorado. Enjoy the surrounding forest made up of evergreens, aspens, native grasses, and wildflowers. Hike the miles of trails in the summer and enjoy cross country skiing in the winter. You can so bring your horses as there are specially-designed facilities and trails for equestrians. There are also 36 miles of biking trails for mountain bikers. Mueller state park is popular, to book in advance you can visit Reserve America.

Piñon Flats Campground

One of the best places to camp in Colorado and the most unexpected is Piñon Flats Campground in Great Sand Dunes National Park. Piñon Flats looks more like a desert than the mountains Colorado is known for. With nearby hiking trails that are over sand dunes instead of mountains and rivers, visit for an experience unlike any other in Colorado. If you are up for an adventure, try Sandboarding or sledding during your stay. Camping sites must be booked in advance, visit to reserve space.

Oh Be Joyful Campground

We didn’t pick this campsite just for the name, although after a tough year we could all use a little more joy. Located in the heart of Gunnison National Forest, Oh Be Joyful is the perfect name for this beautiful location. Hike, fish, mountain bike, or just enjoy the countless alpine forests and mountain ranges. Oh, Be Joyful would be the perfect place to visit in the fall when the valley is covered with golden aspen leaves.

Before you leave for your Colorado camping trip, here are a few tips.

Fire Safety and Awareness

Colorado can be dry, especially during summer and early fall, hints fire season. Always check the fire danger before you head on your adventure, you can check here, Colorado Fire Control. This will determine whether you can have a campfire and how aware you need to be of a possible fire. Follow these precautions at all times.

  • Never leave a fire unattended. Make sure there is an adult keeping an eye on your fire at all times.
  • Never turn away from a fire. An adult should be present and watching at all times.
  • Make sure your fire is completely out before you walk away. If there is any sign of smoke or embers, there is still fire.
  • Always purchase firewood locally, never bring it from out of state. This helps prevent the spread of disease and invasive insects.

Wild Life

This shouldn’t need to be said, be we’ve all seen the videos of people getting too close to wildlife. Someone jumping out of their car to get a picture with a Bear…use common sense, please.

  • Leave wildlife alone. They are wild for a reason, don’t get hurt or cause harm to their environment. They live there; we are just visiting.
  • Don’t leave open food containers. Make sure you can seal your food properly, don’t leave anything out overnight.
  • Check where you can dispose of your trash. Then, pick up after yourself and make sure you leave the campsite in the best possible shape.

Altitude Sickness

If you are coming from a lower altitude, be aware that the altitude may affect you. Make sure you aware of what altitude sickness is and how to treat it. If you have any health problems, consult with your physician.

Colorado offers some of the best places to camp in the country, we would argue the world. With so many options and terrains, you cant go wrong.

Tell us, what are some of your favorite places to camp. Is Colorado on your list?

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