Summer is finally in full swing after a dreary May and drenched June, I am ready to be outside all weekend long.  It’s time to go camping and take in all the beauty and sunshine that you missed over this past week tanning under the fluorescents.  Ditch the paper work, the cell phone, the redundant memos and discover one of our top 5 postcard-worthy campsites.

 

1. Oh Be Joyful Campground, Crested Butte

Oh Be Joyful Crested Butte Photo watergirlsplay.com

Oh Be Joyful Crested Butte Photo watergirlsplay.com

This is the ultimate getaway to leave everything behind. The campsites are located just outside of Crested Butte and the lost dirt road demands that you surrender to nature. Once at the campground, a trail will lead you west past Garfield Peak and onto the summit of Oh Be Joyful Pass. Towering at 3,650 meters, the views are spectacular. Fly fishers can rejoice in the isolation of the Slate River and this year there is amazing kayaking since we have had record snowfall.
Open June – September
No Fees

2. Little Molas Lake Campground, San Juan National Forest

Little Molas Lake, Colorado Photo theguardian.com

Little Molas Lake, Colorado Photo theguardian.com

This beautiful alpine lake is nestled between Durango and Silverton Colorado. With amazing access to sections of the Colorado Trail and to Andrews Lake, this campground attracts hikers and fisherman who are willing to brave the ever changing climate for the abundant beauty. Encompassed by the razor sharp peaks of Grand Turk, Snowdon and Twin Sisters, this campground masters 360 degree views.
Open June – September
Fees $15-$40 per night

3. Pinyon Flats Campground, Great Sand Dunes National Park

Campground Sunset at Great Sand Dunes National Park Photo nps.gov

Campground Sunset at Great Sand Dunes National Park Photo nps.gov

Located just beyond the entrance to the national park this campsite offers a multitude of sites; with almost every site boasting an unobstructed view of the Great Sand Dunes, it is truly breathtaking. The Great Sand Dunes are southern Colorado’s wild gem and offer hiking and sand boarding to those who are brave enough to tackle the mix of desert and mountain wilderness. Be sure to plan ahead.  This campground is extremely coveted and books quickly.
Open Spring – Fall (dates vary)
Fees $20-$80

4. Turquoise Lake, Leadville, Colorado

May Queen Campground on Turquoise Lake Photo fs.usda.gov

May Queen Campground on Turquoise Lake Photo fs.usda.gov

Thick evergreen forests surround this high elevation lake that sits at a cool 10,000 feet up in the Rocky Mountains and is circled by eight different campgrounds. The land beyond Turquoise Lake is 75% public land and is a playground for outdoor enthusiasts. With a mecca of trail systems for biking, hiking and four-wheeling you can scour the area while marveling Mt. Elbert and Mt. Massive.
Open year round
Fees $10-$70

5. Golden Gate Canyon Park

Golden Gate Campground Yurt Photo colorado.com

Golden Gate Campground Yurt Photo colorado.com

Only 30 miles away from downtown Denver, this campground can give you the escape you crave without the mileage you may be dreading. Views of over 100 miles of the Continental Divide and numerous trails for hiking and biking there is plenty to keep you occupied. Golden Gate Park also offers two yurts and five cabins for large groups or for those still easing in to tent life.
Open year round
Fees $10-$72

About The Author

Shawna is the 303 guru for Beauty & Outdoor Sports. She is a Colorado native who only fully functions when outside four walls. She loves outdoor adventures, compulsively purchasing plane tickets, ceaselessly cheering for the Buffs and lipstick infused dance parties. Find her on the slopes or follow her on Twitter @Shawna_303. Contact: Shawna @303magazine.com

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