Summer is just around the corner and that brings one of our favorite summer activities with it: camping. While many campgrounds have been accepting reservations for months, and are subsequently sold out, you aren’t entirely out of luck if you haven’t gotten around to planning your outdoor getaway. Colorado is home to dozens of campgrounds that are first come, first serve, and allow you to soak up all the fresh air you can handle in some of the most beautiful spots around the state.
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Cottonwood Lake Campground
The Facts: $6 day-use/ $20 overnight camping, 25 campsites, vault toilets, solar-powered water pump, no showers or dump stations.
Nestled among the Collegiate Peaks, Cottonwood Lake Campground is a spectacularly beautiful place to call your home-away-from-home. The hiking options are extensive here, and you even have access to segment 13 of the Colorado Trail. For those with high-clearance vehicles, or those who rent them in Buena Vista, you can take advantage of the scenic drive to Mineral Basin. Buena Vista is the nearest town and is home to some of the best white water rafting in all of Colorado.
The Facts: $16/night, 14 campsites, vault toilets, water (no hookups), max RV length: 22 feet
Conveniently located near the town of Fairplay, Fourmile Campground is easily accessible via Highway 285, and means you have plenty of amenities nearby if needed. The trailhead for a popular fourteener, Mt. Sherman, is also nearby if you are looking for a challenge. You will feel very remote in this quiet hideaway, making for the ultimate relaxing getaway.
Hall Valley Campground
The Facts: $18/night, vault toilets, no water available,
Hall Valley Campground is a short drive away from the metro area, meaning you can be to your weekend spot in less than an hour and a half. Burning Bear and Gibson Lake Trails are two popular hiking options near this campground and offer great views of the surrounding scenery. This is the perfect spot to relax and unwind, leaving all your worries back home.
South Mineral Campground
The Facts: $19/night, 26 campsites, water, vault toilets
A few miles outside of Silverton, South Mineral Campground is centrally located with several 4WD roads and alpine lakes nearby. The Ice Lake Basin Trail is a difficult, but popular hiking trail near camp, and Clear Lake, which is a 3 mile hike, is a great spot for fishing. You can fully unwind here or you can follow your extreme sport-loving heart to some of the areas best mountain bike trails.
The Facts: $20/night, 21 campsites, water, vault toilets
Located northwest of Pagosa Springs, Cimarrona Campground has plenty of outdoor adventures to keep you busy during your visit. Salmon and trout fishing are very popular here, and nearby Williams Creek Reservoir allows motorized boating (wake-free boating only). The sites are very private and you may even get one with a view of the reservoir if you get there early.
Lost Man Campground
The Facts: $20/night, 10 campsites, vault toilets, water
Lost Man Campground is located just 14 miles outside of Aspen near Independence Pass, at nearly 10,500 feet. The ghost town of Independence is less than two miles away if you want to explore a bit of Colorado’s history. And hiking is plentiful in the surrounding area, with the trailhead to the Hunter Fryingpan Wilderness located just across the road.
Woods Lake Campground
The Facts: $16/night, 41 campsites, equestrian sites/paddocks, toilets, water
Woods Lake Campground is a stone’s throw from Telluride and offers exceptional views of the surrounding Lizard Head Wilderness. Lone Cone and Woods Lake Trails are two popular hiking trails into the wilderness. Non-motorized boating, fishing, and horseback riding are all big draws for this area. This dense forest makes you feel like you are hours away from everything.