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8 Great Colorado Campgrounds for Families

Experience the great outdoors across the state at these family-friendly camping spots.

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In our pre-kid lives, many Coloradans have memories of spontaneously packing the car and heading to the mountains to find any available spot to make camp. It was part of the adventure! But the addition of tiny humans paired with our state’s ever-growing population often means that families with a “We’ll just take whatever’s open” mentality often end up with no campsite at all.

We don’t want your only exposure to wildlife to be the epic tantrum that’s happening in your car as you drive past already-booked sites. Here’s a list of eight of the top family campground options around the state, and when to reserve them.

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Dolores River Campground

Southwestern Colorado from a different perspective
Find It: Dolores

Wagons, an Airstream, and yurts, oh my! If you and the family don’t have a go-everywhere camping vehicle or tent (and even if you do), Dolores River Campground has several unique lodging options to keep you and the kids cozy. The choices run from basic to glamping, as well as tents and RV sites for the traditionalists. Enjoy the day fishing and paddling in the Dolores River, or make a short trip to visit Mesa Verde National Park or the Canyons of the Ancients National Monument. On Saturday evenings (Memorial Day through Labor Day), join the on-site ice cream social for a cool treat. On Wednesday evenings, families can take a break from campfire cooking with on-site made-to-order wood fired pizza.

Campground Open:
May 1 to mid-October, 2020
Reservations:
Online or via phone, rolling reservations for the upcoming year
Camping Experience Level:
All

Camp Dick Campground

Fly fishing and high-country escape close to Denver
Find It: Roosevelt National Forest, 7 miles north of Ward

If you’re looking for a cool, mid-summer escape to the high country and access to some of the best fishing, hiking, and four-wheeling in the country, then this is definitely the place. Middle Saint Vrain Creek runs alongside the shaded campsites and through historical Allenspark a short drive away. Rocky Mountain National Park is only 25 miles from the campground. Be prepared, amenities are limited; there are no hook-ups, dump stations, or showers, and there is no electricity.

Campground Open:
Year-round
Reservations:
Online up to 6 months in advance
Camping Experience Level:
Moderate

Photo: Lindsay DeFrates.

James M. Robb Colorado River State Park, Fruita Section

The best basecamp for mountain biking and things to do in the Grand Valley region
Find It: Fruita

The Fruita Section of James M. Robb’s network of state parks is tucked right up against the town of Fruita, the Colorado River, and Colorado National Monument. This unique campground offers simple camping choices for families with RV sites and walk-in tent sites. On-site, there are two playgrounds, a fishing pond, a little swim beach, showers, and access to the Colorado River. Just outside the park, families can walk to the Dinosaur Journey Museum to see everything from fossils to robotic reconstructions of dinosaurs, and top off the visit with a walk to one of several ice cream options. Drive a little farther for nearby world-class mountain biking trails.

Campground Open:
Year-round
Reservations:
Online up to 6 months in advance
Camping Experience Level:
Moderate

Arrowhead Point Campground

Perfect home base for every adventure in the Arkansas River Headwaters area
Find It: Buena Vista

This campground has yurts, cabins, and tent and RV sites, as well as a number of on-site amenities, but it’s all about location, location, location. White water rafting on the Arkansas River is one of the biggest draws to the valley, and Arrowhead Point campground provides shuttles for their partner outfitters. You can also book zipline and high ropes adventures, horseback rides, ATV tours, and hot springs reservations all from the campground office. If you brought along your four-legged family member, they provide kennel boarding for dogs while the rest of the family takes part in organized adventures.

Campground Open:
April 15 to October 15, 2020
Reservations:
Online reservations open on December 1
Camping Experience Level:
All

Ridgway State Park
Photo: Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

Ridgway State Park

On-water fun on the reservoir and access to Montrose, Ouray, and Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
Find It: Ridgway

Ridgway State Park is a year-round family camping destination. The 1,000-acre reservoir provides fishing and boating opportunities in the summer months, and campers also enjoy hiking, biking, and birdwatching. The yurts at Ridgway are a favorite for winter adventurers, keeping it comfortable with room for six, heat, electricity, and a microwave.

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Campground Open:
Year-round
Reservations:
Online up to 6 months in advance
Camping Experience Level:
Moderate

State Forest State Park

Year-round camping, moose-viewing, backcountry skiing, and ATV and horseback riding
Find It: Never Summer Range, in North Park

With 71,000 acres, this state park is the largest in Colorado, and it’s full of high alpine lakes, jagged ridgelines, deep forests, and moose. Campgrounds and dispersed camping are spread throughout the park for tents and RVs. Around North Michigan Reservoir, there is a mix of tent sites as well as simple cabins for rent. Hiking, horseback riding, fishing, and all-terrain vehicle riding in the summer bring adventurers of all ages.

Campground Open:
May 1 to mid-October, 2020
Reservations:
Online or via phone, rolling reservations for the upcoming year
Camping Experience Level:
All

Crystal River KOA
Photo: Crystal River KOA

Carbondale/Crystal River KOA

Aspen, Glenwood Springs, and Carbondale are right down the road, and there’s a pool
Find It: Carbondale

Just 10 minutes outside of Carbondale, the Crystal River KOA has a beautiful setting along its namesake river, lots of shade, and a pool on-site. From May 1 to November 1, lodging options include RV, tent, and teepee sites; an Airstream and cabins are also available year-round. This campground is perfect for families who are planning to visit Aspen, go rafting in Glenwood Springs, trek to the Crystal Mill in Marble, or attend Mountain Fair in Carbondale.

Campground Open:
Year-round
Reservations:
Online reservations open on January 1
Camping Experience Level:
All

Lone Duck Campground

A mountain-feel without mountain driving
Find It: Cascade

At the base of Pikes Peak, and just 12 miles from I-25, Lone Duck is a fun way to enjoy the mountain scenery without a drive into the mountains. With a heated pool, splash pad, fishing pond, basketball court, and old-school arcade games, there is a lot to do on-site. The tent sites are shaded, and the cabins can accommodate up to five people. Pike National Forest is just a short drive away. A $5 on-site pancake breakfast with sausage, orange juice, and coffee sets the family up for an active day.

Campground Open:
May 1 to September 30, 2020
Reservations:
Online reservations open on January 1
Camping Experience Level:
All

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