Top 10 Campsites In Colorado
Little Molas Lake Campground, San Juan national Forest
People flock to this campground because it has great views to Andrews Lake, a high altitude lake that is stocked with rainbow and brook trout. It sits at 3300m and is encircled by snowy peaks such as Snowden, Grand Turk, Engineer and Twin sisters. The campsite sits between the towns of Durango and Silverton and has excellent hiking access to the Colorado trail. There is good rock-climbing and beautiful water falls in Cascade Canyon. The summer is glorious but be aware of sudden rain hail and possible snow. Come prepared with a solid tent and plenty of foul weather gear. These are from $10-$30 a night.
Angel of Shavano, San Isabel national Forest
This campsite is wedged between two steep bridges in the upper Arkansas Valley and is remote and little known given his close proximity to the town of Salida. The Colorado Trail is a 486-mile single-track that traverses the state and passes through this camp which makes it an excellent campsite situated 2800m above sea level. If you really want to hike trails you can hike the summits of Mount Shavano and Mount Tabeguache. There is fishing in the North Fork reservoir but you might need a Jeep or a 4x4 to get up the rough mountain road. Reservations are not accepted, and are $17 per night. It is only open late May to late September.
Oh Be Joyful Campground, Crusted Butte
At the end of the hanging Valley is the quintessential Colorado mountain town with the verdant Alpine Meadows that stretch up to the serrated peaks all around. This campsite crouches in the trees along a long dirt road north of the town and you will only see dispersed 10 sites not much infrastructure. The trail leads west from the campground into the Raggeds Wilderness. There is fishing along the Slate River and icy mountain pools for a dip on a hot summer days. If the water is high enough there is excellent kayaking. It is open from June to September and there are no fees.
Pinyon Flats Campground, Great Sand Dunes National Park
The San Luis Valley is a high basin east of the San Juan Mountains in south-central Colorado. It is one of the most majestic places in the entire state. At the southeast end of this valley is the Great Sand Dunes National Park, which is home to the largest dunes a United States. There are 230m of cress that looks small beneath the jagged 4300m peaks above it. Pinyon Flats is a place to stay with abundant hiking throughout the dunes. If you really are adventurous you can find a local that has sand skis or snowboard that you can borrow. In May, Medano Creek overflows with snowmelt and creates a waterpark for the family. Reservations are accepted and it is $20 per night plus the $10 park pass fee. It is open year-round.
Saddlehorn Ground, Colorado National Monument
Saddle horn is the only established campsite in the monument and it has 80 established sites that fill up quickly in the summer. It is located at the west end of the 23 mile long scenic drive, which winds through steep red rock canyons, beneath sandstone towers and up the Juniper Mesa for expansive views back down to Grand Junction and the Valley. The 6-mile hike along the Monument Canyon Trail is the park finest and you can check out the rock formations, but there are hundreds of miles of backcountry desert hiking for those who are adventurous. The loop road makes a perfect road bike ride and there is rockclimbing in the park. Reservations are accepted from March to October. It is $20 per night plus a $10 park pass fee and it is open year-round.
Bassam Guardstation and Cabin, Buena Vista
This is a one-room log cabin in the rolling hills clustered at the feet of the Collegiate Peaks, which sits on a creek, and a massive stand of aspens. There is not much to do but read in a hammock and contemplate the quiet. The fishing can be good on public stretches of the nearby Arkansas River in the cabin comes with a propane stove for frying up your catch. You can also check out the surrounding game trails in search of deer, elk and wild turkey and then huddle around the potbelly stove at night and read about the history of James Frame, the Ranger who found this place in the 1920s. The fees are $50 per night.
Fowler-Hilliard Hut, Eagle
This cabin burnt down four years ago but was reconstructed in honor of two fallen Aspen mountaineers in 2010. It is perched on a hillside 6 miles west of Vail Pass at 3500m. Is a 16 person cabin available on a per person basis was shared accommodations or a full booking. It is hundreds of miles of forest trails and roads that stretch out in the surrounding high country. There are hikes nearby Ptarmigan Hill and Battle Mountain. There is mountain bike access to the single-track Colorado Trail. It is $33 per person per night and open July through April.
Dunton Hot Springs, Dolores
This is a quaint resort in the broad valley at the tail of the San Juan mountain range. It is an old West ghost town that is been renovated with full modern amenities. At 2600m the cabins are a mix of originals and others collected from other southern Colorado towns. They all huddle along the Dolores River, which offers some of the best fly-fishing in the state. There is a web of hiking and mountain biking trails the spider web from this Meadows property, which has a renovated historic Hot Spring bathhouse and a saloon and a dance hall. They serve locally sourced meat and vegetables and wines from the Sutcliffe Vineyards. Double cabins start at $550 a night and it is open year-round.
4 UR Ranch, Creede
This is nestled away from the major highways and tourist towns of the Southwest. It is a classic Western retreat for anglers. Their daily trail rides through grassy pastures, Hot Springs for working out the kinks and you can relax in the rockers on the porch. You can fish the 6 miles of private ponds and tail water of Goose Creek all filled with trout. Accommodations are simple cabins and rustic chic with bighorn sheep has on the walls, saloon style seating at the bar and seared bison steak and fish fried from the ranches Cordon Bleu trained chef. Three night packages start at $1125 per person for double occupancy. It is open June through September.
Vista Verde, Steamboat Springs
If you're an equestrian you want to brush up on your hurting skills or you love dude ranches, Vista very is tucked among the pines in the rolling hills northeast of Steamboat Springs near the Wyoming border. It is a ranch that offers an endless network of high-altitude trail writing, cattle drives by day and square dancing in the barn after dark. If you are disinclined to horses, guys can take you hiking, biking and kayaking in the surrounding Routt national Forest. You will find a glass and wood lodge with wood fired ambience and great rooms as well as luxurious cabins. You can bike ski and fine dining in the exquisite modern Bistro CV 25 miles down the dirt road. It is open year-round and it is $2450 per week, which includes all meals and activities.