Camping in Every Corner of Colorado

Camping in Every Corner of Colorado

The state of Colorado doesn’t disappoint when it comes to things to do outdoors. One of the most popular activities come summertime, is to get out and see the Colorado landscape up close and personal at Colorado campgrounds. No matter which direction you turn, there are countless options for great camping adventures. Here are just a few from all over the state.

Northeastern Colorado

Known as the “Oasis in the Plains” the Jackson Lake State Park campground is open year round for fun in the sun (or snow.) Jackson Lake was once known best for hunting around its banks and now is a top destination for many outdoor sports lovers, year round. Campers can enjoy boating, waterskiing, jet skiing, fishing and swimming on the 2500 surface acre lake that is known for its warm water and sandy beaches; in fact, Reserve America has ranked Jackson Lake Park as one of the Top 15 park beaches! The campground offers 242 campsites, most with electric hook-ups. Summer weekend programs and junior ranger programming is also offered for kids ages 6-12. During the winter months, the campground offers great wildlife observation, photography opportunities, ice fishing, ice skating and hunting. Jackson Lake Campground is perfectly located away from town but not too far from convenience/grocery stores and restaurants, if campers want or need to get supplies in town. Jackson Lake Campground is located at 26363 County Rd 3, Orchard, Colorado, 80649. For more information call 970.645.2551 or check out www.coloradodirectory.com.

South/Southeastern Colorado

One of the great destinations for Colorado residents and visitors alike is the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. The sand dunes are some of the tallest in North America and are part of a sand deposit that covers more than 330 square miles. Situated amongst the pines beneath the Sangre de Cristo Mountains is the Pinyon Flats Campground. This campground is a great family destination with so much to explore with the dunes, streams, grasslands and lush forests in the area. Exploring the dunes, especially on skis or a snowboard is a popular pastime for campers. There are miles of hiking and backpacking trails through forest and alpine terrain along the Mosca Pass Trail, Dunes Overlook/Sand Ramp Trail and the Indian Grove Trail. Campers can also explore Zapata Falls, which is located just south of the campground off HWY 150. On the western edge of the Great Sand Dunes National Park is the San Luis State Park, were campers can enjoy water sports including boating, water skiing, sailing, wind surfing and fishing. The Pinyon Flats Campground offers 88 camp sites with flush toilets and drinking water. May is the perfect time to visit; the Medano Creek melting waters create something of a natural water park! The Pinyon Flats Campground is located at 11500 HWY 150, Mosca, CO, 81146. For more information, call 719.378.6399 or go to www.recreation.gov.

South/Southwestern Colorado

Granite Tent Campground in Gunnison National Forest is a tent-camping only campground and a great place to really get away from it all. Located at the lower end of Taylor Canyon, it provides easy access to fishing, rafting and rock climbing. The tricky part is there are limited campsites and it’s a first come, first served camp ground open May through September. Gunnison National Forest combined with the Grand Mesa and Uncompahgre Forests cover 3,161,900 acres of public land in the central and southern Rockies south of the Colorado River and west of the Continental Divide boasting some of the most spectacular scenery in the state. The forests vary in elevation from 5800 ft. above sea level in the Roubideau Creek area to 14,309 ft on Uncompahgre Peak. Within these forests are one of the world’s largest flat top mountains, the Alpine Tunnel, once of the highest railroad tunnels in North America and the breathtaking 355 foot high Bridal Veil falls. Whether you choose to stay at Granite Tent or venture out to another campground anywhere in that area, there will be no shortage of Colorado wonders to explore. The campground is located at 2250 HWY 50 in Delta, Colorado, 81416. Call 970.874.6600 or visit www.fs.usda.gov for information on these and other national forests.

North/Northwest Colorado

Aspen is usually thought of as a winter destination for skiers, but the Aspen Campground near Jefferson Creek is a perfect summer destination! The campground is located just a few miles from Jefferson Lake, which has one of the highest lake elevations around, at just over 10,000 ft. above sea level. The lake is bordered by 12,000 ft. peaks and both the lake and the creek yield promising trout catches for avid (or novice) fisherman alike. The deep, cold lake waters are home to Rainbow, brown, mackinaw and brook trout. No-wake boating is permitted and the boat ramp is easily accessible. In addition to fishing, campers can enjoy horseback riding, biking and hiking with access to two major trails. The Colorado Trail, a 471 mile trail that stretches from Denver to Durango and the West Jefferson Loop Trail, a footpath up the Continental Divide and loop for 11 miles are both popular hiking destinations. The single loop campground sits at 9900 ft. elevation and offers 182 acres shaded by groves of Aspen and Spruce evergreens. Picnic tables, vault toilets, a campfire ring and drinking water from a hand pump are all included and gravel parking aprons can fit up to two vehicles at campsites. If you want to get off the trail or the lake and check out the local attractions, historic Fairplay is close by. This ghost town was once a frontier boom town and the South Park City Museum contains 34 authentic buildings with 60,000 artifacts! To get to the Aspen campground from Fairplay, take HWY 285 north to Jefferson then turn left at County Road 35. Travel approximately 2 miles then take a right on County Road 37. The Aspen Campground will be about 2.5 miles after you turn onto CR 37. For more information, call 719.836.2031 or visit www.recreation.gov.

Central Colorado

If you want to stay a little closer to home, check out Mueller State Park. You’ll be treated to views of the Continental Divide to the west and Pikes Peak to the east and the chances are pretty good that you’ll see some great local wildlife as well. Black bear, deer, elk, fox, coyotes, big horn sheep and tons of birds are all in the area. If you want to try your hand at catching your dinner, Four Mile Creek has trout to add to your menu. Then you can work off your meal with a hike up Dome Rock or join in on a ranger-led nature walk. Year round recreation is ample with camping, picnicking, trail use, fishing and nature studies in the warmer months and sledding, snowshoeing, and cross country skiing during the winter. Pets are welcome at the park, but not permitted on hiking trails or in the back country. Keeping pets off the trails increases the opportunities to spot native wildlife in the area. Mueller offers 132 campsites (22 walk-in sites), 1 RV group site and 3 cabins as well as an on-site camper services building that houses coin operated shower and laundry, restrooms (summer season only), water hydrants and a dump station (summer season only.) The summer camping season kicks off May 1st, so now is the perfect time to plan a weekend getaway! The park is located at 21045 HWY 67 South in Divide, Colorado, 80814. Call 719.687.2366 or email Mueller.park@state.co.us for more information.

No matter which way the wind blows you, there are so many wonderful locations to venture out with your family this summer in our majestic state. For more suggestions on places to visit, check out www.beyondthetent.com or www.campcolorado.com.

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