#GOCAMPINGSTAYSAFEActive outdoor camping is the best option for your summer vacation during COVID. Staying outdoor, sunbathing, walking, hiking boosts your immunity and it’s easy to keep social distancing.
Whether you visit the plains or the mountains, there is no denying that Colorado is one beautiful state.
There are RV parks outside of the metro areas that allow campers to explore fine dining and theater, and there are secluded mountain niches where you can walk along quiet trails and view wildlife.
Visitors who want to lose themselves in history can see dinosaur footprints and other fossils that survive from the huge ocean that covered Colorado in prehistoric times, or they can investigate ruins in places with names like Cortez and San Juan where the Spanish explorers left their marks. Visitors with a yen to see the old west can attend rodeos and dude ranches.
Those who want to fish or hunt or just escape the heat and crowds of the city can find accommodations with bountiful amenities or brave dirt roads to campgrounds with more solitude.
There is something for every taste. The great thing about traveling in an RV is the ability to see the country without ever leaving the comforts of “home.” Colorado affords the opportunity to enjoy nature’s beauty in tandem with the adventures of mountain sports and usually within reach of great dining and entertainment.
Can you go camping during the Covid-19 pandemic in Colorado?
Most of the campgrounds and RV parks in Colorado are open during pandemic (Covid-19) with certain social distance rules and safety restrictions.
Where can I park my RV for free in Colorado?
You can camp with your RV for free in Colorado on public lands administered by the USFS (US Forest Service) or the BLM. Also some of the areas of Colorado State Parks, US Army Corps of Engineers, Fish and Wildlife Service.
Here is a showcase of eight of Colorado’s best RV parks:
Glenwood Canyon Resort
Location: 1308 County Road 129 Glenwood Springs, Colorado, 81601
Phone: 1-800 -958-6737
- Resort amenities are:
- 32 RV spaces
Glenwood Canyon is a gorgeous drive any time of year, but especially in autumn when its red walls and evergreens are punctuated with wild golds of aspen trees.
The Colorado River rolls along at its base and lots of active visitors take advantage of fishing and the many white-water rafting experiences offered. Glenwood Springs, Colorado, sits at the end of the canyon and offers great dining and music.
Visitors can tour the Hotel Colorado where Teddy Roosevelt often stayed and which he called the “Western Whitehouse.” Here, visitors will find the nation’s only mountain-top amusement park that features, among other rides, a swing that dangles over a sheer canyon wall and the Alpine Coaster where visitors race at white-knuckled speed down the mountainside.
Glenwood Springs is home to many festivals and, in September, a thirty-minute drive brings visitor to Snowmass for the Hot Air Balloon and Wine Festivals.
Back in Glenwood Springs, there is a hot springs spa to relax visitors after a day of hiking the many trails in the area and a river to fish before making their way back “home” to their RV, making this park perfect for RVers of all ages.
Paradise on the River
- Campground amenities include:
- Full 30-amp hook-ups
- Cable TV
- Restrooms, laundry and shower facilities.
This RV park is near both the entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park and the mountain town of Estes Park, surrounded by evergreen and aspen forests, waterfalls and a plethora of hiking trails for every ability.
Visiting Rocky Mountain National Park allows visitors to begin at Estes Park and drive the highest “continuous paved road” in the US through forests and even tundra. At the other end is the gorgeous mountain town Grand Lake and the jaunt can be done in jut a few hours.
Estes Park is the home of the Stanley Hotel, famous as the location for the movie “The Shining,” but visitors can also explore arts festivals, fine dining and tons of quaint shops. In July, Estes Park puts on a great professional rodeo called the Rooftop Rodeo. There is even a company that specializes in backpacking and fishing adventures for kids.
In short, there is plenty to do at the resort as well as in Estes Park.
Campsites are on paved roads and are level. There is a 32’ RV limit, though they make some exceptions, and a reservation is encouraged.
Buffalo Springs Campground
Location: Fairplay, Colorado, 80440
- Amenities at the RV park include:
- Space for 18 RVs
- Hot showers
Visitors to this RV park is in the San Isabel National Forest will not find wi-fi and cable, but there is plenty of gorgeous outdoor recreation.
This part of the San Isabel Range features a wide, lush basin in the shadow of high mountains. Adventurous visitors can hike and fish at an elevation of nine-to-ten thousand feet along rolling hillsides, can mountain bike or even climb.
Nearby is the mining town of Leadville, home of famous Molly Brown who survived the Titanic sinking and her husband JJ, and Horace and Baby Doe Tabor, where there are daily shows in the famed Tabor Opera House.
Visitors can also hang out at South Park where they will not find the TV characters, but they can walk the streets of a restored 1800s town complete with living history programs, gunfights and music.
Check some of the best camping gadgets comparison:
Gunnison KOA Journey
Location: 105 County Road 50, Gunnison, Colorado, 81230
- RV Park amenities are:
- Hot showers
- Dump station
This unique campground features grass-covered sites due to having an abundance of water. The area averages 80 degrees in summer, so it is cool enough to enjoy sitting outside after a day of adventure.
The park is located near Blue Mesa Reservoir, the largest body of water in Colorado, so fishing and boating are definitely an option. Gunnison is home to the Gunnison Valley Observatory and the Black Canyon of the Gunnison.
The steep walls of the canyon contain some of the oldest rock in North America as well as some of its “Gnarliest pinnacles.” Visitors can get a “bird’s eye” view of the area from the ski lift at Crested Butte or visit one of that city’s art galleries and cultural attractions.
There are also trails to explore making the Gunnison KOA “homebase. ” Kids will enjoy the RV park’s on-site petting zoo as well as the stocked trout pond where they can catch-and-keep for a small fee.
Mesa Verde RV Resort
Location: 35303 US Highway 160, Mancos, Colorado, 81328
- Other amenities include:
- Two hot tubs and a heated swimming pool
- Outdoor sitting area
- Laundry facilities
- Tiled restrooms
- Free morning coffee
This RV resort is located in Cortez, Colorado which is a city small enough to have no rush hour but large enough to offer dining and entertainment options.
The resort’s proximity to the Animas River means there is good fishing and hikers will enjoy the seven-mile hard-surface hiking trail. The area abounds in Native American cultural attractions as well as Mesa Verde National Park. A trip to Mesa Verde is most likely on everyone’s bucket list.
Walking the miles of trails and climbing up and down ladders viewing the ruins is easier for visitors who know that they are going to be able to relax in their RV “homes” at the end of the day.
This RV campground is unique, offering a dog walking area that boasts grass and two ponds. The park has an on-site convenience store so that visitors can pick up the sundries everyone inevitably forgets and the campground boasts park security.
La Junta KOA Journey
Location: 26680 Highway 50, La Junta, Colorado, 81050
- The campsite amenities include:
- Swimming pool
- Arcade room
- Laundry and restrooms
- Pizza and sub food service
- Dog park
- Mini golf
- Bounce castle and inflatable water slides
Another RV resort in the KOA system, this park is located on the historic Santa Fe Trail.
The land is flat, and southern Colorado can be hot, but visitors at this campground are close to the Arkansas River where cooling down and splashing around are in order.
The La Junta KOA Journey is minutes away from Bents Fort where costumed interpreters will take them on a journey back to the time when it was the last bastion of civilization before the frontier. A glance across the river reminds them that this was once the border with Mexico.
Thirty minutes south of the resort they will find Picketwire Canyon which boasts the nation’s largest pathway of dinosaur tracks. Dining and shopping are within walking distance of the RV park, including a great BBQ place.
La Junta is a city of just over 7,000, so it has a “small town” feel, yet also offers museums and displays of Native American culture and artifacts.
Moutaindale Cabins and RV Resort
Location: 2000 Barrett Road, Colorado Springs, Colorado, 80926
- Amenities include:
- Large rec room with a big-screen TV
- Two outdoor pavilions
- Volleyball court
This RV campground is another “destination” resort. While there is abundant wildlife in the area, and there are hiking trails on the 45-care “ campus,” the main attraction may be nearby Colorado Springs.
Visitors can take a scenic drive up Pikes Peak Road, tour the US Airforce Academy or the US Olympic Training Center, enjoy the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo or picnic in the Garden of the Gods among other adventures.
Colorado Springs is one of Colorado’s largest cities, so it has some great shopping and dining experiences. The campground is open year-round, and can accommodate any size RV.
Red Mountain RV Park
Location: P.O. Box 1267, Kremmling, Colorado, 80459
- Amenities at the RV park include:
- Large sites with full hook-ups
- Available 50-mp
- RV and boat storage
Known as the “Switzerland of America,” Red Mountain has breathtaking views. The mountain with its steep gorges and narrow highway offers a challenge to visitors, but the area boasts great hunting, rafting, fishing and other outdoor adventures.
The Red Mountain RV Park is located in Kremmling, Colorado, about 100 miles west of Denver. Kremmling is at the confluence of Muddy Creek and the Blue and Colorado rivers. Attractions in the area include the Rusty Spur Ranch where visitors can enjoy a three-to-four-hour cattle drive and/or rafting.
Whitewater rafting is a major industry and there are plenty of businesses offering tours. There is a zip-line near the park as well and a hot springs spa within five miles. The resort doesn’t boast about those activities, though. They tout “blue skies, beautiful sunsets and sole good “ole” hospitality.
Colorado is known for its healthy population, and its outdoor activities. This RV park may be one of the best opportunities for visitors to enjoy that “face” of the state.
This shortlist is, of course, not inclusive of every RV park in Colorado; there are so many to choose from. It is, however, representative of the very best, the highest-rated and the most positively-reviewed RV campgrounds in Colorado.
The featured parks are found all over the state, which is important because many visitors see Colorado through the lens of high, rugged mountains. There is another side to the state, though.
There are plains, covered in natural grasses, that stretch out for miles where herds of antelope or deer graze undisturbed. There are golden wheat fields and circles of green corn, and grain elevators that rise like medieval castles among them. The Spanish, Mexican and Native American influence is everywhere, as are the famed Colorado sunsets.
So, whether you see those sunsets behind mountain peaks and framed with evergreen trees or reaching endlessly along miles of prairie, they are –just like Colorado–breathtaking.