Colorado Campground is a favorite family destination near Manitou Lake Picnic Area north of the town of Woodland Park. A short trail leads to the lovely lake, where visitors enjoy fishing, bird watching and canoeing.
Manitou Lake offers trout fishing and lakeside picnicking. Canoeing on the small lake is also a popular activity. The Centennial Bike Trail, a paved, accessible recreation trail, connects Colorado Campground to Manitou Lake Picnic Area and South Meadows Campground. The trail is popular among hikers, roller bladers and bicyclists. The nearby Rainbow Falls OHV Trail System and North Divide OHV Trail System are recommended for off-road vehicle enthusiasts.
The campground offers single and double-family campsites. Picnic tables and campfire rings are provided, as are vault toilets, drinking water and trash collection. The road is paved and parking spurs are gravel. Campfire programs are held at the campground's amphitheater on most Saturday evenings.
The campground is situated at 7,800 feet in a ponderosa pine forest near the 5-acre Manitou Lake. The campground lies in the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, due north of Pikes Peak. Pikes Peak summit reaches an elevation of 14,115 feet and is America's easternmost peak over 14,000 feet.
Colorado Springs is about 25 miles southeast of the campground and offers many services. Garden of the Gods is a popular attraction just outside of town. This free park offers hiking trails, rock climbing routes, a visitor center and cafe. Pikes Peak lies west of Manitou Springs, which is about 20 miles from the campground. Visitors can hike, or drive to the summit of this beautiful mountain. The town of Woodland Park, located 6 miles south of Colorado Campground, offers gas, groceries, dining and shopping.
ADA Access: N
We ended up at Colorado Campground on a whim. We arrived in the early afternoon on a Friday and were greeted by a friendly camp host. He told us we could drive around and select any spot without a reservation tag. There were only a few left and we chose 79. The campground has many pine trees and the campsites are large. We had 7 people, 3 cars and two large tents and plenty of space. Initially, I was afraid it would be too noisy due to the large number of people camping, but it was actually pretty quiet. There’s an easy path to Manitou Lake where lots of folks were fishing and boating. The vault toilets were as clean as you’d expect.
There were, unfortunately, many cigarette butts around our site but that is my only complaint.
CAMPGROUND REVIEW: COLORADO CAMPGROUND PIKE NATIONAL FOREST
Colorado Campground is one of several campgrounds less than 10 miles north of the city of Woodland Park off Route 67 in the Pike National Forest.
Situated at 7800 feet elevation, even summer nights get cool. Nearby 5 acre Manitou Lake is a trail walk away. You can toss your canoe or kayak in, but unless you are simply trout fishing, it’s tiny size doesn’t offer much variation.
Numerous foot trails lead into the National Forest, offering wonderfully quiet hikes and exploration.
There are 81 sites available, but some are adjacent to highway 67, so periodic road noise will be heard. The ponderosa pines assist in muffling highway noise.
Neighboring sites are visible across the entire campground, but they are situated in such a way that you are not directly on top of each other.
The back loop sites are larger and set deeper (Site 19, 20,21, 22, 23) which are my choice. Sites can be secured on www.recreation.gov. There are double sites which garner double fees. At the time of this review, sites are $23.00 nightly (a bit pricey for no showers or modern facilities). When there during the week, not including the host and groundskeeper, only four sites were filled. Most sites were reserved for weekends and upcoming Labor Day holiday.
No RV/Campers over 36 ft permitted. Parking pads are gravel, a few are pull-through. Sites are non-electric with no hookups…no showers Water spigots, metal trash containers and pit latrines are spaced out through the campground. Each site has one stationary picnic table and a fire pit. Most sites appeared fairly level. No specific tent pad locations.
With the towering ponderosa pines, there is ample shade.
Plenty of trails permit mountain biking as well as the paved centennial bike path that runs along highway 67 from Woodland Park 15 miles north…that you can walk, in-line, cycle and even ebike.
You have plenty of local activities to keep you busy, including the Red Rocks a couple miles south…or drive east on Rt 24 to Pikes Peak, or further into Manitou Springs for the Incline, Red Rock Canyon Open Space, Garden of the gods and more!
Just six miles south into Woodland Park offers every food or shopping option.
All in all, a nice, clean campground in a great location.
bring lotts if water and make sure ur camera is charged
This is a great campground for introducing little ones to car camping. The campground is clean and well-maintained, the sites are good-sized and it’s a short hike to decent fishing at Manitou Lake. Woodland Park is also a short drive away, in case you forget anything, or need to make a beer run. Before we even left, our kids were asking when we can go back!
This Pike National Forest campground is run by Rocky Mountain Recreation which means you'll pay a $10 transaction fee if you make a reservation on recreation.gov. It looks like some sites are strictly walk-up. Check recreation.gov to see what's available, but you can just show up if there are available sites, pay at the self-pay station, and avoid the $10 transaction fee on recreation.gov.
Every site has a picnic table and fire ring. Vault toilets (rather fragrant as you walk by because of the vent pipes) and trash dumpsters are conveniently located throughout the campground as is potable water. There are no bear-proof lockers but locking up your food is a prudent move.
There are mostly back in sites but some pull through sites. Most of the pull through sites are partially protected from the road by a few tall pines and large rocks, but the pull through curve may be tight for some RVs. There are a few double sites (with double charge) if you need more space.
Manitou Lake on the edge of the campground is a popular fishing spot, and there's a trail around the lake.
Our site (#45) was rather close to the road, but the road noise was not bad throughout the park. Sites 40 through 44 are on a small loop and are probably the nicest sites even with a bit of road noise; these sites are near the trail to the lake.
In my opinion, there are two things that make this campground stand out: 1) The sites are large and not on top of each other. This campground could have twice as many sites, but it's nice that it doesn't. 2) It's a great location because you're close to Pikes Peak, Garden of the Gods, Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument, US Air Force Academy, Cripple Creek (only if you're into gambling), lots of hiking trails…and on and on. It's close to Colorado Springs and even closer to Woodland Park. If you want craft breweries and restaurants, you'll find plenty. We enjoyed being close to a larger city after being in lots of small towns. We loved the inexpensive food at Uchenna (Ethiopian and Mediterranean), Taste of Jerusalem, and Azada Mexican as well as craft beer (Fossil Craft Beer Company and Phantom Canyon Brewing Company with ginger wheat ale, Belgian ale aged on cherries, hazelnut coffee stout, coconut/chocolate porter, and on and on) in Colorado Springs. Beer is $3 during a 3 to 6 pm happy hour at Phantom Canyon….yes!
This campground is only open between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day.
What a trip. A couple of friends and I decided to camp and hike in the San Isabel National Forest. We camped at a site toward the trailhead of the Mount Harvard trail which was beautiful. The ground was a bit uneven so sleeping didn't come easy but all else was fine. After climbing to the summit of Mount Harvard, which was significantly harder than expected, we decided to hike the Colorado Trail. We camped at a site just south of Rainbow Lake that was picturesque but a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
Significant takeaways are as follows: Make sure you camp at a location with a natural water source, and always filter or purify your water. Be careful with how much you pack because the trails have steep inclines and you have to haul it all to where you decide to camp, which can be very far from the car. And make sure you have good hiking shoes.
Every one there is awesome
This campground is well maintained and near a lot of fun things to do. It's right by Manitou Lake, and just a little ways away is Rampart Reservoir. They are pretty strict about how many cars can park in the allotted driveway for each site, but it wasn't busy when we were there and they allowed us to park one of our vehicles somewhere else, since we had 3. The sites are pretty well spread out and its a nice, quiet campground. Close to Woodland Park.