Glacier Basin Campground (8,500 feet) is adjacent to Estes Park in the awe-inspiring Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado.
From lush valleys to craggy peaks with elevations reaching over 14,000 feet, visitors are provided opportunities for countless breathtaking experiences and adventures.
Scenic driving, hiking, backpacking, fishing, horseback riding and wildlife viewing are popular activities in the park.
Rocky Mountain National Park has 355 miles of hiking trails that range from flat lakeside strolls to steep mountain climbs. Visitors enjoy the park's various lake trails (Bear Lake, Cub Lake, Mills Lake), waterfall trails (Adams Falls, Alberta Falls, Ouzel Falls) and summit trails (Deer Mountain, Twin Sisters Peaks, Flattop Mountain).
The park offers some unforgettable scenic driving routes, including Trail Ridge Road and Old Fall River Road. Trail Ridge Road reaches 12,183' above sea level and is America's highest continuous highway. It climbs above the park's evergreen forests to its windswept alpine tundra, where visitors enjoy sweeping panoramic views of the surrounding peaks and valleys.
Driving along the historic Old Fall River Road is like motoring through an earlier era. Constructed in 1920, this steep, one-way, uphill, gravel road punctuated by switchbacks, quietly leads travelers from Horseshoe Park through the park's wilderness to Fall River Pass, 11796' above sea level.
Several visitor centers are within the park, offering ranger-led activities, education and history about the park, and seasonal nighttime programs.
Glacier Basin Campground contains several group and family tent-only sites, as well as RV sites without hookups. Each campsite is equipped with a picnic table, fire ring with grate and tent pad. Roads and parking spurs are paved. Flush toilets and drinking water are provided.
Rocky Mountain National Park's free shuttle bus stops in the campground, which is also across the street from Park & Ride, the park's main shuttle system hub. The shuttle system provides access to many park trailheads throughout the Bear Lake corridor and to the town of Estes Park.
Due to a pine beetle epidemic, all the trees in the C Loop, D Loop and the Group Loop have been removed, leaving little to no shade in these areas. However, the tree removal has opened up beautiful views of the mountains.
A pleasant mix of Douglas fir, Lodgepole pine, Ponderosa pine and the occasional Engelmann spruce, forests the campground, offering equal amounts of sun and shade. Grasses, shrubs and seasonal wildflowers fill the open meadows.
Wildlife is plentiful in the park, and while mule deer and the majestic Rocky Mountain elk are the most commonly seen, black bear, coyote, bighorn sheep and moose inhabit the region as well.
The town of Estes Park lies just outside the park's main east entrances, and is a short drive from Glacier Basin Campground. Dining, shopping, rafting, fly fishing, horseback riding, and golfing opportunities await. Lake Estes offers boating, sailboarding, and fishing.
ADA Access: N
This campground has four loops consisting of 150 sites. We camped near the entrance of C Loop. Our site had a mixture of Lodgepole and Ponderosa pines that provided ample shade and hammocking options. Due to pine beetle kill, the majority of the sites in C loop (#73 and up) have little or no shade at all. Across from our site were restrooms, trash/recycling, and a water spigot. This site has a large tent pad that accommodated our six person tent perfectly. We did have a bear bin for storage, but had to share it with the site next to us as few sites have their own designated bear bin. At the campground entrance, firewood, kindling, ice, and ice cream are available for purchase.
Across from the campground entrance is located the Park & Ride where all shuttle routes transfer for access to trailheads without the hassle of finding parking. We utilized this daily for our various hikes and only had one wait in excess of ten minutes. There are also trails that can be accessed right from the campground.
Apart from the occasional RV generator, the campground was relatively peaceful and we had nice mountain views to the south. The various campground hosts and rangers that we encountered were engaging and helpful.
We were nearly always able to receive two bars on Verizon LTE (while sitting on top of the picnic table) that allowed us to at least complete calls; otherwise reception was very inconsistent.
Overall a great campground to stay at. The spaces are large, but quite close to one another with few trees for privacy. Each site here is variable, with some open with no trees and others nestled in some mature trees. Flush toilets and running water in the bathrooms. I’d avoid a site right next to the bathroom as the lights and hand dryers are running at night which are bright and loud, respectively. Dishwashing sink and drinking water sink available throughout campsites. Make sure you have a strong tent as some days may have 35+ mph winds rolling thru the campground (several tents collapsed/broke on a windy day here). About a 10 minute walk to the shuttle that takes you to Bear Lake and Glacier Gorge trailheads. Direct walking access to a couple easy lake trails, including Sprague Lake that is good for seeing wildlife at dusk. Firewood and ice sold most nights at the campground.
Great campground! There are trailheads on both sides and behind all the loops to connect to the RMNP trail system. What makes this CG most convenient is the RMNP Shuttle lot is a short walk across the road from the campground so you can hike where you want and shuttle back or vice-versa. Half of the loops suffered beetle kill so they are treeless but offer great views. Some of the sites are close together, but all in a ll its a great National park campground with daily Firewood, ice, ice cream and candy sales and weekly educational programs in the amphitheater. The community restrooms are also flush toilets instead of vault and they have dish cleaning facilities for the tent campers.
Great campground! Wonderful view of the surrounding mountains, quiet, clean, staff was friendly. They had wood and ice for sale. Conveniently located across the road from Rocky Mountain National Park shuttle that takes you to the major trailheads as well as Estes Park.
Campground might not provide the complete feel of an “escape into nature”, we visited when the campground was 99% full.. was a bit cramped with other campers surrounding our plot on all sides within in a couple feet. Since bears are frequent visitors here, it’s absolutely necessary to lock all food in a bear box; these were also a bit scarce for room as we had to share one with 2 other families. So plan ahead and definitely make a reservation in advance! I would recommend this campground to anyone needing a quick and accesible spot for the night to visit bear lake in the morning or for families looking to spend a great night together in the outdoors around the fire roasting marshmallows; fire pits are cleaned out after each occupant which was nice, they sell firewood on the site as well but were sold out which caused us minor inconvenience as firewood collecting is not allowed. But town is not that far, about 15-20 min away. Bathrooms were very clean, community sink as well. Park rangers were friendly and accesible through out the campground. If pitching a tent, I would say each plot could fit about 2 small four person tents.
Glacier basin is one of our favorite campgrounds in RMNP. Our June 2019 site was in loop b. The site didn’t have any shade but it had spectacular views all around. The site was level and had a picnic table, fire ring and a bear box. The campground is close to sprague lake and an easy walk to the park and ride to bear lake. The bathrooms were clean but had no showers.
Beautiful campground with great amenities. Nice flush toilets with running water, sinks, very clean. Water available throughout the campground and solar showers and a dishwashing station. We had spotty cell service which is fine. A short hike takes you to sprague lake or the park and ride shuttle to bear lake area. The shuttle does come into the camp, but due to construction it was easier to walk over to the park and ride. If possible take the drive up through the park to grand lakes via the alpine visitor center!
Glacier Basin Campground is located in RMNP. The spots fill up quickly and it is a good idea to make reservations online ahead of time. We've stayed here in loop B where it is open for the most part but the tent sites are spread further apart. In loop C the campsites are closer together but there are more trees providing some privacy for those who want it. Glacier Basin campground is a short walk from park and ride which is a free shuttle that will take you to many different spots throughout the park so you don't have to drive each day.
We stayed at site C97 for 5 nights. This site had a bearbox. Was close enough to the bathrooms and drinking water. We had amazing views all around due to the lack of trees. There was a vendor on site almost every evening from 530pm to 8pm selling firewood and ice. There were ranger programs every evening at 9pm. We also had the pleasure of seeing double rainbows three times during our stay! And if the moon hadn't been so bright every evening the star gazing would have been second to none. I would highly recommend staying at this campground again. I was unsure going in, because I knew there wouldn't be much shade or privacy…but we were out exploring all day and only really at our campsite for dinner through breakfast. If you plan to spend midday at your campsite, maybe consider a different option.
Glacier Basin campground is one of three in RMNP. There are 150 standard and 12 group campsites. The sites are distributed in 4 loops with each site having a picnic table, tent pads, and fire grates. There is a limit of 35 feet for RV/Trailer length. Due to pine beetle infestation in the area, many of the trees have been removed. Glacier is open from late May to September with a maximum stay of 7 nights. Campsites are quite close together, but there are quiet hours and limits to generator use.
There are trails the leave right from the campground, the free shuttle bus makes a stop near the check in station, and the Park & Ride is a short walk away. The location is very convenient to the most popular hikes in RMNP.