Kenosha Pass Campground is a small, conveniently-located campground heralded by backpackers on the Colorado Trail and by those looking for a scenic, mountain family getaway.
Across the road from the campground entrance is the Kenosha Pass Interpretive Area, with an accessible interpretive trail showcasing wetlands and remnants of the South Park and Pacific Railroad.
Kenosha Pass, the campground's namesake, is one of the nation's highest mountain passes, weaving over the spine of the Front Range from Jefferson to Grant. The route provides one of the primary access points to South Park, and boasts tremendous views of Mount Evans and Mount Bierstadt.
Excellent hiking, biking and horseback riding are available on the lengthy Colorado Trail, a 471-mile trail that extends from Denver to Durango.
For a scenic drive, take in the views of the Kenosha Mountain Pass, then head to Guanella Pass for even more picture-perfect scenery.
Kenosha Pass includes vault toilets and drinking water from a hand pump. Each site has a campfire ring and picnic table. Parking aprons are dirt and gravel.
At a 10,000 foot elevation, the region is commonly referred to as the High Country. Campsites are situated among lodgepole pine and aspen trees. Summer temperature are generally mild and cool, but the high elevation may cause very chilly nights.
Jefferson Lake, known for its great fishing, is 10 miles north.
ADA Access: N
This is a pretty popular area for camping thanks to the Colorado Trail being in close proximity and the abundant amount of aspen trees here that turn gold come September. There are 2 campgrounds to accommodate - one on each side of Hwy 285 and they can become rather crowded on summer weekends. Luckily, there is a limited amount of dispersed camping sites here as well if you are searching for some peace and quiet to go along with your camping trip. In this area the Forest Service specifically states that dispersed camping is only allowed in designated sites along NFSR 126 and 126.A on the east side of Hwy 285.
We drove along 126 and were able to snag the last dispersed site late on a Saturday. I would say that there couldn't be more than 10 dispersed sites along 126. I did not drive down 126.A. Also, on 126 you eventually come up to a gate and the road goes through private property. The very last dispersed site is right before this gate, and that is the one we got. This site required some hauling of gear from the road down to the site, but it wasn't very far. This would not be a good site if you have a rooftop tent though, because you are not allowed to drive down to the site you have to park on the road (not all of the dispersed sites were like this though). There were actually 2 fire rings at this site too - we went with the further one from the road for privacy. Overall it was a good site and much quieter than the campgrounds. Would recommend if you are trying to stay near the Colorado Trail or want to camp in the aspens in fall.
This is nice for quick getaway - easy drive from Denver and right at Kenosha Pass which has fall beautiful colors. We bought a new pop up tent and had to try it out arrived in the dark and awoke to beautiful fall colors - hiking trails closeby. Vault toilets very clean only about 20 sites forest service campground. Rating reflects some highway noise closeby only downside
We usually go to the paid area, but found the free area this time and found even more delightful things. Privacy, adventure, animal bones and man made wooden teepees.
Great campground right on Colorado Trail section 6. Family friendly with vault toilets, potable water, and very nice campground hosts. Currently under a fire ban due to the dry conditions but don’t let that discourage you! The campground is right off the highway so there is some traffic noise and a few of the spots are close together but overall a great campground, easy location, and perfect for backpacking!
Nice campground that backs right up to the Colorado Trail. Plenty of toilets and dumpsters and I didn't have any problems with wildlife. Dog-friendly!
Note there are two Kenosha Pass Campgrounds and one has East in name and is very bumpy but beautiful (Aspens!) with no numbers. The one you can reserve, without "East" has a lot of aspen trees and some pines. It's beautiful but one can hear the highway! The easy trail along the grounds is an enchanting young aspen forest that leads up from parking lot at highway. There was plenty of kindling to fetch for the fire. Site 15 on the inside has some shade but wouldn't reserve this site again because it is so close to two neighbors. The outer circle sites are better and some like 11 even have cool rock boulders to camp by. The bathroom near us had no lock on the door. The pump water is rusty so good for dishes. Best part of this campsite is that there are a lot of trees. Worse part, the highway.
This campground is beautiful and it is right on the Colorado Trail. Several spots are large enough for a big camper, but the tight curves on the loop and thick trees make it a little questionable for maneuvering. The bathrooms were clean and the campground quiet.