the dyrt
Group
RV Sites
Tent Sites
Fires Allowed
Pets Allowed
Drinking Water
About Moraine Park Campground
Moraine Park Campground (8,160 feet) is located in Colorado's awe-inspiring Rocky Mountain National Park, near the Beaver Meadows Entrance on Highway 36. It is situated on the north side of Moraine Park, offering beautiful views of the vast park and the surrounding mountains. From lush valleys to craggy peaks reaching elevations 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. Recreation Rocky Mountain National Park has 355 miles of hiking trails that range from flat lakeside strolls to steep mountain peak 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 also 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, 11,796' above sea level. Several visitor centers are within the park, offering ranger-led activities, education and history about the park, and seasonal nighttime programs. Facilities Moraine Park Campground contains single family tent-only sites, several walk-to tent sites and RV sites without hookups. Each campsite is equipped with a picnic table, fire ring with grate, and tent pad. Roads are paved and parking spurs are gravel. Flush toilets and drinking water are provided. Loops B and E have vault toilets only, and no water. Rocky Mountain National Park's free shuttle bus stops at the campground and provides access to many park trailheads throughout the Bear Lake corridor, eliminating the hassle of finding available parking. Bring a solar-heated shower bag to hang in two solar-shower stall facilities (no running water here) at Moraine Park Campground. There are no other shower facilities in the park, but showers are available in nearby communities. Portable showers are prohibited in individual campsites. Natural Features A pleasant mix of Douglas fir, Lodgepole pine, Ponderosa pine and the occasional Engelmann spruce, forests the campground, offering partial shade in this open area. 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. Nearby Attractions The town of Estes Park lies just outside the park's main east entrances, and is a short drive from Moraine Park Campground. Dining, shopping, rafting, fly fishing, horseback riding and golfing opportunities await. Lake Estes offers boating, sailboarding and fishing. ADA Access: N
Sites
239
Access
Drive In, Walk In
Operator
National Park Service
Features
+ More
ADA Accessible
Alcohol Allowed
Drinking Water
Electric Hookups
Fires Allowed
Firewood Available
Pets Allowed
Phone Service
Picnic Table
Reservable
Sanitary Dump
Sewer Hookups
Showers
Toilets
Trash Available
Water Hookups
Location
Moraine Park Campground is located in Colorado
Latitude
40.363 N
Longitude
-105.602 W
Get Directions
Directions
Take Highway 36 west from Estes Park, CO or Highway 34 east from Grand Lake, CO. Off the main park road, take the Bear Lake Road, which is near the Beaver Meadows Entrance Station, and follow the signs to the campground.
27 Reviews of Moraine Park Campground
Gorgeous Scenery RMNP, Rest-Room Facilities Very Dirty in Need of Rehab

I used to really enjoy this campground and beauty of park. I stayed spot A075 in Sept 17 and was really looking forward to the trip. Positive is beauty of park, friendliness of park rangers and support, staff, and overall experience smelling campfire at night. Negative is restrooms were in really poor condition, really poor - staying in many facilities with Pits/Vaults that were a more favorable experience. Negative is sights (some of them) are too close to neighbors

Elk watchers paradise

I camped during the Elk Rut and watching the elk come out at dusk was amazing. Hundred of elk at the meadow below. Jawdropping.

Great campsite and great view. Even with plenty of RV's and campers around it was extremely quiet. Each site had a picnic table and fire ring. Sites are pretty close together so just keep that in mind when setting up camp. Bear boxes are there for a reason so use them!

Pit toilet close to my site was fairly clean and stocked. Water was a little bit of a walk but not horrible.

I visited in Oct and during the day it was up in the 60's. The morning I woke up to snow. So again keep that in mind when camping during months that snow can happen.

Love Moraine Park Campground

Excellent campground right in the middle of Rocky Mountain NP. We stayed in the fall when leaves were beautiful and the Elk were in rut. No hookups but nice big sites each with a tent spot, picnic table and fire pit.

Very Nice, well utilized

the views from this campsite really are quite beautiful. when I was there, it was reasonably quiet. adequate trees for hammocks. there were more RVs than I would have liked, but quiet hours were observed. it is a car campground, so you can’t expect to much peace and solitude, but it was very nice. I suggest C or D loops, specifically along the outer most road along the moraine.

Sweet Snow!

Still some snow on the ground in late May.

Convenient location, not much privacy

We camped here in the winter when several loops of the campground were closed. Although it was the middle of the week and there were only about 10 other groups, the close spacing of the sites and lack of undergrowth still made it feel like we were right next to people (especially when RV generators start early in the morning).

Even in the winter, the toilets were open. The website listed potable water as being available year-round, but none of the wells or spigots were running when we were there.

In the morning the view from Moraine Park is outstanding, it's an easy place to start for a day hike in Rocky Mountain National Park to beat the crowds, and we had a herd of deer walk right through our site, which was cool.

Wonderful Campground in RMNP

We camped in Moraine Park Campground in Rocky Mountain National Park in September 2017, and had a lovely experience! Whenever I camp, I try to find a more secluded site on the outskirts of the campground - we chose site 154 in loop D, and it was perfect! The site was in the very back of the campground, had a large distance between the two neighboring sites, and faced the mountains.

WARNING: You ARE in bear country - be bear smart and safe and use your bear box! We had our own bear box in our campsite - I believe each site has its own food locker. Try to lock all of your food and toiletries inside the food locker - they are large, and we have always been able to fit our big cooler into locker. If you do have to leave a cooler in the car, I was once told by a ranger in Yosemite NP that bears can recognize coolers when peering into car windows - he suggested putting put a towel and gear over your coolers when keeping them in the car overnight in bear territory.

The site also had a leveled tent pad - it’s nice not having to try to level your tent site on your own so you don’t have to dig rocks out of your back in the middle of the night. The site had lots of trees, where we set up a hammock. The fire pit had a very nice cooking grate - we always bring a small collapsable grate in case the fire ring doesn’t have one, but no need to use it this time!

The only downside to the more secluded site was that we had to pack our gear about 60 yards from the car to the site - not far at all, but when we car-camp we pack heavily, but that’s our own fault. Having the bear box to store everything in made it so we didn’t have to make trips back and forth from the car for the entire stay.

As we were in the back of the campground, we were facing the mountains. There were horse trails and game trails - we some horseback riders and some deer wandered through our campsite.

The bathrooms in Moraine park were clean, but if you require showers, there are no showers in the campground; there are, however, shower stalls where you can hang up your own solar shower.

We camped in Moraine Park shortly after Labor Day, and since it was nearing fall, there were large herds of elk down in the Moraine Park Valley - we could hear them in the evenings and early morning hours. The noise is eerie if you are not familiar with elk calls, but we thought it was very neat to hear.

Beware of elk (especially in the fall -mating season). Just so you are aware - you will see large fences throughout the park, some of which have gates that visitors can enter. The gates are designed to keep the wildlife contained and off the roads, or to keep them out of certain little ecosystems. When we first got into RMNP, we parked by the Colorado River that is flowing through Moraine Park, and came across one of the gates to the fenced in area. The only signs we saw read to not climb on the gates, and to please close the gate behind you. We entered the gate, and followed a game trail through some tall grasses.

When we got farther into the field, we realized that the things that appeared to be small dead tree branches were not branches at all, but the antlers of a bull elk who was laying down in the grass. He became aware of us and stood up, followed by dozens of female elk that had been completely hidden from the tall grasses. We slowly retreated back towards a small patch of trees, and stood there to watch the elk. The bull elk spotted a a younger male across the meadow, and began to bugle at him - it was mating season, so our bull did not want the younger, smaller bull near his hareem. The bull elk was traveling away from us, so we felt like we would wait by the trees until he was farther away.

As we stayed in the trees and watched the elk, we became aware of somebody coming down the hill towards us. Once he got our attention, he slowly beckoned us to come towards him, so we did. The man was a park ranger, and come to get us away from the elk. He said that nobody should be inside the fence past 5pm, as that is around the time when the elk return from the shady protection of the trees and back out into the open meadow. The ranger told us that the particular elk we were watching had been aggressive towards humans in the last week, having chased a cyclist and a photographer who had gotten too close. The moral of this story is that you need to be hyper aware of the wildlife around you, and try to research where you can and cannot go inside a National Park.

CAMPSITE SPECS

Fees: $26/night

Plumbed Toilets: Yes

Water: Yes

Showers: NO - there are stalls for personal solar showers

Picnic Table: Yes

Firepit: Yes

Cooking Grates: Yes

Shade: Yes

Cell Service: NO

Animal Bins/Food Lockers: Yes

Trash: Yes

loved our stay here!

We camped in Moraine Park Campground last summer & absolutely loved it! One side (Loop C) of the campground has gorgeous views of the mountains & on the other side (Loop A) is an area for elk crossing at night. Right outside the campground is a popular elk viewing area at dusk - which can be congested with cars. The campground is also super accessible! It’s a short drive from the major hikes, the famous Trail Ridge Road, as well as the city of Estes Park. The RV sites offer no hook ups however, there are several water spoutd, bathrooms, bear boxes, & large garbage bins. Some spots are challenging to back into, but not impossible. You are unable to bring in your own firewood.

Good location for exploring east side of Rocky Mountain NP

We grabbed a one night reservation here after a space popped up on recreation.gov and thankfully ended up on loop D. I always check recreation.gov for openings within a week of when we'll be someplace. Openings are difficult to find in national parks, but people do cancel. And if you don't find a space, there are plenty of Forest Service campgrounds in Colorado.

Campsite observations:

  • This looks like paradise for tenters as you can pitch your tent pretty far back from the road at many sites. I was a bit obsessed with great tent sites, so there are photos attached. (Note: Nearby Longs Peak Campground is tents only.)

  • Although generators are not allowed on loop D, there is still room for RVs. Our teardrop and Honda Pilot fit well on D159.

  • Of the 3 campgrounds we stayed in within Rocky Mountain NP (Glacier Basin, Timber Creek and here), the checkin attendant here strongly emphasized bear safety. This park had 350 incidents in 2017. I suspect the tents in the woodsy areas might have something to do with that. In any case, there are plenty of storage lockers. The attendant said to be sure to lock the car because bears look for evidence of food (coolers, etc) and have mastered door handles and occasionally smash windows.

  • The bathrooms have flush toilets but were the worst smelling bathrooms we've had in quite a while. Given that most of our stays have been at Forest Service campgrounds with vault toilets, that's bad.

  • The bathrooms also have faucets that you have to hold in the on position with one hand while you wash the other hand, i.e. instant off faucets. I understand the need to conserve water, but there are other types that ensure people can't leave a faucet on.

  • Rangers patrol the park looking for unattended sites with smoldering fires or food left out. They can issue tickets.

You're in a good place to get to Sprague Lake and Bear Lake via car or shuttle bus, but don't forget Fern Lake and Fern Falls. Fern Falls is definitely worth the climb. If you don't want to come back the same way, stop at Cub Lake. (Photo of a moose in Cub Lake and video of Fern Falls are attached.) You can see Fern Falls and Cub Lake on an 8 mile hike leaving from the Cub Lake trailhead, but you can add on Fern Lake to make it 10. Your total distance depends on where you end up parking.

Nestled in the Beautiful Rocky Mountain National Park

Great accessible campsites with very clean amenities.