We really enjoyed our stay at Estes Park at East Portal! I can’t say enough good things. We passed so many parking lot campgrounds and were so happy we chose here. We had trees! Our space was large enough to accommodate our 20 ft travel trailer with our truck next to it, still leaving plenty of room for the picnic table and a chair circle around the fire. We chose to park next to the camper so as to not obstruct the view. Water and electric and a large bear box were provided. Our spot A66 overlooked a little field that every morning a little fawn would come up out of and sniff around. My kids enjoyed playing with sticks and rocks in this little field-something every kid should get to do! We had beautiful views in 3 directions(bathroom behind us). Speaking of bathrooms, they were large and clean! Auto flushing toilets, toilet paper and hand soap! A cleaning crew came in often and quickly. Individual shower rooms make for a comfortable and private hot shower very welcomed at the end of a day of nearby hiking. Mule deer came through every evening right by our camper to eat grass. One morning 3 large Bull Elk and a young bull came through the valley and up through the campground. It was so surreal! The stars were stunning too. We saw shooting stars and even the northern lights (flashing kind not curtains). Then on our last day, a rainbow could be seen right next to the campground. We could not have asked for anything more! The camp hosts were all awesome and very helpful. The location was central to most things that we wanted to do. No cell service and it was glorious! But if we did need it, about a mile down the road we picked it back up. There is a geocache very near to the campground right by a hiking trail-my boys enjoyed marking it off their list . I could watch them walk to it from the site. On our first hike we saw horse back riders from the YMCA and stunning views including a small waterfall. Wildflowers were scattered across the mountainside and there is a small reservoir for fishing-though we didn’t. The air was so clean and you could smell the pines. The site next to us was a walk-in I believe as it cycled through a few times in a week. The playground was small but my kids were satisfied. There was a rock climbing wall and swings. My husband said the dump site was not positioned perfectly for our camper but we were so happy they had one. The office has a small little store with maps brochures and some essentials or souvenirs. If we go back to Estes Park, this is definitely where we will camp again.
As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I get products to test from time to time and this time we chose to review Fiber Light.
My husband has been showing our 12 year old some camping how to’s and this was a fun thing for them to mess around with. They used a spark wheel to get it going (survival mode they said lol) and it lit quickly and burned for a long time! We timed a large pinch and it burned for over 5 minutes. Lights immediately with a flame lighter. Comes in a large fully packed round tin with a thick rubber band around it to seal out moisture. My son was the first to try and was not able to get lit with his Firebiner (first time using that too), but my husband got it lit right away lighting the kindling and a log. I was impressed with how much time we had to get the rest of the fire set up! This will definitely be useful in a survival or long hike situation. Thumbs up from us!
This is a basic campground with great views! The campground is on the side of the mountain with a hiking trail just outside the park into Rocky Mountain NP. There is a great meadow with lots of wildflowers, too. Just a few sites have water and electric, but there are great views from many of them. Saturday night there was a ranger program on mammals that was great for the kids. There is a very small store with ice, firewood and some basic supplies.
Best place to camp around. Wooded area at the end of the road. Book early!
They come right up to your tent so be prepared and make sure you use the food lockers to keep bears away. great location, great sites, good facilities. Easy to get into Estes Park and into RMNP. Site A22 was great!
Peffect for getting outside of the crowds of Estas Park and not have to go into RMNP. Well shaded in most places but there isn't any underbrush at all. You are only 1 to 2 trees away from all the neighbors and there is little to nothing blocking views for privacy. But the facilities were clean and in good shape.
We stayed at Estes Park Campground at East Portal when we visited Rocky Mountain National Park this past July 2018. At first I was disappointed that we could not Moraine Valley or Aspen Grove campgrounds within RMNP, but I am SO GLAD we ended up staying at Estes Park Campground at East Portal! While it is a private campground and is more expensive than a State Park, National Park, Forest Service or BLM campground ($35 for a standard tent site without hookups…it increases with equipment hookups), I think it was well worth the extra money.
Estes Park Campground at East Portal is a short drive away from both RMNP and the city of Estes Park, so you are nearby everything. The camp hosts were extremely friendly, and shockingly, while there was a fire ban in place inside RMNP and outside the park near the Grand Lake area, campfires WERE allowed at Estes Park Campground at East Portal, so long as they were small and contained within the fire ring (which did have a grate for cooking!). The hosts at Estes Park Campground at East Portal had firewood for sale, and even dropped it off for us at our campsite! They also had ice for sale.
The sites are not extremely private, but are all surrounded by tall, thin trees. The trees are perfect for hammocks, so if you have a hammock, bring one! Also, the trees would be useful for handing extra tarps if a thunderstorm was to pass through the area; we had tarps and bungee cords and ropes at the ready in case a storm came. We were lucky, a HUGE storm had rolled through the night before we arrived, and another started just as we had finished packing up the car to leave Estes Park.
Each campsite has a newly build, raised tent pad to set your tent up on - the management is extremely strict that campers MUST place their tents only on the designated tent pad. I did not have a problem with that, as the tent pad is nice and flat, and has some compacted sandy soil which helps keep the dirt out of your tent. The sites are separated by thin logs placed on the ground.
WARNING: You ARE in bear country, so be bear safe and use the shared bear bins available in the campground! Our party had two adjacent campsites, so we were able to share the shared bear bin amongst just our own party. The neighbor on the other side of us had a bear bin, and it didn’t appear that he had to share his with if his neighbors. 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 best part about this campground is that it had hot FREE and clean showers!!!! As a California girl who’s used to the extreme drought conditions, having a hot free shower available was absolute heaven while camping. There was also a big farm sink outside the bathrooms for dish washing and water bladder filling - it was extremely convenient.
There is only one trash receptacle area in the campground, up towards the entrance near the playground. Even though the campground is fairly small, we were lazy and kept our trash in the cars at night, and dropped it off in the morning when we were headed out to RMNP. There is also a water spigot near the garbage bins - it was a good reminder that we hadn’t filled up our water bladders for a day of hiking.
Estes Park Campground at East Portal is located at the very end of a road, so it is nice and quiet, without noise pollution from traffic. The campground is only about 20 minutes away from Moraine Park inside RMNP. It was easy to get to and from the NP, where we went each day to hike and search for moose.
We found moose at Sprague Lake, around dusk! A momma moose and her yearling twins came down from the wooded hills to graze on the water plants growing in the shallow lake. They were pretty unconcerned by the crowd of people watching them, but it’s important to still give them their space, as they are very large, wild animals (ESPECIALLY during mating season, and when a momma is with her young babies). The moose were truly an amazing site to see, nobody in my party from California had ever seen a moose before this trip to Colorado.
The camp hosts said moose and elk will occasionally make an appearance at the Estes Park Campground at East Portal. We did not see either while at camp, but we frequently deer and fawns running through the woods directly behind the campground.
WARNING: in the woods behind the campground there is a NO TRESPASSING zone where there are piles of chopped, dead trees - those tree piles contain the remains of the trees that were infected by the pine beetle epidemic that has killed so many trees in the area. The piles will be burned in the winter and should not be touched or disturbed.
Plumbed Toilets: Yes
Drinking Water: Yes
Showers: Yes (no coins needed!!)
Picnic Table: Yes
Cooking Grates: Yes
Cell Service: Yes
Animal Bins/Food Lockers: Yes (shared)
This campground is at the end of the road, zero traffic noise, lots of shade from trees, nature trails, deer visit in the mornings. Facilities are exceptional, clean, free with camping. Each site has a bear box/ food locker to keep food items safe and stored near your site. So quiet at night…good sleeping! Friendly hosts! Great camping in the Rockies!
While more expensive than Forest Service or BLM campgrounds, we recently had a great experience at East Portal over the busy 4th of July weekend. Despite being walk ups, the camp hosts were extremely helpful in finding us a site, and then moving us around to an even better site. Highly recommend the sites on the south side, they are much more secluded if you are tenting. Clean restrooms and facilities. Close to great fishing and hiking (close as in, you can walk to them), and an easy drive into Rocky Mountain National Park and Estes Park.
We enjoyed our stay here. This campground had nice, clean bathrooms and showers. We did have to share bear lockers with our neighbors but it wasn’t too big of a deal. The site we had did have a pretty nice tent pad. Not all of them have a level tent pad like that. Staff was very helpful and it was a pretty close drive to RMNP. There is a trailhead near the front of the campground that leads to several trails. Very pretty place to stay.
The sites are on top of each other and people walk right through your site. Our dog nearly bit someone because he was so stressed, and he's a lab. The only redeeming trait of this site was the showers. We split time between this campground and Collegiate Peaks in BV and wanted to leave to go back to BV the minute we got to Estes.