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Arvada, COLORADO
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Small delightful campground

This is a County campground, up a very steep windy paved road, probably unsuitable for very large RVs. Most of the camp spots are relatively small, also. But they have electricity, they’re relatively level, and the views are great. The reservoir is limited to non-motorized boats. Cellphone coverage is really problematic, but HDTV reception from the Denver stations is good. It’s a nice, quiet place to just relax.

Excellent location for the city and mountains

This campground allows easy access to Denver, Golden, and the foothills. Campers are close together, but there are some mature trees. This campground is nicer than most that provide access to Denver.

The campground has a pool and hot tub. The play set for kids is small. The bathrooms are very clean. The staff is helpful.  Walk up the hill to the open space adjacent to the campground for a view of the mountains and the city.

Dirty

Dirty and over used is the shortest description. There were small bits and pieces of plastic, trash, cigarette butts almost every where I looked. The strangest part was the wire. There was so much insulated wire it almost looked like a junkyard. I guess hunters had used it to hang deer for gutting. At fist I thought it was string and I continually went to pick it up only to find more wire.

Small, beautiful!

We camped here early in the spring season, almost no one was there except us! Only a few campsites and the lake was calm enough for fishing from our canoe.

Nice camp

Nice campground. No park rangers around for help. You sign in yourself pay on the honor system. Wood is sold til 6:30 so be hasty for pick up. RMNP has rules for the protection of wildlife to not allow dogs on any trails and although I think that wildlife should be protected that this is a dumb rule. Like everything else they charge for and give permits for they should permit pets. 3 stars for wasting my time and I wasn’t able to do a single trail.

Great park

Super fun and great for a quick trip. There are a couple of bald eagles nesting in the tree in the middle of the lake that is amazing to watch!

the Elk wanted to camp too

the first time I ever camped here (I've gone a half dozen times) I'll never forget. We had just finished setting up the pop up ( there was pleanty of room for it) and had opened a drink when a heard of elk came through. i mean litereally, an elk walked between my father and I only 5 feet apart! the whole herd walked though  our campsite heading down to the valley. beautiful views of Long's Peak and quick access to Estes Park. love it

A giant homeless camp

I would avoid if you have children. I have found needles and human waist there. It seems like most of the camps in Boulder and Denver are all the same…..

Early season but only way to find a vacancy

This campground is always full. Right inside the border of RMNP out of Estes Park, it’s accessible but removed enough from traffic and noise. Some of the sites are close together but each has a generous tent pad, bear proof storage (most, not all) and a fire pit. Also available are reasonably clean toilets and sun shower stations. Nice views (Longs Peak), trees for hammock-hanging, and great camp hosts. Definitely recommend, if you can snag a site. Reserve in advance if possible.

Gorgeous

What a great spot to spend the day. Traveled to Colorado from NJ and this is spot is really breathtaking and relaxing.

Very basic campground with basic amenities.

This campground is one of many driving up route 67. They're all closed in the winter and through the beginning of May. Very basic sites are available no amenities. Make sure you have 4-wheel drive available in the early spring.

Standard Campground, but Excellent Hiking

Brainard Lake Recreation Area has some really great hikes to alpine lakes, and Pawnee campground is the place to stay if you want to be the first person on the trail. Overall it is your standard large campground - the sites have grills, fire grates, picnic tables, bear boxes, and are fairly close to one another. The campground also has clean restrooms and you can book your site online.

There are a lot of moose in the area! I have been here twice and I have seen moose both times. Once was just along the road, and the other time I saw 2 moose while I was hiking to Lake Isabelle. Also, the Lake Isabelle hike is one of my favorites - I recommend coming here just to do this hike. It is helpful to stay at the campground the night before because the trailhead parking lots fill up quickly.

Free Dispersed Sites on Kenosha Pass

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.

Dispersed Campsite with Views - Gordon Gulch (4x4 recommended)

So the Gordon Gulch dispersed camping area has around 15 numbered sites that are ok… but if you keep driving further down 233.1 you will find many more unnumbered campsites. I am reviewing one of these unnumbered campsites in particular, because this one had the best view. Before you read too far, I can't guarantee you will be able to reach this campsite without a 4X4 high clearance vehicle. We got to the site with a Jeep Wrangler and Toyota Tacoma TRD so we had no problems… I can't definitely say a Subaru would make it though. In the pictures I have included a map of the Gordon Gulch trail system. Entering through the Gordon Gulch entrance and taking 226.1 to 233.1 is the hardest route - there is one very steep and washed out spot. Entering via 120J/Switzerland Trail from the Peak to Peak Hwy and then turning right onto 233.1 is the easier option. On that map I have marked the general area of the campsite with a pink dot and here are the coordinates.

DMS: 40°01'18.5"N 105°28'37.6"W

DD: 40.021814, -105.477103 - if you type this into Google Maps it will locate it

As for the actual campsite, it is a great option for spring/fall camping in Colorado. The elevation is about 8,800 ft and it is on the south side of a hill so it gets a lot of sunlight and is protected from northern winds. In terms of privacy, there are no other campsites that can be seen from this one. However, Gordon Gulch is a popular off-roading area so dirt bikes and Jeeps pass by frequently. This campsite is set up high above and away from the road though, so it is really not that bad. Another thing to point out is that this is a popular area for shooting as well, so if you absolutely hate guns it may not be the place for you. Also, as stated before, this is a dispersed campsite the only thing it has is a fire ring. Pack it in, pack it out!

Amazing views if you pick a good spot

Moraine Park is a great campground inside RMNP. Close to the Bear Lake Trailhead, which is the most popular in the park and a gateway to amazing hikes, and also close to Estes Park. Bathrooms are very nice, water available, bear boxes at every site along with fire rings and picnic tables. We had a tent-only site and it was great. But the key was our location - go for D loop sites on the bottom/south side. Map attached with location circles. OUTSTANDING views of the Rockies and a whole field below with elk, moose and other wildlife. Sites in this area are pretty spread out and it’s quiet after dark. Staff super friendly and helpful. This is a huge campsite, so picking your spot is important to have the best experience.

A little piece of solitude right next to the big city!

This is a pretty popular campsite and I can see why! It’s right outside of Denver and can easily be a quick night away or a weekend of fun. Sites filled up quick when we decided to go around the end of July. We didn’t get a personal campsite but got on the waiting list. When we arrived back to check to see about availability there were other campers waiting as well. One of the campers suggested we all go in on a group site and we got enough people to agree. Everyone was very friendly and we met all kinds of families. I’d definitely recommend trying a group site if a personal one isn’t available. There was plenty to do during the day. We fished, kayaked and walked around the park. There were plenty of people on bikes as well. We also noticed lots of SUPS out on the water as well. There is a dock for boats and even an area for dogs off leash. The campsite had some construction going on when we went but everything was well kept and clean. We will definitely come back to this campsite soon!

Small but nice

Nice and easy

Convenient urban camping

Camped here one night as we prepared to leave Colorado for home. The park is in the city, but surprisingly doesn’t feel that way. The place was busy and no privacy between sites. Bathrooms were clean and well kept. There were a few “interesting” characters in the park. Felt like they came here to party and hangout on the weekend. It was a convenient camping experience.

First to Review
Lost Alpine Lake

Lost Alpine lake is a 5 miles hike from the camp ground. I highly recommend searching for it if you’ve never been. Camp ground is at the start of the hike.

Gross Reservoir

Good hiking spot that takes you down to the reservoir. Not to far from the campsite. There is camping only in designated area.

Free Dispersed Camping in the Rockies

Beautiful spot with a gorgeous view of a couple of mountain peaks (Thunderbolt Peak?) with the reservoir in the foreground.

-Camping is on the left as you approach the lake, there is nothing past the first big area you see.

-Many spaces available, just pick a primitive firepit and setup around it.

-Lake is technically private and the locals WILL hassle you if they catch you fishing/swimming/boating.

-We easily made the drive up in a low clearance car, and Rv's should have no problem.

- In total I'd say around 15 separate campsites could operate here comfortably on a busy weekend.

Busy and Covered in Bullet Casings

We were actually surprised when we found a quiet spot out here. We tried to turn into a lot of the turn offs and there were bullet casings all over the ground. There are signs everywhere that say "DO NOT SHOOT THE TREES" and we laughed at it but then we kept going and noticed that the reason why those signs were there were because there were clear cuts of trees just shot down and the casings were left on the ground.

We spent a good hour cleaning up our site before setting up camp. We carried out a large trash bag of bullet casings.

It was a beautiful view of Pikes Peak and it is a great easy place to get away from the hustle of the city. We found a safe spot for us to go shooting clays the next day and we had a blast just releasing some energy. We did clean up all of our trash as we went. Leave no trace!

Easy Get Away from the City

This si the place my friends and I go to just for a night away from everything. It is just out of reach of the city and far enough away where we can find some peace and quiet. The views are incredible!

Lots of climbing routes nearby and easy to find some good spots away from others.

Excellent in all respects

Excellent stay - camp is at Brainard Lake recreation area and one of our all time favs ! Clean vaults excellent hosts and cleanest sites - many things to do including hikes on multiple trails and kayaking on lake or just looking for moose and casually relaxing. Reservations very difficult to get but if you get in - enjoy it’s excellent . Moose loop nice with trees - Elk loop has some sites with no trees or shade due to wind storm years ago. Our site 9’was partial shade and site 11 was also shaded.

Nice Weekend Getaway

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

Lots of free camping nearby

It's a great campground and there is plenty of beautiful dispersed camping a short drive (or walk) down the road, so you're guaranteed to get a spot!

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.

Great spot with 360 degree views

The fire tower has two levels with 2 twin beds on each level. I recommend staying in the top level as the views are amazing. Look one way, you can see downtown Denver. Look another, Pike's Peak. Another, Mount Evans. It is windy up at 11,500 feet and it rattles the windows at times, but again…the views. The space itself is only about 20' x 20' but you are never bored as the scenery changes in every direction every 5 minutes. You have to reserve the tower well in advance but it is definitely worth it. I must mention there is also about a mile hike up to the tower with your gear but again, it is definitely worth it.

Small and cozy enough, your perfect fishing spot

I'll agree with the other posters. Platte River Campground is a great location if you are looking to do some fly fishing. The river is right there and easy access. Or if you want to set up camp here and then drive up/down the road there are tons of fishing spots.

Keep in mind there isn't a store or anything close by so be sure to carry in all you need. I don't recall water on site so better to be safe and carry plenty in.

I went in mid Oct so off season and there was only 2 other campers in the campground. I chose site #8, furthest away from the parking area but also more trees. There was a bit of road noise but not horrible. Was quiet and just a cozy place to stay.

A great site to check out what this campground looks like and how it's laid out is you can check out this video I found useful on YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mc9JPE53Lf4