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This area is owned by Clear Creek Open Space and they are currently in negotiations to gain more of the surrounding area. It is great for a hiking and picnic destination. We wanted to stay overnight so I reached out and got a permit for an overnight stay.
From the parking area you will need to head down a beautiful little columbine lined trail to the water. There are ample spaces to pitch a tent or have a picnic.
While we were there it was almost like we were far away from the city even though we were just in the foothills. I didn't hear one car or person other than our group.
There aren't bathrooms, trash, or water so you will need to be prepared for that.
We had a great time staying for free at Rollins pass. We had a large group of bikers so we all hammock camped since there isn't much space for tents (lots of trees but not enough space to set up a tent). We were there for mtn biking and a show in Winter Park and it was an easy ride to and from town from the pass. There are lots of campers along the road since the top of the pass is the start of all the single track trails heading down into the town.
I also stayed an extra night so I could leave early in the morning to hike James Peak and St. Mary's Glacier. It is easy access from here too. You will need to drive to the trailhead but it is less than a mile to the glacier and only a couple more miles to the peak.
Even in Summer it is cold so be away and prepare yourself accordingly.
We stayed here as an after party for a wedding so it was the perfect spot for us to have a large group of people and multiple tent spots. There are tent pads and groomed areas for camping. The group sites are large and there are bathrooms provided in the group camp area. They are pit toilets but they were really well taken care of and the location was gorgeous.
We didn't see another group there and we were there on a popular weekend (labor day). We were only 15 mins at most from Blackhawk so it was fun to go into town for an eventing to hang out at the casinos and get dinner.
Visited the Reverend Ridge campground the weekend of March 6 for some early camping. The setting was a bit snowy but spectacular. The trailer pad was icy but cleared, and after some shoveling we were able to find the fire pit! If it is this great in the spring, imagine how great it is in the summer!
Went there in June and it was pretty hard to get up there as the road was snow packed almost at the lake so we had to hike the rest of the way. Definitely need a 4x4 as the toad can be very rocky. I was able to drive a Subaru Forester up there but some areas i wish i had driven a slightly higher clearance vehicle. Jeeps/ Toyota’s will have no problem with the road.
Very few campsites at Carter Knolls Campground. A few individual sites into group sites. This Campground is perfect for viewing the entire spance of Carter Lake. No wash facilities and only dry outhouses. Easy walk to the lake but be careful as there are Cliffs on the southwest side of the campground. The sunsets are amazing! Plenty of deer and Wildlife to view from this vantage point. We even found a few skinks roaming about the rocks. Great place to kick back with a glass of wine and some music. Add a hammock and you're in heaven. The road leading up to the campsites could use some Road improvements. Many folks drove through our campsite without knowing it was a one way Road.
Ended up staying here due to another campground not working out, arrived in complete darkness and managed to snag one of two remaining sites. This place definitely fills up in the summer, however they do accept reservations. There are pit toilets and drinking water available - it’s a pretty standard USFS campground. I wish I would have had more time to spend exploring the area, it was really stunning!
It was late October when I stayed here, so there were plenty of sites to choose from even though only a few loops were open. This campground is managed by NPS and open year-round, but do note that if you visit in the summer, all of the sites are reservable and fill up nearly every night. During the winter there are 64 first-come, first-served sites. Plan accordingly! Overall it was clean, quiet and affordable. The official park website is always the best place to check for the most up to date information on campground fees, closures, etc. Compared to campgrounds outside the park, it’s a no-brainer - cheaper and you’re closer to all the good stuff!
Great location, great sites, but a little cramped. However the generators were loud and took away from the experience of being in nature. Loved seeing the elk that came into the campground early mornings.
We usually end up going to RMNP around the 4th of July. There are a lot of people and the scenic spots are busy. But that being said, the park is so clean, people are generally very courteous and happy to be there. My daughter met a pen-pal that camped next to us for a few days. They played in the dirt and we sat with our new friends around a campfire at night, while her dad played guitar.
We’ve done the walk-up sites and the ones closer to the bathrooms and parking. Either way is fantastic. There are plenty of clean restrooms and wash/water stations, the bear boxes and camp sites are clean and spacious, and there’s a lot of shaded and open spots. It’s just a few minutes to trail ridge road or down to Estes. You can buy bundles of firewood for a few bucks, ice, and even ice cream and popsicles at the entrance. The rangers are very nice and there are several learning activities they do on-site. We have so much fun here.
This place is magic to my family. We are making it a place that we return to again and again.
Go, you won’t regret it!