the dyrt
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Rocky Mountain National Park, COLORADO
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Most Recent Rocky Mountain National Park Camping Reviews
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.

Great to bring your boat

This is a great location to bring your boat for wakesurfing, kayak or SUP. I recommend the South Bay. The campground is nice and the natives are chill.

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.

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!

Nice camping near a resort

We stayed here for a weekend since we were married there the year before. It's a beautiful camping spot close to amenities. Felt like camping in a forest.

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.

It has been years...

When I was a teenager, my family came here every year. The trout fishing was always great, wildlife viewing fantastic, and stargazing doesn't get much better. The beetles damaged many trees, causing a safty issue: no one wants a tree falling on their tent or camper at 4 a.m., so all of the mature trees in the campgroud were taken out a few years ago. Bathrooms are available within easy walking distance of each camping area. Showers are not available here, but there is a place in nearby Grand Lake that offers pay showers (always clean in my experience, as well as other reviews I have read) Bear-proof lockers are available. It is highly recommended you use them. Make sure you take the trail out the back of the campground to the nearby Holzwarth Ranch (Also known as Never Summer Ranch) If you're lazy, you can drive, it isn't far. Lots of great hiking trails, and it is quite near Grand Lake if you need to replenish supplies.

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.

Ranger Review of RoM Pack at Buckingham Campground

Campground Review 

I came upon this campground in an effort to squeeze in one last big fall hike before the Colorado winter (aka snow) settled across the Front Range Mountains. My research led me to the Fourth of July Trailhead and adjacent Buckingham Campground, just west of Boulder, Colorado. Our plan was to car camp at the campground the night before hiking to ensure that we would get a good parking spot at the trailhead and an early start on the hike. We arrived after nightfall and were very surprised to find that we were the only people there, despite many online reviews describing how crowded this area got on the weekends. The lack of other cars and light made it quite difficult for us to differentiate between the campground and the trailhead parking, so we drove around for a bit and finally settled on a nice flat spot that was relatively free of snow. While driving around looking for a spot, a giant mother moose and her baby crossed the parking lot which was such a cool (but slightly terrifying) surprise! We were sure to find parking far away from the direction that they were wandering towards. 

Overall, the campground didn’t offer much. We visited quite late in the season and there was a lot of snow on the ground, so it was really hard to tell where the actual designated camp sites were. I am guessing that it is better maintained during the summer. While there was a bathroom, as my photos show it was unfortunately quite dirty and full of trash. The location totally made up for any downsides of the campground though! When we woke up the next morning we were shocked by the beautiful views seen from every direction. The parking lot began to fill at dawn and there were only a few spots remaining when we started hiking around 8 am. We hiked two of the trails from the campground, Arapaho Pass and Diamond Lake, both were absolutely amazing and some of the most beautiful hiking I have done in Colorado. I would highly recommend hiking, backpacking, and/or camping around this area to anyone visiting the Colorado Front Range! 

A word of caution-The road to this campground can be fairly rough in some spots and was made more difficult by the snow on the ground when we visited (mid-October). A high-clearance vehicle is definitely needed and something with 4WD would be necessary if there is any snow or mud on the road. Check trail conditions and road closures prior to setting out to this beautiful destination!

Product Review 

As a Ranger for The Dyrt, sometimes I have the opportunity to test some great products! At this campground, I tested the RoM Pack. This unique backpack comes with quite a cool origin storyfrom its’ inventors, so I was very excited for the opportunity to test out something so innovative. When the pack arrived, I certainly was not disappointed. Unfortunately, quite a few early snow season storms delayed my attempts to get out in the field to test it although once I finally got the opportunity, it was totally worth the wait! 

This pack is nothing short of versatile. It not only serves as a backpack with optional removable outer pockets, but can also be used as a blanket and a wearable poncho!! Seriously, this thing is so cool. I could probably go on all day about the reasons I was impressed by this product, but for the sake of those reading, I decided to narrow down my top 3 favorite features of this backpack:

1) The material. The designers of this product clearly have been in the woods a time or two. The pack is made out of a water resistant and super durable material on the outside but the other side is a thin polar fleece. This feature was really important as we went camping in the snow with it. 

  • As a backpack-this means everything inside your pack is protected from the dirt and the elements.  I had no fear of my gear getting wet when I set my pack down directly in the snow.
  • As a poncho-the inside is warm and soft while the outer material keeps you dry.
  • As a blanket-although this product is lightweight, it is surprisingly thick and well insulated. We had to camp directly on the snow one night, so I laid down the blanket on the floor of my tent to use as an extra layer of insulation below my sleeping pad. It really added some much appreciated warmth! 

2) Did I mention all of the pockets?! I am a bit of an organization freak when it comes to camping, so I really appreciated how many places there were in this backpack to store and then easily access all of my things. 

3) The versatility. To me, this seems to be one of the major selling points of this incredibly innovative product and for good reason. Not only is it a high quality backpack, but it can also serve to provide two essential things while adventuring in the outdoors-warmth and protection. You can leave your extra layers and picnic blankets at home when you have this backpack to cut down on weight and gear. Additionally, switching between the uses is really quite easy and well explained in this videofor first time users. 

Overall, I was really impressed by the RoM pack. I will definitely be following this brand in the future and can’t wait to see what other novel products come from the genius behind RoM Outdoors!

My favorite in Estes

Best place to camp around. Wooded area at the end of the road. Book early!

Great spot

Loved this campground. The tent areas were pretty open, but plenty of options if you book super early.

Great accessible campground

Small place, but great campground spots at the lower level by the river. No cell service. First come first served.

Perfect Quick Escape

Trees, trails and tranquility just an hour from Denver? Yes please! This is one of my new favorite spots -perfect for a quick weekend escape. We loved the roomy pull through spots for our camper, easy electrical hookups, super clean bathrooms and shower house. So many other campgrounds in Colorado have been hit hard by the pine beetle epidemic, but Reverends Ridge still has towering trees that make the loops feel private and remote. Dont mIss the easy hike to Panorama Point. From there you can let link to the rest of the extensive trail system through the park.

Nice place

This campground was pretty ok. If you don’t have a mattress pad watch out though because some of the sites have very rocky tent pads. Some sites have raise platforms with a sand pit in the center, which is obviously way more comfortable. The showers are clean and fine. The camp store has everything you need.

The campsite doesn’t give you the feeling of being “camping” it has more of an RV park feel but it did the trick if you’re looking to stay near the national park but not in a hotel

Second choice

I wish I could write a review about Cataract Creek campground, which is nestled in the trees 2 miles above Green MountaIn Resevoir. But even in October those 5 sites filled up too fast.
Instead we ended up at McDonald Flats on the south end of the lake near the boat ramp. I like sites with a few trees, no road noise, and limited views of my neighbors. This campground didn’t offer any of those. We had the sites and sounds of semis barreling down HWY 9 all night. Our neighbors were friendly and polite, but we were parked right next to them and heard their car doors as they set out at 6:30 am to go hunting. Regardless, we were happy to have the spot sInce most of the other campgrounds had closed for the season. ServIces lIke trash removal had been suspended for the season, the sIte was free, whIch was a nIce surprIse. The water levels were way too low in October to really enjoy the lake, but it would be a great camp for boaters in the summer. A hIghlIght of the weekend was takIng the 15 minute trek to Kremmling and hitting Grand Adventure Brewery. We loved theIr dog frIendly patIo, diverse beer list, tasty food and friendly service.

Heaven on earth

Spots are a little close, beautiful area w/lots of Hiking, biking, walking trails. Golden is a lm awesome area to explore & very close to Denver

Great Location Close to Town

Needed a spot for to camp for a trail race at Snow Mountain Ranch and their campground had closed in early September. We were happy to find this little gem, which offered super easy access to the race, but also a great base to explore the Fraser Valley and Winter Park. You can easily access the trail system right from camp for epic mountain biking, trail running and hiking. I can imagine coming back here for the Jazz Festival or Art Market in the summer time.

Other folks have mentioned that beetle kill hit this area hard, and so the campground more exposed than most. If you are looking for a private shady spot in the pines, this isn't it. But the sites are clean and easy to pull through/ back into for RVs. They do offer water and clean vault toilets. Another plus is that campground is operated by the local Lions club, so the proceeds benefit local community organizations and the hosts really know the area.

Very cool

Amazing hikes and plenty of wildlife. The spaces are small but accommodate an RV or a single tent. Bear boxes and toilets close to everything.

Easy Backpacking Experience

My husband went to this campsite with a group of Scouts and took me and our 1 year old a few weeks later. I had never been backpacking up until this point because I was always intimidated by the experience. This was an excellent "beginner" foray into backpacking!

This semi-primitive campsite requires a permit from the Open Space Office of Jefferson County, CO. The permit is free, however you must pick up the permit in person at their offices. Be prepared with a valid ID. This is a popular campsite for Scout Troops, so calling ahead for availability is a great idea.

There is an exact address available on the website and at the Open Space Office that you can put into your GPS and drive straight to the parking lot of the trailhead.

My husband and I came in through the West Trailhead. It is a 1 mile, easy hike. The first 1/3 of a mile is dirt, the remainder is gravel. It is fairly hilly, but easy enough that we actually opted to push our Jogging Stroller with our kid the entire way (which is very doable) whilst wearing our backpacking gear.

The campsites are well maintained and quite spread out from one another. So although there was a group of scouts, a group of friends, and a bigger youth group who all hiked in, it did not feel crowded or noisy.

We brought our dog, as pets are allowed on a leash. We set up our tent on the graveled pad at each site and boiled up some soup on the provided picnic tables. The website as of 2018 will tell you that fires are permitted in the designated fire rings, however a permanent fire ban has recently been put into place (which is too bad!) and all the fire rings and wood piles have been removed from the area - so really, NO FIRES ALLOWED. The pit toilets are very accessible and clean. It is technically Bear Country, so bear boxes and trash cans are provided for the overall campground.

My favorite thing about our particular campsite (site 15) was the view. At night you can see all the city lights of sprawling Denver, but then have a perfect view of the sunrise in the morning. Witnessing the sunrise from this spot will always be one of my favorite memories. Seriously so amazing!

We hiked out the next morning, simple as that, but realized we had misplaced our car keys…after 2.5 hours of searching and walking back and forth between the campsite and our car, we found our keys in the bottom of our tent. So really, if I could offer one piece of advice, always know where your keys are! Despite this incident, the location was great and the experience worthwhile! And I feel like it gave me a good taste of what to expect when backpacking in the future, which is exactly what I was looking for.

Perfect getaway location with recreation options abound within minutes.

So close to everything, no worries if you forgot anything.

Chilly, Beautiful, Empty in Early October

The campground was more or less deserted when I was there. It was also very cold and windy but incredibly beautiful. With easy access to area attractions, I chose to stay here because there is was just off my route between Grand Junction and Denver. There are several areas that are specifically for tents although it didn't look as if all of the tent sites had great spots to actually pitch a tent. It's also a deceptively large campground and I drove around for quite a while before finding a good site.

Great place to stay, but Mt. Evans is 10 miles away

The campground is at 9600’ and the last mile of the road is a bit rough, but I have seen low profile cars and 32’Class A motor home with a towed vehicle. Well water supplies the campground to faucets and there are vault toilets. The creek is less than 100 meters from the campground and fishing this year was poor… water level was low. Lots of great hiking and climbing in the area. About a 40 degree difference between day and night. During the fire ban, dispersed camping is limited to just a few areas so the campground is a great place to stay and you might still be able to have a fire in the fire ring.

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.

Not bad for a quick getwaway

So, the camps themselves aren't anything spectacular but make for a really nice one maybe two nights to get out of Denver. The types of people camping up here can be sort of rough, my girlfriend and I were woken up at 4 AM by someone accidentally discharging a firearm, which the sheriff responded to.

Stunning views & adventurous hikes

This is a really awesome spot for hiking and camping. There are so many abandoned mines out here and old trails, it's a fun adventure trekking up to the collapsed rubble of mining history. When the fire ban is not in effect there are also a lot of great shooting spots out here. There only downside is there are not very many camping spots, and the last one is quite a drive into rugged roads. There is a possibility of driving all the way in just to turn right back around due to no vacant camp grounds. If you get a chance to camp out here I highly recommend it. There is also a really beautiful spring with some of the freshest pure water that's tough to find but worth the hike to get to it!

Expensive camping

Nicely maintained campgrounds. It is paid camping, but it also gives you access to nice amenities like trash disposal and restrooms. However the camping costs per week did seem a bit over priced in my opinion. They close their campgrounds in the middle of September unfortunately, so if you're going to enjoy the fall weather your best bet my be dispersed camping.

Stunning views, bumpy ride in

Definitely worth checking out for the stunning views. It can be a bit tough to find a spot to pull over and park as it's a narrow dirt road into Rainbow Lakes. It's also definitely a super bumpy ride in so brace yourselves. If you want more luxurious camping you can rent out a campground at the very end and have access to water and restrooms. Definitely very family friendly when you pay for camping. Otherwise the free camping is great so long as you can find a spot to park and don't mind hauling your gear.

RV camping in Silverton

In downtown Silverton, the Red Mountain Lodge is a large RV campground with some cabins and motel rooms. It was a bit confusing trying to navigate the access roads in the campground as it was extremely large. However it had several amenities including a pool, free showers (that campers from outside of town can come use for a small fee), full hook-ups, access to the many off highway trails heading out of town (including trails that start in the campground), access to the Silverton Railroad Station (a few blocks away), jeep rentals, hot tub, rec center, laundry, and a playground. There is a SMALL tent area that is really just a grassy lawn between two of the rental units. The rental units are older and in need of some sprucing up (the paint on the exterior was peeling in large swaths). A short walk down the road takes you to some good restaurants as well as a microbrewery. Across the street is the grocery store/general store/post office, and a gas station is just down the road.

Easy Isolated Perfection

Definitely should have a 4 wheel drive to get out there, but you are able to drive right up! The camp grounds are big enough to support lots of people (and trust me, we had lotssss) but you totally feel isolated when you are there. The lake is beautiful and it's easy to but in a kayak, tube, etc. There is also great chances to climb, play around on the rocks, etc while there! I love this campground! Just fyi, cell service is reallllly spotty and you may not have any (not at all a bad thing just be sure to let people know where you are!)