Are you looking for the best Roosevelt National Forest camping spots? Look no further. We’ve got the best camping spots for you to get the most out of the Rockies and all they have to offer. Roosevelt National Forest extends throughout central Colorado, surrounding some of the most beautiful places in the Rockies. It puts you front and center to Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park, and the Indian Peaks Wilderness. It’s 800,000 acres of pristine scenery, every kind of outdoor activity, and curious wildlife. These Roosevelt National Forest camping spots can be great alternatives to national park camping.

The Best Roosevelt National Forest Camping


1. Hermit Park Open Space

Image from The Dyrt camper Barb F.

Hermit Park Open Space is in the Estes Valley, within the Roosevelt National Forest. The park is a collection of five campgrounds, with spacious sites for tents and RVs. There are also 13 rental cabins. Amenities include picnic tables, vault toilets, drinking water, and storage lockers. Five beautiful multi-use trails offer spectacular views of Estes Park and the Rockies. There’s a good chance you’ll see a variety of wildlife like elk, forest critters, and even bears. You’re only 10 miles from Rocky Mountain National Park, with even more recreation and scenery. Hermit Park is a great place to stay if you’re visiting Rocky Mountain National Park but want to avoid the crowds. You can make reservations ahead of time, but if you’re camping during the week, there’s a good chance you can snag a spot.

“Stayed here during our visit to RMNP and it was perfect! Very conveniently located, only a short drive into Estes Park. Lots of trails for hiking and biking in the park. Each campsite had a bear box, picnic table, and fire ring. There are plenty of trees for shade and some privacy, but you are still near other campers. You must pay for the day pass each day you camp, but there is a water fill-up station which is nice. The park roads are not paved but AWD isn’t really necessary. Would definitely stay here again when in Estes Park.”Hannah F.

Campground Details:

  • Price: $30-150
  • Number of sites: 91
  • RV sites: Yes
  • Fires allowed: Yes
  • Pets allowed: Yes

2. Olive Ridge

Image from The Dyrt camper Mary S.

Olive Ridge Campground is in the Roosevelt National Forest, outside the Wild Basin section of Rocky Mountain National Park. This peaceful campground has sites for tents and RVs up to 55 feet. You can reserve some campsites, and some are first-come-first-serve. Sites come with picnic tables, fire rings, vault toilets, and storage lockers. It’s a great alternative to camping in the national park. You’re within walking distance of the park’s recreation, without paying national park prices. There’s ample hiking — check out the Wild Basin, Finch Lake, and Sandbeach Lake trails. Or you can fish for trout in picturesque Copeland Lake. You’re also close to creeks, waterfalls, and several other lakes. Olive Ridge is a great spot to camp for adventurers who want to explore the best of the Rockies. The campground can fill up on weekends, so it’s a good idea to reserve your spot ahead of time.

“No water currently, sites are $17.25 a night. Nice spot in Ponderosa pine forest, about 10 minutes from the Wild Basin area of Rocky Mountain National Park. Sites seemed mostly spread out for some room between neighbors. Camp hosts were friendly and attentive. Pit toilets were clean, though I could see them getting smelly as the summer wears on.”Laura

Campground Details:

  • Price: $17-35
  • Number of sites: 56
  • RV sites: Yes
  • Fires allowed: Yes
  • Pets allowed: Yes

3. Jellystone Park Of Estes

Image from The Dyrt camper Danielle V.

Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Of Estes is a resort-style campground 10 minutes from Estes Park. There are deluxe campsites for tents and RVs and cabin rentals. Basic amenities include full hookups, Wi-Fi, showers, laundry, and a dog park. The campground also offers family-friendly activities, like laser tag, mini-golf, arcade games, and a heated pool. You may even be there for scheduled events, like themed weekends and holiday parties. There’s so much to do in the campground; you may never want to leave. But if you do, you’re minutes away from Rocky Mountain National Park and Estes Park. Jellystone Park is a luxury camping experience in the heart of the Rockies. You’re ideally located to enjoy stunning mountain views and curious wildlife. As a bonus, the campground offers discounts for service members, pass-holders, and holidays.

“Very kid-friendly campground with tons of activities for them and adults. Game rooms, pool, hiking, etc. Some of the sites are a little challenging to get into with a big camper, but doable. We’d definitely go back again. Just a few minutes from downtown Estes Park. Beautiful setting!!”Jason B.

Campground Details:

  • Price: $50-360
  • Number of sites: 111
  • RV sites: Yes
  • Fires allowed: Yes
  • Pets allowed: Yes

4. Tom Bennett Campground

Image from The Dyrt camper Jenifer W.

Tom Bennett Campground is located deep in the Roosevelt National Forest, on the South Fork Cache la Poudre River. It’s an excellent spot for fishing, hiking, and soaking up the scenery. This primitive campground has spacious first-come-first-serve sites for tents and RVs up to 25 feet. Sites come with fire rings, grills, and vault toilets. You’re next to Pingree Park, the Red Feather Lakes area, and several beautiful hiking trails. The Comanche and Hourglass reservoirs are a short drive away, and the river is within walking distance. This remote campground provides a peaceful camping experience where you can relax and rejuvenate.

“Beautiful site tucked away in the wilderness right next door to Pingree Park. We loved being away from the roads and the cities so we could see the stars and enjoyed lots of great hiking in the area – Emmaline Lake in particular is an amazing hike if you’re up for the challenge! Lovely campsite – would definitely come back!”Abby T.

Campground Details:

  • Price: $13
  • Number of sites: 12
  • RV sites: Yes
  • Fires allowed: Yes
  • Pets allowed: Yes

5. Meeker Park Overflow Campground

Image from The Dyrt camper Boyd T.

The Meeker Park Overflow Campground is 20 minutes south of Estes Park, in Roosevelt National Forest. It’s a great camping alternative when nearby campgrounds are full. This rustic campground has first-come-first-serve campsites for tents and smaller RVs. Amenities include picnic tables, fire rings, vault toilets, and storage lockers. There’s no drinking water, so you’ll want to come prepared. You’re two short miles from Rocky Mountain National Park and all that it offers. The campground is halfway between the Longs Peak and Wild Basin Trailheads, giving you incredible hiking and photography opportunities. Wildlife frequent the area, including elk, bears, smaller critters, and moose. Meeker Park Overflow is a great camping option to immerse yourself in the heart of the Rockies. If you don’t mind a rustic camping experience, you’ll love this campground.

“Heavily wooded area, wonderful views of Mt Meeker and the surrounding peaks. Campground host was friendly and helpful. We arrived around 3:30 on a Friday and had several sites to choose from, but they filled fast and after 5 or so. Chipmunks and hummingbirds throughout the area. A quick and gorgeous drive to Estes Park to the north. Hostess had firewood for sale. Lots of easily accessible slash around the area for fires as well.”Boyd T.

Campground Details:

  • Price: $13
  • Number of sites: 29
  • RV sites: Yes
  • Fires allowed: Yes
  • Pets allowed: Yes

6. Pawnee

Image from The Dyrt camper Rachel T.

Pawnee Campground is at the foot of the Continental Divide, next to 25-acre Brainard Lake. There are shaded sites that accommodate tents and RVs. Sites come with picnic tables, fire rings, vault toilets, and storage lockers. Brainard Lake is a prime spot for canoeing, swimming, and fishing for trout. You’re also near several other lakes, including Pawnee Lake and Left Hand Reservoir. Rocky Mountain National Park is a half-hour away, and you’re right next door to the Indian Peaks Wilderness. The campground is situated between several hiking trails with some of the most beautiful views in the Rockies. Pawnee is a quaint campground in the middle of incredible scenery and recreation. Because it’s so beautiful, it can fill up on weekends, so you’ll want to reserve your spot ahead of time.

“The Pawnee Campground is one of the best for those who like to get on the hiking trails early, but don’t want to stress about the crowded parking lots! This campground has some of the best access to hiking trails anywhere in Colorado. The campground is standard- clean bathrooms, access to water, etc. but the views and location are what set it apart from all others. Being able to enjoy your morning coffee at Brainard Lake with moose- unbeatable!”Natalie R.

Campground Details:

  • Price: $23-46
  • Number of sites: 47
  • RV sites: Yes
  • Fires allowed: Yes
  • Pets allowed: Yes

 

Roosevelt National Forest camping is the best way to enjoy the heart of the Rockies without crowds or inflated prices.

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