Colorado is one of the top camping destinations for The Dyrt’s camping community with its iconic mountains, valleys, canyons and lakes. The Centennial State is full of amazing campsites on its 8.3 million acres of public land and four national parks. So we turned to the Dyrt community to narrow down our list to the top five favorites of 2021. Read on for some high-altitude camping inspiration.

5. Ruby Mountain — Arkansas Headwater State Recreation Area

Red tent with sleeping bag inside set up in campsite beside evergreen trees and below large mountains in Colorado.

Image from The Dyrt camper Mackenzie B.

Camp beside the rushing Arkansas River within the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area at Ruby Mountain Campground. This camping area is ideal for rafters looking to access the river and those looking to hike in the surrounding public lands. Each of the Ruby Mountain campsites are surrounded by boulders, giving you a secluded natural wall. Expect views of Bald Mountain and the occasional mule deer visitor.

Campground Details:

  • Price: $9
  • Number of sites: 22
  • RV sites: Yes
  • Fires allowed: Yes, when there are no burn bans
  • Pets allowed: Yes

4. Pinion Flats Campground — Great Sand Dune National Park

Tent at platform in foreground with rippled dunes of Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado in the background.

Image from The Dyrt camper Dave V.

Located within Great Sand Dunes National Park, Pinion Flats is the perfect basecamp for a day of exploring. These campsites sit below a backdrop of the sloping Great Sand Dunes and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, which provide scenery that soothes the soul.

By accessing the Dunes from this campground, The Dyrt camper Kristi says you are “further from the main parking area so you get a more secluded experience of the dunes. BEAUTIFUL”.

Campground Details:

  • Price: $20-80
  • Number of sites: 86
  • RV sites: Yes
  • Fires allowed: Yes, when there are no burn bans
  • Pets allowed: No

3. South Rim Campground — Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

View from the South Rim of Gunnison Black Canyon in Colorado.

Image from The Dyrt camper Simas

Camp on the South Rim of Black Canyon at Gunnison National Park and wake up to breathtaking lookouts. Each campsite at the South Rim is equipped with a fire ring and bear box. Loop A and B are the most sought-after campsites and will need to be reserved in advance on rec.gov, but Loop C is always first come, first served. Price differs depending on the location of your campsite within the grounds. If you are brave enough to visit during the winter, campsites are completely free.

Campground Details:

  • Price: $8-22 (Free in the winter)
  • Number of sites: 88
  • RV sites: Yes
  • Fires allowed: Yes, when there are no burn bans
  • Pets allowed: Yes (strick rules during peak season)

2. White Star Campground — Twin Lakes

RV with Truck parked in campsite surrounded by pine trees below snow capped mountains.

Image from The Dyrt camper Aaron M.

Camp at 9,200 feet at the foot of the highest mountain in Colorado at White Star Campground. White Star sits below Mt. Elbert and along the Continental Divide Trail, making it an ideal campsite for those looking to hike. The nearby Twin Lakes Reservoir offers scenic swimming, fishing and boating below the picturesque Rocky Mountains. The vast surrounding mountains at White Star make it the perfect spot to drink your coffee on a cool morning in the mountains or watch the Alpenglow at the end of the day.

Campground Details:

  • Price: Free
  • Number of sites: Dispersed
  • RV sites: No, tent only
  • Fires allowed: Yes, when there are no burn bans
  • Pets allowed: Yes

1. Lower Blue Lake Dispersed Camping Area — Telluride

Person jumping into alpine lake in Colorado below snow dusted mountains.

Image from The Dyrt camper Ryan F.

While it may not be the easiest campsite to get to, Lower Blue Lakes is well worth the drive, and hike! This campsite is tucked into the backcountry below the iconic Mt. Sneffels, just a hike from the mountain town of Telluride. This backcountry campsite encompasses many of the aspects campers love about Colorado: camping below the rugged, snow-dusted Rockies beside alpine lakes. This campsite is a 3.3-mile hike on the Blue Lakes Trail and is the perfect spot for a basecamp if you plan to hike to the middle and upper blue lakes or even summit Mt. Sneffels.

Note that there are some drive-in campsites along the access road to this trail, please only camp in areas that are considered public lands and make sure to always leave no trace.

Campground Details:

  • Price: Free
  • Number of sites: Dispersed
  • RV sites: No, tent only
  • Fires allowed: Yes, when there are no burn bans
  • Pets allowed: Yes

Loved reading this list? Check out our list of The Top 10 U.S. Campgrounds of 2021 According to Campers.

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