Denver, Colorado’s biggest city, is a metropolitan area. However just a short drive away, there are a number of great campgrounds and camping spots that will make you forget how close to the city you actually are. All of these spots are accessible by vehicle and make for great weekend getaways. Escape city life and find some much-needed time in nature at these 7 best campsites near Denver.
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Rainbow Lakes Campground (Nearby Hotels)
Simply drive an hour and half west of Denver to reach Rainbow Lakes Campground in Frisco. There are 18 campsites found at this tent campground, which is open from June to September. Popular among mountain bikers, hikers and anglers, this spot is close to hiking trails and a number of fishing ponds. The Rainbow Lakes Trail, which is a short, 1.9-mile hike, is a popular attraction in the area. The first come, first serve campsites can accommodate tents and small trailers. If you’re looking for a more secluded spot, aim for sites 15 through 18.
Cherry Creek State Park (Nearby Hotels)
You don’t have to drive far from Denver to enjoy a night out in nature. Head to Cherry Creek State Park, only a 35 minute drive from downtown, to enjoy the 880-acre Cherry Creek Reservoir. There is plenty to do and see here, from enjoying the lake beach to horseback riding, jet skiing, hiking and of course camping. There are 131 campsites at this state park, so you’re bound to find a spot perfect for your tent, RV or trailer.
Guanella Pass (Nearby Hotels)
Near Georgetown, about an hour outside of Denver, is the beautiful Guanella Pass. This scenic area is sure to make for great photo opportunities. Since the 18 sites here are situated above 10,900 feet above elevation, this area is great for summer camping. Actually the road to reach Guanella Pass closes during the winter and spring months. You can bring either a tent or even an RV here. This car-camping area is perfect for anglers and hikers. Each site has a picnic table and fire grate, and restrooms are found here too. Don’t miss out on visiting Georgetown while you’re in the area for a great meal.
Chatfield State Park (Nearby Hotels)
Chatfield State Park is a great camping area for Denverites, since its only 40 minutes south of the city. Also, there are nearly 200 campsites at this state park, so there is more of a chance to find a spot here even during the busiest of weekends. With full RV hookups, showers and disability accessible sites, a wide variety of campers can enjoy this unique state park found in Littleton. The park is home to rolling hills and a massive reservoir, which makes this area popular for boating and fishing.
Moraine Park Campground (Nearby Hotels)
Estes Park, home to Rocky Mountain National Park, is the farthest campsite from Denver found on this list. However it is definitely one of the most beautiful spots. The drive to the park from Denver is about an hour and 40 minutes, however this scenic area is well worth the wait. Rocky Mountain National Park is known for its hiking trails and herds of elk. The spots at Moraine Park Campground are on a first come, first serve basis. However with 245 sites here, you may just get a spot, even during the busy summer months. If you’re looking for a backcountry campsite, Rocky Mountain National Park has those too.
Cold Springs Campground (Nearby Hotels)
Take scenic drive to Cold Springs Campground, located in Black Hawk, Colorado in the Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forest. This campground is less than an hour away from Denver, making it a great option for a weekend getaway for those living or visiting the Mile High City. There are a number of great hiking trails in the area, perfect for beginners to advanced hikers. With 38 campsites, you’ll experience a more secluded and private camping experienced compared to the bigger sites found on this list.
Bill Moore Lake (Nearby Hotels)
Take your 4 wheel-drive vehicle out for the weekend and camp near Bill Moore Lake. This area offers a number of disperse camping sites. The sites around Bill Moore Lake do take a 4×4 vehicle to reach. Therefore only SUVs with high clearance and an experienced driver will be blessed with a spot in this area. Bill Moore Lake is only an hour and 20 minute drive from Denver. This spot is truly the most secluded out of the all the spots on this list, therefore it makes for a great place to escape city life.