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While Colorado’s four national parks are well known, its state parks are equally as deserving of attention. Over one-third of Colorado is publicly owned, including parks, forests, and monuments. The Rocky Mountains, Great Sand Dunes, wide-open plains, deep river gorges, ancient cliff dwellings, and Native American cultural artifacts and history are just some of the treasures you’ll find here.
Colorado’s state parks offer something for everyone, with endless opportunities for hiking, biking, fishing, winter sports, and much more. Most of the 42 state parks include RV camping options with paved or gravel sites, some hookups, and big rig accommodations. The extensive natural beauty, diverse landscapes, and outdoor adventure culture make Colorado an ideal RV destination, and its state parks are the perfect place to spend your vacation.
Reservations can be made online at cpwshop.com/campinghome.page or by calling 800-244-5613. As of January 1, 2020, all Colorado state parks require reservations. Reservations can be made up to 6 months in advance.
Almost every campground in the Colorado state park system can accommodate RVs over 40 feet, however, site sizes vary greatly within each campground.
The reservation system allows you to search for sites by minimum RV length (under “Advanced Options”), as well as by pull-through if preferred. Search results display the maximum vehicle length. View “Campsite List” under the search results for the length per site at a glance.
Many campgrounds have paved sites; “Driveway Surface” is specified under campsite details.
Campgrounds have both “HA” (handicap accessible), and “HD” (handicap designated) sites. HA sites can be reserved by anyone, but HD sites can be reserved only by travelers with a valid disability placard or license plate. Note that not all HD sites are available online; they can be reserved through the call center, and the disability placard number is required at the time of booking.
Most campgrounds offer sites with partial or full hookups. Campsites are searchable by water, sewer, and/or electricity amperage under “Advanced Options” on the reservations website.
Several Colorado state parks offer complimentary WiFi. This is listed under “Activities and Amenities” in the reservation system. If connectivity is a priority, contact the campground directly for details on WiFi and cell service.
The maximum stay is 14 days within a 28-day period. The 14 days can be consecutive or spread out. During the off-season, certain parks waive the 14-day limit.
Many Colorado state parks have amenities like restrooms, potable water, dump stations, playgrounds, hiking trails, visitor centers, and activities. Most campsites have picnic tables, fire rings, and some shade structures. Campground and campsite amenities are displayed under “Search Results” on the reservations website.
In addition to a Junior Ranger program, Colorado has a passport program and an app called Agents of Discovery, available in some parks.
Colorado state parks have fixed fees, from $14 for a primitive campground to $41 for full hookups. Fees for each park and campsite type are available on the park’s information page
Exact pricing by date and site type are displayed in the reservations system.
Change fee: $6
Cancellation fee: $6
Cancellations within 13 days of arrival also forfeit the first night’s fee. After arrival, any unused nights will be refunded, minus the $6 fee.
A statewide park Vehicle Entrance Fee applies for an additional $9 to $11. An annual vehicle pass is available for $80 online or at the park. The pass is worth considering if you are spending time in Colorado, as all state parks charge this entrance fee even if you are camping.
Pets are allowed as long as they’re kept on a leash no longer than 6 feet. And of course, campers should always pick up after their pet.
- Maximum occupancy per site: 6, or immediate family (two adults plus minor children), and 1 or 2 vehicles per site. Check with the campground if a second vehicle can be accommodated (subject to the Vehicle Entrance Fee).
- Check-in time: 1 p.m. Check-out time: 12 p.m.
- Quiet hours: 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.
- Alcoholic beverages: Allowed in parks.
- Generator use: Restricted during quiet hours.
- Campfires: Allowed only in provided campfire pit or ring at the site, following local restrictions.
- Drone use: Prohibited. Only two parks, Cherry Creek and Chatfield, have designated areas for drone usage. Contact the specific park directly to inquire about a special use permit.
Navajo State Park
1526 County Road 982, Arboles, CO 81121
Located along the Colorado-New Mexico border, Navajo State Park is Colorado’s answer to Lake Powell. The Navajo Reservoir comprises 15,600 surface acres that extend into New Mexico. The clear turquoise waters are particularly loved by boaters and anglers, but everyone will enjoy the expansive views and relaxing atmosphere at this state park. The four campgrounds’ 138 sites are either on the lake or steps from it. Of the sites, 118 are developed, with partial or full hookups, and can accommodate most RV sizes. Away from the shore, visitors will find hiking trails into the surrounding mesas and canyons. Navajo State Park may not be the typical Rocky Mountain experience, but it’s popular with residents for a reason, and it’s a must-see while traveling through the state.
State Forest State Park
56750 CO-14, Walden, CO 80480
An ideal alternative (or addition) to a Rocky Mountain National Park visit, State Forest State Park has all of the pristine forest, jagged peaks, alpine lakes, hiking trails, and wildlife with fewer crowds. In fact, this state park is Colorado’s moose-viewing capital, with more than 600 observed by visitors per year. Expanding over 71,000 acres, State Forest is also home to elk and black bears, as well as unexpected sand dunes. There are several campgrounds throughout the park. Most can accommodate RVs and offer hookups, but some campgrounds are not recommended for trailers or motorhomes.
Golden Gate Canyon State Park
92 Crawford Gulch Road, Golden, CO 80403
Golden Gate is considered by many to be of national park stature, which is saying something in a state with so much natural beauty. The 12,000-acre park, located just 30 minutes from Denver, has a wealth of dense forest, rocky peaks, hiking trails, wildlife, and aspen-lined meadows that turn golden in the fall months. The Panoramic Scenic Overlook rewards hikers with views that extend for hundreds of miles. RVers can choose from nearly 60 sites with electric hookups in Reverend’s Ridge Campground. Cabins and yurts are also available to rent.
Colorado state park campgrounds that accommodate RV camping
Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area
Boyd Lake State Park
Chatfield State Park
Cherry Creek State Park
Cheyenne Mountain State Park
Crawford State Park
Eleven Mile State Park
Elkhead Reservoir State Park
Golden Gate Canyon State Park
Highline Lake State Park
Jackson Lake State Park
James M. Robb Colorado River State Park
John Martin Reservoir State Park
Jumbo Reservoir State Wildlife Area
Lake Pueblo State Park
Lathrop State Park
Mancos State Park
Mueller State Park
Navajo State Park
North Sterling State Park
Paonia State Park
Pearl Lake State Park
Ridgway State Park
Rifle Falls State Park
Rifle Gap State Park
St. Vrain State Park
Stagecoach State Park
State Forest State Park
Steamboat Lake State Park
Sylvan Lake State Park
Trinidad State Park
Vega State Park
Yampa River State Park
For more information on Colorado state park campgrounds, visit cpw.state.co.us. Check cpw.state.co.us/placestogo/parks/Pages/default.aspx for direct phone and email contacts for specific campgrounds.