Colorado

State Park Campground Guide

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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.

State Forest State Park

Reservations

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.

Campsite sizes

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.

Accessibility

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.

Hookups

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.  

Connectivity

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.

Maximum stay

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.

Additional facilities

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.

Cost

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 

(cpw.state.co.us/placestogo/parks/Pages/default.aspx).

Exact pricing by date and site type are displayed in the reservations system.

Additional Fees:

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.

Pet policies

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.

Additional regulations

  • 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.
Golden Gate Canyon State Park

Featured Campgrounds

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. 

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