Summer in Colorado’s beautiful Front Range is camping season! However, like anything else today, it’s a bit more complicated than normal this year.
Much of Colorado’s most popular camping sites and hiking trails were until recently shut off from the general public. In many cases, smaller mountain towns and municipalities issued tickets to non-resident hikers and campers for violating their public health rules.
The good news is while most public health rules have relaxed in recent weeks, many of Colorado’s campsites are now open to the public. As of June 4, 2020, Colorado requires campers to have reservations on state-managed lands. So, if you’re going camping, be sure to check the Colorado Parks & Wildlife reservation website for state-managed lands or Recreation.gov for federally-managed lands to review site availability and booking reservations.
The site makes it easy to find any of your favorite campgrounds through a geographic map or list. Dig further to see exactly which campsite is available and what features it has like electricity, bathrooms, running water, whether pets are allowed, and other nifty features.
Just be warned, Colorado’s residents are living up to their reputation as being the outdoorsy type and reservations seem to be booked weeks in advance, so please plan accordingly!
Pinon Flats Campground – Federally-Managed Land
Located in the Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve in southern Colorado, Planon Flats Campground is one of the best sites to camp near the tallest sand dunes in North America. Pinon Flats has 86 campsites which are all available for reservations starting June 13, 2020. As this is federal land, please use the Recreation.gov website to book reservations, not the Colorado Parks & Wildlife website.
Ridgeway State Park – State-Managed Land
Ridgeway State Park encompasses the Ridgeway Reservoir about 19 miles south Montrose on Highway 550. The state park amenities include a boat ramp, jet skiing, laundry facilities, biking, fishing, hunting, hiking, a dump station, firewood, and so much more. Reservations were made available to the public starting June 12, 2020, and will be available until December 12, 2020.
Dolores River Campground – Private
Dolores River Campground is a privately operated campground located in Dolores, Colorado on the San Juan Skyway. The Dolores River runs through the campground, whose features include a large recreation room, clean bathrooms, dog walks, and a nature trail, Wednesday evening wood-fired pizza, and an on-site fishing pond. Located near Mesa Verde National Park, there are a variety of monuments to check out including Canyons of the Ancients, Crow Canyon, Hovenweep, and Cortez Cultural Center.
These three campgrounds and a small sample of many beautiful campsites in Colorado. Be sure to plan ahead by booking reservations, along with packing adequate food, water, and flashlights. You could never go wrong with extra flashlights!