Did you know that Aspen was the Kennedys’ ski town of choice? If it’s good enough for the President, it has to be a good enough spot to visit on your next van camping trip, too!
Because Aspen isn’t just another Rocky Mountain ski resort town. It boasts cultural museums, the Wheeler Opera House, and boutiques. And it also offers year-round outdoor activities that campervan travelers like you enjoy.
In fact, if you want to see the town’s namesake trees at their most vibrant, you should visit in September.
There are so many beautiful sites near Aspen, you might not know what to do or where to stay. No sweat! This is a list of the best campgrounds in and around Aspen and all the top things to do nearby.
Over in the nearby town of Carbondale on the Roaring Fork River, the local Parks and Recreation department runs Gateway RV Park. It benefits from being within walking distance of grocery stores, restaurants, and golf courses.
The Carbondale Scenic Viewpoint is nearby, as are the trailheads for Bridge Point Trail, Lorex Trail, and Red Hill. The campsite offers a shuttle bus into Aspen and Glenwood Springs.
Gateway has 20 reservable sites with electric, water, and sewer hookups. RVs around 20 ft in length will have no problem finding a site, but there are fewer spots for 35 ft or 40 ft vans. Prices start from $37 a night, and they even offer free WiFi!
2. Redstone Campground
The White River National Forest runs Redstone Campground in Carbondale. Masses of aspen groves surround this campsite (which is what you want to see when camping in Aspen!), so it has a secluded feel. This camping spot is on the Coal Basin Ranch Trail and is near Redstone Park, McClure Pass, and the Lake Ridge Peaks.
It’s one of the few NFD campgrounds with electric hookups. Of their 37 reservable sites, 17 have these hookups. Redstone Campground makes up for its lack of water hookups with washrooms, drinking water, and a covered picnic shelter.
This is another one of the Aspen campsites that can accommodate several RVs up to 40 ft in length. Their sites are reservable and past campers say this campground has some of the friendliest managers.
3. Difficult Campground
Now, why would you want to drive your beloved campervan into a spot with a name like Difficult Campground?! It’s a puzzler because choosing to go van camping in this campground is an easy decision to make.
It’s in an ideal location, only a few minutes down the road from Aspen, with scenic views right on the Roaring Fork River. This is the perfect van camping spot if you love fly fishing and swimming in rivers.
The USDA runs Difficult Campground, so you should note that they don’t have hookups. But what they do have are toilets, drinking water, and a small $7-a-day fee. You can reserve some of their sites up to six months before your booking dates, but some are first-come, first-serve.
And the real reason it’s called Difficult Campground? Take a short walk to the nearest creek to find out.
4. Marble Campground
Nestled in a small community near Carbondale, Marble Campground is a small and quiet campground. It’s within walking distance to the Raspberry Creek Trailhead and Yule Creek Trailhead. You can try Stand-Up Paddleboarding or fish for rainbow trout on Marble’s Beaver Lake Reservoir!
They have 16 sites, all with 15/20/30 amp electric and water hookups. Marble offers guests a bathhouse, dump station, and trash collection. Note that they don’t allow pets, but their prices start from a very reasonable $35 a night.
5. Carbondale/Crystal River KOA
Anyone camping in a van for more than a month in the US knows all about KOA. Vanlifers love their clean and friendly campgrounds packed full of extra amenities. Plus, this one is only a few miles away from Aspen in the heart of the White River National Forest.
The majestic Mount Sopris will be all you can see when you look out of your campervan window in the morning. And you’re so close to the Crystal River that you could head straight out of your campervan for a sunrise stroll.
Carbondale/Crystal River RV Park is one of KOA’s smallest with only around 27 RV sites. But the campground will feel much livelier as there are also tent sites and cabins. They offer 50 amp hookups and can accommodate RVs up to a whopping 110 ft in length.
They also have bathrooms with showers, WiFi, a pool, a dump station, WiFi, fishing equipment, and bike rentals. All this from only $43 a night!
6. Silver Bell Campground
Run by White River National Forest, Silver Bell Campground has over 8,000 ft elevation. It has phenomenal views over Aspen’s Highland Bowl ski slopes. And there are few places you can go RV camping and be surrounded by snow in the height of summer.
Expect to see lots of alpine trees and views of the Sievers Mountain Ranges from this campground. Also, it’s only a stone’s throw from the popular Maroon Bells forest, trailhead, and lake, where you can see the mountains’ reflections. Perfect for driving to the lake early to beat the crowds!
Because it’s a dispersed campground, there are no hookups at Silver Bell. They offer 14 sites (some reservable, some not) for both RVs and tents, as well as toilets, picnic tables, and food lockers. You’re deep in the bear country up here.
7. Mountainside RV Park
Mountainside RV Park is a brand new campground that soon became popular with families thanks to its on-site pool. But there are tons of things to do in the local area. Right in the heart of Gunnison National Forest, it’s close to Redstone, Hayes Creek Falls, and the McClure Pass.
There are lots of trails in the nearby Ragged Peak Range where you can drive ATVs. You can also take a relaxing (and free!) dip in Penny Hot Springs or take a drive up to Crystal Mill.
Mountainside RV Park has tent and RV sites with electric hookups only. Because they don’t get cell service, they’ve compensated by offering free WiFi across the entire park. They also have showers, toilets, and a dumping station all for only $45 per night.
8. Arrowhead Point Camping Resort
Located on the Collegiate Peaks Scenic Byway, Arrowhead Point sits on a 23-acre site close to both Aspen and Buena Vista. It’s near the Arkansas River, where you can test your nerve white water rafting or go horseback riding along trails. If you’re a hiker, the Aspen Arch Trail and the North Cottonwood Creek Trail are close to this van camping spot.
But there’s plenty to do at the campground, too. They have volleyball courts, a camp store, badminton, a playground, and an espresso bar.
Arrowhead has plenty of RV sites that can accommodate RVs up to 65 ft, as well as electric and water hookups. There are bathrooms, showers, and laundry facilities onsite, too. All sites have picnic tables and fire pits, which are perfect when you want to enjoy dinner outside during those cold Colorado summer nights.
9. Lost Man Campground
Did a man go missing at Lost Man Campground, and that’s how it got the name? He wouldn’t get lost finding his way to Aspen! It’s only a few miles up Highway 82 from this campsite.
This campground is ideal for van campers who love to explore backwoods and off-the-beaten-path areas. Lost Man is close to Independence Ghost Town, one of the best ghost towns dating back to the Silver Rush in Aspen. It’s also on the Roaring Fork River and the Hunter-Frying Pan Wilderness Trailhead.
The Lost Man Loop Trail follows Lost Man Creek, and you won’t even have to drive anywhere to enjoy this hike. It’s a super small, first-come, first-serve campground with only 10 sites. But it does have toilets, drinking water, and plenty of privacy.
10. The Hideout at Glenwood Springs
Glenwood Springs is a small town close to Aspen and is home to The Hideout. This campground has space for tent campers, campervans, and even tiny houses. Restaurants and some of Colorado’s famous craft beer bars are all within walking distance.
The South Canyon Hot Springs is only a short drive north. As are the Crown Mountain BMX track, the Bridge Point trail, and Glenwood Canyon.
It’s a large campground with eight loops for overnight RV campers with electric hookups, fire rings, and picnic tables. WiFi, laundry facilities, showers, and drinking water are also available.
Live Your Best Van Camping Life in These Top Aspen Campgrounds
When road-tripping around Colorado in a campervan, Aspen has to be on your itinerary. Drive over Independence Pass at 12,000 ft elevation, visit the John Denver Sanctuary, and cross the Rio Grande.
After you’ve finished exploring, you’ll know where the best campgrounds are in Aspen, CO, so you can rest your tired feet.
But you can’t live out your van camping dreams without a van! Travellers Autobarn offers different campervans for different needs, unlimited miles, and other perks. Check out our campervan and RV rentals for your next road trip adventure!
Bastian is the Sales & Marketing Manager here at Travellers Autobarn. He holds a Master of Commerce in Marketing and International Business Management, and 20+ years experience in campervan hire, road trips and travel.