How we travel has changed over the last few years. Travelers are looking for adventurous experiences beyond vacations like cruises and group tours. One of the fastest-growing modes of travel is the camper van.
Carbondale is located about halfway between Denver and Grand Junction. The idyllic setting near the White River National Forest and proximity to the town of Glenwood Springs make this campground an easy and beautiful choice.
Redstone Campground offers 37 campsites. All are suitable for RVs, camping trailers, and camper vans. Only 17 of the campsites offer electrical hookups, so consider that when booking.
Potable water is available for campers’ use. Showers, flush toilets, fire rings, and firewood on-site make this campground a good choice for your Colorado trip.
One of the best parts about camping trips is immersing yourself in nature. The White River National Forest is popular for its hiking trails, wildlife spotting, and fly fishing. In Glenwood Springs, you can take advantage of a thrilling whitewater rafting trip on the Colorado River.
2. Mountainside RV Park in Somerset
Somerset, Colorado, is located near the famous ski towns of Aspen, Crested Butte, and Snowmass. Gunnison National Forest surrounds the area with towering peaks and incredible views. It’s a four-hour drive from Denver, meaning you’re truly getting away from it all.
The campsites at Mountainside offer electrical hookups and on-site hot showers. Drinking water is available, as are clean restrooms with flushable toilets. Propane, ice, and firewood are available on-site.
Cell service is not available at Mountainside, but free WIFI is available throughout the campground. This is a great way to disconnect and enjoy the beauty of this part of Colorado.
Kayaking and river rafting are popular activities in the area. Mountainside RV Park even offers kayaks for rent. Or you can choose one of the rafting outfitters in the area for a thrilling whitewater adventure.
Hiking trails are abundant here, and you may catch a glimpse of an elk or bighorn sheep.
The Crystal Mill in Marble, Colorado, is one of the area’s most popular landmarks. The Crystal Mill was not a mill in the traditional sense. Instead, it harnessed the rushing waters of the Crystal River to power pneumatic tolls in the Sheep Mountain Mine.
Today, the Crystal Mill is on the National Register of Historic Places and is popular with photographers.
3. Lost Man Campground in Aspen
Aspen is home to glitterati and some of the world’s best skiing. But if you prefer to have proximity to Aspen while still feeling secluded, Lost Man Campground is the perfect place.
Lost Man Campground offers only ten campsites. They do not take reservations, and campsites are on a first-come, first-served basis. The limited number of sites guarantees a quiet, relaxing experience in the heart of the White River National Forest.
Lost Man is a primitive campground, but you will find potable water and vault toilets.
Aside from rubbing shoulders with celebs in Aspen, you’ll find numerous ways to enjoy the beautiful Colorado wilderness. Horseback riding is very popular here. You can also visit the ghost town of Ashcroft, featuring a saloon, a post office, and numerous other buildings to explore.
The John Denver Sanctuary is a lovely park in Aspen that pays tribute to the late singer. You can also hike the Maroon Lake Scenic Trail, which is perfect for all hiking abilities.
There are two campgrounds in Estes Park. One is at East Portal, and the other is at Mary’s Lake. In this section, we’ll learn more about the campground at East Portal.
Estes Park Campground at East Portal offers 66 campsites, which can get busy during peak travel times. Each campsite offers electric and water hookups. Guests also have access to drinking water, showers, flush toilets, and ice. They even offer a playground for those traveling with children.
If you’re in Estes Park, you can miss a visit to the Stanley Hotel. This landmark is the setting for Stephen King’s horror classic, The Shining. You’ll also be in the heart of Rocky Mountain National Park, famous for hiking, fly fishing, horseback riding, and more.
Estes Park offers many outstanding eateries if you want to take a break from cooking in your camper van. Try Nepal’s Cafe for delicious curries or Mountain Home Cafe for a stick-to-your-ribs breakfast.
5. Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park in Estes Park
While traveling in a campervan means you can travel to remote locations, sometimes it’s nice to park up at a full-service campground. Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park ticks all the boxes.
One advantage of staying at a large campground is the superior facilities. Jellystone Park offers more than 100 campsites, most with water and electric hookups, sewer hookups, fire pits, and picnic tables.
They also offer bathrooms, showers, laundry facilities, and a propane station. You’ll also find a mini gold course, a heated swimming pool, a camp store, and a dog park.
With so many things to do at Jellystone, you might find it hard to leave. However, since you’re so close to Rocky Mountain National Park, you must take advantage of the activities. Jeep and ATV tours take you through the stunning wilderness, and fishing outfitters might help you land the big one.
Kayaking, rafting, horseback riding, and more are excellent ways to fill your days with fun and breathtaking scenery.
6. Estes Park KOA Holiday
KOA Campgrounds have been a road trip staple since 1962. With the rise of younger people traveling in camper vans, they’ve upped their game to accommodate all types of travelers.
Estes Park KOA Holiday features a spacious mixed-use campground. The RV and camper van spaces feature electric hookups and waste water dump sites. The KOA store has all your necessities, and laundry facilities are available on-site.
Wood fire pits are not allowed in the camper van spaces, but you can rent a propane fire ring from the office. A communal wood fire pit is located near the playground.
Estes Park KOA Holiday is perfectly situated near Estes Park. The campground offers a free shuttle service into Estes Park. Enjoy dinner, cocktails, shopping, and more without worrying about driving and parking.
The campground is across the street from the Big Thompson River and Lake Estes. Enjoy fishing, swimming, boating, and paddle boarding. You’ll also be just minutes from Rocky Mountain National Park.
Another fantastic KOA Campground is the Colorado Springs KOA Holiday. Here you’ll find the same great amenities you expect from KOA amid the ruggedly beautiful scenery of Colorado Springs.
The KOA in Colorado Springs pulls out all the stops. They’re a large campground with over 200 spaces for vans and RVs. But if connected with fellow travelers is important to you, you’ll have ample opportunity here.
You can also use the communal kitchen, the year-round heated pool, and the hot tub. Colorado Springs KOA has your snacks covered at the camp store, and laundry facilities are available.
You’ll have an impeccable view of Pike’s Peak from the campground. But why not take a trip to the top? The Pike’s Peak Cog Railway is an easy and fun way to visit the top of the mountain. Hikers and mountain bikers can use Barr Trail.
Garden of the Gods is one of Colorado Springs’ most popular attractions. Otherworldly rock formations are a feast for your eyes and your Instagram followers. Try to visit during the golden hour to get the best possible photos.
This campground offers full hookups, a paved patio, and a picnic table at each site. They even offer cable TV hookups if your streaming services stop working.
Fountain Creek RV Park also offers a convenience store, laundry and game rooms, and they’re very dog friendly.
In addition to being close to Pike’s Peak and Garden of the Gods, you’re also within walking distance of downtown Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs. You’ll also have easy access to the Midland trail. It’s paved and perfect for walking or biking.
Don’t miss the Broadmoor Seven Falls. True to its name, you’ll be able to see seven cascading falls just minutes from your campground.
Tiger Run Resort has strict rules regarding the types of vehicles allowed on the grounds. Pop-up campers, vehicles older than 20 years, and truck campers are not allowed. However, this means you’ll be able to enjoy the scenic beauty and serenity of this luxury RV park.
Water, sewer, and electric hookups are available at each site. You can also enjoy the hot tubs, tennis court, fitness center, laundry room, and showers.
Tiger Run also features security cameras in various locations throughout the park for your peace of mind.
Tiger Run is open all year so that you can take advantage of the spectacular skiing and snowboarding in nearby Breckenridge. Take a drive up Boreas Pass Road, which ends at the Continental Divide. Or simply stroll down Main Street, browse the shops, and dine in one of their fantastic restaurants.
Breckinridge isn’t quite as upscale as Aspen or Vail, but it’s still a wonderful mountain town that’s easy to explore.
10. Boreas Pass Camping Near Breckinridge
One of the best things about making road trip plans in a camper van is getting away from the large RVs. Wild camping, or boondocking, is a fantastic way to escape the crowds and appreciate the solitude.
Wild camping means there are no facilities. You will find designated campsites, and you’re mandated by law to use them. Please don’t attempt to park anywhere but the marked camping areas.
There are no restrooms or trash receptacles. You’ll need to pack out all your waste. Be sure to have ample water, food, warm clothing, and fuel. Store your food in your locked vehicle or a bear-proof container.
Even though you’re only a few minutes from Breckinridge, the Boreas Pass Trail is right outside your camper van door. It’s an easy hike that offers stunning views of Breckinridge and the Rocky Mountains. You may even catch glimpses of deer, elk, and bears.
11. Selkirk Campground Near Breckinridge
Selkirk Campground is run by the Forest Service and is a combination of wild camping and a traditional RV Park. This campground operates on a first-come, first-serve basis.
The facilities at Selkirk Campground are minimal, but the basics are covered. You’ll have access to toilets, water, fire rings, and tables. The campground doesn’t offer trash removal, so be sure to pack all your rubbish out when you leave.
If you love high-altitude climbing, Selkirk Campground is the perfect home base. Some of Colorado’s most famous 14ers are in this area. These include Mt. Evans, Mt. Elbert, Mt. Lincoln, Mt. Massive, and Gray’s Peak.
If mountain climbing isn’t your cup of tea, Breckinridge is just a short drive away.
Colorado is bear country, so secure all your food and be mindful when hiking. Most campgrounds are at altitudes of over 7,000 feet, with some nearing 10,000 feet. Watch for signs of altitude sickness and stay hydrated. Before leaving for a hike, be sure someone knows where you’re going and when you plan to return.
Always keep emergency supplies in your camper van. These include a first aid kit, drinking water, road flares, snow chains, and warm clothing.
Rent a Camper Van for the Adventure of a Lifetime
Taking a camper van through Colorado campgrounds is the perfect way to explore the Rocky Mountains.
Contact us today to discuss the best type of camper van for your next 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.