Colorado camping equals star filled nights, warm campfires, the scent of evergreen drifting through the breeze and S’Mores. Breathtaking natural beauty, few bugs and the abundance of outdoor activities at your finger tips makes Colorado one of the most popular states to camp. Colorado State Parks manage more than 4,000 campsites throughout the state. They have everything from backcountry sites for those who desire seclusion to full hookup sites with water, sewer and electrical connections.
Weekdays offer prime campsites as some are on a first come, first serve basis. Those that take reservations are usually booked 6 months in advance. There are a few campgrounds located in the White River National Forest not to far from downtown Vail. Gore Creek Campground is the closest located along Gore Creek at the boundary of Eagle’s Nest Wilderness. It’s a beautiful campground with 18 drive-up sites and 7 walk-in sites with picnic tables and fire rings. There is no running water or electrical hook-ups but do have vault toilets.
Gold Park Campground is located along Homesteak Creek near the boundary of Holy Cross Wilderness. There are 11 sites with picnic tables and fire rings. No running water or electrical but does have vault toilets. This is located 13 miles south of Minturn.
Another popular campground close to Vail is Camp Hale Memorial Campground. This campground sits at an elevation of 9,200 feet, in a wide open valley with sparse shade but offers nearby hiking trails and easy access to the memorial. Camp Hale is historic because the 10th Mountain Division, a unit of 15,000 men, trained here in the mountaineering and skiing techniques during WWII. Some saw combat in Italy during the war. There are 15 sites with picnic tables and fire rings. There are vault toilets but no running water or electrical hook-ups. You may reserve this campground online: recreation.gov
Camping season is almost here and hope you will get out and enjoy what Colorado has to offer. Let’s preserve and protect our National Forest, National Parks and Corps of Engineers Lake areas by leaving natural areas the way you find them and please remember to Leave No Trace.