Inside: Discover the majestic beauty of Colorado’s State Parks while RVing! Unleash your wanderlust and check out Trekkn’s ultimate guide to the best Colorado State Parks for RVers and get ready for an unforgettable adventure.
Over one-third of Colorado is publicly owned, comprised of vastly different landscapes from the mountains to the plains to the dunes; there’s something for everyone.
Campers can enjoy wild forests, clear rivers, alpine lakes, and thriving wildlife. All this to say, Colorado is an amazing destination for RV camping.
If you’d like to plan a Colorado RV trip, utilizing the State Parks will be a win-win. The State Parks are located on some of the most beautiful, protected public lands in the state. Not to mention they are cheaper than many RV resorts you might find elsewhere in the state.
There are 42 Colorado State Parks, and 37 of them have RV camping available.
What Are The Best Colorado State Parks?
Of the 37 Colorado State Parks that offer RV camping, I chose a handful of parks to explain in more detail here. These are parks from across the state that provide varied amenities and opportunities. Most importantly, they all accommodate RVs.
Chatfield is the most popular state park in Colorado, largely due to its proximity to its largest city, Denver. Nestled in the foothills of southwest Denver, this park offers opportunities for boating, biking, hiking, and even horseback riding.
With 197 campsites, 146 with full hook-ups, and 51 with electric only, you’ll have the chance to make plenty of friends. Full hook-up sites are $41 per night, and electric-only sites are $36 per night.
There is a $28 fee for use of the dump station. And a $3 per day access fee for the off-leash dog area. Group sites are available for $200 here as well.
Located two hours West of Fort Collins, State Forest will fulfill your vision of rugged Colorado. The park reaches from the Medicine Bow Mountains to the Never Summer Range.
This park is known for moose, and the surrounding area, home to approximately 600 moose, is considered to be the moose-viewing capital of Colorado.
There are five small campgrounds within this State Park, with 150 campsites available, plus an additional 40 primitive spots.
These are all reservable on the Colorado Parks and Wildlife website. Some sites are tent-only, so be careful to filter when searching for your dates.
Primitive sites are $18 (note: some require 4WD), and electric-only sites are $36. There are no full hook-up sites available at State Forest.
Less than one hour from Denver, Golden Gate Canyon is another popular park for Colorado RVers. This park is popular for hunting when in season, as well as mountain biking.
There are two campgrounds open from Memorial Day to early October. Limited camping is available during the winter in Reverends Ridge.
Three are 132 campsites in total, with basic sites charging $28 per night and electric-only sites charging $36 per night. There are no full hook-up sites available at Golden Gate Canyon.
Camping reservations are required for this park, and there is no cell coverage or wifi available on-site. So do not show up without a reservation, be sure to book your sites in advance.
This year-round park is just west of Colorado Springs, about a 45-minute drive. It’s popular for wildlife viewing, including elk, black bears, hawks, and deer.
Due to the black bear population, strict food regulations are in place at the campsite. Fishing and hiking are also popular activities.
This park has 136 campsites, 99 available with electric-only hookups. There are no full hook-up sites in the park. Electric sites are $36 per night.
Another park in the Colorado Springs area, Cheyenne Mountain, is a popular camping destination. Only about a 10-minute drive from the Springs, this campground requires making reservations as far in advance as possible.
For popular dates, the campground may get fully booked exactly six months out, so plan ahead.
Travelers come to Cheyenne Mountain for 21 hiking trails with 27 miles of wilderness trails. In addition, biking, horseback riding, archery, and disc golf are popular activities at this park.
The campground is open year-round (though amenities are limited in Winter) with 51 full hook-up campsites. Sites are $41 per night.
Navajo Lake spans the New Mexico-Colorado state line, and each state offers its own State Park on the lake shore.
Colorado’s Navajo State Park is the southernmost park in the state and offers warmer weather and early-season camping when many other parks are still under snow.
The large reservoir provides boating and fishing opportunities, the major draw for this location. There are 118 campsites available, ranging from basic sites to full hook-up sites.
Basic sites cost $24 per night, electric-only sites are $32 per night, and full hook-up sites are $41 per night. There is a dump station available for a $14 fee. In the Winter, these rates are discounted.
Steamboat Lake is about 25 miles from Steamboat Springs, in Northwestern, CO, near the Wyoming border. As the name suggests, this park has a beautiful lake which is a major draw.
Water activities include fishing, a marina, and a swimming beach. The Steamboat Lake Marina offers boat rentals.
There are basic and electric-only campsites available, but there are no full hook-up sites in this park.
Summer basic campsites are $28 per night, and electric-only sites are $36. During the Winter, the sites are discounted to $18 per night for basic and $28 per night for electric-only.
Ridgway State Park is in the middle of my favorite part of Colorado. It makes a great home base for exploring popular destinations like Montrose, Ouray, Telluride, and Silverton.
Ridgway is less than one hour from each destination and is smack dab in the middle. It also makes a great stop if you’re completing the San Juan Scenic Byway loop.
With a 5-mile-long reservoir and a stunning mountain backdrop, Ridgway is also a destination in and of itself. There is an on-site marina and year-round camping with 258 sites available in the high season.
During the off-season, there are 20 RV sites available. Electric-only sites are $36 per night, and full hook-up sites are $41 per night. This is a very popular park, so book as far in advance as possible.
Do I Need a Reservation for Camping at Colorado State Parks?
Yes. As of 2020, all Colorado State Parks require reservations. Reservations can be made up to six months before your arrival date. Go online to: cpwshop.com/campinghome.page or call 1-800-244-5613 to check availability and confirm your reservation.
The maximum stay limit is 14 days within a 28-day period. The 14 days can be consecutive or spread out. During the off-season, some parks waive the 14-day limit.
Is the Colorado State Parks Pass Worth It?
Some nearby states like Nevada and New Mexico are known among RVers for their great deals on annual passes. I wouldn’t put Colorado in the same category, unfortunately.
First, the Colorado State Parks annual pass does not include camping. All Colorado State Parks charge a vehicle entrance fee of $9-11 per vehicle daily. The annual pass costs $80 per year for vehicles with a Colorado license plate and $120 per year for vehicles with an out-of-state license plate.
While the pass does provide unlimited access to all of Colorado’s State Parks, you’ll have to pay for RV camping sites on top of this.
Let’s say you’re going to take a one-week trip to a State Park, and you’ll have only one vehicle with you. For seven days, the vehicle entrance fee will be $63-77, depending on the park.
If you’re an out-of-state resident, you’d have to do two full weeks staying at Colorado State Parks to break even on the pass, plus you’ll still have to pay for camping fees in addition to parking fees.
If you live in Colorado, the break-even point is closer to that one-week mark, and you may find the pass worth it. Or, if you live near one or more State Parks, you might like the opportunity to drop in any time, even just for an hour, without having to pay for parking.
In these cases, the annual pass for residents seems worth it. But if you’re just visiting Colorado, you’ll want to make sure you’ll definitely spend more than two weeks in State Parks to justify the spend.
You can purchase an annual pass online through the Colorado Parks and Wildlife website. If purchased online, you will receive a printable and electronic pass that can be used immediately.
Or, if you prefer to purchase your pass in person, you can do so at most Colorado State Parks as well as Colorado Parks and Wildlife offices. Finally, passes can be purchased over the phone by calling 1-800-244-5613.
Are You Ready to Camp in Colorado?
We hope this guide helped you learn about RV camping in Colorado’s State Parks. This is by no means a comprehensive list, so if you’re looking for something we didn’t cover, head on over to the Colorado Parks and Wildlife website to start your own search.
The website contains helpful information, including which parks are better for dogs or kids and what their high and low season dates are.
There are so many beautiful Colorado State Parks; we trust you will find one to suit your needs as long as you book early!
Kristen Bates lives & works from her RV, primarily boondocking off-grid. She owns and operates a women-led travel company, Legit Trips. Kristen loves to explore new places and inspire others to do the same. If she’s not typing away on her laptop, she’s off on an adventure- hiking, biking, or SUP boarding. You can follow her RV adventures @PerpetualMoves and learn more about her travel company at LegitTrips.com.