The 6 Best Campgrounds in Rocky Mountain National Park
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Rocky Mountain National Park is an incredible place to camp if you’re craving an alpine adventure. Boasting towering mountain ranges, vertical rock faces, awe-inspiring forest and tundra that drape the landscapes around you, over 800 miles of trails, and a wide variety of wildlife such as elk, bears, moose, and sheep, you’ll break away from the chaos and have the time of your life.
It’s the kind of national park you visit when you love the outdoors and you’re not looking for free WIFI, hot showers or pool parties just fresh air and the outdoors.
We’ve narrowed down our favorite campgrounds in Rocky Mountain National Park to take the weight off your shoulders and help you decide where to stay. You’ll find a few places that allow tents and RVs and provide flushing toilets, drinking water, and a free shuttle bus, plus several that offer an authentic camping experience.
1. Timber Creek Campground
If you’re looking for peace and quiet in an unspoiled and stunning part of Rocky Mountain National Park, come along to the Timber Creek Campground.
Conveniently located just 10 miles from the Grand Lake Entrance, it’s open between May and November and offers just the right home comforts to help you enjoy this stunning location.
At 8,900 feet above sea level, it’s one of the highest campsites in the park and is located right next to the breathtaking Colorado River. It also operates on a first-come-first-served basis so it’s worth getting there early to grab your spot.
Facilities include flush toilets, potable water and even a dump station for those who are traveling in their RVs. However, there isn’t any cell phone reception here, open fires aren’t permitted and there aren’t any trees to provide shade, so make sure you come prepared.
2. Moraine Park Campground
Moraine Park Campground is one of the most popular campsites in Rocky Mountain National Park. This comes as no surprise at all when you see the view that you can enjoy right from your tent; the stunning mountain named Long’s Peak which reaches over 14,000 feet into the sky, the lush valleys, the pine trees, the amazing views of the park plus much more.
Right near the Beaver Meadows Entrance on Highway 36, it offers a variety of sites that are suitable for tents and RVs that don’t require hookups. It’s also open all year round, with 244 sites in the summer and 77 in the winter. Booking is recommended for those summer months when the park really fills up.
Facilities here include picnic tables, fire rings, tent pad, flush toilets, potable water and even a free shuttle that stops nearby. Bear in mind that there aren’t any showers and some sites only have vault toilets and no water, so choose your size carefully.
If you’re a fan of wildlife, you’ll be pleased to know that you’ll be surrounded by a ton of wildlife here including black bears, coyotes, elk, deer, bighorn sheep, moose and many more besides.
3. Longs Peak Campground
Looking to climb the impressive Long Peak when you come to Rocky Mountain National Park? If so, you should consider staying at the small and cozy Long Peak campground.
With just 26 tent-only sites, no cellphone reception, vault toilets and only running water during the summer months, this isn’t the place you come with your kids but the place you come to test your climbing skills.
Make sure you bring plenty of layers when you come because it can get chilly in the evening and morning. To get here, travel 20 minutes south of Estes Park on Highway 7.
4. Aspenglen Campground
Only open during the summer months, Aspenglen Campground is the place you come to escape into the wilderness and reconnect with yourself.
Surrounded by fir, pine and spruce trees, meadows filled with wildflowers and the mountains as the scenic backdrop, you can soak up the fresh air and nature and feel amazing.
Offering family-friendly sites for RVs and tents plus several more secluded spots to pitch your tent, you’ll find options to help you enjoy this beautiful summer location in exactly the way you prefer.
Facilities include recycling, food storage lockers, potable water, fire grates, and flush toilets and you can use generators in certain areas between certain hours. You can even buy firewood and ice onsite from one of the friendly staff members if you run out.
As there are just 53 sites here, we highly recommend that you make your reservation in advance.
5. Fern Lake Backcountry Camping
Just 4 miles from the Fern Lake Trailhead, this is the perfect backcountry camping spot that will remind you exactly why you love backcountry camping or make you fall head over heels in love with it for the first time.
Maybe it’s the short hike that carries you past stunning spots like the Marguerite Falls, Fern Falls, and The Pool? Perhaps it’s that sense of real freedom that comes from pitching your tent in such a free manner? Or could it be lying there at night starting at the stars and feel so insignificant? Whatever it is, Fern Lake will deliver.
There is a pit toilet here to offer a degree of comfort but of course, there’s not much more here in the way of facilities.
If you do decide to stay, follow Highway 36 to Moraine Park then follow the trailhead at the end of the road. And remember to bring your backcountry camping permit with you (get yours here).
6. Ouzel Lake Backcountry Campsite
Experienced hikers who are looking for solitude and adventure should head to the Ouzel Lake Backcountry campsite. At 10,200 feet and around 5 hours hiking distance uphill from your car, you will need to be fit to get here but it will be absolutely worth it.
With such unique scenery, abundant wildlife, and awe-inspiring waterfalls along the way, you’ll be sure to enjoy escaping the madness of everyday life and reconnecting with nature.
There is a pit toilet here but no running water- you’ll need to boil or treat it before drinking. Spaces are limited to 7 people per site and 12 at group sites. Again, don’t forget your backcountry camping permit before you go (get yours here).
Rocky Mountains National Park is a stunning place to retreat when you’re craving the mountains, pine trees, waterfalls, and that crisp mountain air. You won’t find those over-developed campgrounds here with a thousand and one facilities. But you will find proper, authentic camping that the whole family can enjoy.
Which one will you stay at?
Learn more about 13 Best National Parks for Camping and Hiking.