Itty Bitty Lakes is an old fashioned campground on Highway 50 and the Arkansas River in Bighorn Sheep Canyon. The canyon opens out to be a small valley bordered by the Sangre de Cristo Mountains peaking at over 13,000 feet to the immediate south, the wild Arkansas River, then cliffs and smaller mountains to the north.  Nestled in the Valley is the village of Coaldale, establ

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Itty Bitty Lakes is an old fashioned campground on Highway 50 and the Arkansas River in Bighorn Sheep Canyon. The canyon opens out to be a small valley bordered by the Sangre de Cristo Mountains peaking at over 13,000 feet to the immediate south, the wild Arkansas River, then cliffs and smaller mountains to the north.  Nestled in the Valley is the village of Coaldale, established in 1878.

The Coaldale Post Office is at the east end of Itty Bitty Lakes. Itty Bitty Lakes was a state fish hatchery in the 1930s. The formal campground with full hook-ups was added some 70 years ago. Down on the river, some of the old raceways are now wetland habitats filled with wildflowers and small birds all summer. Besides these wetlands are several more primitive camping sites along the river. Huge 70-year-old Mountain Elms and Peach Leaf Willows shade the entire property. Rocky Mountain Junipers are scattered throughout.

In the center of the property is the Juniper Art Gallery. This is also the campground office. The owners, Robert and Kay Parker, are artists. The building also houses painting, sculpture and weaving studios, as well as the Parker home.

On the west side of the property are two old ponds with massive Peach Leaf Willows hanging over the banks. This property is great for group camping and for small intimate campsites close to and above the river.

Near the center and at the entrance to the formal campground is the shower house bathrooms . These facilities are open for all our guests. They are old but clean, and the water is pure and hot. There is a Men’s and a Women’s side.  Each has 2 toilets, a sink and 2 showers. 

Several rafting guides spend the summer with us.  They are with Arkansas River Tours, one of the oldest and most respected rafting companies in Colorado.  If you decide to raft with them we offer a 10% discount

You will receive 10% off anything in our beautiful art gallery.

Open fires are always subject to current county and state fire restrictions.  We don't want our forests and homes going up in flames. 

Oh, I forgot to tell you that you will be sharing the property with one donkey (she loves carrots and apples). Wild ducks and geese are also often on our ponds. Itty Bitty Lakes is a songbird sanctuary, so we have many nesting birds in our trees.

If you are not camping in a tent (we are primarily a tenting campground) please note we cannot accomodate any camper, travel trailer or motorhome that is longer than 18 feet and our electrical systems can only handle 25 amps.

Please note our cancellation policy.

Campsite area
Bring your own tents, vans, trailers, RVs
17 sites
Up to 4 guests per site
Park at listing
No ADA access
Essentials
Campfires allowed
Toilet available
Pets allowed
Back-in site, max length 19ft
Sewage, water, and electricity hookups
Amenities
Potable water available
Kitchen available
Showers available
Picnic table available
Bins available
No wifi
  • Check in: After 12PM
  • Check out: Before 12PM
  • Cancellation policy: Strict
  • On arrival: Meet and greet
  • Minimum nights: 1 night
  • Accepts bookings: 12 months out
  • Weeknight discount: 28% off

Activities

Offered on the Host's property or nearby.

Boating

Boating on the Arkansas involves rafts, both oar rafts and paddle rafts, rubber duckies, all types of kayaks and standing board...Read more

Fishing

Fishing in the Arkansas is best in the Spring and Fall when water levels are lower.

Paddling

We work very closely with Arkansas River Tours. You may be on the river (rafts, kayaks) with your own equipment but we recomme...Read more

Wildlife watching

Bighorn Sheep Canyon is inhabited by almost every wild animal species in Colorado. Of course our local claim to fame are the R...Read more

Biking
Hiking
Horseback riding
Climbing
Snow sports
Whitewater paddling

Terrain

Natural features you'll find at Itty Bitty Lakes Campground in Colorado.

Mesa or canyon

We are ground zero for Bighorn Sheep Canyon. This is one of the most beautiful canyons that has lots of access.

Mountainous

We are only a few miles from mountains that top out over 13,000'. One of the best 4WD roads in the region begins at our proper...Read more

Farm

Across the highway is a small ranch that is beautifully maintained.

Ranch

Across the highway is a small ranch that is beautifully maintained.

Forest
Lake
River, stream or ...

The vibe at Itty Bitty Lakes Campground

131 Written reviews
This listing has no reviews yet.
If you stayed here and have some insider info for us, let us know!
Hipcamper Kathryn
Kathryn P.
recommends this listing.
(Dispersed site)
May 28th, 2018

Kay & Robert were the nicest hosts and made me feel super welcome upon arrival. They had set aside a nice spot for me by the river. The bath / shower house was nice to have, and it was also nice that they had a very clean and well maintained portajon for those of us on the river, to prevent a long walk at 3am if you needed to go to the bathroom. No frills otherwise, but that’s how I like my camping. Super, super nice people.

Hipcamper Brittany
Brittany W.
recommends this listing.
(Dispersed site)
May 20th, 2018

Such a fantastic experience here! Everything from the view from our tent, the wildlife, to the hospitality and warm welcome we received was beyond our expectations. We've already booked our next visit! :)

Hipcamper Jeff
Jeff L.
recommends this listing.
(Dispersed site)
August 28th, 2018

I love this place!

Itty Bitty Lakes CampgroundItty Bitty Lakes CampgroundItty Bitty Lakes CampgroundItty Bitty Lakes Campground
Hipcamper Robert and Kay
Response from Robert and Kay, the Host, on July 1st, 2019

We were just reminiscing about your stay Jeff and hope you will visit us again someday.

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Hipcamper Anne
Anne S.
has mixed feelings towards this listing.
(Dispersed site)
June 3rd, 2019

The river was really great - you can back right up to it and your picnic table! That said, the site is actually shared with 2 other sites (we got lucky and no one else was in those when we came), and about 20 yards up the hill is a camper and long-term camping site that you walk through to get to the shared bathroom. The whole campground is actually just off a pretty busy road, so while the river helps with the noise, it's not a secluded site at all.

Hipcamper Robert and Kay
Response from Robert and Kay, the Host, on July 1st, 2019

Thanks Anne for your honesty. Yep we tell everybody that Itty Bitty Lakes is on Highway 50. If a traveler is going to stay in beautiful Bighorn Sheep Canyon on or near the Arkansas River there will be a highway close by and most likely you will be camping near other people. We are not a wilderness destination - but then one doesn't need to backpack in miles to get to us either.

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Hipcamper Tiffany
Tiffany M.
has mixed feelings towards this listing.
(Dispersed site)
July 4th, 2019

Robert and Kay are very welcoming and friendly. The campsite is clean and in a beautiful area. The RV sites are very close to highway 50 and this can be a busy road making it difficult to sleep.

Hipcamper Jason

Nice hosts, room for improvement

Jason K.
doesn't recommend this listing.
(Dispersed site)
July 6th, 2019

Robert and Kay are both very nice people and were helpful and thoughtful which was nice. The campground itself has a lot of room for improvement. The sites are very close together and the campground is on a main road that’s pretty busy and can be loud. The bathrooms could be improved (cleaned and updated) as well. The organization as it pertains to finding our site, etc...was pretty lacking. This place is fine if you are comfortable being close to your neighbor, etc...but there’s not much privacy. Shoot for a site down near the water in the bottom corner of the property for the best option. The firewood delivery ($10) and charcoal for $2 was a nice service.

Hipcamper Robert and Kay
Response from Robert and Kay, the Host, on July 10th, 2019

I am sorry Jason wasn't happy. Personally, the fourth of July is not a time I would ever go camping. Every campsite for miles on end in every direction was booked. If folks want space and not have close neighbors come see us during the week when it is not a holiday. Yup Jason you are correct about our shower house. It is old and if I had an extra 50 thousand bucks we would upgrade. As it is we are an old campground and I tell everybody our shower house is funky but it is clean (Kay cleans it every single day) and there is lots of hot water.

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Hipcamper Mary

I’d pass for multiple reasons

Mary H.
doesn't recommend this listing.
(Dispersed site)
July 7th, 2019

This campground has a strict non-refund policy. There’s a reason why. We did not stay after seeing the site. I was flatly refused when I requested ‘consideration for a partial refund’ at the end of our discussions. Our trailer camper would not fit in a space that was completely loose dirt with no pressed down rock, oddly shaped to hold us, zero shade all day, fish pond cement access hole that was partially collapsed measuring ~2’x2’x2’ we’d have navigate to park next to what appeared to be one of the old fish hatchery ponds filled in with the same loose dirt. The water appeared to be stagnant. I asked to move one spot down, but they were ‘completely booked for the long weekend.’ I understand camping/campgrounds after living full time in a fifth wheel for nine years. Bob, the owner, was surprised to see a campsite by the river, which is running high/fast, already vacated when we arrived. . This left him with an open spot, but they couldn’t move us down one? Kay told me we can’t stay on the grass either. The West has a hard enough time with grass, but these are tent sites? I was completely professional during all conversations with the owners. Their lack of consideration took me by surprise. We stayed close by the entire weekend. The spot was eventually rented and from what we could see, they were never completely booked. Bad vibes. We would not attempt to stay here again. Their studio looked awesome, and you receive 10% discount when you camp here. It’s a shame. There were so good purchases there. Their studio sign makes it clear they don’t support the Second amendment as well.

Hipcamper Robert and Kay
Response from Robert and Kay, the Host, on July 10th, 2019

I am responding to Mary's scathing review. Mary and her husband Robert arrived on the busiest day of the year. They were fairly late booking and my trailer spots were already taken but I was just finishing up a brand new site on the Arkansas River. On the day before Mary and her husband arrived I hand spread a ton of new purchased topsoil with no rocks around the site. There was a new fire pit we built the day before. Did I say they were on the River? This is where almost every camper wants to be. Robert and Mary first accepted their site. Later Mary wanted to move their jeep and fancy tent on a trailer over to grass that was another Hipcamper's site. I told her she could intrude just a little so she would be on grass but that the other site was somebody else's. Did I mention this was July 4th and we were booked solid? The pond was just filled after being dry for two years. I went over all of their messages and never did they ask for shade. Never did they ask for grass. Our correspondence had all been about the jeep pulling this super hardy trailer with a tent on top. I was expecting hardened campers not someone looking for Club Med. Of course we do not give refunds when someone shows up. Did I mention we placed these folks on the Arkansas river where there is no highway noise? Since these folks left four other groups have used this site, picked it over others, placed their tents on the ground and thoroughly enjoyed themselves. A final note - On the front door of our art gallery is a sign. "You are welcome. Your gun is not. Leave it in your car." We have found having gun-toting people in our art gallery is traumatizing. We say nothing about the Second Amendment.

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Hipcamper Peter
Peter D.
recommends this listing.
(Dispersed site)
May 21st, 2018

Loved it!! We were running late and unable to contact Robert...he stayed open late until we arrived, offered us a choice of terrific sights. Wash room and outhouses were spotless. Highly recommended!

Hipcamper Tyna
Tyna P.
recommends this listing.
(Dispersed site)
May 28th, 2018

What a wonderful stay. So happy to find this little gem along the Arkansas. Spent a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend relaxing, cooking out and exploring. Highly recommended!

Itty Bitty Lakes CampgroundItty Bitty Lakes CampgroundItty Bitty Lakes CampgroundItty Bitty Lakes Campground
Property
Itty Bitty Lakes Campground
State
Colorado
$35/night
17 Sites