Discover the best camping near Estes Park, Colorado.

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Camping near Estes Park

A popular mountain getaway and basecamp for adventures into Rocky Mountain National Park.

Outdoor stays for every style

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Whether you like to hike and climb in the mountains or just want to enjoy the views, you’ll find so many options for things to do in and around Estes Park. Not only is it the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park, but the town itself offers opportunities for hiking, biking, horseback riding, fishing, and water sports. Campers will also find everything from amenity-packed RV resorts and glamping yurts close to downtown Estes Park to secluded tent spots in Rocky Mountain National Park and the surrounding national forest.  

Where to Go

Estes Park Village

Only 90 minutes from downtown Denver, Estes Park makes a great basecamp for exploring Rocky Mountain National Park. You’ll find several RV parks with full hookups just outside the city limits and some have tiny cabins and yurts available for rent too. Mary's Lake is a popular family-friendly spot. In town, you can take a stroll along the riverwalk where you’ll find dozens of coffee shops, restaurants, and galleries and visit Estes Lake, where you can rent paddle boards, kayaks, and pontoon boats to get out on the lake. Wildlife is so plentiful here it’s not uncommon to see a herd of elk walking through downtown.

Rocky Mountain National Park

Known for its high mountain scenery and endless trails, Rocky Mountain National Park is a main reason to head to Estes Park. The Beaver Meadows Entrance Station and Visitor Center is less than a 10-minute drive from Estes Park, with free shuttle buses running from Estes Park to park trailheads in summer. Campers will find five campgrounds with RV, tent, and group sites—four are set near Estes Park and the other is near the Grand Lake entrance on Trail Ridge Road. You can also find plenty of backcountry sites. Reservations are highly recommended for Rocky Mountain National Park campgrounds but some first-come, first-served sites are available.

Roosevelt National Forest

For those looking for some scenery away from the crowds in Rocky Mountain National Park, Roosevelt National Forest rivals the national park and provides even more opportunities for outdoor recreation. The forest borders Rocky Mountain along the north and east sides, and is just an hour or so drive from Estes Park. The Long Draw and Tom Bennett campgrounds offer fantastic views and are incredibly popular spots for Colorado locals.     

When to Go

The best time to camp and hike in Estes Park is from late May through mid September as long as you’re prepared for chilly nights. Estes Park sits at 7,522 feet above sea level and many of the campgrounds in Rocky Mountain National Park and Roosevelt National Forest are even higher, meaning that you can expect cool evening temperatures even in summer. The area is busiest in summer and when fall colors are at their peak, typically in late September through early October. A few Estes Park campgrounds stay open in winter for those looking to ski and snowshoe.

Know Before You Go

  1. Camping in Estes Park is extremely popular. Book campground reservations well in advance.
  2. No hookups are available at any area national park campgrounds, although dump stations can be found at Glacier Bay and Moraine Park.
  3. Estes Park is bear country. Store food in campground bear lockers. 
  4. Free shuttle buses run from Estes Park into Rocky Mountain National Park during the summer months. This is a great way to enjoy the park sights without the hassle of finding parking and dealing with traffic.
  5. For an introduction to the mountains surrounding Estes Park, head to the top of Prospect Mountain on the Estes Park Tram. You’ll enjoy views of Longs Peak, the Continental Divide, and the entire Estes Park Valley.

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