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The best camping near Arapaho National Forest

Discover the most magical spots to pitch your tent or park your rig on your next Arapaho adventure.

94% (36 reviews)
94% (36 reviews)

1.5 million acres of woodlands, wilderness areas, and backcountry camping.  

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Community favorites near Arapaho National Forest

Top-rated campgrounds reviewed by the Hipcamp community.

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Public campgrounds in the park
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Stay at a public campground in Arapaho National Forest

Top-rated campgrounds near Arapaho National Forest

91%
(99)

Arapaho Valley Ranch

68 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents100 acres · Granby, CO
Arapaho Valley Ranch is a gorgeous, family-owned guest ranch in Colorado’s beautiful Grand County. Our ranch is surrounded by the Arapaho National Forest and is nestled in one of the most beautiful wilderness areas in the Indian Peaks Wilderness. This area features hiking trails, waterfalls, and historic steam engines from the old town of Monarch. We have a private hiking trail that leads to our “kissing swing” overlooking the headwaters of the Colorado River Valley.
from 
$65
 / night
98%
(750)

Clear Creek Getaway

13 sites · Lodging20 acres · CO
Welcome to Clear Creek Getaway! NOTE: Absolutely no smoking in the A-frames Bedding: we do not provide beds or bedding Please understand that these types of amenities cost way more providing blankets and sheets pillow’s that I need to launder every day So be prepared to bring your own sleeping pads or air mattress I can provide all for a additional cost of 40.00 for the cleaning crew For the glam dome: file:///var/mobile/Library/SMS/Attachments/cd/13/3781DC46-F036-428E-BFC5-447B16E14D54/Image-1.jpeg Roads : This is a mountain getaway so the roads are dirt. If you have Awd and keep your speed up you will make it fine. The road is a loop the backside can have rocks so please drive up in high clearance vehicles no need for crazy lifted just SUV-Trucks type We are available all year round. No power in units. All A-Frames come with a grill and propane (see photos), and there is also a solar motion light on the deck. All A-frames have heat for the winter months (propane heaters). Located 10 minutes by car from historic gold town Idaho Springs. River rafting when in season. We also have some of Colorado’s best fly fishing. Awesome hikes nearby (Gray's Peak). We are also close to st Mary’s Glacier, gold mine tours, great small-town restaurants (Marion’s pizza, Beau Joe’s) Hot springs within miles. We have portable toilets located close to the units Great views and there is an old mining cabin at the top if you find it please post your pictures! Georgetown lake 5 miles west I 70 Paddle boarding , train ride through the hills Grays Peak Fourteener 7 miles west I 70 St. Mary’s glacier 2 miles east I70 Hot Springs 2 miles east I70 All mining roads can be used for off-road purposes at your own risk. Be careful, very steep and rocky. ( Please note ) after tremendous amounts of work on the road, it seems 2wd cars cannot make it and this place is not suitable for those campers. Please do not block the road going up or the residence in the mobile home park on the front of the road. When coming from east exit 234 Dumont go left over I 70 to Stanley and then left behind the mobile home. Come from the west 235 go left under I70 at Starbucks turn right go 1/2 mile first right go back over I 70 to Stanley and harvest moon trail go left up behind mobile homes NOTE THIS IS LOOP DONT TAKE STEEP ROAD (GO TO THE LEFT).
from 
$50
 / night
92%
(96)

Prospector’s Rush

7 sites · RVs, Tents5 acres · Central City, CO
Welcome to Prospector’s Rush campground located on a 5-acre old mining claim near Idaho Springs, Colorado. This unique rustic campground offers visitors a chance to reconnect with nature while experiencing the rich history of the area. 4WD is necessary to access our property!!! As you arrive, you'll be greeted by the untouched beauty of the Rocky Mountains and the sound of a nearby stream. The campground is surrounded by towering pine trees and a variety of wildlife (moose, deer, elk, turkeys and black bear), providing a peaceful and serene atmosphere. Prospector’s Rush campground offers tent sites and RV sites, each with plenty of space for campers to spread out and enjoy the natural surroundings. While we do not have running water on site, we do have a pit toilet. This is a true camping experience, allowing you to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of daily life and immerse yourself in the simplicity of nature. As you explore the area, you'll discover remnants of the old mining operation, including abandoned mineshafts. You can also hike the nearby trails, or simply relax and enjoy the beauty of the starry night sky. At Prospector’s Rush campground, we pride ourselves on offering a true wilderness experience, with limited amenities to ensure that you can fully appreciate the natural beauty of the area. Come visit Prospector’s Rush campground and discover a piece of Colorado's rich history while immersing yourself in the peace and tranquility of pure nature. 4WD is mandatory!!
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$49
 / night
93%
(233)

Camp Wilder

5 sites · Lodging, Tents7 acres · Nederland, CO
Welcome to Camp Wilder! We are an off-the-beaten-path camp offering peace and solitude. The main cabin is very special to my family and me. It was passed down as a mining claim from my grandmother who founded it in the '60s. The vision for the land was simply perfect. A small 10 x 10 cabin with the whole mountain to explore and whoever they wished to bring with them. The town of Nederland is 10 minutes down the road where you can fish at Baker Reservoir. Lots of fun little stores in town to keep the family busy. Wildlife is everywhere up by the cabin/campsite with lots of great things to look for around the magical town of Nederland! The cabin sleeps up to 8 with the futon downstairs being very comfortable and cots upstairs in the loft for more sleeping area. Bring your sleeping bags to stay cozy at night. There are lanterns inside to light up your night with a wood stove to keep you warm at night. The ground around it is sloped so you may have a hard time setting up any tents around the cabin. The grocery store is in Nederland where you can buy food, Coleman green propane bottles and wood. Don't forget to take some water with you. There is a 3 burner Coleman stove to cook on with limited pots & pans as well as silverware Road disclaimer, the road to the cabin is one lane dirt road. The drive up to the cabin is pretty good but the turn onto the single dirt road to the cabin has a slight dip, if you have a low-clearance car it may bottom out when you are turning so be careful. No Trailers. They will not be able to turn around once there. Recommend vehicles with AWD. We are @ 10,000 feet and it is a slight hike to the cabin. When leaving please make sure both door locks are locked, put the key in the lock box and mix the code for the next camper.
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$55
 / night
100%
(36)

Overlook Ranch

3 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents11 acres · Estes Park, CO
Incredible views of the towering Rocky Mountains and Continental Divide framed above the small town of Estes Park. The Overlook Ranch sits serenely above the town which has all the necessities you need only 10 minutes away. This 11- acre property has a couple of cabins and other RV sites that will give you that feeling of comfort in sharing that experience and having others around who may offer neighborly help if needed. This property also backs up to a National Forest for those avid hikers who want that solitude and quiet that a Mountainous Forest can provide. Lake Estes is only 10 minutes away for those who enjoy canoeing, kayaking, and other water activities. You might wonder how close we are to Rocky Mountain National Park? - Fall River Visitor Center & Entrance is 15 Minutes Away. - Beaver Meadows Visitors Center & Entrance is 16 Minutes Away. - Cow Creek Trailhead is 9 Minutes Away. - Lumpy Ridge Trailhead is 7 Minutes Away.
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$55
 / night
98%
(852)

Rustic Creek Ranch

32 sites · RVs, Tents160 acres · Bailey, CO
The 160 acre ranch was homesteaded by my grandfather over 100 years ago. He was an engineer. The plan was to use this property as summer grazing for his cattle. The cows were wintered at the other ranch about 10 miles away, which was homesteaded by my great grandfather. Because my grandfather could survey, he made sure the property lines zigzaged up the valley so the small creek was in the middle to provide water for the animals. He chose well. It is a beautiful, quiet place with elk, deer and wild turkeys. There are tons of wild flowers in the summer. Columbines, the Colorado state flower, wild roses, paintbrushes and lots of wild chokecherries. With nice views of nearby mountains, open pastures, evergreen forests and aspen groves, it looks like it did 100 years ago. Plus, there are a couple of ponds for your dogs to cool off in. Since the first cattle, the ranch has also been home to goats, chickens, horses, and now alpacas and llamas. And of course the Great Pyrenees ranch dogs. I had a house built a few years ago and live on the property full time. The ranch is surrounded by Pike National Forest with the Colorado Trail connecting the property in a number of places. Some of the highest ranked mountain bike trails are nearby. There are lots of places on and off the property to hike, mountain bike and ride your horse. On a clear night you can see thousands of stars and hear coyotes howl. For a drone video of the ranch check out: YouTube's Midsummer 2020 Flyover. Elevation 8,000 feet, Average Summer Temperatures: Days 60-80 f, Nights 45-60 f, Sunshine Average 73-80%, Colorado Trail Segment 3, USGS Maps: Windy Peak & Green Mountain quadrangles. This is the official info. Basically, the weather is usually similar to the Denver area - just 10 degrees cooler. About 8 miles away is the small town of Bailey. It has just about everything you might need: small grocery store, gas, laundry, art gallery, a dollar store, hardware store, camping and sports equipment, brew pub, winery, a few restaurants, potable water station and more.
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$35
 / night
99%
(210)

Rocky Mountain Glamping

4 sites · Lodging, RVs5 acres · Lyons, CO
A Rocky Mountain Glamping Experience! *** Bliss Camp awarded Runner-Up for Best Glamping in Colorado for 2023 *** Welcome to Bliss Canyon! Relax stream side in your private camp overlooking lush nature and towering rock outcroppings. Stroll along a rushing stream or head up challenging Moose Track trail to Balancing Rock. After your day of adventure or kicking back enjoy a hot shower. Share your revelations of the day around the campfire, roast marshmallows, or relish your favorite beverage or special treat as you unwind. The open air, covered Kitchens have sinks, fresh, potable hot water, kitchenware, gas stove —pots, pans, dishes, utensils, etc, BBQ with side burner, critter-resistant food safe, bear-proof trash can, and picnic table outside. We provide a convenient propane campfire for safety since our climate is dry and often windy. No candles or open flames please. There are easy trails on property along the lush stream (the original riverbed of the Middle Saint Vrain Stream), fishing or swimming in the pond (no lifeguard on duty), or challenging trails into Roosevelt National Forest from the property. (Ask Hiker Dot for guidance.) Several National Forest access points, where you can enjoy peaceful walks away from crowds, are a short drive. Bliss Canyon is a spur off of breathtaking, picturesque South Saint Vrain Canyon. Stroll on over to the South or Middle for renowned fly fishing. For climbers, there are over 50 climbs in South Saint Vrain Canyon! Rocky Mountain National Park, one of the five Crown Jewels of the National Park Service, is nearby. The closest trailhead in RMNP is 10 miles, the next trailhead at Wild Basin entrance to the park is 13 miles, and the Beaver Meadows entrance (main entrance) is 36 miles. Rocky Mountain National Park has breathtaking drives, easy strolls with interpretive signs, and 360 miles of trails. (Advance reservation required for entry 9:00 am to 3:00 pm for main park, or 5:00 am to 6:00 pm for Bear Lake corridor.) Indian Peaks Wilderness also has several nearby access points and trailheads. Ask Dot for details. Spring and Summer, 2023 has supplied tremendous rainfall providing amazing wildflowers all over Bliss Canyon and way beyond. Fall Colors are forecasted to be over the top this year starting in September to late October. This years moisture should produce colors like we rarely see. Bliss Canyon explodes with color and is a great base camp for Aspen viewing along Peak to Peak Highway, Rocky Mountain National Park and all the surrounding areas. The famous Fall Elk Rut starts the beginning of September. According to Byron, the Elf Rut is one of the best National Geographic Moments on the Planet! This is a must experience event! We are located near Rocky Mountain National Park which typically provides the best opportunities to view the Rut, as well as other areas near the Park. During the Fall we provide "Little Buddy" propane heaters for the Gypsy Wagons and the Frontier Tent to help you warm up during cold evenings. Let the world melt away; there is no wifi or cell service, the world will survive without your input. In the event of urgent need, come to our home up the hill and ring the bell and we can get you connected. The charming town of Lyons is 20 minutes away with coffee shops, restaurants, bars, lots of great live music, library with free wifi, and quaint shops*. Also, Spirit Hound Distillery received the award for the #1, Best Whiskey in the World in 2022, hmmm, it might be worth a tasting! Dot and Byron look forward to hosting you in our spectacular Rocky Mountain Paradise. Wir sprechen auch Deutsch!
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$50
 / night
99%
(124)

Gold Nugget Tree House

1 site · Lodging1 acre · Gold Hill, CO
Come visit our sweet little treehouse in the woods. Our property is just steps away from the bustling historic town of Gold Hill, a destination for tourists and road bikers alike. The treehouse is a glamping experience with just enough amenities to keep you comfortable. Food - Bring your cooler with food supplies or take out in Boulder before you head up the mountain. Or grab a coffee, pizza, snack or a glass of wine at the Gold Hill store. If you'd like a full service dining experience, make a reservation for a 5 course meal at the Gold Hill Inn. What To Do: Walk around the historic town of Gold Hill. We promise you will be entertained. Ask a local about the museum, the cemetery, or the historic two room school house, or any other favorite spots they have around the area. Love the woods and nature, but would like a little action? Attend a local live music concert at the Gold Hill Store or the Gold Hill Inn on a beautiful summers night. Drive to Estes Park or Rocky Mountain National Park to explore for the day. Boulder - 20 minutes Nederland - 35 minutes Estes Park - 45 minutes The Treehouse is furnished with Queen size bed and plenty of blankets to keep you warm, but feel free to bring your sleeping bag if you prefer. A roll out twin size feather bed for the floor is available upon request if you have a few more folks joining. We provide a portable toilet with WagBags. Please always pack out all human solid human waste. Gold Hill Store offers a toilet for a minimal fee and the Gold Hill Inn has a toilet for customers. A camp stove is available for outdoor use. The camp stove and the propane heater both use 1 lb propane canisters, so feel free to bring your own fuel to cook and keep you warm. A can of propane is always available for your use of the stove. * A note to novice campers and regular hotel patrons: Though you are in a shelter, you are still exposed to the elements. The treehouse is not insulated. Wind, bugs, and critters may all be a part of the variable treehouse experience mother nature has planned for you. If you are not comfortable camping, getting dirty, swatting flies, being too hot, being too cold, hearing the noises of animals at night, waking up to the sound of magpies, and who knows what else, this experience may not be for you.
from 
$139
 / night
96%
(36)

Clear Creek Glamping

1 site · Lodging26 acres · Downieville Lawson Dumont, CO
Welcome to Clear Creek Glamping! A glamping dome surrounded by mountains. We are located on the same property as the Clear Creek Getaway Hipcamp. Clear Creek Glamping offers a beautiful glamping dome less than 1 hour from Denver, CO. Our site includes a queen bed, picnic table, and gas BBQ for all of your cooking needs. There is a porta potty available for campers to use (about 70ft away from the dome). No water provided, campers must bring their own! There is cell service, but no wifi. Idaho Springs, CO is a 15 minute drive where you can find plenty of hiking trails, rafting, hot springs, and more. Keystone and Breckenridge are both under one hour away. River rafting closeby when in season. We also have some of Colorado’s best fly fishing. Awesome hikes nearby (Gray's Peak). We are also close to st Mary’s Glacier, gold mine tours, hots springs, and great small-town restaurants (Marion’s pizza, Beau Joe’s). We look forward to hosting you!
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$109
 / night
98%
(32)

Fisherman's Cabin

1 site · Lodging4 acres · Bailey, CO
Cozy, small, one room cabin and an outhouse with a sink, solar bag shower, and composting toilet. Propane heat and single burner for heating up some coffee or a snack. Large beautiful deck with fire-pit and grill and peaceful river sounds. forest views sits on 4 acres. Park right next to the cabin with a 4x4/AWD or 50ft away with any vehicle. The Fisherman’s Cabin, hosted by Huts and Hills, has a wild and unique history. Originally it was built by two professors from Berkeley College as an annual mountain campsite. They used to make the pilgrimage every year from California to Colorado to come relax in the wonderful forest of the Lost Acres National Park. At the turn of the century, the Denver Wheel Club used to have their headquarters right next to the river just down Insmont Dr. and hosted a big bike race every year. This was before there was even a road to the mountains, and the only real public access to these lands were via the train from Denver! Today the Fisherman's Cabin is just a hop, skip and a jump outside downtown Bailey, Colorado and close to many mountain passes like Guanella and Kenosha. There are local hiking, fishing, hunting, biking, and animal watching activities waiting to be experienced. Sleeps 2 plus invite up to 6 friends for camping and goodtimes! Please see the Fisherman's cabin site description for more information! * PROPANE FIRE PIT ONLY, NO FIRES ALLOWED  * THERE IS NO RUNNING WATER but there is a provided water bag for the sink / shower and at this time of year you must bring your own water! * THERE IS NO ELECTRICITY
from 
$60
 / night
94%
(62)

Bristlecone Camp Breckenridge

1 site · RV, Tent160 acres · Alma, CO
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from 
$50
 / night
92%
(155)

A-Lodge Boulder

7 sites · RVs, Tents7 acres · Boulder, CO
A-Lodge Boulder is a 30 room lodge just 2 miles above downtown Boulder, Colorado. We are located in a wilderness area of Boulder Canyon, right at the junction with Fourmile Canyon. We have three #vanlife sites and four tentsites for offer on Hipcamp. We have a hot tub, grills, seasonal pool, meeting space, outdoor beer garden, bathrooms and showers for campers and a wonderful trail to Betasso Preserve right from our property. The Fourmile Creek runs through our property along our large lawn area. Great views and you might see bear, deer, elk, moose, foxes, or even a mountain lion! Tent sites are just a short walk, about 100 feet, up to our platforms. We provide the platform for your tent as well as access to all of our lodge's amenities; front desk, lobby, bar & beer garden, fire pits, grills, bathrooms, shower, outdoor common areas, free wifi, etc. Our guests love us too! "First time Hipcamper and A-Lodge visitor here, I’d definitely recommend checking this place out if you’re traveling to the Boulder area. The tent platforms were easy to get to and spaced far enough apart for privacy and generally a nice break from setting up a tent on a gravel pad. WiFi was stable throughout my visit and I was able to get some work done before heading home."
from 
$65
 / night

The best camping near Arapaho National Forest guide

Overview

About

With a whopping 1.5 million acres of natural landscapes to explore, Arapaho National Forest is tailor-made for outdoor adventures. Five State Scenic Byways run through the forest, along with thousands of miles of hiking, biking, OHV, and horseback riding trails, leading the way to mountain lookouts, forest hideaways, and lakeside swimming spots. If that’s not enough to keep you busy, you can also enjoy boating and canoeing on the lakes, go rafting along Cache la Poudre River, or hit the slopes at the Winter Park, Loveland, and Eldora ski resorts. Campers have options, too, from lakeside recreation areas to primitive camping along the trails.

Notable campgrounds

  • Best for lake views: Arapaho Bay Campground has 81 campsites with swimming, boating, and fishing right on your RV doorstep.
  • Best for horsey Hipcampers: South Fork Campground is one of the few Arapaho campgrounds with horse corrals and direct access to trails.
  • Best for escaping the crowds: Echo Lake Campground has 18 simple sites where you can swim, fish, or hike the Mt Evans Trail. 

Tips for snagging a campsite

  1. Some of the park’s 53 campgrounds can be reserved in advance online or by phone; others are first-come, first-served.
  2. Campsite reservations open 180 days in advance and close four days prior to the booking date. An exception is the Arapaho National Recreation Area, where campsites must be booked a minimum of 5 days in advance. Group campsites can be booked up to 12 months in advance.
  3. Campsites can book up quickly, especially for holiday weekends and during peak season (June-Aug)—make your reservations several months in advance.

When to go

Outdoor activities are enjoyable year-round in Arapaho National Forest, whether hiking amid the spring wildflowers or snowmobiling and cross-country skiing in winter. Peak season runs from mid-May through September, and many campgrounds close outside of this period. Crowds are common at popular recreation areas and lakes, especially in July-August, so make an early start and plan extra travel time to account for traffic. 

Know before you go

  • Arapaho National Forest is divided into five ranger districts—Boulder, Sulphur, Canyon Lakes, Pawnee National Grassland, and Clear Creek—and adjoins the Roosevelt National Forest. It’s about a 1-hour drive from Denver or a 30-minute drive from Boulder to reach the forest.
  • Many areas and trails are free to visit, but passes are required for the Mount Evans, Brainard Lake, and Arapaho National recreation areas. Fees are payable in addition to camping fees, and reservations are required.
  • Dispersed camping is allowed, but be sure you are on state land and avoid free camping near trailheads, day-use car parks, and picnic sites.
  • Cell phone service can be patchy in mountain and wilderness areas.
  • Fire bans are common during dry periods, and some areas have permanent fire restrictions.
  • There are wheelchair-accessible campsites and restrooms at Arapaho National Forest.

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