The best camping near Shadow Mountain Lookout

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

Discover the historic Shadow Mountain Lookout amid Colorado's peaks.  

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Community favorites near Shadow Mountain Lookout

Top-rated campgrounds reviewed by the Hipcamp community.

Top-rated campgrounds near Shadow Mountain Lookout

92%
(162)

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. Property Description Disclaimer: The amenities, features, and services displayed in photos on our website or promotional materials are for illustration purposes only. AVR does not guarantee the availability, condition, or quality of these amenities at the time of your visit, and they are subject to change. AVR reserves the right to change, modify, or discontinue any feature or service without notice at any time.
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$65
 / night
94%
(275)

Creekside Paradise

5 sites · Lodging, Tents42 acres · CO
Located perfectly between Boulder, Nederland, and Rocky Mountain National Park, and very close to other stunning hikes, this spot is a great landing pad to have easy access to some of the most beautiful places in the Rockies as well as offering it's own breathtaking scenery. This land is the sacred land of the Arapaho tribe. Chief Niwot and his tribe spent winters here. It is a very special place. The property is a mile long so there is plenty of space with the tent sites being 1/2 mile from the yurt and separate entries for each. There are currently 2 tents sites available, a bell tent, and a yurt.
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$36
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90%
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Prospector’s Rush

10 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 or AWD is necessary to access our property!!! Accessing the campsite is an off-road adventure. Please only book if you are comfortable with off-road driving. 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 / AWD is mandatory!!
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$29
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98%
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Basecamp On The Poudre

4 sites · RVs, Tents50 acres · Bellvue, CO
At the base of the Poudre Canyon this location makes a perfect quick getaway for any camper, Only 15 minuets from down town Fort Collins your adventure awaits. You will be met with beautiful views of the Rocky Mountains, The comforting sounds of the Cache La Poudre, and if your lucky a glimpse at some of Colorado's amazing wildlife. Base Camp provides space for many camping styles, from pitching a tent and enjoying a breathtaking view sleeping under the stars. Or hauling in your camper for a more comfortable stay. Enjoy a view of the Poudre River right from your from your picnic table next to your cozy campfire, your next adventure awaits you here!
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$75
 / night
88%
(17)

Homestead Farm Lyons

4 sites · Lodging, RVs, Tents15 acres · Lyons, CO
We are a new family farm 10 minutes from Lyons, Colorado, on 15 acres of rolling natural grasslands with red sandstone cliffs and stunning views of Long's Peak and the surrounding mountains and foothills along the Little Thompson River. We raise pigs, sheep, goats, donkeys, chicken, turkeys, ducks and geese, and grow delicious organic vegetables. We provide farm food as well as cooked meals (farm-to-table) with advance notice), a fire pit, BBQ, an archery range, trails on the property, access to the river and a swimming hole to cool off in. We have a dog kennel if you would like to explore nearby Rocky Mountain National Park and need a safe place for your canine companion. In collaboration with SoulRemembrance, we also offer retreats, ceremonies and initiations (more at Soulremembrance.com).
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$69
 / night
94%
(64)

Uncle Charlie’s Ranch

13 sites · Tents5 acres · Black Hawk, CO
Uncle Charlie’s Ranch is an escape from the big city, we are only 45 minutes from Denver. Our property hosts the experience of Colorado’s nature and so much more; we offer therapeutic spring water soaks, warmed via our wood burning stove, fresh mountain spring drinking water and easy access to local trails and fun. Our lake is paddle board friendly, and while we do not offer fishing on the property, there are several locations nearby to fish. Message us for more information regarding camp sites and things to do!
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$60
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95%
(40)

Boulder Tintype Ranch

7 sites · RVs, Tents2 acres · Valmont, CO
Welcome to our charming 2-acre farm nestled in East Boulder, just minutes from town - near walking trails, a bike park, shopping, restaurants. A great pitstop on your way to or from the mountains to pause and restock. We have chickens! They free range during the day, so please keep an eye on your dogs… leash if necessary. Our chickens won’t run away and are therefor easy to kill. Fresh eggs available every morning. First come first serve at the coop. We limit the field to 4 small groups. Our goals are to be affordable and to offer you a peaceful place to rest. We dont have any amenities - keep that in mind, tent campers - but we do have a community fire ring and a big pile of scrap wood. THE GOOD: *Easy in and out location *Most affordable rates in all of Boulder. *Beautiful view of the mountains. *Lots of sun *Summertime creek on the property. *Fresh eggs!!! *Tintypes! *Community campfire with free firewood THE BAD: *Daytime road noise (pretend ocean waves??). *Limited shade. *Maximum stay of 4 nights. *Total RV length 40 feet - Truck AND Trailer - due to a steep and winding entrance and exit. *No amenities / facilities. We can handle RVs up to 40 feet in TOTAL LENGTH. It’s a big field, but a narrow, winding and steep ramp to get in and out. If you are a nervous driver, perhaps choose another place to rest your head. If you are a confident driver with towing experience, you can probably even go bigger. No designated spots. Please feel free to park anywhere you’d like while leaving enough room for other campers. It is flattest along the fence by the pond - leveling boards are stacked up in the field to borrow. Please note there is no access to the pond itself. It’s our neighbor’s property. We've got Tintype Portraits! I am a Wet Plate Photographer specializing in 1800’s antique metal portraits made of silver. A free night stay is included in the price of every portrait. Check out: TheTintypeCompany.com if you get the chance. We are indeed the cheapest Hipcamp in the area, and our goal is to remain as affordable as we possible can for Boulder. Alternatively, there is a $22 place up near Loveland, a $36 farm in Longmont, and a van-only spot in Evergreen for $33… The local homeless shelter is also an option if you are car camping. No joke, it is wonderful. More like an hostel than a homeless shelter. And they have facilities!! Folks do it all the time if the shelter has the space that night. Showers, WiFi, even food. Their contact info is: 4869 N Broadway Boulder, CO 80304 bouldershelter.org +1 (303) 442-4646 If you are in a van and just looking for a place to park for a night, 33rd north of Arapahoe is your best bet. It’s right next to the Police station, so fairly safe. The streets aren’t level, but neither is our field! Great for vans, not so great for larger RVs or trailers. All that said, we would love to be your host. Our place is clean, safe, and quiet at night. It’s super convenient to town. Please reach out with any questions you may have. I’ll do my level best to help in any way I can. Safe travels! Sincerely, Patrick
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$35
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93%
(252)

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
93%
(189)

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 [CURRENTLY DOWN FOR MAINTENANCE 05/02-05/15], grills, seasonal pool (Memorial Day to Labor Day), 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."
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$65
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99%
(90)

Vista Tranquila - Boulder Glamping

5 sites · Lodging, RVs6 acres · Boulder, CO
Our family has resided on this magnificent property for over 20 years. In the 1950s, before the home was built, our land was known as "the point." Lovers used to drive onto the property, park at the end of the lot which overlooks the eastern plains, and... you know... We live on 6.5 acres of stunning forested land located 1000 feet above downtown Boulder. Our property rests on a peninsula with views of the white-capped peaks to the west and the city lights to the east. The property feels far away from the bustle of city life, yet it is only an eight-minute drive to the heart of downtown Boulder's historic shopping district and ten minutes from the University of Colorado, Boulder. Vista Tranquila, the name given to our property by its previous owners, has trails to meander, picnic tables, horseshoes, swings hanging from the trees, a competitive-level trampoline, benches with views, and hammocks. The communal food prep area has a gas grill, a table for food prep, and a seating area. We request that guests pack out all trash. Since we do not provide stoves, pans, utensils, or cleanup facilities, please bring paper towels to wipe off your stoves, pans, dishes, and utensils. A well-maintained portable flush toilet is provided in a tall tent near the main residence. A spigot can be found with fresh well water on the back side of the main residence. We do not offer showers. However, the Boulder Recreation Center (a 10-minute drive) offers showers and other facilities for a small fee. You can enjoy a historic mining town experience with fine dining and live bluegrass/ folk music at the town of Gold Hill which is less than 20 minutes up our canyon. Kayakers, climbers, hikers, and cyclists (mountain, road, and gravel) will have an outdoor playground within a very short drive or right outside our door. World-class climbing located at Eldorado Canyon State Park is only a 25-minute drive. If you seek bigger peaks beyond Boulder Mountain Parks, the Indian Peaks Wilderness and Rocky Mountain National Park are a gorgeous 45-minute drive.
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$49
 / night
98%
(244)

Rocky Mountain Glamping

6 sites · Lodging, RVs5 acres · Lyons, CO
A Rocky Mountain Glamping Experience! *** Bliss Camp awarded Runner-Up for Best Glamping in Colorado for 2023 and 2024 *** We are excited to announce that Spring has at last arrived with Summer moments occurring with warmth and lots of clear skies. Wildflowers are going off at lower elevations and some above. With all of the late Sprin g moisture this shoule become a spectacular Wild Flower year! Additionally, with a new Starlink booster we mow have internet at all camps. 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! Dark Skies, if you like to watch the stars and meteor showers Bliss Canyon is blessed with dark skies with little light from the plains. Bring you telescopes and explore the Universe. 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, (Unless you really want it! Starlink signal now reaches each camp.) 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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$55
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89%
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North Shore RV Park & General Store

20 sites · Lodging, RVs3 acres · Loveland, CO
Located west of Loveland, Colorado, North Shore RV Park and General Store offers full 20/30 amp water and sewer sites along with cabin rentals for those seeking something a little more different. One may enjoy the many amenities offered that include laundry facilities, fire ring/grill, trash services, general store and a fire pit to name a few. Spend the day outside enjoying outdoor activities such as kayaking, hiking, canoeing, stargazing, waterskiing and wildlife viewing. Whether it’s for a night or two, we hope to see you soon!
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$30
 / night

The best camping near Shadow Mountain Lookout guide

Overview

About

Imagine a camping experience that not only immerses you in nature's vastness but also offers a peek into history. Camping near Shadow Mountain Lookout, the last standing fire lookout in Rocky Mountain National Park, is just that. Erected in the 1930s, this rustic edifice once played a crucial role in identifying and observing forest fires. Although the Shadow Mountain Lookout Tower is off-limits for climbing, the surrounding environment more than makes up for it. The trail leading to the lookout is a treat for all campers, offering expansive views of Shadow Mountain Lake, Grand Lake, and Lake Granby. Picture waking up in the morning, unzipping your tent, and embarking on a scenic hike that unfolds panoramic views of these three magnificent lakes. The journey becomes even more spectacular during the autumn months. The trail transforms into an artist's palette as trees begin to showcase their fall colors. A kaleidoscope of vibrant hues reflected in the tranquil waters of the lakes presents a sight to cherish. You can access the trail leading to the lookout from either the Grand Lake or Shadow Mountain Dam trailheads for the East Shore Trail. Camping near Shadow Mountain Lookout thus presents a unique opportunity: to embrace the splendid natural scenery and explore a piece of fire service history. Embark on a Shadow Mountain Lookout camping adventure, where the past and present converge against the backdrop of an awe-inspiring landscape. Here, every camper's day is an invitation to take a walk on trails drenched in beauty, history, and serenity.

When to go

The ideal time to visit Shadow Mountain Lookout is during the summer and early fall, from late May to October. This period offers the best weather for hiking. Winter months can be harsh, with trails covered in snow and less accessible.

Know before you go

  • Check weather forecasts before your hike, as mountain conditions can change rapidly.
  • Timed Entry Permit Reservations are required from late May to late October to enter the park.
  • The lookout tower is closed to the public; please respect the site and do not climb.
  • Prepare for a rugged trail with an elevation gain of 1,635 feet; it's not suitable for all visitors.
  • Remember, pets are not allowed on the trail, ensuring the preservation of the park's natural state.

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