10 Incredible Colorado Campgrounds For Camping With Kids

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Growing up in Colorado, family camping trips were always where I had my favorite memories. Colorado is absolutely packed with amazing places to explore, so your options are really limitless. Narrowing it down to the best places to camp with kids in Colorado can be a bit of a challenge.

Here we’re going to show you the best places to camp with kids in Colorado all over the state.

camping with kids in a tent

The stunning mountains that surround every road west of Denver tower over and inspire you, and we’re here to help you find the best family colorado campground. We’ve put together this list of the 10 best places to camp with kids in Colorado to narrow the choices down so you can find the perfect family campground.

How do you choose a good place to camp with kids in Colorado?

Every family is different. You know your family best out of anyone, and that means you’ll know what your family is looking for. These are some big areas to consider when thinking about the best family colorado campground. Camping with the family should be tailored to each specific family, so go through this list and see what fits yours best. 

Best Colorado Camping Locations For Families

Growing up, my family only camped in our backyard. Well, my dad and I camped in our backyard. That was what fit our family. We didn’t have the accessibility to go further, nor did we have the time. For me, it was the best. It isn’t the best location for everyone though. Here are a few different ideas to help you narrow down what type of camping you want to do with kids.

Backcountry Camping In Colorado

The backcountry refers to places that are more difficult to get to and are further separated from society. You can’t just drive there, park, and camp. You’ll need to hike, ski, or trek in a ways. The backcountry can be a lot more difficult when camping with kids, but absolutely doable. Below, we’re sharing both our favorite kid friendly backpacking location in Colorado as well as an amazing backcountry hut you can hike into.

backpacking with kids

Frontcountry or Car Camping In Colorado

The frontcountry or car camping is what most families tend to choose when going camping with kids. It’s accessible, and you can bring as many things as you want, since you drive right up to your family campsite. If you have younger kids, frontcountry, or car camping, is a great choice. You don’t need to carry a huge load of things into the woods, and you know the car is there for easy access. 

If you are coming out for a long trip with the kids, a site with access to town might be a great choice for you. Make the decisions on the type of trip you want, and it should help you with your choice in location. 

Colorado Campground Amenities

Many campgrounds offer a lot of services and amenities while some offer none but a spot to put a tent. There are campsites with bathrooms and showers, but there are also campsites with pit toilets. Look into the site further if you hope to find somewhere with particular bathroom amenities. 

Other amenities to be on the lookout for are a dishwashing station, water access, RV hookups, and access to electricity. You get the choice of how far off the grid you want to be, and there are sites where you can hook up to the wifi just as easily as at home. 

camping with kids  tent

Private vs Public Campgrounds in Colorado

The world runs in public and private spaces, and campsites are no different. You can often find both in close proximity, but the differences will be pretty obvious once you look into them. 

Private campgrounds tend to be “nicer” with more modern amenities, access to swimming pools, and electrical hookups at your site. This isn’t the rule for all of them, but it’s common. They also tend to have a lower population of people because of the higher price you’ll have to pay. 

Public campgrounds on the other hand tend to be run by the government and only include the bare bones. This gives your family much more a “wilderness” feel with family camping. They are often free, or really cheap because there’s not much that you are paying for. Don’t expect public campgrounds to be fancy, but expect them to be rustic. 

Colorado car camping
Basic amenities at a Colorado public campgorund

Do I Need Reservations To Camp In Colorado

If you’re choosing an established colorado campground be sure to research the reservation system. You can find kid friendly campsites that are first-come, first-served, but sometimes it can be nice to have a guaranteed spot. Note: since 2020, kid friendly campgrounds in Colorado fill up very quickly, so reservations are always recommended.

The 10 Best Places to Camp with Kids in Colorado

Jacks Gulch Colorado Campground for Families

Closest City: Fort Collins
Reservations: First-come, first-served
Best time of year to go: Summer and Fall
Amenities: Drinking water, Vault Toilets

Jack’s Gulch is an incredibly popular space, especially when it comes to family-friendly campgrounds in Colorado. It has a huge variety of campsites and is easily-accessed from Fort Collins. It’s a great place to take the kids camping in Colorado and then mountain biking or fishing in the stream while surrounded by spectacular mountain views. It even has a self-guided nature hike that wanders around the campground. 

Rifle Falls State Park Family Friendly Colorado Campsites

Closest City: Rifle
Reservations: Reservations Required
Best time of year to go: Summer
Amenities: Electrical, bear boxes, picnic tables, drinking water

rifle falls campground

“Home of Colorado’s only 80-foot triple waterfall.” The dramatic landscape speaks for itself and is the main attraction for families coming to visit Rifle. 13 drive-in and seven walk-in campsites are available to tailor specifically to your family. This is a great campground for swimming with kids and overall a really family friendly Colorado campground.  

Camping With Kids at Colorado’s Redfeather Lakes

Closest City: Fort Collins
Reservations: Reservations required in peak season (May-September) First-come, first-served in off-season
Best time of year to go: Summer and Fall
Amenities: Drinking water, Vault Toilets

Dowdy Lake and West Lake Campgrounds are both campgrounds run by the USDA Forest Service in the Roosevelt National Forest. They are both nestled up against stunningly-beautiful lakes with a variety of different sites. These are some of the best Colorado campgrounds with kids.  You can have electrical hookups, or find primitive camping. Taking advantage of the lakes is your best bet to go boating or fishing with the kids. Book ahead because this best family colorado campground fills quickly.  

Golden Gate Canyon State Park Camping In Colorado

Closest City: Denver
Reservations: Reservations Required
Best time of year to go: Year-round
Amenities: Electricity, flush toilets, showers, laundry, drinking water, dump station

Denver is the most hustle-and-bustle city that you’ll find in Colorado. That doesn’t mean there isn’t easily-available family camping in Denver. Golden Gate Canyon State Park has everything from cabins and yurts to backcountry sites and is the best kid friendly camping close to Denver. It’s a family colorado campground that has everything. You can go fishing in the morning, horseback riding in the afternoon, and enjoy the fire at night. Did I mention it’s dog-friendly? 

Cub Lake Backcountry Camping With Kids

Closest City: Estes Park
Reservations: Backcountry Permit Required
Best time of year to go: Summer and Fall
Amenities: None.  Bury your own solid waste and purify lake water for drinking.

The Cub Creek Backcountry Campground is a phenomenal choice for dipping your toes into more backcountry camping with kids. The hike starts at the Moraine Lake Trailhead and is a short 2.25 miles in. Right before you reach Cub Lake you will find the backcountry site. This is where you take the kids when you want to experience deeper wilderness with them. Just remember to stop in and grab a backcountry permit before hiking out. 

Rocky Mountain National Park Moraine Park Family Friendly Campground

Closest City: Estes Park
Reservations: Summer: Reservations up to 6 months in advance Winter: First-come, first-served
Best time of year to go: Year-round
Amenities: Bear boxes, drinking water, dump station

rocky mountain national park camping

The Moraine Park Campground is located in the breathtaking area of Rocky Mountain National Park. This is a stunning campground with kids in Colorado no matter the time of year. When the snow starts to fall, the Park does shut off water and limit amenity access. Come prepared for a limited experience in the winter camping with kids here. There is beautiful hiking to be done in this area and there are 101 tent sites available to camp at. 

High Lonesome Backcountry Hut For Families

Closest City: Fraser

Reservations: Reservation Required

Best time of year to go: Winter, year-round

Amenities: Water, electricity, flush toilets, shower

It’s a different kind of family camping, but it’s one that I can’t recommend enough. The High Lonesome Hut is a masterfully-crafted hut located in the center of 160 acres of private property surrounded by the National Forest. It’s the perfect place for camping with kids in Colorado if you want a combination of comfort and wilderness.  This home-away-from-home will take your breath away as soon as you walk up to it after a beautiful, easy two-mile hike. In the summer there are trails for mountain biking, and in the winter there are sleds to take up and down the hills. Cozy up by the woodstove and cook a full meal in the kitchen then sleep in handmade bunk beds surrounded by family camping together. 

Molly Brown Campsites for Families

Closest City: Leadville
Reservations: Reservations Required
Best time of year to go: Summer and Fall
Amenities: Drinking water, vault toilets

Nestled in a pine forest, the Molly Brown Campground for families sits right on the edge of Turquoise Lake, just outside of Leadville. There is great access to all watersports like canoeing, fishing, and even water skiing. Going water skiing at 9,900 feet!? It’s an unbelievable space to take the kids camping in Colorado and get the feeling of low-oxygen air (yes, you’ll feel the high-altitude camping here for sure). 

Dolores River Campground For Camping With Kids

Closest City: Dolores
Reservations: Reservations Required
Best time of year to go: Summer and Fall
Amenities: Full hook ups, rec room, laundry, flush toilets, showers, gift shop

This Colorado campground has it all. You can take the family camping in vintage trailers, wagons, cabins, yurts, or just choose a tent camping site. There are Jeeps and SUPs to rent, as well as a private fishing pond. The Dolores River kid friendly Campground is the epitome of comfortable family camping in Colorado. It has all of the amenities you can ask for and more. It’s easy to hop into town then return to your campsite at night after enjoying the great “city life” Southwest Colorado has to offer. 

Arrowhead Point Family Friendly Campground

Closest City: Buena Vista
Reservations: Reservations Required
Best time of year to go: Year-round
Amenities: Full hook ups, bathhouse, market, rigs up to 60 ft

Looking for a kid friendly colorado campground that has an espresso bar so you never have to go without coffee while with the kids? The Arrowhead Point Campground is another privately-owned campground that’s jam-packed with amenities. There are zipline tours, guided fishing trips, and horseback riding amongst countless other things to do in the area when camping with kids. This works as a great base camp for the family to go around and tour the rest of Colorado. 

These 12 family campgrounds in Colorado offer the perfect mix of nature and great activities nearby.  All of them are in stunning locations that will make your family camping trip to Colorado even more memorable.  If you’ve stayed at any of these kid-friendly Colorado campgrounds, please comment below and share more about your experience there!

About Jessica Averett

Hi, I’m Jessica, a mom of 5 kids and married to my favorite adventure partner. I love to bike, ski, camp and hike. We've visited over 40 countries with our kids, but are equally happy on the road as we are exploring our home state of Utah.

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