Camping in Rocky Mountain National Park

Camping in Rocky Mountain National Park
Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the most beautiful parks in all of Colorado. Its massive peaks serve as the origin of the famed Colorado River, and the park has activities for outdoor enthusiasts of all types. You'll find 359 miles of hiking trails, a variety of wildlife including elk, bison and bighorn sheep, and towering Rocky Mountain peaks, including the 14,259-foot Longs Peak. If you're considering a trip to the park, camping is the perfect way to enjoy all that it has to offer. Choose from five campgrounds, group camping and 200 backcountry campsites.

Aspenglen Campground

Located off U.S. 34 near the Fall River Entrance Station, the Aspenglen campground has 54 sites and is close to Fall River. The campground takes reservations, which are recommended, as the sites can fill up quickly. The campground accommodates vehicles up to 30 feet in length and limits each campsite to six people and two tents. The season runs from May to September.

Longs Peak Campground

Only tent camping is allowed at the 26 campsites here. The campground has access to Longs Peak Trail as well as other hiking paths. From Memorial Day through September, camping is limited to three days. This campground is convenient to get to from the town of Estes Park, nine miles away on Route 7. This is a year-round facility and limits each campsite to two tents and six people.

Glacier Basin Campground

Glacier Basin Campground is six miles south of the Beaver Meadow Entrance Station. It houses 150 campsites. The season generally runs from June to September, but in 2009 the campground was closed due to hazard tree removal. Glacier Basin accommodates vehicles up to 35 feet in length and limits campsites to two tents and eight people.

Moraine Park Campground

Moraine Park Campground is 2 1/2 miles south of the Beaver Meadows Entrance Station. The campground has 245 campsites and is open year-round. Reservations are recommended during the high season. Vehicles of up to 40 feet are allowed in the campground, and sites are limited to two tents and six people.

Timber Creek Campground

Timber Creek Campground is on Route 34 about eight miles from the Grand Lake Entrance Station. There are 98 campsites at Timber Creek. Vehicles up to 30 feet are allowed, with six people and two tents at each site.

General Camping Information

Campsites are equipped with a tent pad, picnic table, fire grate and parking for one vehicle. Firewood and ice can be purchased at all of the campgrounds except for Timber Creek (firewood available, but no ice). Stays are limited to seven days during the high season. Checkout time is noon. Rocky Mountain National Park is heavy bear country, so food should be properly stored and secured.

Group Camping

Group sites are available at Moraine Park and Glacier Basin. Moraine Park takes reservations during the high season. Small sites accommodate 10 to 15 people, medium sites 16 to 25, and large sites 26 to 40.

Backcountry Camping

Backcountry camping is available throughout the park. A wilderness permit is required for all overnight stays in the backcountry. Follow the link in the Resources for a comprehensive guide to getting permits and planning your trip.

Article Written By Joe Fletcher

Joe Fletcher has been a writer since 2002, starting his career in politics and legislation. He has written travel and outdoor recreation articles for a variety of print and online publications, including "Rocky Mountain Magazine" and "Bomb Snow." He received a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Rutgers College.

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