10 Places To Visit While RV Camping In Colorado
Colorado is a beautiful state and on the bucket list of many travelers. From towering majestic mountains to charming small towns, this state is a mecca for the outdoor enthusiast, foodie, or cultural diva.
The next time you are RV camping in Colorado, check out these 10 destinations for great hiking, historic sites, and more. Plan your travels with RV Trip Wizard and the RV LIFE App to find more campgrounds, RV parks, and other points of interest along the way.
1. Rocky Mountain National Park
RV camping in Colorado has something special to offer every season. One of the most visited national parks in the country, Rocky Mountain National Park encompasses 415 square miles and is home to a number of can’t-miss stops.
Beaver Meadows Visitor Center will give you an overview of the park and provide maps and information for the 300 miles of trails you might want to hike. See amazing wildlife and stunning views in the summer and fall. Drive the scenic Trail Ridge Road and reach an elevation of more than 12,000 feet.
Located in Grand County, Colorado, you can also check out nearby hot springs and spas for a great way to relax and ponder your next stop.
2. Dinosaur National Monument
Located on the southeast flank of the Uinta Mountains and on the border between Colorado and Utah, this stop will make you feel as though you have journeyed back in time.
This protected area is known for its archaeological treasures. You can look for small creature fossils on the Harpers Corner Trail. Enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, river rafting, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling. Take a drive on Harpers Corner Drive for spectacular views of the surrounding canyons.
The Quarry Visitor Center serves as the gateway to the Quarry Exhibit Hall and the wall of dinosaur bones. During the summer, shuttles are available to take visitors to the Quarry Exhibit Hall where visitors can view the wall of approximately 1,500 dinosaur bones. You can see species including Allosaurus, Apatosaurus, Camarasaurus, Diplodocus, and Stegosaurus. See an 80-foot-long mural with the story of these animals. At several places, you can touch real 149-million-year-old dinosaur fossils.
Don’t miss the petroglyphs at Swelter Shelter, Cub Creek, Deluge Shelter, McKee Springs, and Pool Creek. Many of these are easy to access with up-close viewing.
3. Great Sand Dunes National Park
RV camping in Colorado can be as unique as you would like. Sled down the tallest sand dunes in North America or float the park’s stretch of Medano Creek at Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve.
Nestled against the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, there are a great number of ways to enjoy the outdoors. The park is home to many different ecosystems, which can be explored on foot, horseback, or fat bicycle.
Visit the park after dark and enjoy a brilliant night sky. Great Sand Dunes National Park is a great dark sky viewing location. View the stars, listen for owls or coyotes, or observe migrating amphibians. To see the most stars, plan your visit for a moonless night. During a full moon, you can walk the dunes with no need for a flashlight.
4. Mesa Verde National Park
Mesa Verde National Park contains approximately 5,000 of America’s best-preserved archaeological sites, including 600 cliff dwellings. Many sites can be accessed only by ranger-led tours and are quite strenuous with a lot of walking, climbing, and possible crawling.
If you don’t want a strenuous hike, the Mesa Top Loop Road is a 6-mile drive where you will find short, easily-accessible paved trails to view 12 archaeological sites, including surface sites and overlooks of cliff dwellings. Highlights include Square Tower House Overlook and views of Cliff Palace from Sun Point View and Sun Temple.
The Far View Sites Complex includes Far View House, as well as other villages and a dry reservoir. Follow the woodland trail and learn about Ancestral Pueblo life. Cedar Tree Tower is an ancestral Puebloan tower and kiva complex that can be viewed from a small parking area. Nearby Farming Terrace Loop leads you through a series of ancient check dams.
5. Steamboat Springs
Steamboat Springs, named for its famous hot springs and surrounded by working ranches, is a great place for nature lovers. While the area features some 3,000 ski-able acres for snowshoeing and snowmobiling, there is also plenty to do in the summer, fishing and camping being the main activities.
Start with a ride on the Steamboat Gondola for some fantastic views. Hike to Fish Creek Falls or bike on the Yampa River Core Trail. You can unwind in Strawberry Park Hot Springs mineral pools and then enjoy an art gallery, the Tread of Pioneers Museum, or one of nearly 100 bars or restaurants.
6. Colorado Springs
At an elevation of 6,035 feet, Colorado Springs is at the eastern foot of the Rocky Mountains. It is not a skiing destination but has many other attractions and destinations within its beautiful boundaries. One can hike or take a trip up Pike’s Peak, see awesome rock formations at Garden of the Gods, or enjoy spelunking, zip lining, or a ropes course at Cave of the Winds Mountain Park.
Take an uphill mountain trail on an old rail at The Incline, or enjoy the Manitou Cliff Dwellings with ruins and a museum of relics.
7. Clear Creek County
If you want to get a taste of history, check out Clear Creek County, just 20 miles west of Denver. Mountain towns such as Idaho Springs, where the first significant discovery of gold was made, or boom towns such as Empire, Georgetown, or Silver Plume have plenty to see and learn. Enjoy the local art galleries and boutiques or check out craft breweries and distilleries.
In Idaho Springs, tour the Argo Mill and Tunnel, once the longest mining tunnel in the world. Phoenix Gold Mine is an operational mine that continues to extract gold, silver, and copper. The Edgar Experimental Mine, an 1870s-era mine, now serves as an underground laboratory operated by the Colorado School of Mines.
Take a ride on the Georgetown Loop Railroad and learn about Clear Creek County’s mining heyday. Check out one-of-a-kind history museums such as Silver Plume’s George Rowe Museum, Idaho Springs Heritage Museum, or Georgetown’s Hotel de Paris Museum. The nearby Georgetown Energy Museum, Hamill House Museum, and Alpine Hose No. 2 Firefighting Museums are also a great stop during your visit.
Don’t miss the steaming pools and baths fed with natural mineral-rich waters at Indian Hot Springs. Rafting, zip lining, mountain biking, and hiking for all skill levels will get your heart pumping and are perfect for a day outside.
8. Glenwood Springs
Known for its hot springs, Glenwood Springs is located in the Rocky Mountains and is surrounded by the White River National Forest. Nearby Glenwood Canyon features Hanging Lake and ancient underground caves known as Glenwood Caverns.
Considered the best destination for Colorado hot springs, Glenwood Hot Springs has one of the world’s largest mineral hot springs pools, featuring two outdoor pools and the Spa of the Rockies. Downstream is Iron Mountain Hot Springs along the Colorado River, which boasts 16 smaller natural spring pools.
Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is America’s only mountaintop amusement park with cave tours and thrill rides and great views of the Roaring Fork Valley. The Yampah Spa and Vapor Caves feature naturally occurring mineral-steam baths. Hanging Lake is considered one of the most beautiful hikes in Colorado.
Also enjoy rafting the Colorado River through Glenwood Canyon, fishing in rivers and streams, or bicycling the many paved and unpaved trails.
From farm-to-table restaurants to award-winning breweries, Glenwood Springs offers culinary delights for the discerning palate, as well as comedy musical dinner shows, musical and mystery-themed dinners and events.
You can also learn of the town’s history while RV camping in Colorado. In the late 1800s, John Henry “Doc” Holiday came to Glenwood Springs seeking a cure for his advanced tuberculosis. Take a short hike to his grave marker in Linwood Cemetery and visit the Doc Holliday Museum in the heart of downtown.
9. Crested Butte
Crested Butte is known as the wildflower capital of Colorado, and for its extreme terrain and steep slopes. In winter, skiers and snowboarders can find a trail to fit their skill level. When the summer hits, you can take your mountain bike to enjoy Crested Butte’s hundreds of miles of bike trails. In July, partake in the Crested Butte Wildflower Festival’s activities.
Crested Butte is very pedestrian friendly and just taking a stroll down Elk Avenue will provide you with mountain views, historical buildings, and plenty of places to stop in and visit.
Take in Colorado’s most populated city, its cultural hub, while you’re RV camping in Colorado. Outdoor adventures abound but don’t miss Denver’s museums, sports venues, shopping, food or brewery scene. Spend the day taking in the Rockies and drive the Mount Evans Scenic Byway.
Families can spend time at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science or the Denver Zoo. Enjoy the city’s cuisine in Larimer Square. The area is the site of the original pioneer camp, established in 1858, which soon grew into the area now known as Larimer Square. Some say it’s the best place to start your visit to Denver. Check out the Larimer Square website to find a listing of local businesses and upcoming events.
Find more places to visit while RV camping in Colorado
For all of your camping and trip planning needs, look no further than Campground Reviews and RV Trip Wizard. Campground Reviews is a trusted source of campground and RV park reviews offered by camping and RV enthusiasts just like you. With its accompanying RV LIFE App, RV Trip Wizard gets you to your camping destinations utilizing RV-friendly routes specific to your RV and travel preferences.
Terri and her husband, Todd, are full time RVers and work campers. They have been living full time in their RV for nearly two years with their Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Newton, and currently reside in South Texas on the Gulf Coast. They hope to head west for the summer season. Writing is Terri’s passion but she also loves hiking, kayaking and anything she can do outside.