Why RVers Love Colorado’s State Parks 

Jun 29, 2022 | Best Campgrounds, Campgrounds

Why RVers Love Colorado’s State Parks 

From alpine lakes to winter camping, here’s what Colorado state parks have to offer RVers.

By Madeleine Balestrier

Colorado’s state park system encompasses a diverse natural landscape. Depending on the area and elevation, Colorado’s 42 state parks feature mountains, rivers, plains, and idyllic campsites nestled in forests. Thirty-four of the 42 state parks offer camping, and most of these provide RV amenities and sites. 

Stand-Out Features of Colorado State Parks

Aside from the beautiful scenery, the Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) organization offers features to elevate your experience in nature. 

As an initiative to get people outside and visit Colorado state parks, CPW created the Passport Program, encouraging park-goers to fill up their free passport with stamps and memories from the 42 state parks and 15 fish hatcheries in Colorado. Collect all of the stamps and receive a prize.

Another feature implemented by CPW is the Agents of Discovery app that creates augmented reality trail missions in 13 of Colorado’s state parks. The app facilitates and guides users on outdoor activities. One of the missions specific to Barr Lake takes you out on a kayak to discover the history of the park. Other state parks have partnered with the app, including Crawford, Jackson Lake, Ridgway, and Steamboat Lake.  

How to Make a Reservation at Colorado State Parks

All Colorado state parks are reservation-only with a few exceptions during the off-season. You can make reservations through the Aspira Call Center at 1-800-244-5613 or online at cpwshop.com. You can make a reservation up to 6 months in advance of your intended stay. 

For more specifics on how to reserve a campground at Colorado State Parks, visit the reservation FAQ page here

What to Expect RV Camping at Colorado State Parks

While camping varies across parks, here are a few things to expect when visiting a Colorado state park: 

  • All vehicles require an entrance pass that comes at a fee, while some parks also require walk-in fees. Daily vehicle passes vary from $9 to $11. Beyond daily rates, Colorado state parks offer several annual and specialty passes.
  • Entrance fees are different from camping fees. Prices vary depending on the park, campground, and kind of camping. Generally, you should expect to pay up to $41 a night for a full-hookup campground, while primitive areas cost up to $18 a night. 
  • When camping in a Colorado state park, you can stay for a maximum of 14 days in a 28-day period. This means you can camp for 14 consecutive days in one state park or revisit and stay at the same state park 14 times throughout the 28 days. 
  • Campground amenities vary across the Colorado state park system. Some campgrounds only include picnic tables and a fire ring, while others feature full hookups, laundry facilities, flush toilets, showers, and a dump station. Check individual park pages on the CPW website for specific amenities and features. 
  • Thirty-eight of Colorado’s 42 state parks are pet-friendly, but your pets must be on a leash no longer than 6 feet at all times. Cherry Creek and Chatfield state parks provide off-leash dog parks.  
  • The state of Colorado is no stranger to wildfires. Before visiting a park, check the local weather, fire risk, and fire bans. 

Related Camping With Wildfires: What You Need to Know

The Best Colorado State Parks for RVers

Thirty-four of the 42 state parks in Colorado offer camping. Situated in the foothills of mountains, along lakes and reservoirs, under the solitude of aspens, and around red rock formations, Colorado’s campgrounds attract hikers, climbers, rafters, weekend warriors, and RVers. Here are some of the best Colorado state parks for RVers: 

a red pickup truck tows an rv in front of a lake and snowy hills
Navajo State Park in Arboles, Colorado. | Photo: Istradner

Navajo State Park 

Located in Southwestern Colorado lies Navajo State Park. This state park has three campgrounds to choose from: Carracas, Rosa, and Tiffany, each with RV sites and hookups. Certain campgrounds also offer big rig access and winter camping. Beyond the camping, Navajo State Park is known for water sports as it’s situated on a lake that’s more than 25 miles long and extends into New Mexico.

a trailer is parked at a campsite with a picnic table without hills in the background
Mueller State Park in Divide, Colorado. | Photo: Kerri

Mueller State Park

Outside of Colorado Springs lies Mueller State Park. This park has 136 campsites with 99 electric sites for RVers. It offers full-service restrooms, laundry, a dump station, and a playground. The park is open year-round, for mountain biking and hiking in the summer and cross-country skiing and snowmobiling in the winter. 

Related 7 State Parks, National Monuments, and Forests in Colorado to See by RV

a car tows an rv next to the water
Steamboat Lake State Park in Clark, Colorado. | Photo: Wandertopia Todd

Steamboat Lake State Park

Camp at 8,100 feet in Steamboat Lake State Park, located just an hour outside of Steamboat, Colorado. The park has two campgrounds: Sunrise Vista, Dutch Hill, and the nearby campground at Pearl Lake State Park, including 224 campsites with both electric and non-electric areas. In the park, you’ll have access to a camper services building with showers, flush toilets, and laundry facilities. Winter camping here is offered, but limited and on a first-come, first-served basis. Spend a summer here kayaking and paddle boarding, and return for ski season in the winter.