Camping With Kids in Colorado: The Best Kid Friendly Camping In The State
Camping with kids in Colorado will give your little ones a nature experience they won’t soon forget. With State and National Parks at every turn, Colorado has some of thebest camping destinations for families in the country. Check out these top 5 kid-friendly camping sites (and a few tips for a stress-free trip).
Even if you’ve been an avid outdoor enthusiast for years,camping with kids can feel like uncharted territory. If you’ve never taken your kids out on a camping trip before, you might be wondering how they’ll react to new sleeping arrangements far from the easy comfort of home. Luckily, Colorado has some of the easiest access to five-star camping in the country. That means you can explore mind-blowing views or camp next to beautiful lakes, and still enjoy well maintained campgrounds. It might not seem like much, but a picnic table, campground host, and easily accessible bathrooms will go a long way towards making camping with kids an enjoyable experience.
The 5 Best Camping Destinations For Families in Colorado
Located on the west side of Rocky Mountain National Park, the Timber Creek Campground features stunning views of the Rockies, close access to water, and nicely maintained campsites. When you’re car camping in a National Park, you can almost always expect a campsite with a table, fire ring, potable water, trash service, and bathrooms nearby. The Timber Creek area is mostly flat and open, making it a great spot for smaller children. Depending on the day of the week, you might be able to catch an interactive ranger talk, where NPS rangers will talk about the animals and plants of Rocky Mountain in a kid-friendly setting. Campsites are available on a first-come, first-serve basis and are $30/night.
Sitting at the base of Mount Evans, one of Colorado’s famous 14,000 foot peaks, the Echo Lake Campground offers a quick trip from the Denver Metro area. Don’t worry- you’ll quickly forget that you’re only an hour from the city when you’re surrounded by dense pine forests, cool mountain air, and several trailheads located right in the campground. When you’re camping at Echo Lake, you’ll enjoy toilets, fire pits, tables, and easy access to water and trash. Plus, let the kids enjoy nearby Echo Lake, or take the scenic drive up to the top of Mount Evans.
If you want to stick closer to home just in case, try camping with kids in Colorado at Golden Gate State Park. It’s less than an hour from downtown Denver, and offers a great getaway from hot summer days. With several campgrounds to choose from, or yurt/cabin accommodations for extra amenities, your kids will love to explore Golden Gate. Enjoy miles of well-marked, family-friendly trails, too.
Head down to the southern side of Colorado for a night or two at Great Sand Dunes National Park. The kids will love the unique landscape of the Sand Dunes, and we can’t think of a better activity for the whole family than sandboarding. As with Rocky Mountain, you can expect this national park to have nicely maintained campsites with water and bathrooms as well as tables, a fire ring, and evening ranger programs.
Pitch your tent in the center of beautiful Telluride at the Telluride Town Park Campground. This is, without a doubt, one of the best camping destinations for families. With the river rushing by and trees all around, you might forget that you’re just minutes from downtown Telluride. This campground has bathrooms with running water, showers, a playground, and even an indoor soccer field. Camping with kids in Colorado doesn’t get much better. Plus, you can make your trip completely hassle-free by enjoying the tastes of local restaurants rather than cooking on a camp stove.
Camping With Kids: Tips For a Hassle-Free Trip
Once you’ve got the best family camping destination picked out, use thesetips for camping with kids to help the weekend go off without a hitch.
Give Yourself More Time Than You Think
Is the campsite only an hour away? Plan for two. Think it’ll only take half an hour to set up camp? Budget for some wiggle room. When you’re camping with kids, even simple things take longer than you expect. And the last thing you’ll want is to feel rushed when you’re supposed to be relaxing. Keep your itinerary simple, and give you and your family room for the unexpected!
Take It Easy
Even if the kids can make it to that alpine lake on your hiking day, it might make sense to choose a slightly shorter destination for your first few camping trips. With altitude, sleeping under the stars, and lots of new experiences, your kids will likely be more tired than usual. So plan adventures that are well within the abilities of your family- trust us, you’ll have more fun!
Leave Room for Play
The best part of camping with kids is watching them enjoy nature right by your campsite. So, rather than packing the day with activities, make sure you’ve got some downtime for your little ones to play right at camp. You might be surprised by what they come up with!
Even in the most kid-friendly campgrounds, other campers will appreciate it if you clearly explain a few ground rules to your kids. Make sure they understand the basics of Leave No Trace, like leaving plants where they are, and giving wild animals plenty of space. And if there are certain activities or areas that you know will be off-limits on the trip, let your kids know beforehand.
Bring Gear To Keep Them Comfortable
Nobody enjoys being hot, cold, or sunburnt. Make sure to pack your kids the gear they’ll need to stay comfortable in the elements all trip long. Bring a colorful summer hat to keep them cool and their face out of the sun. And don’t forget any sentimental toys that might make a new sleeping situation easier for them!
With some of the best camping destinations for families, Colorado is a great place to get the whole family into nature.
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