Colorado Vacations 
Family Travel Colorado 
Your Guide to Visiting Colorado with the Kids
Camping in Colorado with the Kids
Camping in Colorado with the kids can take on many forms.

From backpacking up a remote trail to renting a cabin in a state park, camping can appeal to the needs of any family.


Photo: Kids play in the water
 right in front of the campground
at Pearl Lake State Park,

Visit the Prettiest Places
in Colorado
 with the Kids

From the
Far View Lodge
in Mesa Verde
to Eagle's Nest
on Vail Mountain,
follow this link to the
Most Scenic Places
in Colorado
for families

Going Car Camping
with the Kids?

Here's a list of stuff you might want to take along 
to make 
roughing it 
a bit easier

Car Camping Gear

Camp Clothing
for Colorado

Custom Search

Looking for Colorado's

 Best Campgrounds
for the Kids?

Read our article about
 our Editors' Choices for
 favorite Colorado
 camping spots

See Colorado's National Parks with the Kids!

Our nation's National Parks have been called the
crown jewels of America. 

Colorado is the proud home of four National Parks: 

  • Rocky Mountain 
  • Mesa Verde 
  • Great Sand Dunes 
  • Black Canyon of the Gunnison 

Plan your great Colorado family vacation with our
series on Colorado's National Parks - 45 pages of information and inspiration

Start with the National Parks Directory at

Did You Know?

As the highest state in America, Colorado is home to many high-altitude campsites.

It is normal for families to pitch their tents in campgrounds above 8-, 9-, or even 10,000 feet above sea level.

When camping in Colorado, be prepared for the dry air, intense sunlight, and cold at this elevation.

Check out our Gear Lists for Family Camping to make sure your family is prepared.

Photo: Roasting marshmallows in Morefield Campground at Mesa Verde National Park.

"I want to go camping!" Innocent babes, with five simple words, inspire simultaneous excitement and dread in their parents. One of Colorado's most popular outdoor activities, and great fun for kids, camping still calls for planning ahead and knowing what you are getting into.

Nature at its Best

Whether you are camping in Colorado's high country, or in the red rock desert canyons of Western Colorado, or on the eastern wind swept prairies, the great expanses, fresh air, and spectacular scenery of the state offer nature at its best. An added bonus: camping offers an inexpensive lodging alternative to more deluxe accommodations.

Photo: The Split Mountain Campground at
Dinosaur National Monument, Colorado
offers hot, sunny sites with spectacular views.

Kinds of Camping for Families

The kind of camping you choose depends on the ages of your kids, plus your family's interests, experience in the outdoors, and length of your camping trip. Also, the goals of the trip come into play. A vacation from the city's summer heat with a getaway to a cool mountain lake will be an entirely different trip from an exploration of ancient cultures at Mesa Verde.

Here we've listed and described different approaches to camping. This will help your family plan the type of adventure that will fit your style the best.


Huge swaths of the western states are public lands - National Forests, National Parks, and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands and state parks. Therefore, with some restrictions, it is legal and common for folks to backpack into the backcountry and set up camp on these public lands.

Most of the time, when you do this, you are making a primitive camp, and need to carry or treat your own
water, properly dispose of your own human waste, and pack out your own trash.

Many families relish the opportunity to experience remote wilderness and solitude and for them, the chance of a retreat from city life far outweighs the small inconveniences.

National Parks require backcountry permits to camp outside of established campgrounds, and often you must make reservations for backcountry campsites before you leave on your trek. 

Car Camping

 In many places, vacationers also commonly drive their cars or SUVs along a dusty Forest Service road until finding a nice camp spot to stop and pitch a tent. In Forest Service lingo, this is known as “dispersed camping”, and again with some restrictions, it is a common way to enjoy natural settings and some solitude.
The camping is primitive and you must bring or treat your own water, deal appropriately with your human waste, and pack out your trash.

Alternatives to dispersed camping include established National Park Service, National Forest Service, BLM, or
State Park campgrounds. Slightly more improved, these areas have designated campsites, which can often be reserved ahead of time. Usually a picnic table, a fire grate, and outhouses are provided. Most also provide drinking water and trash removal. A few provide amenities such as showers, playgrounds, and electrical hookups. The campgrounds on government lands are frequently situated in very pretty settings, and campsites are spaced and arranged to offer a degree of privacy for campers. Check the area’s website to see if you can reserve a spot ahead of time.

Tent Cabins and Yurts

Several National and State Parks offer visitors the option of reserving tent cabins or yurts. You bring your own gear, like sleeping bags and cookware and eating utensils, but the basic structure and often cots or bunks are provided. This is a good option for families who want to try camping without making a commitment to too much expensive equipment. Sometimes cabins or yurts are located in designated campgrounds, and you can drive right up to them. Other times they are hidden along backpacking trails, and families must carry their gear - except for a tent!

Private Campgrounds and RV Parks

Travelers with RVs that require hookups (water and electricity) often must opt for commercially owned campgrounds. Frequently these offer slightly less scenic settings and more congested camping, although they also often offer such amenities as swimming pools, game rooms, showers, and laundry facilities.

Starry Night

Camping out offers families the chance to experience nature in a way they never can when they sleep indoors. Something special happens when kids get marshmallow goo stuck to their cheeks and stay up late watching orange lights dance in the campfire’s embers. Nothing takes the place of rising from a warm sleeping bag to head to the outhouse with your little one, only to be stunned by the blizzard of stars overhead. And to awaken later, to birds singing and pine needle shadows on the canvas. No wonder camping ranks with the most popular of outdoor recreational activities in Colorado.

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