With a wide variety of environments in Colorado, campgrounds can range from a desert prairie to the frozen peaks of a fourteener. It’s important to be prepared for all types of conditions no matter the time of year. Below you’ll find some of the criteria we’ll use in CampOutColorado.com
General Camping Time Frame
Unless otherwise mentioned, the normal camping season is Memorial Day through Labor Day. Although you can camp in Colorado at any time throughout the year, the vast majority of people enjoy camping during this time frame. We’ll try to mention things you should keep in mind if you’re camping outside of the normal time frame at specific locations.
Warm Weather Camping
(June, July, August and under 8,000 feet elevation)
Here at www.campoutcolorado.com, we consider it warm weather camping at times and locations where the temperature rises above 75° during the day. The low for the day should remain above 50°, even at night. It’s very important to realize that when you’re camping, you’ll be out and exposed to the elements. We recommend sunglasses, a hat, and sunblock. Remember to reapply sunblock every few hours. Reapply if you’ve gotten wet or have been sweating a lot.
When you’re warm weather camping, you can look forward to wearing sandals, shorts and a t-shirt. It shouldn’t be a problem to enjoy splashing around in the water. Be prepared to put on more layers if a storm rolls through and at night, and be sure to have some emergency gear in case some freak weather hits. I’ve seen it snow in Colorado in every month of the year!
Keep in mind, it will be cooler at higher elevations, especially at night.
Mild Weather Camping
(April through September between 8,000 and 10,000 feet elevation)
In mild weather camping, the temperature during the day might get to the low seventies and might get down to freezing at night. For this kind of camping, you should be prepared for all extremes. During the day it can be quite warm and enjoyable, and then you could wake up in the morning with frost on your tent and gear.
Make sure to wear sunglasses during the day and apply a good coating of sunscreen every few hours. Even though it isn’t hot, you can still easily be burned at our high altitude. If it gets down to freezing at night there should be relatively few bugs. You wouldn’t have to worry too much about bug repellent.
Cold Weather Camping
(October through May over 10,000 feet elevation)
You can find this type of camping at the higher elevations during the summer in Colorado as well as anywhere in Colorado during the winter. It is very important to pack warm clothes as well as coats, gloves, and a hat. Colorado can truly be stunning in the winter but when snow storms hit they can be brutal. It’s a good idea to have each of your sets of clothes packed in individual plastic bags to keep them dry. There’s definitely nothing worse than getting out of a set of wet clothes, only to find your new set of clothes is also wet or even frozen! Cold weather camping can be the most dangerous, and the most rewarding experience. Always be sure to check the weather before you leave home so you know what you are heading into.
When cold weather camping, make sure to have survival gear handy to start fires, a signal you can use to call for help, and enough extra provisions should you get snowed in somewhere. It’s always a good idea when heading into the outdoors to let somebody that is not going with you know where you’re going and what your schedule is.
This might be the make it or break a part of a trip depending on your style of camping. Running water is a luxury that we often take for granted. Fresh water is necessary for drinking, cooking, and cleaning.
If fresh running water is not available on your particular camping trip, make sure to bring your own water along with you. If you’re camping back country or do not have the ability to bring your own water, make sure that you either have something to boil water in or chemicals to treat the water. If you boil water, keep it at a rolling boil for at least 10 minutes. This kills living organisms in the water; however, it will not remove chemicals.
Outhouses and Bathrooms
We will mention outhouses and latrines or other services that may be available at the camp sites in campgrounds that we review. This is one of the amenities many people don’t like to give up when going to enjoy the great outdoors. It’s also an important way to keep our state beautiful and healthy.
We’ll let you know of these local amenities as we find them. Usually we’ll mention how close the nearest town is to the campground. If there’s a popular outdoor activity nearby, we’ll try and mention those too.
We’ll try to mention if we get cell service at campgrounds so you know if you will be truly roughing it or not!
We hope these categories help you to find which campgrounds are right for you!