When is the best time to go camping in Colorado?

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Trip Ideas by Season in Colorado and the West

Are you looking for an adventure but aren’t sure where to go or when to go? Relax, since we are camping specialists in Colorado and the surrounding Southwest. Let us walk you through all of your wonderful choices, regardless of the season!

First and foremost, the shifting of the seasons will influence where you wish to go. While there will always be an excellent site to visit, each location has its own peak season, regardless of the time of year. We thought we’d break it down for you, and the image below is a fast summary.

Spring: ~March-May

It’s time to thaw out after a long winter and start the camping season! Yet, the snowiest months in Colorado are March and April, with snowstorms arriving as late as Mother’s Day. So don’t be deceived by a 60° day; tomorrow might bring two feet of snow!

The Forest Service closes most dirt roads over 7,000 feet in Colorado. Your best bet for a Spring trip is to stay in the desert areas of Colorado, Utah, and Arizona. These are some of our top recommendations:

Summer: ~June-August

July is by far the finest season for mountain exploration in Colorado. Several Colorado high country campsites and 4×4 routes open around June 15th. Several upper places don’t open until early July, especially after a heavy snow year.

You’re going to have access to everywhere in the Summer months, but you’ll want to focus on getting to the places that you can’t the rest of the year. Save the deserts for the spring, fall, and winter seasons. The higher the height, the colder the weather will be, especially at night and at the end of August.

In the Rockies, July is peak wildflower season. Furthermore, once school resumes in late August, there will be fewer visitors. Here are a few summer-specific possibilities, but really, anything goes during the peak summer season!

  • Colorado 14ers
  • 4×4 Mountains Passes
  • Colorado State Parks
  • National Parks in Colorado
  • National Parks in Wyoming and Montana
  • Dispersed Camping in National Forest Lands
  • Visiting Mountain Towns
  • Rafting
  • Fishing

Fall: ~September-November

Autumn is by far our favorite camping season! In Colorado, September and early October are fantastic months for camping. The crowds have thinned, the bugs have gone, and the leaves are turning stunning oranges, reds, and, of course, Aspen gold. The peak time for Leaf Peepers is late September. Take advantage of the remaining high mountain treks before the snow shuts the 4×4 highways.

By mid-October, the desert areas will again be ideal as the scorching heat has calmed and the snow is beginning to fly in the mountains. Layers are essential at this time. Don’t be fooled by the warm days because the evenings will cool and mornings will be frosty. Heated vans or heated truck campers are ideal for late-season excursions.

Winter: ~December-February

Do you have problems picturing a winter without camping? But you don’t have to! Ditch the crowds, grab a heated Denver campervan rental or an overland truck camper, and experience winter camping. You can stick in the mountains and skip the expensive lodging at ski areas or road trip deep into the desert southwest seeking more mild temperatures.

Ski Camping: places to stay in a heated rig

Overnight Parking

  • Silverton Mountain Ski Area
  • Winter Park Resort
  • Wolf Creek Resort
  • Powderhorn Mountain Resort
  • Bluebird Backcountry

Check out our blog Ski Camping for additional information on places to ski camp.

Winter Overlanding Trips

Why not take an overland adventure across the deserts of Arizona or Nevada? During the winter months we offer a one-way option to Phoenix or Las Vegas of our Denver camping rentals, contact us to learn more.

  1. Grand Canyon National Park
  2. Antelope Canyon-Horseshoe Bend
  3. Sedona
  4. Petrified Forest National Park
  5. Death Valley
  6. Las Vegas

No need to worry if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of planning the ideal getaway. Can work with you to create a custom itinerary based on the time of year, route, activities, and experience level you’re comfortable with! Whether you want a remote backcountry trip or just looking for some more general guidance from the experts, we are here for you. To get started, contact us now!

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