Denver campgrounds can be found near town on the Front Range or in the nearby Rocky Mountains, where any number of outdoor recreational pursuits can be enjoyed. The best campsites near Denver are arguably those that are found at the nearby mountain parks, though there are also some good ones closer to town for those that want to enjoy all the great Denver attractions. As for the best time to enjoy Denver camping, summer reigns supreme, with spring and fall being worthy of consideration as well. During the winter months, the cold temperatures and the constant threat of heavy snowfall combine to dissuade most Colorado camping notions.
Of all the Denver campgrounds, none is closer to the Denver Airport than the Barr Lake Campground. As is true of many Colorado campgrounds, Barr Lake is open year round, thanks in part to the fact that it provides excellent amenities for RVs. There are 108 RV sites at Barr Lake, and for those that prefer sleeping in a tent, there are ten tent sites. Full hookups provide water and electricity, and hot showers can be enjoyed regardless of the time of year. As for Barr Lake State Park, it is a wildlife sanctuary that covers nearly 3,000 acres. The reservoir can be used for sailing, fishing, and swimming, while the park's nine-mile trail is suited for land-based activities such as biking. A mere 25 miles is all that separates Barr Lake State Park from Downtown Denver, so the city will never be far away when some urban exposure is in order.
For those who are looking for Denver campgrounds that are close to the city, two others that can be ideal are the Chatfield State Park Campground and the Cherry Creek State Park Campground. The former is less than twenty miles south of Downtown Denver and covers more than 5,500 acres of prairie land. In the near distance are the rising Rocky Mountains, providing a most picturesque backdrop. Swimming, fishing, and boating figure among the top activities at this park, thanks to the large reservoir, and the almost twenty miles of trails can be used for hiking, horseback riding, cross-country skiing, and other activities. You can even go ice fishing here in the winter. As for the campground at Chatfield State Park, there are four distinct camping areas, and together, they offer 197 sites. Picnic tables and barbecue grills are included in the campsite amenities, and group sites that can accommodate up to 36 people are available.
The Cherry Creek State Park offers one of the best campsites near Denver, and it can be found wedged between Aurora and Centennial. The main attraction at the park is the large reservoir, and it's not uncommon to see people water skiing or enjoying other water sports. Guided walking tours can be arranged for those who are interested, and it's common to spot eagles, hawks, owls, and other fascinating bird species on a hike around Cherry Creek. For anyone interested Denver camping, this park just outside of town boasts 125 total sites. Some of the sites are deluxe and feature hookups, while others are basic and better suited for campers with tents. Showers and guest laundry facilities figure among the Cherry Creek Campground's amenities, and as is common at Colorado campgrounds, a dump station is available for trash.
These are the best campsites near Denver, at least in terms of the Front Range area. For those who prefer doing their Denver camping in the mountains, however, destinations such as Genesee Mountain Park, Golden Gate Canyon State Park, and the famed Rocky Mountain National Park will likely be more attractive. Rocky Mountain National Park boasts a handful of drive-in campgrounds, and it is also possible to go backcountry camping. The latter requires a special permit and is best suited for true nature enthusiasts and serious campers that don't depend on amenities.
Genesee Mountain Park is the largest and oldest of the Denver Mountain Parks, and it is located just twenty miles west of town. The 61 campsites come in the form of RV and tent sites, and guest amenities include hiking trails, horseshoe pits, volleyball courts, a small basketball court, and showers. Wi-Fi is also available on a limited basis, and campers can always consider heading into nearby Golden. The lovely city of Golden is just a short drive away, and among other things, it boasts the Coors Brewery, one of the state's best golf courses, and some good restaurants.
Over at Golden Gate Canyon State Park, which is also close to Golden and Denver, those who are without an RV or tent can home to stay in one of the cabins or yurts. The yurts are essentially a mix between a cabin and a tent, and they tend to be very basic, providing little more than shelter. As is true of most of the Denver campgrounds that are found in the mountains, Golden Gate Canyon State Park's Aspen Meadow Campground opens in May and closes in October. Other regional parks also feature cabins for those who want to upgrade from a tent to a more substantial structure on their Denver camping escape.