The Visit USA website features Colorado as “the perfect vacation destination in any season.” Denver specifically, at the base of the Rocky Mountains, “offers plenty of natural beauty and a wide variety of outdoor recreation and experiences.”
But before you pack your things and head to the Rocky Mountain National Park, let us suggest you with three alternative trips within Denver driving-distance that will provide you with just the right amount of outdoor time and activity.
Disclaimer: you might need a 4×4 car to reach these destinations
1- Rainbow Lakes Campground – Only 56 miles from Denver, Rainbow Lakes is perfect for those who want their share of nature without leaving civilization too far behind. Located west of Boulder, the campground is near the Indian Peaks Wilderness, which is home to some of the best-known US hiking. The campground is suitable for tents only and the different trails will take you to amazing views and great ponds for fishing.
2- Jordan’s Site – Though Jordan’s Site isn’t a dedicated camping site, it’s one of the best spots to experience the Colorado wilderness. The site is about an hour and a half drive from Denver and you’ll need a 4×4 vehicle to reach the site; if you’re driving an RV, make sure it’s 15 ft or less. The site is secluded, next to a meadow where visitors have spotted wildlife or wildlife activity. You might even catch a glimpse of a bear!
3- Bill Moore Lake | Empire Loop – Just 45 miles from Denver, Bill Moore Lake is a serene spot for camping. The lake can be accessed by the Empire Loop, which is a lightly used trail that ends at the Lake. This spot is perfect for those who want an extreme adventure or a casual hike. The area offers a network of roads that can be used to tear up dirt with an ATV, mountain bike, or 4×4 car. Though be warned that visitors have rated this experience as “very difficult.” You can camp out here in tents or RV’s.
These are only 3 of the various camping and hiking trips you can make near the Denver area. If you’re already familiar with these or if you’d like to know about other additional adventures, check out this list of Colorado car-camping weekends from Denverite.