Few experiences are as magnificent as waking up in the middle of the night to a Colorado sky filled with stars. It’s nearly impossible to explain to those who’ve never seen it, but watching a star-filled sky gives you a better understanding of space and the size of our earth in it. The experience could be said to be humbling, mesmerizing, or awe-inspiring. But no matter what words you find to describe it, chances are, you’ll remember it forever.
Camping is the best way to get your taste of a Colorado sky, and in the Royal Gorge Region, there are several ways to experience this American pastime. From tent camping to luxurious RV camping, there’s a camping solution that’s right for you.
For those who choose to travel more simply, tents can be pitched in several areas around the Royal Gorge. By Shelf Road, Sand Gulch and the Bank are BLM campgrounds that are popular with climbers and mountain bikers. Further south is the San Isabel National Forest Campground, Oak Creek, which is free and offers access to the Lion Canyon multi-use trail. Want a hot shower? A washing machine? There are many RV parks in the area that offer tent sites in beautiful settings.
If you prefer to travel in an RV or pull a fifth-wheel or pop-up camper, these RV parks offer pull-through sites with electricity, water, sewage, WiFi, and more. Who says you must be in the middle of the forest to camp? At these RV campgrounds, scenic surroundings create idyllic settings, complete with starry nights.
There are a number of fantastic camping areas in the Fremont County region. Spring, summer, and fall in the Banana Belt of Colorado are perfect for tent or RV camping. Temperatures in April average a high of 64˚F with a low of 34˚F. August averages a high of 86˚F with a low of 57˚F. September averages a high of 79˚ with overnight lows of 48˚F.
Check out our camping directory for a complete listing of RV parks in the area or our map of area campgrounds because sleeping outdoors is the perfect way to experience all the Royal Gorge Region has to offer.
East Ridge Campground
From this little-known campsite area in the Royal Gorge Park, you’ll be treated to views of Cañon City and the surrounding parks area. New, updated sites are operated by the City of Cañon City. Vault toilets, fire rings, some picnic tables, no water. Approximately 12 sites located 20 minutes west of Cañon City. Open year-round.
Located adjacent to the Temple Canyon trail that takes you to delightful Grape Creek and beyond to The Temple. Operated by the City of Cañon City. Vault toilets, fire rings, some picnic tables, no water. Approximately 8 sites located 8 miles southwest of Cañon City. Open year-round. (Free)
Enjoy the region’s own red rock formations when you camp in this unique area. Operated by the City of Cañon City. Vault toilets, fire rings, some picnic tables, no water. Approximately 5 sites located about 10.5 miles and 20 minutes north of town on Red Canyon Road (CR9). Open year-round. (Free)
The Bank and Sand Gulch
These two BLM-run campgrounds are located at the north end of Red Canyon Road (CR9), about 12.5 miles north of Cañon City. Often used by rock climbers during the spring, winter, and fall. Vault toilets, fire rings, picnic tables, no water. Together they include 29 individual campsites and 2 group sites. (Rates vary) Open year-round, sites fill quickly during busy climbing weekends. Expansion planned for summer 2017.
Located atop Oak Creek Grade Road southwest of Cañon City, this campground is a nice, cool respite during hot summers. Access the 2.14-mile Lion Canyon trail from here. Operated by the US Forest Service. While there are three outhouses, as of this printing two of those have been closed. Fire rings, picnic tables, no water. Approximately 12 sites located 14 miles south of town. Open during summer. (Free)
Five Points is easily accessible from Hwy 50 and has a passageway under the highway to the day use site on its north side. At this site, you’ll find a an observation deck over the river. Operated by AHRA. 21 miles west of Cañon City. Vault toilets, fire rings with grills, picnic tables, no water. 20 campsites. Open year-round. Rates vary.
Phantom Canyon Roadside
Along the historic Phantom Canyon Road are a few primitive roadside sites where camping is available. Along the road are also a couple of vault toilet areas; these are not located at the camping locations. Plan accordingly and bring along a toilet system to take care of your waste. (Burying waste is not recommended.) Not the finest camping alternative, but it works in a pinch. BLM-operated. Open year-round. (Free)
Commercial Camping/RV Sites
Echo Canyon includes 28 pull-through RV sites, 6 tent sites, glamping tents, and 9 luxury cabins. Amenities include showers and bathrooms, laundry rooms, wi-fi, and more. Rates vary. Open May 1 – Labor Day.
Mountain View offers 40 RV sites and 4 cabins. Wi-fi, a playground, an outdoor kitchen with fire pit, and more are available here. Rates vary. Cabins hold a maximum of four people. Open April 30th through September. mountainviewrvresort.net 719-275-0900
Offering 80 RV sites, 20 tent sites, 11 cabins, and 2 “glamping” set-ups, The KOA has a heated pool, mini golf, wi-fi, outdoor community area, playground, and more. They are adjacent to KOA-run Big Slides and go carts. Rates vary. Open April 14 through the end of October.
The Royal View Campground is home to 50 pull-through RV sites, 12 tent sites, and 3 cabins. Guests can enjoy time at their pool, a hiking/biking path, wi-fi, and more. Rates vary. royalviewcampground.com 719-275-1900
Vintage campers are available, or bring your own RV or tent! Cabins available, too. A pool, playground, laundry, mini-golf, wi-fi, and more are available for your stay. Rates vary. Open May 5- Oct 1.