When the spring months finally offer up some semblance of a stable weather report of warm days and cool nights, I become a woman with a one track mind: where can I start camping this summer?
Of course, without fail, my brain beats most of the campgrounds to their opening dates and if you’ve lived in Colorado for any length of time, you’ve experienced the heartbreak that comes with pulling up to a campground only to discover it has not yet opened for the season.
Oh, cruel world!
So, to give you a comprehensive list of where to camp when, here are the opening times for the campgrounds near Boulder this summer.
That’s right, you have camping options right now, you lucky duck, you. These campgrounds often offer the most facilities and amenities for both tent and RV campers alike. Many offer disability access as well. Because of their access to amenities, these campgrounds tend to fill up pretty quickly on the weekends, so it’s recommended that you reserve a spot or two if you’re making definitive plans with a group. All of these campgrounds charge $19 per night. When you make a reservation, $10 is charged up front, with the remainder being charged upon check in.
Opening June 17
Good things come to those who wait just a little later into the season with these campgrounds. These sites are a little more secluded than those found in campgrounds such as Camp Dick or Kelly Dahl. The pricing is a little lower as well.
As an aside, Rainbow Lakes has been one of my go to campgrounds for over a decade. Not necessarily for the paid campsites, but for the more secluded sites that are just off the sides of the road. Those are no cost and are spacious, with a real feeling of isolation. It’s never let me or my family down.
Opening June 24
By the end of January, we’ll be waiting for one final opening for the season: Pawnee Campground. It makes sense that it’s the last to open when you realize it’s located at the foot of the Continental Divide. It takes a while for it to warm up out there. Regardless, when it does open, it stays pretty packed on the weekends, so reservations for the $19 per night sites are recommended.
Now that you know there are campgrounds open, what are you waiting for? Throw your tent and bag in the car and get out of the city.
For any of you that want to do some further research on the camping areas or districts further from Boulder, I cannot recommend the USDA’s Forest Service page enough. It’s packed full of great information for all types of activities you’ll probably be getting into this summer.