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4 of the Best Places for Winter Camping on the Western Slope

4 of the Best Places for Winter Camping on the Western Slope



Where to Camp During Winter on Colorado’s Western Slope

Winter camping on the Western Slope is an adventure unlike any other. If you’re willing to brave chilly temperatures, you’ll be rewarded with pristine winter landscapes, peaceful camping spots, and far fewer crowds compared to the peak summer season.

Check out these tips for camping in the snow, and then choose a camping spot from this list of locations that are perfect for cold-weather adventures.

1. A Snowy Stay at the Dinosaur National Monument

Head to the Colorado side of Dinosaur National Monument for a remote, crowd-free winter camping trip. You can choose from three campgrounds, all of which are first-come, first-served:

  • Echo Park: 17 campsites for both tents and vehicles, plus four walk-in tent sites, located 38 miles north of the Canyon Visitor Center. A high-clearance vehicle is recommended, and RVs and trailers are “strongly discouraged” because of sharp turns, steep grades, and rough roads.
  • Deerlodge Park: Seven shaded walk-in tent sites, located 53 miles east of the Canyon Visitor Center. You’ll be right on the Yampa River, too.
  • Gates of Lodore: 19 sites situated on the Green River at the boat ramp at the head of Lodore Canyon, 106 miles north of the Canyon Visitor Center.

The campgrounds are open all year, but note that the dirt access roads can become impassable after heavy snow or rainfall. Be sure to always check conditions before heading out.

2. Camp comfortably at Steamboat Lake State Park

The Western Slope is home to a number of excellent state parks, including Steamboat Lake. Here, you can camp in one of ten cozy camper cabins, all equipped with simple amenities such as an electric heater, beds with mattresses, a small fridge, a coffee pot, and lovely views.

For even more camping options in state parks across the Western Slope, be sure to read our Guide to Western Colorado’s State Parks.

3. Camping at the snow covered Colorado National Monument

The Monument is an enjoyable experience at any part of the year, but winter offers a completely different experience — there’s nothing quite like seeing the white snow against the dramatic red rocks.

Saddlehorn Campground is the only established campground within the Monument, and it’s the place to go for winter camping. To learn more about what to do during a winter visit, read this guide before your trip.

4. Great Sand Dunes National Park is an ideal winter escape

Head south to see massive sand dunes rise to meet the sky at Great Sand Dunes National Park. The main campground is closed during the winter, but there are plenty of nearby options. Read about them and find your spot here.

If backcountry camping is more your style, free permits are available at the park’s Visitor Center Backcountry Office, just stop by between 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. September through May. Once you complete this step, you will have access to many beautiful spots to camp at on the dunes.