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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.