in Camping / by Corey Mercer

We’ve been counting down the days until we can head out to our favorite camp spots — and that day is finally upon us! We believe one of the best ways to make it through the pandemic is getting back to the root of what we love: getting some R&R in the great outdoors.

While Colorado is slowly re-opening its local, state, and national parks, you may be wondering what’s open and where it’s safe to camp right now. Although the information is ever-evolving, below we’ve compiled a guide on where to go and some important tools on how to stay safe and flatten the curve while enjoying the Colorado outdoors.

Which Colorado State Parks Are Open for Camping?

Last Tuesday, Governor Polis began a soft reopening of state parks throughout Colorado for campground reservations. We’re happy to say after a week of success, those parks will remain open!

Keep in mind that when getting your favorite camping crew together, now is not the time to make new friends or expand those groups. Any groups on these grounds of more than 10 people will be asked to leave the parks, and could even result in your permanent loss of state park camping privileges.

Also, it’s important to follow the state “Safer At Home” map, which will help you eliminate closed counties from your options of where to go! We have gone ahead and compiled a list of state parks that started phasing in camping as of last week!

So far the following parks are open for camping:

  • Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area (Fremont County campgrounds only)
  • Chatfield State Park
  • Cherry Creek State Park
  • Eleven Mile State Park
  • Elkhead Reservoir State Park
  • Highline State Park
  • Jackson Lake State Park
  • James M. Robb Colorado River State Park (Island Acres and Fruita)
  • Mancos State Park
  • Mueller State Park
  • North Sterling State Park
  • Rifle Falls State Park
  • Rifle Gap State Park
  • Staunton State Park
  • Vega State Park
  • Cheyenne Mountain State Park (tentative)
  • Crawford State Park
  • Boyd Lake State Park
  • St. Vrain State Park
  • John Martin Reservoir State Park
  • Golden Gate Canyon State Park (tentative)
  • Lake Pueblo State Park
  • Lory State Park
  • Navajo State Park
  • Ridgway State Park

Just be sure to make a reservation before you go as Campground Information Stations will remain closed!

Are National Parks Open for Camping?

While campgrounds across Colorado State Parks are reopening each week, unfortunately National Forest established campgrounds are still closed.

As of now, there is no expected return date for these parks. However, dispersed camping in the National Forests is absolutely allowed!

Bear in mind, these sites are completely pack-in, pack-out. Just like with State Park Campgrounds, be sure to leave your site cleaner than when you arrived.

What To Bring Along

There are certain supplies you’ll want to bring along to help ensure you keep yourself and other campers safe and healthy while camping during the pandemic:

  • Bring a first aid kit, your own toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and trash bags in case restrooms are closed.
  • If you’re camping in a dispersed area, bring a portable toilet.
  • Fires should be restricted to approved fire pits, keeping in mind that some counties may have fire bans in place, and notices will be posted.
  • Practice physical distancing, and don’t congregate near restrooms or water sources.

Here at Roofnest, we’re thrilled that we can finally hit the road and go camping in our gorgeous state parks. But before you head out, it’s important to know how to camp safely — from bringing your own supplies to staying put in a single campsite.

Learn more about camping safely during coronavirus >

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