Select Page

Colorado to open 26 campgrounds at state parks by the weekend

Miles Blumhardt
Fort Collins Coloradoan
Published 5:59 PM EDT May 12, 2020

More than two dozen campgrounds that have been closed since March 26 due to the coronavirus pandemic will open by this weekend.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife opened campgrounds at 16 state parks Tuesday and will open two Wednesday; three Thursday, including Boyd Lake; and five Friday, including Lory.

Here is a list of the openings, according a CPW news release Tuesday afternoon:

Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area (Fremont County campgrounds only), Chatfield, Cherry Creek, Eleven Mile, Elkhead Reservoir, Highline, Jackson Lake, James M. Robb Colorado River Island Acres, James M. Robb Colorado River Fruita, Mancos, Mueller, North Sterling, Rifle Falls, Rifle Gap, Staunton and Vega

Golden Gate Canyon (tentative), Lake Pueblo, Lory, Navajo and Ridgway

Pending campgrounds

The following parks continue to coordinate with local officials for reopening plans. Dates will be announced as they become available for Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area (Chaffee County campgrounds), Lathrop, Paonia, Pearl Lake, Stagecoach, Colorado State Forest, Steamboat Lake, Sylvan Lake, Trinidad Lake and Yampa River.

Mask modifications: Larimer County to apply for variance

Park officials said cabins, yurts, tipis, group facilities and other reservable day-use facilities remain closed until further notice.

Fishing, hiking and biking continue to be allowed at state parks not open to camping.

Park users are asked to practice social distancing as best they can, wear face coverings, wash hands frequently, avoid large gatherings and refrain from visiting if they are at higher risk of severe illness.

Campers should plan to bring their own meals, fill up on gas prior to leaving home, and bring cleaning supplies and personal hygiene items.

All camping is by reservation only at state parks starting this year. 

It is advisable to check your reservation status if you made prior reservations. Visit for the most up-to-date information regarding camping availability at each park.

Expect long wait times when calling CPW’s vendor, Aspira, or the CPW call center. To avoid having to wait on hold, visit

Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests to remain closed to camping

The Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests are continuing their camping at designated campgrounds ban through May 31.

While campgrounds and restrooms have been closed since April 7, trail parking lots and trails are open and fishing is allowed.


Larimer County camping continues

Larimer County Natural Resources opened its campgrounds May 1 to those with existing reservations and self-contained hard-sided units with restrooms. No tent camping is allowed.

All restrooms, shower rooms, cabins, tipis, group picnic sites and pavillions remain closed.

Carter Lake Area and Horsetooth Reservoir allow a maximum of eight people per unit.

For more information, visit

Rocky Mountain National Park

The park will reopen May 27. It has been completely closed since March 20 to all activities, including driving through the park.

Portions of Moraine Park and Glacier Basin campgrounds will open June 4. 

Shuttle bus operations within the Bear Lake Road corridor will begin May 27. It is unknown if the Hiker Shuttle from the Estes Park Visitor Center will be operating this summer. 

For information, visit

Wyoming opens state parks camping but says no to nonresidents

The parks will partially reopen to camping starting Friday, for Wyoming residents only.

The decision to reopen out-of-state visitor camping will be continually reassessed by state park management, and a future plan will be submitted to the governor and state health officer as camping begins to open in surrounding states, according to the state park website.  

All camping is by reservation only, ensuring only state residents can make reservations, and not all campsites will be available due to designed social distancing. 

Other restrictions apply.


Nebraska to open camping to residents and nonresidents 

Coloradans who enjoy going to Lake McConaughy will be able to starting May 20, when state park camping opens to all, with some restrictions.

Camping will open at select state parks, including popular Lake Mac near Ogallala, for RV camping where social distancing and group-size recommendations can be maintained.

For details, visit

Coronavirus central: There is lots of good news

Reporter Miles Blumhardt looks for stories that impact your life. Be it news, outdoors, sports — you name it, he wants to report it. Have a story idea? Contact him at or on Twitter @MilesBlumhardt. Support his work and that of other Coloradoan journalists by purchasing a digital subscription today. 

This content was originally published here.