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Where to camp in Estes Park or RMNP

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Where to camp in Estes Park or RMNP

We are Minnesotans who do moderate backpacking and hiking (Grenell Glacier Trail, and Isle Royale National Park, for example). We will have about a week in RMNP and the Estes Park area. We'd like to do at least one overnight/2 nights backpacking into the park, but need to camp and acclimate prior to that, do some day hiking, etc.

When in Minnesota, we like to camp away from the car, and would like a little bit of the private, outdoorsy feel. We're looking for suggestions about camping in Estes Park or Grand Lake area that would be a good base camp for day hiking, but not RV Central.

Windsor, Colorado
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for Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park
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1. Re: Where to camp in Estes Park or RMNP

I do not camp but I am familiar with the campgrounds in RMNP. I am assuming your visit is planned for next summer or fall. For day hiking, people prefer Moraine Park campground in RMNP because it is on the shuttle system and is centrally located. For the prettiest location, I like Aspenglen campground. Glacier Basin campground is closed for the 2012 summer season due to major reconstruction of Bear Lake Road. Timber Creek campground (Grand Lake side) has been devastated by the pine beetle epidemic and there is no shade and very few trees in the campground. There are some trees around the perimeter. For additional information on campgrounds in RMNP, see www.nps.gov/romo/planyourvisit/camping.htm

http://www.recreation.gov/ is a good site for locating campgrounds that take reservations. Unfortunately, when you ask for campgrounds near Estes Park and Grand Lake, you will often see the warning about the trees having been removed.

You could also look at Hermit Park Open Space which is 2 miles from Estes Park. http://www.larimer.org/parks/hermitpark.htm

Santa Fe, New Mexico
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for Santa Fe, Mesa Verde National Park, Boulder, New Mexico
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2. Re: Where to camp in Estes Park or RMNP

We like the tent areas of Moraine Park. Check this link for photos. www.parkcampsites.com

South of Estes Park is Olive Ridge CG near Allenspark, a NFS campground.

Asheville, North...
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3. Re: Where to camp in Estes Park or RMNP

We camped in Moraine Park this past July. It was full both nights we camped, but I felt like our site (A 85) was very private. Now it *was* a short, steep hike up from the car, but there's a big tree between you and the closest campsite; you can't even see anyone else from the tent pad. (We live in the mountains, so the walking up and down the hill to go to the car or bathroom didn't bother us so much.)

I think this was an incredible tent site and at the end of this blog post: …blogspot.com/2011/08/fri-july-29.html - there are a few pictures of it. (And also a few more on the following posts.)

Give yourselves plenty of time to acclimate to the altitude. There was one poor lady at the campground restroom who was just gasping for breath; I felt so bad for her.

Loveland, Colorado
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4. Re: Where to camp in Estes Park or RMNP

I think the Moraine Park is really nice, especially if you get a site on the outer loop with views! It is a big campground, so you might find it a bit busy, I'd definitely reserve your site early! Aspenglen is also really nice! There are a few sites next to the water, and I believe a few sites that you can walk into, to get a little more privacy and be off of the road a bit. Sites A & B are the closest to the river and would be my recommendation if you want more privacy and don't mind a short walk to your site.

As for your backpacking time, there are so many places to go! One of my favorites is near Lawn Lake. I'm sure you already know, but you do need a backpacking permit to backpack into the park overnight. Call the backcountry office to get your permit. You can certainly stop by the office when you arrive to plan your trip, but many of the popular sites will already be reserved. Have fun!

St. Louis, MO
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5. Re: Where to camp in Estes Park or RMNP

Another vote for Morrain Park. You're in the park, it's beautiful, and yet you can get to the Safeway in 20 minutes for supplies which you can't do at most of the other campground. My favoite for sure.

Denver, Colorado
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6. Re: Where to camp in Estes Park or RMNP

We were camping in our 20 ft. trailer in Hermit Park - Hermit's Hollow campground near Estes Park last weekend. It was gorgeous. We were in H34 and our friends were in H22. H22 is a bit more secluded but it also got more sun. The campground hosts were wonderful. It's close to Estes Park which is a great little town but you are still "in the mountains". Lots of trees, fires allowed in fire rings, brand new toilet facilities throughout the park. You won't be disappointed.

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7. Re: Where to camp in Estes Park or RMNP

Thanks for the post. My wife and I have reservations for spot 85 this summer. Your desscription is reassuring and its fun to see the photo. Thanks,

8. Re: Where to camp in Estes Park or RMNP

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