Sylvan Lake, one of many beautiful lakes in Colorado

What are your Colorado plans this summer? It is the perfect family-friendly state to visit when you want to have a relaxing and enjoyable outdoor experience. Colorado is known for its natural beauty, clean lakes, and tall mountains. One of the ways to get up close to nature and the stars is to go camping. And, what better place to camp than at one of the best camping lakes in Colorado?!

No matter which city you choose to visit in the state, you can have a blast. If you are looking forward to camping and having quick access to lakes, check out some of the best camping lakes in the state. You can visit these hot spots to go swimming, fishing, kayaking, and much more. Read on for the best camping lakes in Colorado. 

Insider Tip: Not into camping but love lakes? Check out these 18 stunning lakes in Colorado!

Wolford Reservoir at dusk.

Rainbow Lakes Campground

Rainbow Lakes is a popular campground in the Nederland area of Colorado. The lakes are only a few feet deep, but you can still have fun in the water despite its shallowness. You can pitch a tent in a private area that allows you to distance yourself from others staying at the campground.

  • There are several hiking areas on the premises. You can enjoy going out on daily hikes with the family to explore the site and get in some exercise.
  • The campground is known for its cleanliness and spaciousness. 
  • There is more than enough room for you to gather with your family while enjoying the scenery. 
  • There are public bathrooms available to use and picnic tables to sit on when eating meals with your family. 
  • The campground offers bear-proof lockers for you to keep your possessions protected from any wild animals in the area. 

You can walk along any of the trails to access the lake, where you will get to spend most of your time. If you want to create fond memories with loved ones, Rainbow Lakes is an excellent choice.

Twin Lakes is an ideal camping spot during the warm summer months.

Twin Lakes

The town of Twin Lakes is a special place to visit, along with the gorgeous glacier-made lakes that you will also find there. Camping out amongst the stars is the best way of visiting the area. Not only will you be closer to nature, but you will stumble upon the escape that your family has been desperately needing. There are several great spots for Twin Lakes Colorado camping fun!

There are five Twin Lakes campgrounds in the area, all of which have amazing views, and so many activities that will keep you and your kids busy. Hiking, biking, boating, and fishing are just the tip of the iceberg.

Insider Tip: There are some fun Colorado ghost towns to explore in the Twin Lakes area.

Trinidad Lake State Park

If you are traveling to Trinidad, Colorado, you may want to consider visiting the Trinidad Lake State Park. It is a popular tourist destination because it is properly maintained and kept in the best condition possible. While visiting the park, you will come across numerous hiking trails. Some of the tracks are more challenging than others. However, you can spend time on any of these trails with your loved one.

It is possible to spend a few nights camping at the Trinidad Lake State Park. You can walk around the hiking trails and quickly access the beautiful lake. The clean lake is something people look forward to seeing when they visit the park. You will even have the opportunity to go fishing while you are in the water. If you would like to enjoy scenic views while having a relaxing experience, this park is a must-see destination.

The Red Feather Lakes area is known for its camping. Photo courtesy Susan Chesnut Photography.

Bear Lake Campground

When you are in or around the Huerfano County area of Colorado, consider booking a stay at the Bear Lake Campground. You can bring your favorite tent and pitch it with your loved ones to enjoy a genuinely outdoorsy experience. 

Lake Streams 

The lake streams past the campground, providing relaxing sounds and views that visitors love. There is a local cafe on the premises that you can visit when you want to grab a bite to eat. If you enjoy sweets, you will love their infamous carrot cake!

Campground Support

During your stay at the Bear Lake Campground, an attendant will provide tips and offer support whenever you need it. You can walk on many of the hiking trails to explore and exercise. 

There are public restrooms available for guests to use. You may even have access to firewood that you can use to set up a fire at night. If you want to sit by the fire while roasting marshmallows with the family, this is a great spot to visit. Those who have already seen this campground have nothing but positive things to say about their experiences.

Our family fishing at Piney Lake Vail
Fishing at Piney Lake Vail. Fishing rods are available for rent at the pier. Something that absolutely should be on your list of things to do with kids in Colorado!

Piney Lake

The Piney Lake area is known for camping. There are lots of rivers and secluded campsites in the area. But to be right on the lake you will need to book a cabin or glamping tent with Piney River Ranch. I have to admit that this is my favorite way to camp, with just a little luxury.

The lake is one of a few iconic spots in Colorado as the Gore Range reflects of the still water. It is popular for weddings and hiking. Canoes and paddleboards are allowed on the lake. And, you’ll see people fishing on the shore or dock. You might even spot a Moose while here. But give them some space.

Manitou Lake

While hanging out in Colorado Springs, make sure you stop by Manitou Lake. While you cannot camp directly by the lake, a campground is located not too far away. If you stay there, you will have easy access to the lake and all the fun things you can do there. 

Walking the Trails

Many people visit this lake because they like walking on the trails. You can prepare sandwiches and have a picnic near the lake to enjoy the views while you eat your lunch with the family.

Pet-Friendly Area 

Manitou Lake is also a pet-friendly area. If you are traveling with your dogs, you can take them with you on the trail. 

Fishing is an activity offered to guests. There is a fee to fish in the lake, but it is relatively low. You can fish during any time of the year, including the winter months, because ice fishing is an available activity offered to guests.

Lake Irwin Campground

The Lake Irwin Campground is another hot spot in the Gunnison County area of Colorado. It is a peaceful spot that offers stunning mountain background scenery. The scenery itself will put you in a positive mood and help you relax. This is known as one of the best camping lakes in Colorado. 

Pitch a Tent 

You can pitch your tent right by the lake, giving you easy access to the water when you want to have some fun. The isolated area is known for its natural beauty. You can expect to see some of the most breathtaking sights during your stay at the Lake Irwin Campground.

Walk the Trails 

During your visit, you can walk along the trails. You may even come across a waterfall and countless beautiful flowers planted throughout the ground. You can bring your pets with you to the campground and have a great time with loved ones. 

Participate in water activities, have a grill, and go fishing at your leisure. Create the best memories with your family while visiting the popular campground.

Blue Mesa Reservoir

Located near Curecanti National Recreation Area in Gunnison County, Blue Mesa Reservoir is one of Colorado’s largest swimming lakes. With 96 miles of shoreline there are several campsites to choose from. Elk Creek and Lake Fork Marinas Elk Creek Marina has everything you need to enjoy the reservoir, including boat rentals, kayaks, SUPs, boat launching and more.

Paddleboarding or SUPing is a fun activity while camping at Colorado lakes.

Sylvan Lake State Park

A personal favorite, Sylvan Lake State Park, located a few miles outside of Eagle, Colorado is home to a beautiful alpine lake. There are rustic cabins for rent, as well as campsites dispersed throughout the park. This is mostly a fishing and paddle boarding lake. An easy mile loop around the lake makes for great hiking with kids. It is a really fantastic place to get away from it all.

Roasting s’mores at Wolford Reservoir.

Wolford Reservoir

This reservoir in Kremmling, Colorado was where our family had our first family camping adventure. There is a marina with boat rentals, a shaded pavilion for picnicking, as well as a campground with tent and RV campsites (electric only). The kids will enjoy the small playground. It is also a popular fishing destination.

Red Feather Lakes

Located north of Ft. Collins, the Red Feather Lakes area is popular for camping. There are a variety of campgrounds, as well as cabins. Not only is there beautiful scenery, diverse wildlife, and camping opportunities. You will also discover many thrilling sports activities in the surrounding area as well.

With plenty of wonderful camping lakes in Colorado, you will have no problem choosing a great place to visit. Think about the activities you would like to participate in with your children. Once you know what you want to do, you can collect more information on these different hot spots. Use the information wisely to choose the best camping lakes to visit throughout your stay. What do you think are the best camping lakes in Colorado?

11 of the Best Camping Lakes in Colorado

Liana Moore

Liana Moore is a third-culture kid with a hangover from those days that is a severe case of wanderlust. She is more comfortable driving the cliffs of Amalfi, Italy or the dirt roads of Costa Rica or attempting to decipher the street signs of Osaka, Japan than navigating the theme parks of Disney World. But she loves it all. She doesn't believe a vacation is complete without an adventure. Her husband and kids know well that "adventure" often is code for mishap or challenge and it usually results in a good story. They seek outdoor experiences whether in the mountains, on a beach or in the jungle of a tropical country. Her favorite vacation is... all the ones she hasn't yet taken, as well as those she plans on taking again. And, that list is so, so long. But she continues to extensively explore her home state of Colorado, spends lots of time wandering Texas, California, New Mexico, Costa Rica, Mexico, Norway and has even explored Kazakhstan.

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