Walker’s Haute Route Accommodation and Refuge Guide

Trekking the Walker’s Haute Route is an unforgettable adventure. Of course, the alpine beauty along this rugged trail from Chamonix to Zermatt is an obvious highlight, but the charming villages…

Trekking the Walker’s Haute Route is an unforgettable adventure. Of course, the alpine beauty along this rugged trail from Chamonix to Zermatt is an obvious highlight, but the charming villages and mountain refuges you’ll experience on your trek are equally as wonderful. From luxurious hotels in posh mountain towns to rustic refuges perched in remote locales, there are so many incredible ways to experience the rich culture and camaraderie found along the Walker’s Haute Route.

If you want to make the most of your self-guided Walker’s Haute Route experience, it is essential to do a little advance planning when it comes to accommodation. Many places book up early in the season, and some options are much better than others.

In this guide, we’ll cover the need-to-know information on Haute Route refuges and other accommodations. We’ve also included an excellent directory of the best accommodation and refuges for every style, budget, and itinerary.

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Types of Haute Route Accommodation

There are accommodation options along the Walker’s Haute Route to suit every budget and travel style. While not all of these options are available at every stage of the route, you can certainly customize your itinerary to fit your needs.

We’ve provided a brief explanation of each of the options below:

Hotels

Typically small and independently owned, the hotels along the Haute Route provide a welcome dose of luxury to weary hikers. Unless otherwise noted by the hotel, expect all of the usual amenities (hot shower, private bathroom, breakfast offered, linens and towels provided, etc). Hotels typically cost upwards of €60 per person (with an extra supplement for singles). For an additional fee, many hotels offer half-pension (AKA half-board or demi-pension) which includes dinner and breakfast. A few hotels along the route have dortoirs in addition to private rooms. Dortoirs are dormitories that offer a good budget option.

Gites d’Etape and Auberges

These are simple guest houses offering basic, dorm-style accommodation. Half-pension (dinner and breakfast) is typically included in the price. There are shared bathroom facilities with hot showers. Bed linens are usually provided. These are a good option for those who want to stick to a smaller budget, but don’t want to carry camping gear. Expect to pay around €50 per person for half-pension. 

Cabane du Mont Fort on a sunny day along the Walker's Haute Route

Mountain Refuges

We consider a stay in a mountain refuge (aka mountain huts or rifugios) to be a highlight of any Walker’s Haute Route trek. Set in stunning and remote locations, the ambiance at the refuges can’t be beat. Half-pension gets you a bed in a dorm (linens not provided), a delicious communal dinner, and a basic breakfast. Some refuges also offer private rooms (with shared bathrooms). Expect to pay around €45 per person for half-board in a dorm. 

A campground along the Walker's Haute Route

Campgrounds

Although they are the cheapest accommodation option along the route, WHR campgrounds can still be quite luxurious. All provide sinks and toilets, and many offer hot showers and even WiFi! Expect to pay around €12 per person to camp. Note: you cannot camp on every stage of the Walker’s Haute Route

Want to know more about camping on the WHR? Check out this in-depth post!

Approaching the Trient Glacier while hiking up the Fenetre d'Arpette trail along the Walker's Haute Route
Fantastic views of the Trient Glacier from the Fenêtre d’Arpette segment.

Should I Reserve My Walker’s Haute Route Accommodation in Advance?

This is a question that creates stress and anxiety for many hikers as they are planning for their Haute Route adventure. The short answer is, yes, you should try to book your accommodation as early as possible. However, the longer answer is a bit more nuancedWe’ve broken it down for you here, so you can plan with more confidence and less worry.

When is your trek?

If you plan to complete your trek in peak season (July-August), it’s likely that most of the refuges and guesthouses will fill up in advance. Book 3-6 months in advance.

If you’re hiking in June or September, things will probably be sold out on the weekends, but you might be okay without advance reservations during the week. However, keep in mind that some refuges are closed in June and/or September.

Where do you plan on staying?

Mountain refuges are the most important to book ahead of time. Many of these huts are quite small, so they fill up quickly. Several refuges accept reservations year-round, typically allowing you to book up to 12 months in advance. Some, however, do not respond to reservation requests during the winter months (September-March, typically). You should still try to email or call the refuge to reserve your spot as soon as you know your itinerary, even if it’s prior to March. When they finally get around to responding in the springtime, they often fill requests in the order in which they received them.

Gites, auberges, and guesthouses should be your next priority when it comes to advance bookings. This is especially true in the smaller villages where accommodation options are limited, and/or if you have specific preferences for your lodging (ex; private room, linens provided, etc). In terms of when you should make your bookings, the rules are similar to refuges. As soon as you’ve made your travel plans, reach out to the gite/guesthouse (or book online). For peak summer months, it’s optimal to have these bookings made by the end of March.

For larger hotels, you have a bit more wiggle room when it comes to making reservations. You should definitely still try to do it as early as possible, but they have more rooms and are often located in places with greater availability of lodging options.

You do not need to make advance reservations for any of the campgrounds on the Walker’s Haute Route. In fact, we recommend that you don’t. This will allow you to maximize the freedom and flexibility that camping provides, and it will make it much less complicated to check-in at the campgrounds.

I waited until the last minute…Am I doomed?

Certainly not! You can still have an amazing Haute Route trek, but you may need to be a bit more flexible and creative when it comes to finding places to stay. The first thing you should do is contact all of the places you would like to stay to check if they still have availability. If some key stops are sold out, it’s always possible to make some tweaks to your itinerary.

I’m more of the spontaneous type…Can I do the Walker’s Haute Route without booking ahead?

Yes you can, and we admire your free spirit! The easiest way to hike the WHR without a set itinerary is to camp. For those who prefer to stay indoors, if you plan your trek for mid-week in June or September and you arrive at your accommodation early in the day, you will likely be just fine. If you’re hiking during peak times, get familiar with the transportation options and nearby villages so you have back-ups if your first choice of accommodation is full.

Cascades spill into Lac Bleu on the Walker's Haute Route
Lac Bleu.

Walker’s Haute Route Accommodation Cost

Prices vary greatly from place to place, but generally speaking, here’s what you can expect to pay for accommodation along the Walker’s Haute Route.

  • B&B/Guesthouse/Hotel: €65+ (per person/per night)
  • Gite d’Etape/Auberge: €50 (per person/per night w/half pension)
  • Mountain Refuge: €45 (per person/per night w/half pension)
  • Camping: €12 (per person/per night)

In our accommodation directory, we’ve provided our recommendations for high-end, mid-range, and budget options at all of the typical Walker’s Haute Route stops. We’ve defined those categories as follows:

  • High-End: €85+ (per person/per night)
  • Mid-Range: €40-85(per person/per night)
  • Budget: <€40 (per person/per night)

Read more: How Much it Cost Us to Hike the Walker’s Haute Route

Cooking a meal on a camp stove outside Cabane de Moiry on the Walker's Haute Route
Self-catering is a great way to keep your accommodation costs low on the Walker’s Haute Route.

Walker’s Haute Route Refuges: What You Need to Know

What to Expect

Mountain refuges on the Walker’s Haute Route are rustic and communal at heart. Many are set in remote locations that can only be reached by foot or pack mule, making resupply an impressive endeavor.

Due to their off-the-grid nature, they are relatively basic. Luxuries like hot water and electronics charging are limited and will likely come at an additional cost. Wifi and cell service are virtually non-existent at mountain refuges. Most refuges are cash-only, so make sure you bring enough!

While a few refuges have a small number of private rooms available, by and large you will be sleeping in a dormitory with anywhere from 4-16 beds (mostly bunk beds stacked two or three high). You’ll be provided with a mattress, pillow, and blanket, but you will need you bring or rent your own sleep sheet.

Unfortunately, bed bugs have been an issue at some of the Haute Route refuges in the past few years. It’s a good idea to check ahead for outbreaks and/or closures and pack some bed bug spray.

Bathrooms are also shared and typically (but not always) separated by gender. You can’t drink the water at some refuges, so check to see if you’ll need to purchase or filter your drinking water.

Staying in a mountain refuge is a magical and memorable experience. There is nothing like swapping stories with fellow hikers over a shared meal and watching a sunset in some of the world’s most stunning mountain scenery. Mountain refuges truly are one of the very best parts of the Walker’s Haute Route!

What’s Included

Most WHR refuges provide half-pension (AKA demi-pension or half board). This includes your bed for the night, as well as dinner and breakfast. Dinner is often a lavish, multi-course affair. They can typically cater to vegetarians (notify them in advance), although other special diets might not fare as well. Breakfast is very simple and typically consists of cold cereal, bread, jam, and tea/coffee.

Alcohol and snacks can be purchased a-la-carte, and a packed lunch can usually be ordered for the next day (additional fee applies).

Expect to pay extra for a hot shower and if you’d like to rent a sleep sheet. Some refuges ask a small fee for electronics charging.

What to Pack

All refuges on the Haute Route require you to use a sleeping bag, sleep sheet, or sleeping bag liner. While you can rent them in some places, if you plan on staying in several refuges, it is a good idea to bring your own. Additionally, if you want to shower, you will need to bring your own towel.

In our opinion, good earplugs and an eye mask are essential for dormitory sleeping. There’s nothing more frustrating than being kept up by a loud snorer when you’re exhausted from a big day on the trail!

Boots are not allowed inside the refuges, so many provide slippers for you to wear while indoors. If you’d prefer to wear your own pair, make sure to pack them.

For a complete list of refuge-specific gear, be sure to check out our Walker’s Haute Route Packing List.

The terrace at Cabane de Moiry.
The terrace at Cabane de Moiry.

Walker’s Haute Route Accommodation Directory

This directory is organized to follow the typical west-east route from Chamonix to Zermatt. For each place, we’ve provided our most highly recommended options, sorted by budget category. We’ve also included key details and linked to contact information.

Our budget categories are as follows:

  • High-End: €85+ (per person/per night)
  • Mid-Range: €40-85(per person/per night)
  • Budget: <€40 (per person/per night)

The directory includes recommendations for these places:

A busy street with outdoor cafes in Chamonix
A sunny afternoon in Chamonix.

Chamonix

High-End: Hotel le Morgane

Just minutes from shops, restaurants, and the bus terminal, Hotel le Morgane’s location is perfect for those starting the Walker’s Haute Route. Furthermore, the rooms are spacious and well-equipped, the staff is friendly, and they have great amenities like free luggage storage and a heated pool and spa.

Room type(s): Private, ensuite
Payment: Credit card, cash
Meals included: None, breakfast for an additional fee

Mid-Range: Chamonix Lodge

This hotel isn’t fancy, but it is an excellent value for your money. There are a variety of room types available, many with ensuite bathrooms. A good breakfast, luggage storage, and access to the communal kitchen and hot tub are all included with your stay. The hotel is located about a mile from the city center, but they loan bikes for you to use during your stay.

Room type(s): Private, some ensuite, dormitory
Payment: Credit card, cash
Meals included: Breakfast

Budget: Le Chamoniard Volent

Le Chamoniard is the best place to find a cheap bed in pricey Chamonix. It’s not luxurious, but this well-run hostel is consistently clean and they are friendly to Haute Route walkers. Guests have access to a communal kitchen and lounge area, plenty of bathrooms and showers, and free wifi. The hostel is located a little over a mile from the city center, but it is also conveniently near a bus stop.

Room type(s): Dormitory
Payment: Credit card, cash
Meals included: None. Breakfast, packed lunch, and/or evening meal available for an extra fee. 

Argentiere

High-End: Les Grands Montets

Start your Haute Route adventure in style at this cozy chalet. Pamper yourself in the pool, jacuzzi, and spa, or take in the views while relaxing on the wonderful terrace. This is a great way to ease into the demands of your trek, especially as you’re still adjusting to long days on the trail.

Room type(s): Private, ensuite
Payment: Credit card, cash
Meals included: Breakfast available for an extra fee

Mid-Range: Gite le Belvedere

This is a friendly and affordable option in the center of Argentiere. There are a variety of rooms types to suit every budget and preference. The gite has a cozy sitting area, lovely terrace, and good wifi. The on-site restaurant serves up delicious meals and snacks.

Room type(s): Private,some ensuite, dormitory
Payment: Credit card, cash
Meals included: Breakfast available for an extra fee

Budget: Hotel les Randonneurs

This traditional hotel is conveniently located just steps off the Walker’s Haute Route trail. The rooms are a bit dated, but the hosts are friendly and the hotel caters specifically to hikers. There are a variety of room options, all of which are quite affordable. Guests can order breakfast and/or an evening meal for an additional fee. The nearby road can be a bit noisy, so make sure you pack your earplugs!

Room type(s): Dorm, Private,some ensuite
Payment: Credit card, cash
Meals included: Breakfast and dinner available for an extra fee

Trient/Le Peuty

High-End/Mid-Range: Auberge du Mont Blanc

Located near Trient’s iconic pink church, the Auberge du Mont Blanc is a great value. There are private rooms and dorm beds available, and many of the rooms have lovely views. The auberge also offers a spacious sauna and cozy lounge for guests to enjoy. The bus stop is just steps away, convenient for those who may need to detour or exit the trail early.

Room type(s): Private w/shared bathrooms, Dormitory, studio apartments
Payment: Credit card, cash
Meals included: Breakfast or Half-Board available (extra fee may apply)

Mid-Range: La Grande Ourse

This friendly family-run establishment offers a variety of room types, including dorms, private rooms, and even studio apartments. Though the rooms are basic, they have been recently renovated to feel clean and fresh. The top floor apartments have great views of the surrounding area. Breakfast, dinner, and/or picnic lunches can be purchased for an additional fee.

Room type(s): Private w/shared bathrooms, Dormitory, studio apartments
Payment: Credit card, cash
Meals included: Breakfast or half-board available 

Budget: Refuge du Le Peuty

The low-maintenance types will love this rustic bunkhouse with bohemian vibes. The refuge is located directly on the WHR route and offers a good, affordable option with plenty of opportunities to get to know fellow hikers. There are shared unisex bathrooms and snacks and drinks can be purchased in the yurt lounge next door.

Room type(s): Dormitory
Payment: Cash only
Meals included: Half-board
The pink church in Trient, Switzerland, on the Walker's Haute Route
The lovely village of Trient.

Champex

High-End: Hotel Splendide

Hotel Splendide has a lot going for it, like the rich breakfast spread and gorgeous vintage furnishings, but all of that pales in comparison to its million-dollar views! Soak in the phenomenal Alpine vistas from the sweeping terrace or from the comfort of your own room (book a south-facing room for the best views).

Room type(s): Private, ensuite
Payment: Credit card, cash
Meals included: Breakfast

Mid-Range: Hotel Ptarmigan

This lovely B&B is a scenic and relaxing option for Haute Route walkers. There are just three rooms, two of which have balconies and lake views. All of the rooms share a bathroom. There’s a spacious terrace that makes the most of the B&B’s superb lakefront location.

Room type(s): Private, shared bathroom
Payment: Credit card, cash
Meals included: Breakfast

Budget: Pension en Plein Air

Champex, like most Swiss resort towns, is very expensive. Budget accommodation in Champex is very limited, and Pension en Plein Air is your best bet for cheap lodging. Don’t expect anything beyond the basics and you won’t be disappointed.

Room type(s): Private, Dormitory
Payment: Cash only
Meals included: Half-Board

Le Chable

High-End: B&B Les Acacias

This lovely bed and breakfast is located about a mile outside of the village of Le Chable, but it’s worth the extra walk. The service is excellent, the rooms are well-appointed, and the breakfast is ridiculously good. Pets are welcome, and you can expect to be greeted by the resident cat during your stay. The large terrace is a great place to savor the peaceful atmosphere and mountain views.

Room type(s): Private w/ private bathrooms
Payment: Credit card, cash
Meals included: Breakfast

Mid-Range: B&B de la Poste

If you are looking for a convenient location, friendly service, and an overall great value, look no further than B&B de la Poste. This little gem is located in the center of the village, very close to the train station and cable car (which is a great option for those looking to reduce the climbing to reach Mont Fort). The rooms are basic, but they are clean and functional. Guests enjoy the generous breakfast spread.

Room type(s): Private, some ensuite 
Payment: Credit card, cash
Meals included: Breakfast (extra fee)

Budget: B&B Claudy and Elizabeth Michellod-Duthiel

Staying in this cozy B&B feels like staying with family-you’ll be greeted with a warm welcome and the chalet is traditional and homey. The rooms are small and basic with shared bathrooms, but there are thoughtful touches throughout (like the tea/coffee station in each room). Breakfast is simple, although the homemade bread and local ingredients make it feel special. This is a unique and charming option for budget travelers.

Room type(s): Private w/shared bathrooms
Payment: Credit card, cash
Meals included: Breakfast and option for half-board (extra fee)

Cabane du Mont Fort

Mid-Range: Cabane du Mont Fort

Upon reaching Mont Fort, you’ll have your first opportunity to experience a night in an alpine mountain hut. You’re in for a treat! Due to its remote location, Cabane du Mont Fort enjoys spectacular mountain views in every direction. The traditional building is bursting with cozy charm, and the food is tasty. Hot showers are available (5 CHF for 5 minutes) and there is free wifi in the common areas. If you want to save money, skip the half board option and self-cater in the well-stocked communal kitchenette.

Room type(s): Dormitory
Payment: Cash only
Meals included: Half-Board
Views from Cabane du Mont Fort on the Walker's Haute Route
Views from Cabane du Mont Fort.

Cabane de Louvie

Mid-Range: Cabane de Louvie

Being located midway between typical Haute Route stops, Cabane de Louvie won’t make sense for most WHR itineraries. That being said, it presents a lovely option for those wishing to push on past Cabane du Mont Fort (which is very possible if you take the Ruinettes cable car at the start of your day). There’s a steep climb to reach the Cabane, which as a result enjoys spectacular views of Lac de Louvie and the surrounding mountains. In addition to the large dorms, there are two private rooms available.

Room type(s): Private w/shared bathroom, Dormitory
Payment: Cash only
Meals included: Half-Board

Cabane de Prafleuri (and nearby options)

NOTE: Cabane de Prafleuri is the typical stop on this stage of the Walker’s Haute Route, and it will likely be the most convenient for the majority of walkers. However, the refuge tends to get poor reviews for cleanliness and service, so some hikers may want to consider alternatives. Additionally, there are many great accommodation options spread between Mont Fort and Arolla, making it easy to customize your itinerary to fit your interests and needs. This section describes all of the possible options so you can decide what will work best for you.

High-End/Mid-Range: Hotel du Barrage

Those seeking a slightly more comfort and privacy than can be found at any of the mountain refuges in the area should continue about an hour downhill past Cabane de Prafleuri to reach the Hotel du Barrage. This large, rather unattractive building stands on its own near the Dix Barrage and offers great views of the surrounding area. The accommodation is simple, but friendly and functional. Depending on your timing, there may be the option of taking the cable car to and from the main Haute Route trail.

Room type(s): Private, ensuite
Payment: Credit card, cash
Meals included: Breakfast, option for half-board

Mid-Range: Cabane de Prafleuri

This is the typical stop along the traditional Walker’s Haute Route. Cabane de Prafleuri has a pretty dismal reputation amongst WHR walkers, due to claims of unfriendly service, bed bugs, and poor facilities. Despite all of that, given the right expectations, you can enjoy your stay at this mountain refuge. It is basic, but the location is ideal for most walkers, and the mountain scenery is wonderful. Keep in mind that there is no drinking water available at the refuge, so you’ll need to filter or purchase it. It can be difficult to get in touch with the refuge to make reservations, so be prepared to try calling and emailing them a few times in order to receive a response.

Room type(s): Dormitory
Payment: Cash only
Meals included: Half-Board

Mid-Range: Refuge des Ecoulais

This very basic mountain refuge has 22 beds and is located about an hour past Cabane de Prafleuri. The refuge is owned by the Ski Club des Pyramides, and it is typically only manned on the weekends. It’s a good idea to call ahead and reserve a bed before arriving. There are no services here, so be prepared to self-cater and plan ahead for your water supply.

Room type(s): Dormitory
Payment: Cash only
Meals included: None

Mid-Range: Refuge de la Barma

Refuge de la Barma is another rustic option located between Cabane de Prafleuri and Arolla. The buildings, renovated from an old dairy farm, enjoy beautiful views from their perch above Lac des Dix. To reach the refuge, you’ll need to continue another two hours past Cabane de Prafleuri. We don’t recommend trying to make it all the way from Cabane du Mont Fort to Refuge de la Barma in one day, but stopping here allows for more flexible itinerary options overall. The refuge is always open, but it is only manned during certain days and times. Be prepared to bring your own stove to self-cater. Call ahead for reservations and more information.

Room type(s): Dormitory
Payment: Cash only
Meals included: None

Mid-Range: Cabane des Dix

Reaching Cabane des Dix requires a pretty significant and adventurous detour, which many hikers find to be a very worthwhile endeavor. The journey up to the cabane is filled with marvelous scenery, but the views at the destination are undoubtedly the best. Upon descending to rejoin the main WHR, you’ll need to cross the Glacier de Cheilon. This crossing doesn’t require any special mountaineering gear, but make sure to use care and follow the marked route. Cabane des Dix is a lively and atmospheric place to spend an evening, and the food is delicious and plentiful. It’s one of the most popular refuges on the Haute Route, so make sure to reserve your bed well in advance. There is no drinking water available at Cabane des Dix, so be prepared to purchase or filter what you need.

Room type(s): Dormitory
Payment: Credit Card or Cash
Meals included: Half-board

Read More: Walker’s Haute Route Logistics

A hotel terrace with flower boxes overlooking the Arolla valley along the Walker's Haute Route.
Views from a terrace in the village of Arolla.

Arolla

High-End: Grand Hotel & Kurhaus

If by this point in your trip you’re looking for a bit of luxury, the Grand Hotel & Kurhaus is your best bet. This beautiful historic gem offers the perfect blend of old-world charm and modern comfort. All of the rooms have attached bathrooms and amazing views. A continental breakfast is included, and you can even arrange for an on-site massage to soothe tired muscles.

Room type(s): Private, ensuite
Payment: Credit card, cash
Meals included: Breakfast

Mid-Range: Hotel Aiguille de la Tza

This friendly hotel is located a bit further downhill from Arolla, meaning you’ll need to walk about 15-20 minutes past the village to reach it. There’s a nice path located behind the Hotel du Glacier that leads down to Hotel Aiguille de la Tza. The hotel offers a good mix of rooms, ranging from suites to dormitories, making it a good option for hikers of every budget. The attached restaurant serves up regional cuisine and good pizza. If needed, there’s a bus stop located just outside the hotel. Rooms are a bit dated, but clean and functional.

Room type(s): Private, some rooms w/shared bathrooms, dormitory
Payment: Credit card, cash
Meals included: Breakfast, option for half-board

Budget: Camping Arolla

Even if traditional camping isn’t your thing, this unique accommodation might be worth consideration. Typical budget options usually involve sharing a dorm with several other people, but Camping Arolla’s glamorous cocoon tents offer comfort and privacy at a reasonable price. Each tent has a real bed with linens provided, wood stove, cooking stove, and outdoor terrace. Showers are available for an additional fee and you can purchase fresh bread for the morning. There’s also a small shop on site that sells beer and snacks.

Room type(s): Private tent
Payment: Credit card, cash
Meals included: None

Les Hauderes/La Sage

High-End: Hotel Dents de Veisivi

Hotel dents de Veisvi strikes the perfect balance between traditional chalet charm and modern luxury. It is located in the center of Les Hauderes, making it easy to access shops, restaurants, and public transportation. The cozy building boasts great views of the surrounding valley, particularly from the rooms on the top floor. All rooms are beautifully furnished and include plenty of thoughtful touches. The terrace makes a great place to unwind after a long day on your feet, and the restaurant is top-notch.

Room type(s): Private, ensuite
Payment: Credit card, cash
Meals included: Breakfast available for an extra fee

High-End: Hotel de la Sage

This is the best option for those looking to stay in La Sage instead of Les Hauderes. La Sage is a smaller village with no services, and it is located uphill past Les Hauderes. Its location affords it a tranquil atmosphere and close proximity to nature, and Hotel de la Sage makes the most of those features. This excellent hotel offers cozy and well-appointed guest rooms with beautiful views. Plus, with free wifi and breakfast included, it’s a great value.

Room type(s): Private, ensuite
Payment: Credit card, cash
Meals included: Breakfast 

Mid-Range: Hotel des Hauderes

While there’s nothing luxurious about this hotel, it is a practical and convenient stop for WHR hikers. The service is very friendly, the breakfast is good, and most rooms have balconies. The hotel is located on the main square, just steps from cafes, a bakery, and a bus stop. All rooms have ensuite bathrooms, which is a rare find at this price point.

Room type(s): Private, ensuite
Payment: Credit card, cash
Meals included: Breakfast

Budget: Restaurant Gite L’Ecureuil

It can be challenging to find affordable lodging in many of the pricey Swiss villages along the Haute Route, but fortunately this friendly gite in La Sage offers a decent budget option. Accommodation at L’Ecureuil is simple: dormitories with a mixed-gender shared bathroom and a very sparse breakfast. However, the dinner is quite good and the rooms have just 4-6 beds, unlike some of the larger dormitories along the route. The location is ideal for Haute Route walkers.

Room type(s): Dormitory, shared bathroom
Payment: Credit card, cash
Meals included: Breakfast 
A wooden cafe building in Les Hauderes along the Walker's Haute Route
The main square of Les Hauderes has shops, cafes, services, and a handful of hotels.

Cabane de Moiry

Mid-Range: Cabane de Moiry

While there are a couple of alternate options on this stage of the Haute Route trek, we highly recommend spending a night at Cabane de Moiry, weather and availability permitting. This is one of the most unique and atmospheric accommodations on the entire route. Cabane de Moiry enjoys dramatic views of the nearby glacier, and the classic old refuge building blends wonderfully with the sleek new addition. If you are on a tight budget, you can save money by self-catering (although you’ll need to cook outside and bring your own stove). Those looking for slightly nicer dorm accommodations should book a bed in the new building.

Room type(s): Dormitory, shared bathroom
Payment: Cash
Meals included: Option for half-board

Grimentz & Barrage de Moiry

NOTE: Hikers must detour from the main WHR route to reach the town of Grimentz. Upon reaching Barrage de Moiry, you can take the postbus or follow a trail to the town of Grimentz. To continue onwards the next day, you can take the bus back to Barrage de Moiry, hike to Zinal to rejoin the main WHR, or take the alternate trail to Hotel Weisshorn.

High-End: Hotel Meleze

The only downside to staying at Hotel Meleze is that you won’t want to leave! This charming chalet has just five rooms, meaning that the friendly hosts are very attentive and available to help. Each of the spacious rooms has a balcony and mountain views. The on-site sauna is the perfect remedy for sore muscles, and the breakfast is excellent.

Room type(s): Private, ensuite
Payment: Credit card or cash
Meals included: Breakfast

Mid-Range: Hotel Cristal

This hotel’s amenities, location, and cleanliness make it an excellent value. Haute Route hikers will appreciate the lovely sauna, generous breakfast, and in-room tea/coffee. Additionally, the hotel is next to the bus stop and grocery store, making it a convenient place to resupply before rejoining the main Haute Route trail.

Room type(s): Private, ensuite
Payment: Credit card or cash
Meals included: Breakfast

Mid-Range: Gite de Moiry

Besides Cabane de Moiry, this is the only other accommodation option for this stage that is situated directly on the WHR trail. Located at the Barrage de Moiry, hikers will have access to multiple route options and public transport. The gite offers simple, dorm-style accommodations, but they are a step up from a typical mountain hut. Advance reservations are required.

Room type(s): Dormitory, shared bathroom
Payment: Cash
Meals included: Half-Board
Lac de Moiry and its dam
Lac de Moiry.

Zinal

High-End: Pension de la Poste

This recently-renovated hotel offers clean, modern rooms and excellent service. It’s centrally located near shops and restaurants. The beds are incredibly comfortable, the showers have great water pressure, and the breakfast features homemade and regional specialties. You’ll leave here feeling energized and rejuvenated!

Room type(s): Private, ensuite
Payment: Credit card, cash
Meals included: Breakfast

Mid-Range: Hotel-Restaurant Le Trift

This is an excellent option for those looking for a clean, convenient, and friendly accommodation at a great price. The rooms are quite basic, but they are bright and welcoming. All of the rooms share a bathroom, which can be a bit tight at times. Guests rave about the exceptional croissants provided as part of the continental breakfast, and the restaurant is very good as well.

Room type(s): Private, shared bathroom
Payment: Credit card, cash
Meals included: Breakfast

Budget: Auberge Alpina

Other than camping, this is the cheapest accommodation available in Zinal. The 12-bed dormitory will be most appealing for budget hikers, although there are also private rooms available. The auberge is located on the edge of town, so you’ll need to walk about 20 minutes to reach the shops and services in the center. The friendly hosts make Auberge Alpina a wonderful choice. There is also a small chalet apartment available for rent on the property.

Room type(s): Apartment, private room w/ shared bathroom, dormitory
Payment: Cash
Meals included: Breakfast, option for half-board

Hotel Weisshorn & Cabane Bella Tola

NOTE: Reaching either of these accommodations requires a full day detour from the main Walker’s Haute Route trail. However, both are spectacular and iconic destinations that are well worth the journey, if you’ve got some extra time in your itinerary. The next day, it’s just an easy half-day walk to reach Gruben and rejoin the main WHR.

High-End: Hotel Weisshorn

Experience a true taste of Alpine history when you spend a night at this classic hotel. The Hotel Weisshorn was constructed in the late 1800’s and maintains all of its original charm, while still providing comfortable amenities. Although you won’t get a private bathroom or elevator, luxury abounds in the service, food, and fixtures. Of course, the hotel’s location is what really makes it unforgettable. Enjoy spectacular sunsets from the terrace and take in the incredible mountain vistas in every direction.

Room type(s): Private rooms w/ shared bathrooms
Payment: Credit card, cash
Meals included: Half-board

Mid-Range: Cabane Bella Tola

Those willing to hike the additional 2.5 hours past Hotel Weisshorn to reach Cabane Bella Tola will be rewarded with some of the best views of the entire trek. The refuge is set on pastureland and looks out across the Rhone Valley all the way to the Bernese Alps. Given its off-the-beaten-path location, it is typically much less crowded than other Haute Route refuges. Guests will enjoy simple facilities, free wifi, and hearty meals.

Room type(s): Dormitory
Payment: Credit card, cash
Meals included: Half-board

Gruben

Budget/Mid-Range: Hotel Schwarzhorn

Hikers following the main Walker’s Haute Route trail will only have one option for accommodation at this stage of the trek. Fortunately, the Hotel Schwarzhorn offers both private rooms and dormitory beds to suit a variety of budgets. The facilities are pretty basic, but the hotel is clean and well-kept. The outdoor beer garden is a perfect place to unwind after a day of hiking. Breakfast is included and generous dinners and/or packed lunches are available for purchase. Given that this is the only place in town, it’s important to make reservatuions well in advance.

Room type(s): Private rooms w/shared bathroom, dormitory
Payment: Credit card, cash
Meals included: Breakfast, option for half-board and picnic lunch
Views from Hotel Schwarzhorn in Gruben, along the Walker's Haute Route
Views from the Hotel Schwarzhorn in Gruben.

Gasenried/Grachen

NOTE: If you plan to continue on to Zermatt via the Europaweg Trail, you should plan on stopping in either St. Niklaus, Gasenried, or Grachen before starting the Europaweg. Many hikers choose to take the bus from St. Niklaus to Gasenried and spend the night in Gasenried in order to skip a two-hour uphill walk to start the next day. From Gasenried, there is also the option of taking the detour to the resort village of Grachen. If you plan on taking the valley route to Zermatt, you can stay in St. Niklaus, Randa, or Tasch on this stage (see next section).

High-End: Hotel Gadi

While the breakfast is superb and the rooms are spotless, the excellent service is what really makes Hotel Gadi stand out. The friendly staff go out of their way to make your visit as smooth and comfortable as possible. The hotel is conveniently located in the center of Grachen, near shops, restaurants, a bus stop, and the cable car. Hikers seeking some pampering will enjoy the luxurious spa treatments and amenities.

Room type(s): Private, ensuite
Payment: Credit card, cash
Meals included: Breakfast

Mid-Range: Hotel Alpenrosli (027 956 17 81)

With the exception of a few AirBnB’s, this is the only accommodation available in Gasenried. The hotel offers private rooms and dormitory beds, all at a very reasonable price. That being said, expect basic rooms and amenities. Since the hotel doesn’t have a website, you’ll need to call ahead to verify that they’ll be open and to make your reservation. The demi-pension is a good option since there are few other places to get a meal nearby.

Room type(s): Private rooms w/ shared bathroom, dormitory
Payment: Cash
Meals included: Breakfast, option for half-board 

Budget: Ferienhaus Allalin

Budget travelers will appreciate this no-frills hostel in the heart of Grachen. There are a variety of room types to suit many different group sizes and styles. The hostel has a lovely patio and great mountain views. The shared kitchen provides an additional layer of cost-saving opportunities. Be advised that you’ll either need to pay extra to rent bedding or provide your own.

Room type(s): Private rooms w/ shared bathroom, dormitory
Payment: Credit card or cash
Meals included: None 

St.Niklaus/Randa/Tasch

NOTE: St. Niklaus is a practical overnight stop for hikers taking both the the Europaweg Trail and the valley route option. Those taking the valley trail to Zermatt can also stay in Randa or Tasch, which are further down the valley past St. Niklaus. We recommend taking public transit to reach Randa and Tasch, as the alternative requires a very long day of walking.

High-End: Hotel La Reserve (St. Niklaus)

This hotel gets rave reviews for its beautifully-appointed rooms, delicious food, and excellent service. Every guest room has a recently-renovated ensuite bathroom and spacious balcony with mountain views. The restaurant serves up fantastic pizzas, pastas, and regional wines. The hotel is located near the train station, providing easy access to Zermatt and other towns in the area, should detours or shortcuts be desired.

Room type(s): Private, ensuite 
Payment: Credit card, cash
Meals included: Breakfast 

Mid-Range: B&B Matterhorn Golf (Randa)

The village of Randa is located about midway down the valley between St.Niklaus and Zermatt, and it is a practical stop for many Haute Route hikers. Not only does it have a train station and a grocery store, but there’s also trail access to the Europaweg. If you are looking to stay in Randa, this B&B is a comfortable and convenient option. The friendly accommodation offers functional ensuite rooms with mini-fridges, kettles, and coffee machines. The generous and delicious breakfast is the perfect way to fuel your final day on the WHR.

Room type(s): Private, ensuite 
Payment: Credit card, cash
Meals included: Breakfast 

Budget: Easy Room St. Niklaus

Budget travelers love this affordable and convenient option in St. Niklaus. The Easy Room can sleep up to four people in two single beds and one large double bed. There’s a shared bathroom, a mini-fridge, an electric kettle, and free wifi in the room, making it a great value. The friendly host provides helpful information and thoughtful touches to ensure your stay is as smooth and enjoyable as possible. Book early, as this popular accommodation fills up fast.

Room type(s): Private 
Payment: Cash
Meals included: None
Looking down the Mattertal Valley towards Zermatt along the Walker's Haute Route.
Looking down the Mattertal Valley towards St. Niklaus, Randa, Tasch, and eventually to Zermatt far in the distance.

Europa Hut

Mid-Range: Europa Hut

If you intend to follow the entire Europaweg section of the WHR, you’ll need to spend a night at the Europa Hut. Fortunately, this comfortable and cozy accommodation is a perfect place to celebrate your final evening on the trail. Most of the rooms at the Europa Hut contain just four or six beds, and they feel a bit more spacious than others along the route. Views from the large terrace are magnificent. Dinner is a hearty affair, although you can expect the typical continental breakfast. As this is the primary option for not only Haute Route hikers, but others as well, it is imperative to reserve your bed well in advance.

Room type(s): Dormitory 
Payment: Cash
Meals included: Option for breakfast or half-board

Zermatt

High-End: Hotel Walliserhof Zermatt 1896

If you are ready to treat yourself after roughing it on the trail, Hotel Walliserhof is the place to do it. This hotel boasts a convenient central location and traditional Alpine charm. The spacious guest rooms are cozy, yet luxurious, and the breakfast is top-notch. The beautiful sauna and hot tub are welcome indulgences for sore muscles!

Room type(s): Private, ensuite
Payment: Credit card, cash
Meals included: Breakfast

Mid-Range: Hotel Alpina

This clean, comfortable hotel is an excellent value in pricey Zermatt. It is located just minutes from the town center, yet it enjoys a peaceful, quiet setting. There are a variety of room sizes and types available, making it a good option for groups, couples, and solo travelers. A tasty breakfast is included with your stay.The lovely indoor and outdoor common spaces offer plenty of great places to relax.

Room type(s): Private, some with shared bathrooms
Payment: Credit card, cash
Meals included: Breakfast

Budget: Zermatt Youth Hostel

When it comes to budget accommodation, this hostel is an excellent option. Dorms and private rooms are available, all of which are clean and comfortable. Your rate includes a very good breakfast buffet. As an added bonus, there is laundry available onsite. The hostel is located on the edge of town, about ten minutes from the center.

Room type(s): Private, some with shared bathrooms, Dormitory
Payment: Credit card, cash
Meals included: Breakfast
A cyclist on a street in Zermatt
Zermatt is the perfect place to celebrate the completion of your Walker’s Haute Route adventure!

Everything you need to to plan your Haute Route trek – all in one place.

Whether you prefer mountain huts or tents, fastpacking or meandering, luxury, dirtbag or something in between, we’ve got you covered.

From custom itineraries and GPS maps created specifically for you we can help you plan your perfect Walker’s Haute Route adventure!

Our downloadable Guide to the Walker’s Haute Route is ultimate resource to help you plan your perfect trip.

Walker's Haute Route

LEARN MORE

Our 50+ page downloadable guide has everything you need to know to plan your Walker’s Haute Route adventure. From three unique itineraries with custom GPS data to a full training plan, our guide is the quintessential handbook for trekking this incredible trail. Each section provides in-depth information and resources, including:

  • Stage-by-stage itineraries
  • Detailed maps for every stop
  • Complete 11-day, 13-day, and 14-day Haute Route itineraries
  • Custom GPS data for the entire route & all three itineraries
  • Offline map access for the entire route
  • Lodging recommendations
  • Getting to/from the Haute Route
  • The ultimate packing list
  • A 15-week training plan

Get your digital guide today and start planning!

Additional Resources

Cicerone Guidebook: This guidebook is an indispensable resource that we recommend to all Haute Route hikers. It has detailed notes on accommodation options, as well as practical information for all aspects of the hike. Lightweight trekkers can download an e-book version on their phone or tablet.

Chamonix.net: This site has a helpful list of WHR huts and contact information.

Keep Reading

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The Complete Guide to Camping at Devils Tower National Monument

Devils Tower National Monument is America’s first National Monument and an incredible sight to behold. The stunning butte that rises above the Black Hills is sacred to many of the…

Devils Tower National Monument is America’s first National Monument and an incredible sight to behold. The stunning butte that rises above the Black Hills is sacred to many of the Native American tribes that call the Great Plains home and is sure to inspire visitors to this beautiful place. Climbing, hiking, and taking in the night sky are all quintessential experiences at Devils Tower.

We think the best way to experience Devils Tower is to spend a few nights in your tent or RV taking in this unique landscape.

Devils Tower and the surrounding areas have camping options to suit any style. From the national monuments lone developed campground, to nearby RV campgrounds, and the surrounding Black Hills National Forest, you’ll have plenty of options to find the perfect campsite.

Keeping reading to get all the details to plan your perfect camping trip to Devils Tower National Monument.

Road next to Devils Tower

Camping is the perfect way to experience all that Devils Tower has to offer.

 

In this Devils Tower Camping Guide

 

Devils Tower National Monument Campgrounds

Devils Tower National Monument sits in northeast Wyoming at the edge of the Black Hills and adjacent to the Belle Fourche River. The main attraction of the monument is of course the tower itself, which rises 867 feet from its base to the summit. The entire area of the monument emcompasses over 1,300 acres and features a variety of hiking trails that showcase the beauty of this pristine environment.

There is only a single developed campground at Devils Tower, known as the Belle Fourche River Campground. However, there are several nearby campgrounds that provide additional accommodation options for visitors.

The map below gives you a general sense of where Belle Fourche River Campground is located as well as its relation to the surrounding area. 

Map of the campground in Devils Tower National Monument

Map showing the Belle Fourche River Campground in Devils Tower National Monument. Map credit NPS.

 

In addition to the overview map shown above we’ve also created an interactive map with all of the campgrounds included in this guide displayed.

Campgrounds with a green tent icon are the developed campgrounds within the Monument, the blue camper trailer icon represents RV campgrounds near the park, and finally the red tent icon represents car camping options near Devils Tower National Monument.

 

 

Reservations & Permits

It is not possible to make an advance reservation at the the Belle Fourche Campground at Devils Tower National Monument. This can be both a blessing and a curse as it provides a level playing field for campers, but also prevents you from making advance plans for your trip.

You’ll have the best luck at securing a spot during peak season here by showing up early and being patient. Weekdays are also always better than weekends for campsite availability.

For those who prefer to have a reservation before making what will likely be a long drive to Devils Tower, we recommend checking out one of the nearby campgrounds that accepts reservations.

Camping near Devils Tower at dusk

 

What to Bring

Preparing for your Devils Tower camping trip involves more than deciding which campground best fits your needs. There is also the important job of making sure you have all the right gear you’ll need to ensure a great trip.

We’re sure you’ll already have the essentials like a great tentsleeping bags, and camp chairs, but below are some of our favorite items specifically for camping at Devils Tower National Monument:

  • Coleman Camping Stove – This camping classic is perfect cooking up campsite dinners.
  • Portable water container – These portable water containers are a lifesaver.
  • Cooler – A good cooler makes any camping trip better. We can’t recommend Yeti enough!
  • Black Hills Family Fun Guide – A good guidebook will provide insights and information to help you plan your perfect trip to Devils Tower. We like this family-friendly guide that covers Devils Tower, the Black Hills, and Badlands.

When to Camp at Devils Tower

The Belle Fourche River Campground is open seasonally from mid-May through mid-October.

Peak camping season in Devils Tower generally aligns with summer in this part of the world, with most visitors coming between Memorial Day and Labor Day. If you’re looking for a bit of solitude during your visit, it is best to try and plan your camping trip just outside of these dates.

Find more information on the weather conditions you can expect to encounter in Devils Tower National Monument here. 

Devils Tower National Monument generally is closed for the winter months, although it does open for 10 days or so around Spring Break. This is typically from about March 19th – April 1st. If you plan to visit in winter, you can always enjoy the outstanding views from Highway 24, which runs adjacent to Devils Tower.

Find more information on opening hours and seasons in Devils Tower National Monument here. 

Snow on Devils Tower

Winter brings cold temperatures and snow to Devils Tower. Photo credit NPS/S. Carter

 

Developed Campgrounds at Devils Tower National Monument

There is a single developed campground in Devils Tower National Monument. For those interested in seeing additional camping options, check out the next section on campgrounds near Devils Tower.

There is a 14-day stay limit for all campers at the Belle Fourche River Campground.

Belle Fourche River Campground

Number of Sites: 46 sites (including 3 tent-only group sites)
Fee: $20/night for individual sites, $30/night for group sites
RVs: Yes, max length of approximately 35′. No hookups available.
Reservations: All sites are first-come, first-served.
Season: Open seasonally from May 15th – October 15th
More Information

Belle Fourche River Campground in Devils Tower.

Beautifuls views of Devils Tower from the Belle Fourche River Campground. Photo credit NPS/Avery Locklear

 

The Belle Fourche River Campground is the lone campground in Devils Tower National Monument and is located just off the main park road to the south of the tower itself.

Belle Fourche features 46 campsites organized into two loops, known as Loop A and Loop B. Of the 46 total sites, three are designed as tent-only group campsites that can accommodate up to 20 people each. Additionally, the campground features four accessible sites.

RVs and trailers up to 35′ are welcome at the campground, although you won’t find any hookups available. Individual sites can accommodate up to 8 people, and no more than four cars per campsite are allowed.

The campground is set in a beautiful location adjacent to the Belle Fourche River and many of the sites have stunning views of Devils Tower through the trees. Campsites feature fire rings, picnic tables, and all have access to potable water. Campfires are permitted at the campground, but must be fully contained within the provided fire ring.

Check out the NPS map below to get a better sense of the layout of the Belle Fourche River Campground in Devils Tower National Monument.

Map of the Belle Fourche River Campground

Map of the Belle Fourche River Campground. Map credit NPS/Joe Bruce

 

Camping near Devils Tower National Monument

Given that there is just a single NPS run campground at Devils Tower, it is always possible (and even likely) that you won’t be able to find a campsite in Devils Tower National Monument. However, don’t give up just yet as there are plenty of option in the surrounding area to meet your needs.

Check out your best options for RV campingcar camping, and free dispersed camping near Devils Tower National Monument below:

RV campgrounds near Devils Tower

Those camping in an RV will have several options just outside of Devils Tower. From the KOA campground located just steps from the monument to full service campgrounds in nearby towns, we’re sure you’ll find an RV campground that fits your needs.

Keep reading to learn more.

RV camping at Devils Tower

 

Devils Tower KOA Campground

Number of sites: Plenty!
Fee: $30 – $100/night depending on site, hookups, etc.
Capacity: None stated.
RVs: Yes, full hookups available.
Reservations: Recommended. Click here to reserve.
Pets: Allowed
More Information

The Devils Tower KOA Campground is the most convenient option for RV camping near Devils Tower National Monument. The campground is located just outside the monument, providing for incredibly easy access. Many RV campers may prefer the KOA to the Belle Fourche Campground given the amenities you’ll have access to here.

Campsites feature electric hookups and many have unobstructed views of Devils Tower. In addition, you’ll be able to enjoy the on-site restaurant, heated pool, playground, and more.

 

Devils Tower View Campground

Number of sites: Plenty!
Fee: Varies depending on site.
Capacity: None stated.
RVs: Yes, electric hookups available.
Reservations: Recommended. Click here to reserve.
Pets: Allowed
More Information

Located just a few miles south of Devils Tower National Monument on Highway 24, the Devils Tower View Campground is a great option for RV campers. The campground features sites with 30/50 amp service as well as plenty of space for tent campers. You’ll enjoy great views of the Tower from your campsite as well.

On-site amenities include a popular restaurant, gift shop selling local artisan products, and an outdoor gazebo. We recommend Mountain View for anyone looking for a quieter experience than what the KOA offers.

 

Mountain View RV Park & Campground

Number of sites: Plenty!
Fee: $29 – $46/night
Capacity: None stated.
RVs: Yes, electric hookups available.
Reservations: Recommended. Call 307-283-2270
Pets: Allowed
More Information

The Mountain View RV Park & Campground is located approximately 30 minutes from Devils Tower in the town of Sundance, Wyoming. The campground features plenty of RV campsites with electric hookups as well as a huge, 2-acre field to accommodate tent campers. You’ll be a just a few minutes from Sundance, which has bars, restaurants, and other services available.

On-site amenities at Mountain View include a small shop selling necessities, a heated pool, and a snack bar.

 

Car camping sites near Devils Tower

A tent near Devils Tower

 

Devils Tower Tipi Camping

Number of sites: Six tipis available
Fee: $50 – $75/night
Capacity: 4 – 8 people depending on size of tipi
RVs: Not permitted.
Reservations: Required. Contact via website
Pets: Allowed
More Information

A unique car camping option just minutes from Devils Tower is the Devils Tower Tipi Campground. Here you’ll find six traditional Sioux teepees available for rent with beautiful views of the Tower. All teepees come with a camp stove, three gallons of water, a lantern, and coffee, setting you up for a lovely trip.

Devils Tower Tipi gets rave reviews for the friendly and helpful owner. Highly recommended!

 

Black Hills National Forest Campgrounds

Number of Sites: Reuter Campground (24 sites) / Sundance Campground (10 sites) / Cook Lake Campground (32 sites) / Bearlodge Campground (8 sites)
Fee: $14 – $24/night
Capacity: Varies depending on campground
RVs: Most sites have space, but good to check in advance.
Reservations: Recommended for Reuter, Sundance, & Cook Lake. Visit Recreation.gov to reserve
Pets: Allowed.
More Information

The Black Hills National Forest encompasses over 1.2 million acres of land in South Dakota and Wyoming. The National Forest is not contiguous, and a smaller enclave is located just east of Devils Tower. Here, you’ll find several excellent car camping options to suit your needs, outlined below:

  • Reuter Campground (24 sites): The Reuter Campground is located just north of Sundance, WY and is very convenient for visiting Devils Tower. There are 24 campsites here, which can be reserved via Recreation.gov.
  • Sundance Horse Campground (10 sites): The Sundance Horse camp is located north of Sundance and provides 10 campsites specifically designed to accommodate campers with horses.
  • Cook Lake Campground (32 sites): The Cook Lake Campground is located right in the middle of the Black Hills National Forest. Expect a further drive to get to Devils Tower from here, but you’ll enjoy lake access and a bit more seclusion.
  • Bearlodge Campground (8 sites): The Bear Lodge Campground is located in the northern section of Black Hills National Forest, just off Highway 24. You’ll be just a short drive from Devils Tower here, making this a great option for nearby car camping.

Camping in Black Hills National Forest

Black Hills National Forest offers plenty of camping near Devils Tower.

 

Screaming Eagle Campground

Number of sites: Plenty!
Fee: $29 – $46/night
Capacity: None stated.
RVs: Yes, electric hookups available.
Reservations: Recommended. Call 307-283-2270
Pets: Allowed
More Information

A great car camping option near Devils Tower National Monument is the Screaming Eagle Campground located in the town of Hulett, WY. Situated just nine miles north of Devils Tower, this is a great place to pitch your tent. The Screaming Eagle gets great reviews for its grassy pitches, shady trees, and very friendly owner.

You’re also walking distance to the town of Hulett here, making it easy to grab a bite to eat or pick up a few supplies.

 

Free dispersed camping near Devils Tower

Your final option for camping near Devils Tower National Monument is to find a free, dispersed campsite on adjacent US Forest Service land in the Black Hills National Forest. Located to the east of Devils Tower,  this land is overseen by the USFS which manages hundreds of thousands of acres of public land throughout the country and generally allows for free ‘dispersed camping’ on it.

Free dispersed camping near Devils Tower National Monument.

 

If you have any questions about the dispersed camping options outlined below be sure to reach out to the USFS offices that oversee the specific areas, shown below:

Black Hills National Forest Dispersed Camping

Free, dispersed camping is permitted in the Black Hills National Forest near Devils Tower. The best sites seems to be located in the northern section of the Black Hills, just off of State Highway 24. Here you’ll find some gravel and two-track roads that have plenty of pull outs perfect for dispersed camping.

It is also possible to find a free campsites north of the town of Sundance in the Black Hills, but these seem to get worse reviews compared to other options. Check out some of your best bets below:

 

Devils Tower National Monument Camping Must Know

Where to get supplies

There a few good options close to Devils Tower where you can stock up on food, gas, and any other camping supplies you might need. Check out your best options below:

  • Hulett: Hulett, WY is located approximately nine miles north of Devils Tower along State Highway 24. This small town has plenty of services that campers may want to take advantage of, including a small grocery store, gas station, and hardware store.
  • Sundance: Sundance, WY is the largest town near Devils Tower and your best bet to find any last minute camping supplies. Located 30 minutes south of Devils Tower you’ll find a full service grocery store, gas stations, and a popular outdoor store here.

Pets

Pets are permitted at Devils Tower National Monument, but are only allowed in specific areas of the monument. This includes the Belle Fourche River Campground, picnic areas, and in parking areas/along roadways.

Pets are not allowed on any hiking trails at Devils Tower or in any park service buildings.

We generally recommend against bringing you pet to Devils Tower, but if you do please follow these regulations:

  • Pets must be on a leash at all times.
  • Pets are not allowed in park buildings or on trails.
  • Do not leave your pet unattended in your vehicle.
  • Always properly dispose of pet waste.

For a complete list of regulations related to pets check out the Devils Tower National Monument  website here.

Devils Tower from a nearby road

 

Have a great trip!

That’s it!

We hope you’ve found all of the information on Devils Tower National Monument camping in this post helpful and we know you’ll find the perfect campsite for your upcoming adventure! Be sure to let us know in the comments below if you have any questions or had a great time out camping!

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Cleveland Way Accommodation Guide

The Cleveland Way is a true gem of England’s National Trails. Taking in some of the best walking in the North York Moors National Park, walkers will be treated to…

The Cleveland Way is a true gem of England’s National Trails. Taking in some of the best walking in the North York Moors National Park, walkers will be treated to heather covered mountainsides, charming villages, and stunning coastal views. Along the route there are plenty of accommodation options to suit every budget and preference.

Overnight options include everything from campgrounds, to bunkhouses, charming B&Bs, to luxury hotels. While certainly good to have options, it can be a bit overwhelming to decide where to stay on the Cleveland Way.

This Cleveland Way Accommodation Guide is designed to solve just that issue. We’ve put together a comprehensive list of your best options at each of the common stopping points along the route to help you get the most from your walk.

Keep reading to learn more.

 

Whitby on the Cleveland Way

 

In This Cleveland Way Accommodation Guide

 

Should I reserve my Cleveland Way accommodation in advance?

Simply put, yes, you should probably reserve your Cleveland Way accommodation in advance.

The North York Moors can be quite a popular destination during the summer months, attracting visitors from all over the UK. This is especially true along the coastal section of the walk where towns like Robin Hood’s Bay and Scarborough are busy holiday destinations.

While you might be able to get by without a reservation in some of the less visited towns along the route, having made an advance booking will give you peace of mind and assurances that you have a place to rest your head.

As such, we recommend booking your accommodation for the Cleveland Way as early as possible. For the popular coastal villages along the route we recommend making a booking 4-5 months in advance to ensure your first choice is available. Reservations for the non-coastal towns don’t need to be made as far in advance, but we still recommend booking at least a month in advance if possible.

 

English breakfast

 

Cleveland Way Accommodation Cost

The cost of accommodation along the Cleveland Way varies depending on a number of factors. Generally speaking, accommodation is more expensive along the cost, and a bit more affordable inland. Additionally, the time of year has a huge impact on what you can expect to pay, with the summer months of July and August being the most expensive.

Of course the length of time you plan to walk the Cleveland Way in also will influence how much you need to budget for accommodation. Some walkers will complete the route in 5-6 days, while other prefer to do it in 12 or more.

Given all of these factors it can be difficult to pin down average costs for the Cleveland Way, but we’ve taken a stab at it below:

  • B&B/Guesthouse/Hotel: £70+ (per person/per night)
  • Bunkhouse/Hostel: £40+ (per person/per night)
  • Camping: £10+ (per person/per night)

In our accommodation directory, we’ve provided our recommendations for high-end, mid-range, and budget options at all of the common stopping points along the Cleveland Way. We’ve defined those categories as follows:

  • High-End: £80+ (per person/per night)
  • Mid-Range: £40-80 (per person/per night)
  • Budget:<£40 (per person/per night)

Note that not every stop along the walk will feature accommodation that fits neatly into each of the categories above. In those cases we’ve included multiple options in a specific price point based on what is available.

Trail in the North York Moors

 

Cleveland Way Accommodation Directory & Map

Finding your accommodation for the Cleveland Way is not always an easy task. You’ll find a variety of options at each stopping point on the walk, and it can be difficult to decide which one is best for you. We’re here to simply your decision making process with our accommodation guide below!

We’ve distilled the best options into an easy to ready format with key details, as well as our recommendations for every budget.

We’ve organized our list to follow most variations of the classic Cleveland Way itinerary from Helmsley to Filey.

You can also view all of the accommodation providers in this directory on the interactive map below.

Looking for more Cleveland Way resources? Check out our Cleveland Way | Maps & Routes article here.

Read the directory in its entirety or jump to a specific stopping point from the list below:

 

Helmsley

High-End: Feversham Arms Hotel

The Feversham Arms is a classic boutique hotel in Helmsley and is perfect for those looking to start their Cleveland Way walk with a bit of luxury. The hotel features a stunning outdoor pool, beautiful rooms, and exceptional staff. This is our top option in Helmsley.

Mid-Range: Carlton Lodge

The Carlton Lodge is an excellent mid-range option in Helmsley. This quaint guest house is set in a beautiful stone building among lovely gardens. The breakfast is outstanding and gets great reviews from guests. This is a great option for those looking for a relaxing night without breaking the bank.

Budget: The Royal Oak Hotel

The Royal Oak Hotel is located right in the center of Helmsley and provides great access to all of the amenities of this market town. While certainly in a busier location than your other options, the rooms are quiet and well appointed. The on-site pub and restaurant have great dining options as well.

 

Church in Helmsley

 

Sutton Bank

Mid-Range: Church Farm B&B

The Church Farm B&B is located just south of Sutton Bank in the village of Kilburn. With only two guest rooms, you’ll get excellent service at a very reasonable rate. Breakfast is included and gets rave reviews from guests.

Mid-Range: The Forresters Arms Hotel

The Forresters Arms Hotel provides classic pub accommodation in the heart of Kilburn, just a short distance from the Cleveland Way. The cozy pub is the perfect place to enjoy a pint after the days walk, and the staff are warm and accommodating. Highly recommended.

Budget: High House Farm

The High House Farm offers simple farmhouse accommodation just north of the Cleveland Way. With just two simple rooms available, a night here offers a great opportunity to enjoy the pastoral North York Moors.

 

Osmotherley

Mid-Range: Vane House

The Vane House is a lovely bed & breakfast located in the center of Osmotherley. You can expect very friendly service, clean rooms, and an excellent breakfast here. For those looking for B&B accommodation in Osmotherley, this is your best bet.

Mid-Range: The Queen Catherine Hotel

The Queen Catherine Hotel provides basic accommodation right on the Cleveland Way in Osmotherley. The front patio is a lovely place to relax on a warm day and breakfast gets great reviews. The rooms are a bit dated, but nothing that won’t suit a weary Cleveland Way walker!

Budget: Cote Ghyll Mill YHA

The Cote Ghyll Mill is a YHA run bunkhouse that features hostel style rooms as well as a campground. As with all YHA’s you’ll find a well-run establishment complete with a shared kitchen and lovely common spaces. You can’t go wrong here.

 

Great Broughton/Clay Bank Top

Mid-Range: Wainstones Hotel

The Wainstones Hotel is located in Great Broughton, north of the Cleveland Way. This lovely hotel offers a pick-up service at Clay Bank Top for Cleveland Way walkers, an incredible amenity! You’ll also find friendly staff, a good restaurant, and well-appointed rooms.

Mid-Range: The Buck Inn

The Buck Inn is located south of the Cleveland Way and the owners are more than happy to pick up weary walkers at Clay Bank Top. The rooms are quaint and the owners attentive. This is a great mid-range option in the area.

Budget: Beak Hills Farm

Located just half a mile off of the Cleveland Way prior to Clay Bank Top, Beak Hills Farm is a great place to stay. The two guest rooms are perfect for walkers and provide an outstanding value for the money. They also allow camping for anyone carrying their tent.

 

Kildale

Mid-Range: The Old Rectory

The Old Rectory is a lovely B&B located in the village of Kildale, right on the Cleveland Way. This family run affair has exceptional service, breakfast, and rooms. The owners will even drive you to the nearest pub for dinner!

 

Saltburn-by-the-Sea

High-End: Brockley Hall Hotel

This boutique hotel is the place to stay if you’re looking for a bit of luxury near the halfway point of your Cleveland Way walk. Brockley Hall has stunning rooms and an excellent on-site restaurant. The location is also perfect, as the hotel sits right on the Cleveland Way.

Mid-Range: The Spa Hotel

The Spa Hotel is a great pick in Saltburn-by-the-Sea. The individually decorated rooms are well-appointed and the food gets rave reviews. You’re also only a short stroll from the beach here, making this a great stop on your walk.

Budget: The Victoria

The Victoria is located right in the center of Saltburn-by-the-Sea and provides great value for the money. It can get a bit noisy here at night, but the staff are incredibly friendly and you can’t beat the location!

The pier in Saltburn-by-the-Sea

 

Staithes

High-End: Roraima House

The Roraima House is a charming bed and breakfast located just up from the waterfront in Staithes. Period feature architecture complements the friendly service. The food is excellent as well.

Mid-Range: Trig Point 49 and Keel Lodges

This five room lodge is a good mid-range option in Staithes for Cleveland Way walkers. The rooms are simple and clean and the staff very accommodating. One of our top picks in Staithes.

Budget: The Royal George

The Royal George B&B has one of the best locations in town, situated right on the Cleveland Way and just steps from the water. This excellent budget option features three rooms, two of which are en suite. Breakfast is included and the on-site pub is a great place to grab a pint after finishing the day’s walk.

View of Staithes from the Cleveland Way

 

Runswick Bay

Mid-Range: Cliffemount Hotel

The Cliffemount Hotel features stunning views of Runswick Bay from the bright and clean rooms. This small hotel is known for the friendly staff and we highly recommend splurging for a sea-view room with a balcony. You won’t regret it!

Mid-Range: The Runswick Bay Hotel

The Runswick Bay hotel is located right in the center of the village and features six guest rooms. You’ll find great value here with reasonable room prices and caring staff. Be sure to try the fish and chips from the on-site restaurant!

Budget: The Firs Guesthouse

The Firs Guesthouse is a small, family-run affair that comes with excellent reviews. A great breakfast, easy beach access to soak those weary feet, and friendly staff make this a solid option.

Runswick Bay

 

Whitby

High-End: The Dolphin Hotel

With a stunning view overlooking the bay, the Dolphin Hotel is a great option in Whitby. Located right on the Cleveland Way, this well-reviewed hotel features classic rooms, a cozy pub, and a hearty breakfast.

Mid-Range: The Pier Inn

The Pier Inn is centrally located in Whitby right off the main trail and gets rave reviews for its excellent views. The staff is welcoming to walkers and be sure to enjoy a full English breakfast before setting out the next morning.

Budget: The George Hotel

The George Hotel is located just across from the main train station in Whitby, putting you right in the center of the action. The lively pub scene is perfect for walkers who enjoy a bit of revelry. You’ll also enjoy spotlessly clean rooms and very friendly staff.

 

Robin Hood’s Bay

High-End: Fernleigh B&B

The Fernleigh B&B is our top choice in Robin Hood’s Bay. The newly renovated Victorian home features top-notch amenities and beautiful décor on a quiet street near the center of town. The wonderful owners will make sure you feel welcome and well-fed.

Mid-Range: The Grosvenor Hotel

The Grosvenor is a favorite accommodation for many Cleveland Way walkers and for good reason. Guests at this charming hotel will enjoy spotless rooms, a delicious breakfast, and a location that’s just five minutes’ to the beach.

Budget: YHA Boggle Hole

Of all the fantastic YHA hostels throughout England, this is surely one of the best. Tucked away in a secluded cove, the main building is set in a recently-renovated historic mill. The entire place embraces a fun nautical theme and boasts excellent facilities and lots of fun activities. Dorms and private en suite rooms are available.

Robin Hood's Bay

 

Ravenscar

Mid-Range: Raven Hall Hotel

The Raven Hall Hotel is perfectly located for Cleveland Way walkers right in the center of Ravenscar. The hotel is situated on a beautiful bluff overlooking the sea and the rooms don’t disappoint. This boutique option is a great place to spend the night.

Budget: Smuggler’s Rock Guest House

The Smuggler’s Rock Guest House provides simple B&B accommodation in Ravenscar, just up the road from the Cleveland Way. The rooms here are immaculately clean and well decorated. The charming garden is the perfect place to relax after a long day’s walk.

 

Scarborough

Mid-Range: The Crescent Hotel

The Crescent Hotel is located in a beautiful old building in the center of Scarborough. The location leaves nothing to be desired and the on-site restaurant serves up a delicious breakfast. A great option for what is likely your final night on the Cleveland Way.

Mid-Range: The Dickens Bar & Inn

The Dickens Bar & Inn provides excellent pub accommodation in the heart of Scarborough. Enjoy a pint in the pub before retiring to your quiet and clean room for the evening. Breakfast is included in the room rate and gets great reviews from guests.

Budget: Argo Hotel

The Argo is your best budget option in Scarborough. Although it is not the most luxurious accommodation available in town, the host Lynn more than makes up for it with friendly service. Breakfast is included and you’re just a short walk from the beach.

Filey

Mid-Range: The White Lodge Hotel

Upon finishing your walk in Filey we highly recommend a stay at the White Lodge Hotel. Set in a stunning building, the White Lodge is known for its incredibly comfortable beds – the perfect place to rest your head after a 100+ mile walk!

Mid-Range: Abbots Leigh Guesthouse

Centrally located in Filey, Abbots Leigh Guest House provides cozy accommodation at very reasonable prices. The rooms are stylishly outfitted and the hosts go above and beyond to make you feel at home. Highly recommended!

Filey, UK

 

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Cotswold Way Accommodation Guide

The Cotswold Way meanders through some of the loveliest countryside England has to offer. This Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is the perfect backdrop for one of England’s most popular…

The Cotswold Way meanders through some of the loveliest countryside England has to offer. This Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is the perfect backdrop for one of England’s most popular National Trails. For those that walk the Cotswold Way you’ll be treated to beautiful lavender fields, stunning Cotswold stone buildings, and of course some lovely accommodation.

Your options for where to stay on the Cotswold Way are nearly endless as you’ll be able to choose from an array of campgrounds, bed & breakfast inns, and boutique hotels. This means that nearly any budget can be accommodated by the lodging options on the Cotswold Way.

This Cotswold Way Accommodation Guide has been designed to help you understand your options for each stop along the route and get the most out of your walk.

Bed and breakfast on the Cotswold Way

 

In This Cotswold Way Accommodation Guide

Should I reserve my Cotswold Way accommodation in advance?

The simple answer to this question is a resounding yes!

The Cotswolds are a popular tourist destination for both the English as well as international tourists. That means that accommodation is often fully booked for weeks or months in advance, especially during the peak summer season.

So, for those walking the Cotswold Way we highly recommend reserving your accommodation well in advance, especially if walking during the summer.

When booking for peak season in the Cotswolds, the earlier the better. If you are able, we recommend trying to reserve the most in-demand accommodation up to 3-4 months in advance. Even if you plan to incorporate a bit on spontaneity into your walk it is advised to at least phone ahead to your next destination before arriving.

English breakfast

 

Cotswold Way Accommodation Cost

Given that the Cotswold Way rarely strays far from civilization you’ll have plenty of options to create your perfect itinerary. This can mean taking your time and spending two weeks on the walk, or speeding through in 6-7 days.

Whichever your personal preference is, you can rest assured that you’ll have no shortage of itinerary options.

Similarly, you can personalize the cost of the accommodation you select for your walk to meet your budget.

Do keep in mind that the Cotswolds are a very expensive part of England, especially when it comes to lodging. The popularity of visiting the area means that hotel and B&B prices tend to be quite a bit higher than other parts of the country.

Nightly cost also varies widely across the Cotswold Way, with more popular destinations such as Bath costing more than some of the rural areas of the walk. Given all of these factors it can be difficult to pin down average costs for the Cotswold Way, but we’ve taken a stab at it below:

  • B&B/Guesthouse/Hotel: £90+ (per person/per night)
  • Bunkhouse/Hostel: £50+ (per person/per night)
  • Camping: £15+ (per person/per night)

In our accommodation directory, we’ve provided our recommendations for high-end, mid-range, and budget options at all of the common stopping points along the Cotswold Way. We’ve defined those categories as follows:

  • High-End: £95+ (per person/per night)
  • Mid-Range: £50-90 (per person/per night)
  • Budget:<£50 (per person/per night)

Note that not every stop along the walk will feature accommodation that fits neatly into each of the categories above. In those cases we’ve included multiple options in a specific price point based on what is available.

Path on the Cotswold Way

 

Cotswold Way Accommodation Directory & Map

Looking for accommodation on the Cotswold Way can be overwhelming. There are a plethora of options, many of which can prove difficult to discern their value. In the accommodation directory below we’ve distilled this information into an easy to ready format with key details about your options, as well as our recommendations for every budget.

We’ve organized our list to follow most variations of the classic north to south Cotswold Way itinerary from Chipping Campden to Bath.

You can also view all of the accommodation providers in this directory on the interactive map below.

Looking for more Cotswold Way resources? Check out our Cotswold Way | Maps & Routes article here.

Read the directory in its entirety or jump to a specific stopping point from the list below:

Bath on the Cotswold Way

 

Chipping Campden

High-End: Cotswold House Hotel and Spa

If you’re interested in starting your Cotswold Way walk off with a bit of luxury then look no further than the Cotswold House Hotel & Spa. The comfortable beds and on-site spa are just what you need before embarking on your journey. Be sure to stick around for breakfast before setting out!

Mid-Range: Eight Bells Inn

The charming Eight Bells Inn is always a top pick in Chipping Campden. Located in a historic and charming building the friendly staff will have you feeling right at home. However, what really sets the Eight Bells Inn apart is the excellent food available in the on-site restaurant.

Budget: Volunteer Inn

The Volunteer Inn is centrally located at the end of High Street in Chipping Campden and provides excellent value for the money. You’ll be easy walking distance to a host of nearby amenities and be able to retire to your comfortable bed at the end of the night. Highly recommended!

Chipping Campden accommodation Cotswold Way

 

Broadway

High-End: The Lygon Arms Hotel

The Lygon Arms is set in a palatial looking structure constructed from beautiful Cotswold stone. Perfectly blending contemporary and classic design, each of the rooms is carefully curated. This is an excellent option for those looking for bespoke accommodation in Broadway.

Mid-Range: The Broadway Hotel

The Broadway Hotel features 19 well thought out rooms that make a great mid-range option in Broadway. The structure of the hotel dates back to the 16th century, but guests will enjoy modern amenities. Guests give rave reviews to the breakfast, the perfect way to start a day on the Cotswold Way.

Budget: Horse & Hound Inn

A friendly pub-accommodation option in Broadway the Horse & Hound Inn is a great budget option. The convivial atmosphere and friendly staff make this a popular spot for walkers. Enjoy a pint at the pub and mingle with the locals.

 

Stanton

Mid-Range: The Old Post House

The Old Post House B&B offers quiet and private accommodation in Stanton. Choose from a converted shepherd’s hut or the beautiful Garden Room, located in a separate building. There are only two rooms here, ensuring you’ll get great service. Be sure to spend some time enjoying the beautiful gardens.

Mid-Range: The Vine at Cotswold Riding

Set in the center of Stanton and part of the large Cotswolds Riding equestrian center, the Vine offers classic B&B accommodation. A homey spot, the roaring fire and simple guest rooms evoke a classic Cotswold vibe.

 

Winchcombe

High-End: The Lion Inn

Located just off the Cotswold Way, the Lion Inn offers beautiful guest rooms to weary Cotswold Way walkers. Staff go above and beyond to ensure you have a comfortable stay and the rooms are spotlessly clean. While certainly on the higher end of the price spectrum, you’ll get great value for your money here.

Mid-Range: The White Hart Inn

The White Hart Inn is located in the thick of the action in Winchcombe and right on the Cotswold Way. This pub accommodation provides basic rooms with loads of character and incredibility friendly staff.

Budget: Wesley House

The Wesley House is known for its outstanding breakfasts and simple guest rooms. Set in a Tudor style building the Wesley House presents the best value in Winchcombe. With just four rooms available be sure to book early.

 

Cleeve Hill

High-End: Malvern View Bed & Breakfast

The Malvern View B&B offers views of Cleeve Hill from its cozy lounge and features exceptionally friendly hosts. The rooms are thoughtfully adorned, the breakfast excellent, and the grounds well kept. This is an excellent family run B&B, which is what a trip to the Cotswolds is all about!

Mid-Range: Cleeve Hill Hotel

The well cared for Cleeve Hill Hotel features 13 rooms and makes a great mid-range option in Cleeve Hill. The owner ensures all guest’s needs are met and does a splendid breakfast. Views from the rooms are exceptional as well.

Budget: Rising Sun Hotel

The Rising Sun Hotel is a great budget-friendly spot featuring a restaurant/pub and lovely back terrace. The rooms are basic, but all are clean and functional. The Hotel is located just off the Cotswold Way making this a popular place to overnight for walkers.

Cleeve Hill

Cleeve Hill, the high point of the Cotswold Way.

 

Cheltenham

Mid-Range: DoubleTree Cheltenham

The DoubleTree is more convenient than most Cheltenham options for Cotswold Way walkers, as it is located on the edge of town near the trail. You’ll get a predictable experience here with comfortable rooms, a good breakfast, and well-maintained facilities.

Mid-Range: The London Inn

The London Inn offers a classic pub hotel in Cheltenham. You’ll have to walk a bit further off the Cotswold Way to reach the Inn, but you’ll be rewarded with a friendly and cozy place to spend the night. The rooms are basic, but the breakfast is exceptional!

Budget: Colgate Farm B&B

The best located option near Cheltenham for Cotswold Way walkers, the Colgate Farm B&B is located just off the trail. This pastoral B&B has all of the rural Cotswold charm you could ask for along with friendly owners. While not the most luxurious, this is a great place to spend the night.

 

Birdlip

Mid-Range: Royal George Hotel

The only accommodation in Birdlip, the Royal George Hotel offers good value. The staff is very welcoming and there is a great atmosphere in the on-site pub. While the bathrooms could use some updating, the Royal George is overall an excellent option.

 

Painswick

High-End: The Painswick

The Painswick is one of the best hotels on the Cotswold Way and we highly recommend a stay here for anyone passing through. This beautiful hotel does everything right, from the excellent food, comfortable rooms, and friendly staff. A bit of a splurge, but well worth it!

Mid-Range: The Falcon Inn

The Falcon Inn is a cozy and well-run option in Painswick. The rooms are beautifully decorated and a stay here won’t break the bank. Guests give it great reviews for its excellent location right in the center of Painswick as well as for its accommodating staff.

Budget: Troy House

The Troy House is a lovely bed & breakfast that provides an affordable option in Painswick. The friendly owners are very welcoming to walkers and the back garden is a welcome respite for tired legs. Highly recommended.

 

King’s Stanley

Mid-Range: Orchardene Bed & Breakfast

The Orchardene Bed & Breakfast is a classic Cotswold bed and breakfast. Friendly owners, a beautiful building, and a hearty breakfast all make this a great option for walkers in King’s Stanley. Be sure to book early as they only have two rooms.

Mid-Range: Valley Views B&B

The Valley Views B&B is the most convenient option in King’s Stanley as it is located mere steps from the Cotswold Way. Beautiful views, a manicured garden, and excellent owners make this a great mid-range option for walkers.

Budget: The White Hart

The White Hart is a bit further from the trail but provides excellent, budget-friendly accommodation. This free house has clean rooms and a great breakfast, everything the Cotswold Way walkers could need. Although it will require a bit more walking from the trail to reach, we still think this could be your best bet in the area.

 

Dursley

Mid-Range: Woodland House B&B

Accommodation in Dursely is a bit limited, but luckily there is the excellent Woodland House B&B. Set is a peaceful residential neighborhood, the friendly owners will welcome you with open arms. The cozy rooms and tasty breakfast will have you ready for your next day on the walk!

 

Wotton-under-Edge

Mid-Range: The Swan Hotel

The Swan Hotel provides a good mid-range option for walkers stopping in Wotton-under-Edge. The rooms are very comfortable, with many featuring additional seating areas to relax. Located right in the center of town you’ll also have easy access to shops, restaurants, and anything else you may need.

 

Tormarton

Mid-Range: Little Smithy B&B

Little Smithy sits in the center of the small village of Tormarton, right on the Cotswold Way. This family run B&B hosts plenty of walkers, so you’ll be well taken care of. There are only two rooms here, both located in a small cottage separate from the main house.

Mid-Range: Best Western Compass Inn

This predictable option offers good value for the money on the edge of Tormarton. The Best Western gets mixed reviews, but overall provides an excellent option for Cotswold Way walkers.

 

Cold Ashton

Mid-Range: Cornflake Cottage B&B

The Cornflake Cottage is a lovey, rural B&B just north of Cold Ashton in Pennsylvania. There are only two rooms here, and the outgoing owners will have you feeling right at home. Beautiful pastoral views make this a restful place to spend the night.

Mid-Range: Whittington Farm B&B

Located right on the Cotswold Way in Cold Ashton, is the Whittington Farm B&B. This lovely guest house has just two rooms and anyone who stays here can’t seem to say enough about how great it is. The perfect place to spend what is likely you last night on the Cotswold Way.

 

Bath

High-End: The Gainsborough

Let’s face it, at the end of a long walk there is nothing better than splurging for a luxurious hotel stay. For those with the same mindset, we highly recommend staying a night at The Gainsborough in central Bath. This five star accommodation is sure to be just what the doctor ordered after having just completed the Cotswold Way.

Mid-Range: The Rising Sun Inn

For those who still want a relaxing stay, but without the price tag of some of the fancier options look no further than the Rising Sun Inn. Set just across the river from the center of Bath you’ll enjoy the location as well as the great staff and comfortable rooms.

Budget: Z Hotel

The Z Hotel is a great budget option in a city that is known for its expensive lodging. The more affordable rooms don’t have a window, but you’ll have extra money to enjoy a pint at one of the many pubs. The friendly staff make this our top pick for budget accommodation in Bath.

 

River in Bath, UK

Be sure to spend some time exploring Bath at the end of your Cotswold Way walk.

 

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Check out our other great Cotswold Way Resources:

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South Downs Way Accommodation Guide

The South Downs Way is renowned for its splendid walking, cultural experiences, and ease of access. Walking the entire route you’ll be treated to beautiful views and charming villages, but…

The South Downs Way is renowned for its splendid walking, cultural experiences, and ease of access. Walking the entire route you’ll be treated to beautiful views and charming villages, but you’ll also get to the experience some of the warmest hospitality in all of England.

Accommodation options on the South Downs Way include everything from campgrounds to B&Bs to luxurious hotels. For every budget and preference there is almost always an excellent accommodation option on this National Trail.

We’ve put together this South Downs Way Accommodation Guide to help you understand your options and get the most out of your South Downs Way Adventure.

Let’s get started.

In This South Downs Way Accommodation Guide

Should I reserve my South Downs Way accommodation in advance?

This largely depends on when you plan on walking the South Downs Way, but during the peak season it is a resounding yes! That means that from approximately mid-March through the end of September you’ll be best served by booking your accommodation in advance for the South Downs Way.

This is true even for those bringing a tent along and camping on their walk as many of the campgrounds are quite popular in the summer months.

When booking for peak season, the earlier the better. If possible, try to reserve the most in-demand accommodation 3-4 months in advance, if possible. If you’re more of a last-minute person, don’t despair. Even calling a few days ahead while you’re on the trail could really pay off.

Guest house on the south Downs Way

Advance bookings are recommended on the South Downs Way.

 

South Downs Way Accommodation Cost

One of the great things about the South Downs Way is the variety of itinerary options. Given that the walk passes through many villages, towns, and farming communities, it is possible to find a place to lay your head almost anywhere along the walk.

Just as you can customize your itinerary to suit your needs, you can also choose your accommodation to suit your personal budget.

Prices can vary greatly from place to place, and expect accommodation costs to increase the closer you get to the coast. However, generally speaking, here’s what you can expect to pay for accommodation along the South Downs Way:

  • B&B/Guesthouse/Hotel: £75+ (per person/per night)
  • Bunkhouse/Hostel: £40 (per person/per night)
  • Camping: £15 (per person/per night)

In our accommodation directory, we’ve provided our recommendations for high-end, mid-range, and budget options at all of the common stopping points along the South Downs Way. We’ve defined those categories as follows:

  • High-End: £85+ (per person/per night)
  • Mid-Range: £50-85 (per person/per night)
  • Budget:<£50 (per person/per night)

NOTE: Camping accommodation is not included in this post. Check out our detailed Guide to Camping on the South Downs Way for camping options on every stage.

English breakfast

B&Bs on the South Downs Way are sure to offer up a full English breakfast!

 

South Downs Way Accommodation Directory & Map

There are wonderful places to stay along the entire South Downs Way route. In this accommodation directory, we’ll give you key details about all of your options, as well as our top recommendations for every budget.

We’ve organized our list to follow most variations of the classic west to east South Downs Way itinerary. You can also view all of the accommodation providers in this directory on the map below.

Read the directory in its entirety or jump to a specific stopping point from the list below:

Winchester cathedral

 

Winchester

High-End: The Old Vine

For those looking to start their South Downs Way walk with a bit of luxury, you can’t go wrong with the Old Vine Hotel in Winchester. This centrally located hotel features beautifully appointed guest rooms and excellent service. Don’t forget to check out the on-site restaurant as well.

Mid-Range: The Winchester Hotel

The Winchester Hotel has simple, efficient rooms that provide a good mid-range option in Winchester. While certainly not luxurious, the Winchester Hotel is in a great location and provides good value for the money. The indoor pool and hot tub are perfect for loosening up those muscles before your walk!

Budget: The King Alfred Pub

Tucked away on a quiet corner, the King Alfred Pub in Winchester is the quintessential pub accommodation. This lovely spot features charming rooms set above a lively pub. The staff is incredibly friendly and you’ll enjoy a convivial atmosphere. Highly recommended!

 

Cheriton

Mid-Range: Brick House

The Brick House in Cheriton is a unique place to spend the night on the South Downs Way. The beautiful accommodation shares a building with a bakery school, so be sure to stick around for the included breakfast! This is the most convenient option for those looking to stay in Cheriton.

Budget: The Milburys

You can’t get find a better location than The Milburys Pub, located right on the South Downs Way. There are only two rooms available, but if you’re looking to stop before reaching Exton this is a great option.

 

Exton

High-End: Manor House Exton B&B

Located on the northern edge of the lovely village of Exton, the Manor House B&B offers excellent accommodation at reasonable prices. The Manor House has only two rooms so you’ll enjoy some peace and quiet before enjoying the excellent breakfast the following morning.

Mid-Range: Crossways B&B

The Crossways B&B is a simple, but well run bed and breakfast in the heart of Exton. You’ll have the entire place to yourself and they only feature one room, which can be a great feature for the weary walker.

Budget: Bucks Head Inn

The best bet for budget accommodation in Exton is the Bucks Head Inn, located just south of the main village. This is quintessential pub accommodation with five rooms set above the main pub.

 

East Meon

High-End: Ye Olde George Inn

The Ye Olde George Inn in East Meon offers well appointed rooms above the pub and restaurant. Breakfast is included in the room rate and highly recommended. The Ye Olde George Inn gets great reviews for its friendly staff and comfortable rooms.

Mid-Range: The Long House

The Long House in East Meon is a good fit for those who don’t want the busy atmosphere of pub accommodation. This quiet and tranquil bed and breakfast is known for the owners going above and beyond, even sometimes picking up weary South Downs Way walkers from the trail!

Budget: Wetherdown Lodge & Campsite

Situated just south of East Meon, the Wetherdown Lodge & Campsite offers simple accommodation at reasonable prices. The bed & breakfast features en suite rooms that are small but cozy and set in the beautiful woodlands of South Downs National Park.

 

Buriton

High-End: The Hampshire Hog

The Hampshire Hog is located south of Buriton on the A3. This upscale restaurant and B&B has beautiful rooms that are sure to add a bit of luxury to your South Downs Way walk. The onsite restaurant gets good reviews for its classic pub fare.

Mid-Range: The Village Inn at Buriton

The Village Inn is situated in the heart of Buriton occupying a beautiful white brick building. The rooms were recently redesigned and have a boutique hotel feel while still maintaining their charm. There is an on-site restaurant with an excellent gin selection.

Budget: Copper Beeches

Copper Beeches sits east of Buriton, but just a short walk from the South Downs Way. This farmhouse style B&B features simple rooms and friendly owners. The pastoral setting is what the South Downs are known for!

 

Cocking

High-End: The Blue Bell

This free house is located smack dab in the center of Cocking, making it a convenient option for South Downs Way walkers. You’ll find three B&B rooms available here as well as an on-site restaurant. The rooms are simple, but well designed.

Mid-Range: Hysett House

The Hysett House is a small, family run B&B on the north edge of Cocking. The rooms are basic, but the warm hospitality from the owners is what Hysett House is known for.

Budget: Moonlight Cottage B&B

The Moonlight Cottage B&B features small but functional rooms very close to the main South Downs Way trail. This cozy accommodation is a good value for the money and the helpful owners make it a highly recommended option.

Bignor

High-End: The White Horse Inn

The White Horse Inn offers beautiful rooms a short distance from the South Downs Way in Sutton. This well run establishment has a high-end restaurant and makes a great spot to indulge in a little luxury on your South Downs Way walk.

Mid-Range: Stane House

The Stane House is a classic English B&B located in beautiful countryside just off the South Downs Way. The lovely back garden is a treat on a sunny day and the owner’s bring a warm hospitality only found at English B&Bs!

Budget: Folly Hide

Folly Hide offers some of the most unique accommodation on the South Downs Way. This “tiny house” is a renovated shepherd’s hut set in a beautiful garden. You’ll enjoy privacy while still having modern amenities and getting to experience what life was once like in the South Downs.

 

Amberley

High-End: Amberley Castle

By far the most luxurious accommodation you’ll find on the South Downs Way is the Amberley Castle. A truly unique place to spend the night, the hotel is set within the the Amberley Castle grounds. You’ll pay dearly for a night here, but this could very well be the highlight of your trip!

Mid-Range: Black Horse

For those looking for well run pub accommodation in Amberley look no further than the Black Horse. This excellent establishment has 11 rooms featuring unique furniture and all including breakfast. This is a popular place with the locals as well as travelers making it a great option.

Budget: The Sportsman Inn

The Sportsman Inn sits in a pastoral location just outside of  Amberley. With beautiful views of the countryside this is a great budget accommodation option. Both double and twin rooms are available depending on your needs.

 

Washington

Mid-Range: Holt House

The Holt House is a charming B&B located just off the South Downs Way in the small village of Washington. With only three rooms available it maintains a cozy and communal atmosphere while providing all the necessities. Breakfast is included and room rates are quite reasonable.

 

Upper Beeding/Steyning

High-End: Springwells House

The Springwells House is a boutique bed & breakfast located north of the South Downs Way in Steyning. Featuring six well appointed rooms, this is a lovely option for those looking for a tranquil setting. The beautiful gardens make this a great value for the money.

Mid-Range: The Castle Inn

The Castle Inn is located a short distance off the trail and features a variety of rooms to suit any budget. This B&B style accommodation has a popular restaurant and beautiful back garden. A great option for those looking to stop in Upper Beeding or Steyning.

Budget: YHA Truleigh Hill

Situated immediately off the South Downs Way, the YHA Truleigh Hill is a very popular stop for walkers. Perfect for those who prefer simple accommodation, the YHA Truleigh Hill has both dormitory and private room options. Take advantage of the communal kitchen to prepare your own dinner.

 

Ditchling

High-End: The White Horse

The White Horse Inn in Ditchling is a classic and well-designed guest house near the South Downs Way. This great option includes seven bed & breakfast style rooms as well as a cozy restaurant and bar.

Mid-Range: The Bull

Located right in the center of Ditchling, The Bull is a classic English guest house. One of the oldest structures in the area, The Bull features boutique style rooms set above a well-regarded restaurant. Prices are reasonable, but be sure to book ahead for the summer months.

Budget: Tovey Lodge

The Tovey Lodge is a self-catering cottage located a short distance from the South Downs Way. This is a great option for couples as the cottage features a double bed and plenty of space for relaxing. You’ll enjoy much more privacy here when compared to a traditional hotel.

 

Kingston/Lewes

Mid-Range: Kings Head or Nightingales

You’ll find several good mid-range accommodation options in the Kingston and Lewes area. We outlined your best bets below:

Nightingales:

This simple bed and breakfast is just a short distance from the South Downs Way, making it a great option. The host is friendly and you can enjoy the lovely back garden during your stay.

Kings Head:

Although the Kings Head is located a fair distance from the South Downs Way trail in Lewes, this still makes a good option for walkers. The warm and inviting atmosphere make this a popular stopping point, while weary walkers will appreciate the beautiful soaking tubs in the rooms!

Budget: The Newmarket Inn

The Newmarket Inn is located just a stone’s throw from the South Downs Way adjacent to the busy A27. This is the most convenient option in the Kingston/Lewes area and the new owner gets rave reviews from guests.

 

Alfriston

High-End: Wingrove House

The Wingrove House is one of Alfriston’s best bed & breakfasts. The rooms are well-designed and the restaurant is known for its excellent meals. This is a great place to spend your final night on the South Downs Way!

Mid-Range: Deans Place Hotel

Located just south of Alfriston, Deans Place Hotel is set in a stunningly beautiful country-house. Rooms rate here are quite reasonable and you can take in the pastoral feel of the grounds while still enjoying modern amenities. Highly recommended!

Budget: Ye Olde Smugglers Inne

The Ye Olde Smugglers Inne offers budget friendly pub accommodation in the heart of Alfriston. The friendly staff and convivial atmosphere add to the warmth of the place, while the simple rooms offer great value. This is your best bet if you’re looking to keep you budget in check.

Eastbourne

High-End: The View Hotel

If you couldn’t already tell from the name, The View Hotel in Eastbourne is known for its expansive views. While you won’t experience the same hospitality that comes with rural B&Bs, the View’s staff often goes the extra mile. The perfect place to relax after completing the South Downs Way!

Mid-Range: The Cherry Tree Guest House

The Cherry Tree Guest House features 10 simple rooms set in a beautiful location. The breakfast gets outstanding reviews and is perfect for the hungry SDW walker! This is a great option to rest and relax for a few nights after your walk.

Budget: YHA Eastbourne

The YHA Eastbourne is located on the outskirts of town and is the perfect budget accommodation option in Eastbourne. Choose from dormitory style or private rooms and enjoy the communal atmosphere at this excellent YHA.

The beach in Eastbourne on the South Downs Way

 

What’s Next?

Check out our other great South Downs Way Resources:

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Guide to Camping in Colorado National Monument

From the top of its sheer cliff faces to the depths of its red rock canyons, Colorado National Monument is breathtaking on so many levels. This national treasure protects many…

From the top of its sheer cliff faces to the depths of its red rock canyons, Colorado National Monument is breathtaking on so many levels. This national treasure protects many thousands of acres of quintessential southwestern landscapes, including sweeping plateaus and towering sandstone monoliths. You can take in the scenery while cruising along the famous Rim Rock Drive, exploring one of the monument’s many great hiking trails, climbing its unique rock formations, or simply enjoying a picnic.

Regardless of how you choose to spend your days in Colorado National Monument, the very best way to spend your nights is camped out under the stars in your tent or RV.

Colorado National Monument and the surrounding areas have plenty of options for camping. From the developed Saddlehorn Campground located inside the national monument to its many backcountry options, you’ll have tons of great campsites to choose from. Beyond the borders of Colorado National Monument, there are several great campgrounds and dispersed camping areas nearby.

Birds eye view of Fruita Canyon taken from Rim Rock Drive in Colorado National Monument
Views from the famous Rim Rock Drive. Photo courtesy of NPS.

In This Post

Misty clouds in a canyon in Colorado National Monument
Colorado Monument is beautiful in any weather. Photo courtesy of NPS.

Colorado National Monument Campgrounds

Campers looking to spend the night inside Colorado National Monument have two great options. Those looking for convenience and comfort will enjoy the established Saddlehorn Campground, while those seeking adventure and solitude should consider pitching a tent in the backcountry. We’ve covered everything you need to know about both options in this section.

Saddlehorn Campground

Number of Sites: 79 sites
Fee: $22/night ($11.00 for seniors and access pass holders)
RVs: Yes, max size 40′
Reservations: Available for A and B Loop sites. Click here to reserve.
Season: A Loop sites are open all year. B and C Loop sites are open late-March through Mid-October.

The Saddlehorn Campground is conveniently located just four miles past the West Entrance of Colorado National Monument, near the town of Fruita. The 79 sites are arranged in three loops.

Click here to see a map of the Saddlehorn Campground

The A Loop is open year-round. It can be reserved six months in advance for the summer season, and is open on a first-come, first-served basis in the winter months (no services available during that time). The B Loop is open during the summer months (typically late March through mid-October) and sites can be reserved up to six months in advance. If not reserved in advance, sites in the A and B loops are available on a first-come, first-served basis, but may be used for one night only. The C Loop can be reserved for group camping, or used on a first-come, first served basis for individuals.

RVs are welcome at the Saddlehorn Campground, and there are some pull through sites in the A and B loops. There are no hookups at the campground.

During the summer months, flush toilets and drinking water are available at the Saddlehorn Campground. Each site offers a picnic table and charcoal grill. Sites #5 and #70 are accessible for people with disabilities. Nearly all of the sites offer spectacular views of the surrounding red rock scenery.

Campers sit at a picnic table at the Saddlehorn Campground in Colorado National Monument
Campers enjoying the beautiful surroundings at the Saddlehorn Campground. Photo courtesy of NPS.

Backcountry Camping in Colorado National Monument

If you would prefer to get away from the bustle of the campgrounds and enjoy more solitude in the wilderness, Colorado National Monument offers plenty of great options for backcountry campingExperienced and adventurous campers can sleep out under the stars in the spot of their choosing, provided they follow a few important rules and regulations. This option allows campers to hike on or off trail and pitch their tent nearly anywhere in the monument.

Most backcountry campers will choose to explore one of these incredible backcountry trails.

If you’re considering Backcountry Camping in Colorado National Monument, it’s imperative you know some key information.

You CANNOT Camp in the following areas:

  • Within .25 mile of developed areas and roads
  • Within 150 feet of any trail
  • Inside any streambed

Also, keep in mind:

  • Water sources are virtually nonexistent in the backcountry. You should plan on carrying at least a gallon per person per day in the summer months. Never drink from any natural water source without filtering first.
  • You are camping in bear country. Use proper techniques for securing food and other scented items that might attract bears.
  • Campfires are not permitted in the backcountry. Gas or alcohol camp stoves may be used for cooking.
  • Groups may not exceed 7 people.
  • Individual trips are limited to seven nights, and you can’t camp more than 14 nights total per calendar year.
  • Always abide by Leave No Trace Principles

Permits are required for Backcountry Camping in Colorado National Monument. Permits are free and can be picked up from the Saddlehorn Visitor Center upon arrival. Click here for visitor center opening hours.

A wooden trail sign in front of a dirt trail in Colorado National Monument
There’s a wealth of great backcountry trails and camping options in Colorado National Monument. Photo courtesy of NPS.

Colorado National Monument Camping Basics

Reservations, Permits, and Fees

It is a very good idea to reserve your spot at the Saddlehorn Campground ahead of time, as it can get quite busy during the summer months, especially weekends and holidays. Reservations can be made up to six months in advance for sites in the A and B Loops. Visit recreation.gov to reserve your campsite.

Permits are required for backcountry camping in Colorado National Monument. Permits are free and can be picked up from the Saddlehorn Visitor Center upon arrival. Click here for visitor center opening hours.

All visitors must pay an entrance fee when visiting Colorado National Monument. Campers staying at the Saddlehorn Campground will pay an additional fee per night. Backcountry camping is free in Colorado National Monument.

What to Bring

Preparing for your Colorado National Monument camping trip involves more than deciding which campground best fits your needs. There’s also the important job of making sure you have all the right gear you’ll need to ensure a great trip.

We’re sure you’ll already have the essentials like a great tentsleeping bags, and camp chairs, but below are some of our favorite items specifically for camping in Colorado National Monument:

Fires

Wood fires are not permitted anywhere in Colorado National Monument. Visitors staying at the Saddlehorn Campground or using one of the monument’s designated picnic areas can use the charcoal grills provided. Gas and alcohol camp stoves are allowed throughout the monument. If camping outside the monument, be sure to check local regulations and seasonal fire bans for more information before you go.

Wildlife

Colorado National Monument’s diverse landscapes host a multitude of unique ecosystems. The semi-desert ecosystem is home to a wonderful range of species. Some notable fauna include desert bighorn sheep, and several dozen species of birds, including red-tailed hawks and golden eagles. While the chance to see wildlife in their native habitat is certainly an unforgettable experience for those lucky enough to witness it, there are some precautions to keep in mind when spending time in Colorado National Monument.

Rattlesnakes: Watch your step when exploring the trails in Colorado National Monument, as it is a habitat for the midget-faced rattlesnake, which is poisonous. These snakes, like most snakes, are not particularly aggressive, so keep your distance and they’ll leave you alone.

Mountain Lions: Mountain lions occasionally pass through Colorado National Monument, although it is incredibly rare to encounter this elusive big cat. That being said, they can be dangerous to humans and it’s important to know what to do if you cross paths with a mountain lion. Learn more about mountain lion safety here.

A bighorn sheep stands on a rock in Colorado National Monument
Desert bighorn sheep are on of the monument’s most majestic animals. Photo courtesy of NPS.

Pets

If you bring your pet to Colorado National Monument, you must follow these regulations:

  • Pets must be on a leash at all times.
  • Pets are allowed within campgrounds, on park roads, and in picnic areas.
  • Pets are not allowed in park buildings, on trails, or in the backcountry.
  • Do not leave your pet unattended in your vehicle. Temperatures can get extremely hot in Colorado National Monument.
  • Always properly dispose of pet waste.
  • Properly documented and trained service animals are permitted to accompany individuals with disabilities anywhere members of the public may normally go within the park.

Where to Get Supplies

Colorado National Monument is a vast area with no supplies or services available within the park (with the exception of a few snack items at the visitor center). This means it is extremely important that you enter the monument well-stocked on food, water (if there’s none available at your destination), gas, and any other necessities you may need while camping.

Visitors entering Colorado National Monument through the West Entrance can get supplies in the nearby town of Fruita. The most convenient place to get food and other supplies is the City Market, located just a five-minute drive from the West Entrance of the monument. There are a handful of gas stations off Highway 340 on the way into Colorado National Monument.

Visitors entering Colorado National Monument via the East Entrance should stock up in Grand Junction. The Alta Convenience is the closest option for snacks and gas, but there are several grocery stores, gas stations, and other services a bit further in town.

Close up of a person lighting a blue camp stove
Make sure you bring your camp stove, since there are no fires allowed in Colorado National Monument!

Campgrounds Near Colorado National Monument

If you’re seeking an established campground with modern amenities, there’s a plethora of great options within a 30-minute drive of Colorado National Monument. Another perk of these campgrounds is that many of them are close to the shops and services in one of the areas charming towns.

Fruita is a small, outdoorsy town that is just minutes from the monument’s West Entrance. Grand Junction is the region’s biggest metropolis and has a lovely downtown and plenty of services. Finally, Palisade is a bit further from Colorado National Monument, but its wine and agricultural scene make it an attractive place to set up camp. We’ve also included a couple of out-of-town campgrounds for those seeking a more rugged experience.

Low clouds in Monument Canyon
Monument Canyon is easily accessed from the West Entrance. Photo courtesy of NPS.

Campgrounds in Fruita, CO

Bookcliff Campground (Highline Lake State Park)

Number of Sites: 32 sites
Fee: $28/night (3/1-10/31) or $14/night (11/1-2/28) + park entrance fee
Site Type(s): RVs (Site lengths vary, but some can accommodate big rigs. No hookups) Tents
Reservations: Required. Click here to reserve.
Season: Open all year.

Located about twenty minutes driving from the monument’s West Entrance, the Bookcliff Campground is a great place to camp and enjoy Highline Lake State Park. The 32 sites offer plenty of shade and nice views of the surrounding area. Most of the sites can accommodate RVs, with pull-through and back-in options available. There are also three tent-only walk-in sites that provide a bit more privacy. Campground amenities include bathrooms, hot showers (extra fee), fire pits, picnic tables, laundry facilities, and a dump station. Leashed pets are welcome.

Monument RV Resort and Campground

Number of Sites: Varies
Fee:
 $35-52/night (RV), $29/night (tent)
Site Type(s):
RVs, Tents, Cabins
Reservations: 
Recommended for peak season.
Season: 
Open all year.

While this RV park may not be the most scenic, its proximity to Colorado National Monument can’t be beat. Located less than five minutes from the West Entrance of the monument, this campground is a great basecamp for all of your outdoor adventures. Keep in mind there is an extra fee for groups larger than two. Amenities include restrooms, picnic tables, wifi, propane, dump station, laundry, a playground, pool, and an exercise room.

James M. Robb Colorado River State Park, Fruita Section

Number of Sites: 57
Fee:
 $36-41/night (RV w/hookups), $22/night (tent)+park entrance fee
Site Type(s):
RVs, Tents, Walk-in Tents
Reservations: 
Required. Click here to reserve.
Season: 
Open all year, but some services closed from 11/1-4/1

This campground offers a beautiful riverside setting that feels close to nature, while also being walking distance from the shops and restaurants in town. Full hookup sites can accommodate RVs up to 50′ long. This is a popular campground that books up quickly, so make your reservation as far in advance as possible! Amenities include flush toilets, coin-operated showers, picnic tables, fire rings, drinking water, laundry, and a dump station. Leashed pets are permitted.

Click here for a map of the campground.

A close up of orange and yellow flowers on prickly pear cacti in Colorado National Monument.
The Old Gordon Trail is easily accessed from the monument’s East Entrance, and has beautiful seasonal blossoms. Photo courtesy of NPS.

Campgrounds in Grand Junction, CO

Junction West RV Park

Number of Sites: 70 sites.
Fee:
 $45-55/night (RV), $35/night (tent)
Site Type(s):
RVs, Tents, Cabins
Reservations: 
Recommended for peak season.
Season: 
Open all year.

This is another clean and convenient option, located just 15 minutes from the West Entrance of Colorado National Monument. While it doesn’t necessarily provide a “close to nature” kind of experience, it does offer plenty of great amenities for the whole family. These include restrooms, wifi, laundry, a playground, and a convenience store.

Moondance RV and Campground

Number of Sites: 49 sites
Fee: $20/night (Tent), $40-50/night (RV)
Site Type(s): RVs, Tents
Reservations: Not required, but can be made by calling 970-245-0769.
Season: Open all year.

This no-frills campground is conveniently located halfway between the East and West entrances to Colorado National Monument, meaning you can access either entrance within a 15-minute drive. There are 27 large RV sites with full hookups, as well as space to accommodate 22 tents. Amenities include bathrooms, showers, wifi, a pet area, and laundry facilities.

Grand Junction KOA

Number of Sites: 80 sites
Fee: $32-35/night (Tent), $50-65/night (RV)
Site Type(s): RVs, Tents
Reservations: Recommended.
Season: Open all year.

Campers love the clean facilities, shady pitches, and plentiful amenities at this reliable KOA. The campground is just a few miles from downtown Grand Junction and less than 15 minutes from the West Entrance of Colorado National Monument. Amenities include restrooms, wifi, laundry, a pool, dog walk, game room, and a snack bar.

RV Ranch at Grand Junction

Number of Sites: 146 sites
Fee: $40-55/night (RV), $65/night (Cabins)
Site Type(s): RVs, Cabins
Reservations: Recommended for peak season.
Season: Open all year.

This is a clean, well-maintained RV park that is located about twenty minutes from either entrance of Colorado National Monument. 50 amp, 30 amp, and water/electric only sites are available, as are a selection of cozy cabins that can sleep 2-4 people. Unfortunately, they do not accommodate tent campers. Amenities include restrooms, laundry, fire pits, a swimming pool, and propane sales.

People picnicing at  the Devil's Kitchen area in Colorado National Monument
The Devil’s Kitchen Picnic Area and hiking trails are just minutes from Grand Junction. Photo courtesy of NPS.

Campgrounds in Palisade, CO

Palisade Basecamp RV Resort

Number of Sites: 71 sites
Fee:
 $40-84/night (RV), $22-48/night (tent)
Site Type(s):
RVs, Tents, Cabins
Reservations: 
Recommended for peak season.
Season: 
Open all year, although some services not available in winter

Some campers will find it worthwhile to travel a bit further from the monument to enjoy a stay at this deluxe campground. Palisade Basecamp is a sprawling accommodation that offers a variety of sites with views of the river and surrounding vineyards. The campground is about a half hour’s drive from either entrance of Colorado National Monument, although there are a handful of nice biking and hiking trails within a couple miles of Palisade Basecamp. Prices vary depending on your travel dates, and extended stay discounts are available. Amenities include restrooms, wifi, laundry, a pet area, a pool, and a general store.

A close up of peaches at a market
If you’re visiting during harvest season, you can’t miss Palisade’s famous peaches!

Further Afield

Mud Springs Campground

Number of Sites: 14 sites
Fee:
 $10/night
Site Type(s):
RVs (no hookups, max length 30′), Tents
Reservations: 
First-come, first-served
Season: 
May-October

Those looking to have a more rugged camping experience while still enjoying some creature comforts will certainly enjoy the Mud Springs Campground. The campground is located southwest of Colorado National Monument, and you’ll actually drive through the monument to reach it (approximately 40 minutes from the East Entrance). The road to Mud Springs Campground is quite steep and can be a bit rough at times, but the elevation gained makes this an excellent (and much cooler) option for summertime camping. Amenities include vault toilets, drinking water, picnic tables, and fire rings. The Glade Park Store is about 20 minutes away and sells some basic supplies and snacks. Pets are welcome.

North Fruita Desert Campground

Number of Sites: 35 sites
Fee:
 $20/night
Site Type(s):
RVs (no hookups, max length 30′), Tents
Reservations: 
First-come, first-served
Season: 
May-October

This very rustic campground is located about 35 minutes from Colorado National Monument in a peaceful desert setting. The primary draw to the North Fruita Desert BLM area is the great mountain biking trails, many of which can be accessed directly from your campsite. Keep in mind that there’s no water or shade available at this campground, and the road to get here is very rough. Amenities include vault toilets, picnic tables, and fire pits. Leashed pets are permitted.

Silhouette of a mountain biker in the desert
The North Fruita Desert Campground is a mountain biker’s paradise!

Dispersed Camping Near Colorado National Monument

BLM- Rabbit Valley

Number of Sites: Varies
Fee:
 Free
Site Type(s):
RVs, Tents
Reservations: 
First-come, first-served
Season: 
Open all year

Rabbit Valley is a popular and convenient place for dispersed camping near Fruita. It is located within the BLM-managed McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area, which offers plenty of great hiking, mountain biking, and motorcycle/ATV riding. It’s about 30 minutes from the West Entrance of Colorado National Monument. When you turn off I-70, you’ll first see a large gravel parking lot. This is typically used for larger RVs. If you continue along the road, you’ll see several marked and numbered dispersed campsites. There are no amenities at the sites, but there are toilets near the entrance and the nearby Fruita Visitor Center has water, a dump station, and trash/recycling facilities. Keep in mind that you may only camp in designated dispersed sites (marked by signs), and you are required to bring a portable toilet and fire pan.

Those looking for a developed campground can stay at one of Rabbit Valley’s three free options: The Jouflas Campground, the Knowles Overlook Campground, or the High North Campground.

BLM-18 Road

Number of Sites: Varies
Fee:
 Free
Site Type(s):
RVs, Tents
Reservations: 
First-come, first-served
Season: 
Open all year

The North Fruita Desert BLM area is known for being a mountain biker’s paradise, but it’s also a great dispersed camping option for anyone wanting proximity to Colorado National Monument and the surrounding area. There is a developed campground within the mountain biking trail system, but those looking for dispersed camping should look for signage indicating the free camping area along the dirt road just south of the main mountain biking trailhead. Be advised that the first mile along the road is very rough and may prove difficult for low-clearance vehicles and RVs. As you continue along the road, you’ll see numerous dispersed sites for a few more miles. While there are no amenities in the dispersed camping area, there are toilets at the mountain bike trailhead nearby. Pets are permitted in the 18 Road camping area.

View from inside of a tent looking out towards a desert landscape

Have a great trip!

That’s it!

We hope you’ve found all of the information in this post helpful and we know you’ll find the perfect campsite for your upcoming adventure in Colorado National Monument! Be sure to let us know in the comments below if you have any questions and tell us about your trip!

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Complete Guide to Camping in Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park, located in north-central Colorado, is a truly stunning National Park. Comprised of alpine meadows, 14,000 foot peaks, and meandering streams, RMNP is truly a one-of-a-kind place…

Rocky Mountain National Park, located in north-central Colorado, is a truly stunning National Park. Comprised of alpine meadows, 14,000 foot peaks, and meandering streams, RMNP is truly a one-of-a-kind place to visit. Planning a Rocky Mountain National Park camping trip is the perfect way to experience this environment first-hand.

There is just nothing like spending a night out under the stars in your tent or RV to truly gain an appreciation of this spectacular place.

Rocky Mountain National Park and surrounding areas have more than enough camping options to suit your needs. From the five developed campgrounds in the park, a plethora of backcountry campsites, to tons of nearby RV and car camping spots, and even free dispersed camping, you’re sure to find the perfect campsite.

Keep reading to get all the details to plan your perfect camping trip in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Rocky Mountain National Park camping

 

In this Rocky Mountain National Park Camping Guide

 

Rocky Mountain National Park Campgrounds

The first step in planning your perfect camping trip in Rocky Mountain National Park is to understand a bit about the geography of the park. RMNP sits in the northern Front Range and is generally divided in half by the continental divide.

On the east side of the park, the main hub of activity is the town of Estes Park, while on the west side you’ll find Grand Lake. Connecting the east and west side of the park is Trail Ridge Road, a spectacular drive that is a highlight for many visitors RMNP trip.

Generally speaking, the east side of Rocky Mountain is more frequently visited, as it is much closer to Denver and the rest of the Front Range.

You’ll find good camping options on both sides of the park, and we’ve generally broken down your options geographically so that you have a good sense of what is available depending on which part of the park you want to explore.

Check out the map below to get a general sense of where the developed campgrounds in Rocky Mountain National Park are located.

Map of camping in Rocky Mountain National Park

Map of campgrounds in Rocky Mountain National Park. Map courtesy of NPS. (Click to enlarge)

 

In addition to the overview map shown above we’ve also created an interactive map with all of the campgrounds included in this guide displayed.

Campgrounds with a green tent icon are the developed campgrounds within the park, the blue camper trailer icon represents RV campgrounds near the park, and finally the red tent icon represents car camping options near RMNP.

Enjoy!

 

Reservations & Permits

Of the five developed campgrounds in Rocky Mountain National Park, three are reservable in advance while the other two are first-come, first-served. Aspenglen, Glacier Basin, and Moraine Park Campgrounds are all reservable in advance, while Longs Peak and Timber Creek Campgrounds are both available on a first-come, first-served basis.

To make a reservation at any of the three reservable campgrounds in Rocky Mountain National Park visit Recreation.gov, below.

Make a camping reservation in Rocky Mountain National Park here.

Camping in RMNP is very popular during the summer peak season, so we highly recommend making a reservation well in advance if at all possible. If  you’re hoping to land one of the first-come, first-served campgrounds during peak season be sure to arrive early as they are very difficult to snag!

Bridge over a creek in RMNP

 

For those interested in exploring the vast backcountry wilderness in Rocky Mountain National Park on a backcountry camping trip you’ll need to secure a wilderness permit and reservation for the specific campsite you plan to stay at.

This is true for the traditional backcountry campsites, those interested in Technical Climbing Bivouacing, or Technical Orienteering Cross-country camping.

To secure a wilderness permit in Rocky Mountain National Park you’ll need to apply through the park’s lottery system, which generally opens on March 1st for the upcoming season. If you have a specific date or campsite you’d like to secure you’ll need to try and reserve as soon as possible!

Get a wilderness camping permit in Rocky Mountain National Park here.

Tent at a backcountry campsite in Rocky Mountain National Park.

 

What to Bring Camping in Rocky Mountain National Park

Preparing for your Rocky Mountain National Park camping trip involves more than deciding which campground best fits your needs. There is also the important job of making sure you have all the right gear you’ll need to ensure a great trip.

We’re sure you’ll already have the essentials like a great tentsleeping bags, and camp chairs, but below are some of our favorite items specifically for camping in RMNP:

  • Coleman Camping Stove – This camping classic is perfect cooking up campsite dinners.
  • Portable water container – These portable water containers are a lifesaver.
  • Cooler – A good cooler makes any camping trip better. We can’t recommend Yeti enough!
  • Rocky Mountain National Park Map – An essential for any trip, a good map is a must.
  • RMNP Guidebook – A good guidebook will provide insights and information to help you plan your perfect trip to Rocky Mountain National Park. We like this hiking guide.

When to Camp in Rocky Mountain National Park

The Moraine Park Campground is the only campground in Rocky Mountain National Park this is open year round. However, most visitors will prefer the warmer temperatures and easier access to the park during the peak summer camping season.

Peak camping season in Rocky Mountain National generally begins around late-May and lasts through the beautiful fall weather towards the end of September. On either end of these times you’ll need to be prepared for snow and cold temperatures.

The winter months bring cold temperatures, snow, and generally inhospitable conditions to RMNP. Those who are hardy enough to brave winter camping in Rocky Mountain will need to stay at either Moraine Park or for the even braver, plan a winter wilderness camping trip.

Find more information on the weather conditions you can expect to encounter in Rocky Mountain National Park here. 

Bear Lake in the winter

Winter in RMNP brings frigid temperatures and snow, but camping is still possible!

 

Developed Campgrounds in RMNP

There are five unique developed campgrounds in Rocky Mountain National Park. These campgrounds vary in size and proximity to different areas of the park and are sure to provide plenty of options for your perfect camping trip in RMNP. Details for all five campgrounds are below.

Aspenglen Campground

Number of Sites: 52 sites (13 tent only, 5 walk to)
Fee: $30/night
RVs: Yes, max length of approximately 30′. No hookups
Reservations: Required. Click here to reserve.
Season: Open seasonally during summer only.
More Information

Aspenglen Campground, Rocky Mountain National Park

Aspenglen Campground. Photo credit NPS.

 

The Aspenglen Campgrounds is located in the northern section of Rocky Mountain National Park, just past the Fall River entrance on Highway 34. This section of the park gets fewer visitors compared with the Beaver Meadows entrance, and is a great place to stay before exploring Deer Mountain, Lawn Lake, or Old Fall River Road.

Aspenglen features 52 campsites, with 13 tent-only sites and five walk-in campsites. The campground is set in a beautiful location with giant ponderosa pines and douglas fir trees providing shade in the summer. Two of the campsites are also ADA accessible.

Close encounters with the park’s famous elk herds are also very common in this section of the park!

The Aspenglen Campground is open seasonally during the summer months and reservations through Recreation.gov are required. Campsites are equipped with food storage lockers, metal fire grates, and easy access to restrooms and potable water.

Click here to make a reservation at the Aspenglen Campground

Old Fall River Road in RMNP

The Aspenglen Campground is the perfect place to stay before exploring Old Fall River Road. Photo credit NPS.

 

Glacier Basin Campground

Number of Sites: 150 sites (73 tent only, 13 group sites)
Fee: $30/night, group sites more.
RVs: Yes, max length of approximately 35′. No hookups
Reservations: Required. Click here to reserve.
Season: Open seasonally during summer only.
More Information

Glacier Basin Campground, Rocky Mountain National Park

Glacier Basin Campground. Photo credit NPS.

 

The Glacier Basin Campground is centrally located in one of the most popular areas of Rocky Mountain National Park. Situated just off the main road that leads to the Bear Lake trailhead and Sprague Lake this is the perfect place to camp for those looking to take in Rocky Mountain National Park’s quintessential spots.

Take a leisurely stroll around Sprague Lake or hike all the way to Dream Lake from the Bear Lake Trailhead to make the most of camping at Glacier Basin!

Glacier Basin is a large campground with 150 total campsites, 73 of which are tent-only and 13 that can accommodate larger groups. RVs and trailers up to 35′ can be accommodated at Glacier Basin and there are four ADA accessible campsites.

The campground is open seasonally during the summer months and is one of the most competitive in the park to secure a reservation at. You’ll want to get on Recreation.gov as soon as possible to try and snag a campsite here.

All of the campsites are equipped with food storage lockers, fire grates, and access to potable water. There is also an RV dump station available.

Click here to make a reservation at the Glacier Basin Campground

Dream Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park

A hike to Dream Lake is an excellent day out in Rocky Mountain National Park.

 

Moraine Park Campground

Number of Sites: 244 sites (101 tent only, 49 walk to)
Fee: $30/night in summer, $20/night in winter
RVs: Yes, max length of approximately 40′. No hookups
Reservations: Required. Click here to reserve.
Season: Open year round.
More Information

Moraine Park Campground, Rocky Mountain National Park

Moraine Park Campground. Photo credit NPS.

 

The Moraine Park Campground is the largest and most centrally located in Rocky Mountain National Park. Situated in a beautiful valley with stunning views, the campground is a short drive from the Beaver Meadows Entrance Station. Those camping here will be close to the Cub Lake Trailhead as well as a short-drive from many of the other popular destinations in RMNP.

This is a huge campground sporting a total of 244 individual campsites, of which 101 are tent-only and 49 are walk to sites. In addition, Moraine Park features three ADA accessible campsites. RVs are welcome at the Moraine Park Campground, but you’ll be limited to a total length of 40′.

Moraine Park is the only campground in RMNP that is open year round, although anyone interested in winter camping should expect reduced services. As one of the most popular campgrounds in the park, advance reservations are essential here.

All of the campsites are equipped with food storage lockers, fire grates, and access to potable water, and a stunningly beautiful amphitheater. There is also an RV dump station available.

Click here to make a reservation at the Moraine Park Campground

Moraine Park Campground Amphitheater

The amphitheater at Moraine Park Campground is truly stunning. Photo credit NPS.

 

Longs Peak Campground

Number of Sites: 26 tent only sites
Fee: $30/night
RVs: Not allowed.
Reservations: First-come, first-served
Season: Open seasonally during summer only.
More Information

Longs Peak Campground, Rocky Mountain National Park

Longs Peak Campground. Photo credit NPS.

 

Located south of the main park entrances, the Longs Peak Campground is the perfect spot for those looking for a quieter camping experience. This campground is situated just off Highway 7 between Estes Park and Allenspark and makes for an excellent camping spot to explore Chasm Lake, Estes Cone, and for the well-prepared, Longs Peak.

This small campground features 26 tent-only campsites tucked away in dense pine forest. Longs Peak Campground is located at an elevation of nearly 9,500′ so you’ll want to come prepared for some high-altitude camping. RVs are not allowed at the campground and unfortunately there are no ADA accessible sites.

The Longs Peak Campground is open seasonally during the summer, and all sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. During busy summer weekends be sure to arrive as early as you can, as the campground is often completely full.

All of the campsites here are equipped with food storage lockers, fire grates, and access to potable water.

Chasm Lake hike from Longs Peak Campground

The hike to Chasm Lake is a RMNP classic.

 

Timber Creek Campground

Number of Sites: 98 sites (30 tent only)
Fee: $30/night
RVs: Yes, max length of approximately 30′. No hookups
Reservations: First-come, first-served
Season: Open seasonally during summer only.
More Information

Timber Creek Campground, Rocky Mountain National Park

Timber Creek Campground. Photo credit NPS.

The Timber Creek Campground is the lone developed campground located on Rocky Mountain National Park’s west side. The campground is situated just off Highway 34 at the base of Trail Ridge Road. The Timber Lake trail leaves just up the road from the campground and you’re also likely to encounter more wildlife in this section of the park.

Timber Creek has 98 campsites, 30 of which are tent-only. RVs up to 30′ are allowed here and there are four ADA accessible campsites. The campground does not offer much shade due to many of the trees having to be removed as a result of the pine beetle, so be sure to bring a small shade canopy.

The campground is open seasonally during the summer months and all 98 campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. There is a bit less demand on the campsites since this is a less-crowded section of the park, but we still recommend arriving as early as you can to secure your site.

All of the campsites here are equipped with food storage lockers, fire grates, and access to potable water. There is also an RV dump station which is open seasonally.

 

Backcountry camping in Rocky Mountain National Park

For those looking to get off the beaten path in Rocky Mountain National Park a backcountry camping trip is the perfect opportunity. The expansive park has tons of options for backpacking from traditional, designated backcountry campsites to bivouac sites for climbers, and even off-trail orienteering backpacking. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know.

Visit the Rocky Mountain National Park website here for more details on wilderness camping.

Backcountry Camping at Designated Campsites in RMNP

The most popular and the best fit for most people who want to explore the backcountry of Rocky Mountain National Park is to camp at one of the over 120 designated wilderness campsites in the park. These campsites are located in every section of RMNP, as shown on the National Park Service map below:

Map of backcountry campsites in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Map of backcountry campsites in RMNP. Map courtesy of NPS. Click to enlarge.

 

In addition, there is a helpful list of all the backcountry sites in Rocky Mountain National Park at the link here.

Once you’ve decided on a campsite or campsites you’d like to stay at, you’ll need to secure a backcountry wilderness permit for the specific night and campsite you plan to stay at. Permits cost $30 per trip and we highly recommend reserving in advance.

The National Park Service opens the wilderness permit reservation system for Rocky Mountain National Park in late-February or early-March at the website below:

Get more information on Backcountry Wilderness Permits in RMNP here.

Backcountry campsites can accommodate up to seven people per campsite and you are limited to a maximum of 3 consecutive nights at any one campsite.

Note that a carry-in bear canister is required for all backcountry camping below treeline between April and October in RMNP. We like this bear canister from Backpacker’s Cache as it can fit several days worth of food. Alternatively, you can also rent bear canisters from REI stores and locally in Estes Park or Grand Lake.

If you’re looking for a bit of inspiration or an idea for a trip, be sure to check out our Guide to Lake Verna/East Inlet post.

East Inlet, Rocky Mountain National Park

 

Winter Wilderness Camping

For the brave and experienced it is possible to plan a winter backcountry camping trip in Rocky Mountain National Park. Campers will need to be prepared with a winter tent, proper footwear, and a good sense of how to keep warm in this harsh environment.

There are a different set of regulations for wilderness camping in the winter, but you’ll still need to obtain a backcountry permit before setting out. It is best to contact the NPS directly for help planning you winter camping trip in RMNP.

Find more information on Winter Wilderness Camping in Rocky Mountain National Park here.

Technical Orienteering in Rocky Mountain National Park

For those interested in a true wilderness experience in Rocky Mountain National Park and trained in backcountry travel, a technical orienteering trip might be just what you are after. The NPS divides Rocky Mountain into several backcountry zones where you can camp and explore off-trail in some of the most rugged and remote terrain in the park.

This type of trip is only for experienced backpackers who have off-trail hiking and orienteering experience.

Find more information on Technical Orienteering in Rocky Mountain National Park here.

Technical Climbing Bivouac in RMNP

The final backcountry camping experience that is possible in RMNP is for climbers needing to bivouac prior to/during a climb of one of the park’s many climbing routes. The NPS defines a bivouac (or bivvy for short) as an open air, temporary encampment. If you’re not sure what a climbing bivvy is, it is probably not for you!

If you are looking to bivouac before climbing in RMNP, you’ll need to get a technical climbing wilderness permit. These limit group sizes to four climbers and have limits on the number of permits issued for various zones throughout the park.

Find more information on Technical Climbing Bivouac Permits in RMNP here.

A tent in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Rocky Mountain National Park Camping Must Know

The following sections contain all the basic information you need to ensure you have a great time camping in Rocky Mountain National Park. Before we dive in, there are a few important regulations to note:

  • From May 1st – October 15th you can camp for a total of 7 nights in the park.
    • You can camp an additional 14 nights outside of these dates.
  • Only camp in designated sites.
  • No more than eight people per campsite.
  • Always store your food using the provided food storage locker, in your car, or in an animal proof container.
  • Always practice Leave No Trace principles.

Detailed information on fires, pets, wildlife, and more can be found in the sections below.

Campfires in Rocky Mountain National Park

Campfires are permitted at all five developed campgrounds in Rocky Mountain National Park, but they must be fully contained within the provided fire pit. Be sure to adhere to the following regulations:

  • Fully extinguish your fire before going to sleep or leaving your campsite.
  • Do not gather any wood from the park.
  • Purchase wood locally to avoid bringing invasive pests into the park.

Campfires are prohibited in the backcountry of Rock Mountain National Park.

Pets

Pets are allowed in Rocky Mountain National Park, but only in specific areas and under specific rules. Pets are not allowed in the backcountry, on any trail, tundra, or meadows within RMNP.

They are permitted in the developed campgrounds, parking lots, and on the main park roads.

We generally recommend against bringing you pet to Rocky Mountain National Park, but if you do please follow these regulations:

  • Pets must be on a leash at all times.
  • Pets are not allowed in park buildings, on trails, or in the backcountry.
  • Do not leave your pet unattended in your vehicle.
  • Always properly dispose of pet waste.

For a complete list of regulations related to pets check out the Rocky Mountain National Park website here.

Where to get supplies

Rocky Mountain National Park is well served on both the east and west side of the park. You’ll have no problem getting anything and everything you could possibly need for your camping trip in the two adjacent towns, outlined below:

  • Estes Park: Estes Park is a hub of activity on the east side of Rocky Mountain National Park. This lovely town is just a few short miles from multiple entrances to the park and has everything you might need to prepare for your trip. Restaurants, outdoor stores, gas station, and a grocery store are all easily accessed here.
  • Grand Lake: On the west side of Rocky Mountain National Park, Grand Lake is your best bet for stocking up on supplies. This lakeside resort town has a grocery store, outdoor stores, gas stations, and anything else you might need before your camping trip in the park.

 

Camping near Rocky Mountain National Park

Given the popularity and scarcity of options, it is always possible (and even likely) that you won’t be able to find a campground within Rocky Mountain National Park. However, don’t give up as there are plentiful camping options just outside the National Park boundary!

Check out your best options for RV camping, car camping, and free dispersed camping near Rocky Mountain National Park below:

RV campgrounds near Rocky Mountain National Park

Those camping in an RV will have plenty of options just outside Rocky Mountain National Park. The best option for you will depend on which side of the park you’re planning to explore, and we’ve provided RV campgrounds near on both the east and west side of RMNP below:

RV in Rocky Mountain National Park

 

RV Campgrounds on the East side of RMNP

The east side of Rocky Mountain National Park sees far more visitors than the quieter west side. As such, there are plenty of good options for your RV camping trip here. Read on to learn more.

Elk Meadow Lodge & RV Park

Number of sites: Plenty!
Fee: $75/night for RVs $40-$46/night for tents
Capacity: None stated.
RVs: Yes, full hookups available.
Reservations: Recommended. Click here to reserve.
Pets: Allowed
More Information

The Elk Meadow Lodge and RV Park is located just a short drive from the Beaver Meadows entrance to RMNP. This location will work great for most visitors, as you will be well positioned to access most of the top sights in the park. Elk Meadow is a large park and features full hookup RV sites, tent camping, teepee rentals, and cabin rentals.

The site features an outdoor swimming pool, laundry facilities, and entertainment at the site lodge.

 

Manor RV Park

Number of sites: 110 sites
Fee: Varies
Capacity: None stated.
RVs: Yes, full hookups available.
Reservations: Recommended. Click here to reserve.
Pets: Allowed
More Information

Manor RV Park is located just off Highway 36 past the town of Estes Park. You’ll be perfectly situated between Estes Park and RMNP and have access to tons of great amenities. These include free WiFi, a playground, laundry facilities, and free breakfast on Saturdays.

 

Estes Park KOA

Number of sites: Plenty!
Fee: Varies
Capacity: None stated.
RVs: Yes, full hookups available.
Reservations: Recommended. Click here to reserve.
Pets: Allowed
More Information

The Estes Park KOA is located east of the town of Estes Park, just above Lake Estes. You won’t be as close to the park here as other options, but you will get the predictability of a KOA campsite. Amenities include cable tv, WiFi, and a dog park.

 

Spruce Lake RV Park

Number of sites: 123 sites
Fee: $73 – $79/night
Capacity: None stated.
RVs: Yes, full hookups available.
Reservations: Recommended. Click here to reserve.
Pets: Allowed
More Information

The Spruce Lake RV Park is located on the banks of the Big Thompson River and makes for a tranquil place to spend the night before exploring Rocky Mountain National Park. You’ll be well located for venturing into the park as well as for exploring downtown Estes Park and the plethora of amenities make this is a great option.

RV Campgrounds on the West side of RMNP

The west side of Rocky Mountain National Park sees fewer visitors than the east side, and there are plenty of great options for RV camping. Read on to learn more:

Elk Creek Campground & RV Resort

Number of sites: 48 RV site + 10 tent sites
Fee: $42 – $62/night depending on the site
Capacity: None stated.
RVs: Yes, full hookups available.
Reservations: Recommended. Click here to reserve.
Pets: Allowed
More Information

The Elk Creek Campground & RV Resort is located just across Highway 34 from the town of Grand Lake. This is a great location for exploring the East Inlet as well as the many shops and restaurants in Grand Lake. You’ll find both tent and RV sites at this well run campground.

Amenities include WiFi, a general store, playground, and the chance to encounter some of the local wildlife!

 

Winding River Resort

Number of sites: Plenty!
Fee: $50 – $75/night depending on hookups
Capacity: None stated.
RVs: Yes, full hookups available.
Reservations: Recommended. Call 970-627-3215 to reserve.
Pets: Allowed
More Information

The Winding River Resort is set in a beautiful and secluded location north of the town of Grand Lake. Situated adjacent to the Colorado River this campground can accommodate RVs, tents, and also features cabins for rent. Those travelling with horses or hoping to do some riding in the park will find this an especially attractive option.

 

Car camping sites near Rocky Mountain National Park

If you’re looking for car camping sites near Rocky Mountain National Park you’ll have a lot of good options on both sides of the park.

In addition to the campgrounds listed below, car camping is permitted and recommend at all of the campgrounds listed in the RV camping section above.  Keep reading below to see what your best bets are for car camping near Rocky Mountain National Park.

Campsite near Rocky Mountain National Park

 

Car camping sites on the East side of RMNP

Estes Park Campground at East Portal

Number of sites: 66 sites
Fee: $45 – $55/night depending on the site
Capacity: 6 people per site
RVs: Small RVs and trailers less than 22′ permitted.
Reservations: Recommended. Click here to reserve.
Pets: Allowed
More Information

The Estes Park Campground at East Portal is run by the Estes Valley Recreation and Park District. The campground is located in a pristine and secluded location at the end of Highway 66 on the east side of RMNP. The East Portal trailhead leaves from the campground and accesses popular hikes such as the Glacier Basin Loop.

The campground can accommodate small RVs and does offer a few sites with hookups, but you’ll find this is a much quieter campground than the typical RV resort. Highly recommended.

 

Estes Park Campground at Mary’s Lake

Number of sites: 128 sites
Fee: $45 – $65/night depending on the site
Capacity: 6 people per site
RVs: Small RVs and trailers less than 22′ permitted.
Reservations: Recommended. Click here to reserve.
Pets: Allowed
More Information

Also run by the Estes Valley Recreation and Park District, the Mary’s Lake Campground is a large site located adjacent to Mary’s Lake on the east side of Rocky Mountain. The campground is well located not too far from Estes Park, but also close to the park.

 

Hermit Park Open Space Campgrounds

Number of sites: Plenty!
Fee: $30/night
Capacity: 6 people per site
RVs: Not recommended
Reservations: Recommended. Click here to reserve.
Pets: Allowed
More Information

The Hermit Park Open Space is owned by Larimer County and there are several great car camping options close to Rocky Mountain National Park. The campgrounds are located south of Estes Park along Highway 36. There are three excellent campgrounds to choose from here: Hermit’s Hollow, Bobcat, and Kruger Campgrounds. All of the campgrounds can be reserved in advance and offer basic amenities.

 

Olive Ridge Campground

Number of sites: 56 sites
Fee: $23/night
Capacity: 8 people per site
RVs: Allowed, but no hookups.
Reservations: Recommended. Click here to reserve.
Pets: Allowed
More Information

The Olive Ridge Campground is a US Forest Service run campground located on Highway 7 just north of the town of Allenspark. The campground is near both the Wild Basin and Longs Peak trailheads in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Sites at Olive Ridge typically fill on summer weekends, so advance reservations are a must. Keep in mind that there is no water source at the campground so you’ll need to bring all that you need.

 

Meeker Park Overflow Campground

Number of sites: 29 sites
Fee: $23/night
Capacity: Not stated
RVs: Not recommended due to difficult roads
Reservations: All site first-come, first-served
Pets: Allowed
More Information

The Meeker Park Overflow Campground has 29 first-come, first-served campsites that serve as overflow camping for the Olive Ridge Campground. Campsites feature picnic tables and fire rings and many have a food storage locker. The campground is located just north of Olive Ridge on Highway 7.

Similar to the Olive Ridge Campground, there is no water at the Meeker Park Overflow Campground.

 

Peaceful Valley Campground

Number of sites: 17 sites
Fee: $23/night
Capacity: 8 people per site
RVs: Allowed, but no hookups.
Reservations: 9 campsite can be reserved, 8 are first-come, first-served. Click here to reserve. 
Pets: Allowed
More Information

The Peaceful Valley Campground is located south of Rocky Mountain National Park along the famous Peak to Peak Highway. A very popular campground in the summer, be sure and try to reserve your campsite ahead of time. If you can’t, there are always 8 sites that are held on a first-come, first-served basis.

 

Camp Dick Campground

Number of sites: 41 sites
Fee: $23/night
Capacity: 8 people per site
RVs: Allowed, but no hookups.
Reservations: Recommended, but some sites available first-come, first-served. Click here to reserve.
Pets: Allowed
More Information

Located just up the road from the Peaceful Valley Campground, Camp Dick has 41 campsites situated along Middle Saint Vrain Road. Campsites are available for reservation and first-come, first-served here making this a good option if other campgrounds are full.

You’ll be a bit further from RMNP here, but still situated in a beautiful area.

 

Car camping sites on the West side of RMNP

Green Ridge Campground

Number of sites: 79 sites
Fee: $23/night
Capacity: 8 people per site
RVs: Allowed, but no hookups.
Reservations: Recommended. Click here to reserve.
Pets: Allowed
More Information

The Green Ridge Campground is located south of Grand Lake, beautifully situated on the shores of Shadow Mountain Lake. This large site can accommodate both tents and RVs and all campsites feature picnic tables and fire rings. From the campground you’re only a short, 15-minute drive to the East Inlet trailhead.

 

Sunset Point Campground

Number of sites: 25 sites
Fee: $26/night
Capacity: 8 people per site
RVs: Allowed, but no hookups.
Reservations: All sites first-come, first-served.
Pets: Allowed
More Information

Sunset Point Campground is located on the south end of Lake Granby, approximately 30 minutes from Rocky Mountain National Park. You’ll find 25 first-come, first-served campsites here that can accommodate both tents and RVs. The campground is typically full on summer weekends, so be sure to arrive as early as you can to get a site.

 

Free dispersed camping near Rocky Mountain National Park

Your final option for camping near Rocky Mountain National Park is to find a free, dispersed campsite on adjacent US Forest Service land located on both the east and west sides of the national park. This land is overseen by the USFS which manages hundreds of thousands of acres of public land throughout the country and generally allows for ‘dispersed camping’ on it. You can find more information on dispersed camping here.

 

Dispersed campsite near Rocky Mountain National Park

 

If you have any questions about the dispersed camping options outlined below be sure to reach out to the USFS/BLM offices that oversee the specific areas, shown below:

  • US Forest Service Office (east side sites): 303-541-2500 or 970-295-6700
  • US Forest Service Office (west side sites): 970-887-4100

Coyote Hill Road

Your first option for free dispersed camping near RMNP is along Coyote Hill Road, located just outside of Estes Park. Also known as Forest Service Road 119 it is recommend to come with a high clearance 4×4 to reach the campsites.

Parachute Hill/Johnny Park Road

Parachute Hill Road and Johnny Park Road are both good options for free dispersed camping on the east side of Rocky Mountain National Park. To access the camping area you’ll take Highway 7, which runs between Estes Park and Allenspark to Boulder County Road 82. From here, head east towards the Johnny Park Trail before turning off on FS Road 329.

Pole Hill Road

The Pole Hill Road dispersed camping area is accessed from Highway 36 just south of Estes Park. Look for the Pole Hill Road intersection just before Highway 36 begins its descent into Estes Park. 4WD is a must here and also be sure to practice Leave No Trace principles as there have been many complaints from surrounding land owners.

Stillwater Pass Dispersed Camping

The lone option for free dispersed camping on the west side of Rocky Mountain National Park is up Stillwater Pass/County Road 4. There are tons of campsites along the road, but be aware that it can get a bit crowded given this is a well known camping area.

 

Have a great trip!

That’s it!

We hope you’ve found all of the information on Rocky Mountain National Park camping in this post helpful and we know you’ll find the perfect campsite for your upcoming adventure! Be sure to let us know in the comments below if you have any questions or had a great time out camping!

 

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Guide to Camping in Mesa Verde National Park

Even in a state brimming with incredible sites and scenery, Mesa Verde National Park stands out as one of Colorado’s best places to visit. Located in the southwest corner of…

Even in a state brimming with incredible sites and scenery, Mesa Verde National Park stands out as one of Colorado’s best places to visit. Located in the southwest corner of the state, Mesa Verde hosts a collection of diverse ecosystems, from semiarid desert environments to high elevation pine forests.

Of course, the most compelling reason to visit this beautiful national park is to see the centuries-old ancestral Pueblo cliff dwellings. The Pueblo people of the four-corners region built rich, thriving, and complex communities, and the cliff dwellings are just one lens into their incredible culture and society. Mesa Verde National Park is home to a jaw-dropping 600 cliff-dwellings, and nearly 5,000 archaeological sites!

A soft winter sunset in Mesa Verde National Park. Photo courtesy of NPS/Sandy Groves.

Nature lovers will agree that wild places like Mesa Verde National Park are best experienced on a camping trip. There’s no better way to cap off day in the outdoors than to spend a night under the stars. Since camping options are limited, it can be difficult to find good information on camping. That’s why we created this comprehensive guide so you can spend less time planning and more time in the great outdoors. Enjoy!

Mesa Verde is home to a rich collection of archaeological sites, including these petroglyphs seen along the Petroglyph Point Trail. Photo courtesy of NPS.

Mesa Verde National Park Basics

When to Visit

The weather in Mesa Verde National Park is quite variable and it can change quickly. You can get warm, sunny days in January and snowstorms in May! While Mesa Verde is beautiful year-round, most campers will want to visit between April and October. These months typically have the best weather for camping and many campgrounds are only open during the summer season.

Check out this great webpage for more details on weather in Mesa Verde.

Pets

Pets are allowed at the Morefield Campground in Mesa Verde National Park, provided that they are kept on a leash. You can also walk your dog along any paved road in the park.

Pets are not allowed in any of the park buildings, at archaeological sites, and on most trails in Mesa Verde (although leashed pets are permitted on the Long House Loop and some other trails at Wetherill Mesa).

There are a few pet boarding options in the area near Mesa Verde National Park, including the kennel at the Morefield Campground. You can find more information about pet boarding here.

Fires

Fires are permitted in designated fire rings at the Morefield Campground. Fires are prohibited everywhere else in Mesa Verde National Park. If camping in the park, check with the Morefield warden upon arrival, as seasonal fire bans may be in place.

Wildlife

Nature lovers will appreciate the great diversity of wildlife in Mesa Verde National Park. The park is of particular significance for several unique bird species, including the threatened Mexican Owl.

Campers should keep in mind that bears are active in Mesa Verde National Park. It’s important to store food and other strong-smelling items (sunscreen, toothpaste, etc) in your vehicle, a bear locker, or other secure location.

What to Bring

Preparing for your Mesa Verde National Park camping trip involves more than deciding which campground best fits your needs. There is also the important job of making sure you have all the right gear you’ll need to ensure a great trip.

We’re sure you’ll already have the essentials like a great tentsleeping bags, and camp chairs, but below are some of our favorite items specifically for camping in Mesa Verde National Park:

  • Coleman Camping Stove – This camping classic is perfect for whipping up al fresco dinners.
  • Pop-up canopy – The sun in this part of Colorado can get intense! You may not be able to find a shady spot where you’re camping, so we recommend bringing a portable shade structure to create your own!
  • Portable water container – Save yourself the hassle of constant trips to the water tap and bring one of these.
  • Cooler – The hot summer temperatures make a good cooler an essential. We can’t recommend Yeti enough!
  • Background Reading: There’s nothing better than relaxing at your campsite with this great book about the history of Mesa Verde.
Bears are active in and near Mesa Verde National Park, so campers need to properly secure their food items. Photo courtesy of NPS/Joshua Petersen.

Camping Inside Mesa Verde National Park

When it comes to camping in Mesa Verde National Park, there’s good news and bad news. The bad news is that backcountry and dispersed camping are not permitted anywhere within the park. The good news? It’s still possible to enjoy camping in the lovely and convenient Morefield Campground, and those looking for more remote dispersed camping have a few good options nearby.

Morefield Campground

  • # of sites: 267
  • Type: Tent, RV, Group
  • Fees, per night: $35 (Standard tent or RV w/o hookups), $50 (RV w/hookups)
  • Pets: Allowed
  • Fires: Allowed in designated fire pits

The Morefield Campground is located about four miles past the main entrance to Mesa Verde National Park. This large campground is run by the concessionaire company, Aramark, and therefore offers amenities more commonly seen in deluxe private campgrounds than in your typical NPS facilities. Keep in mind the base fee only covers groups of two, and you’ll need to pay a fee for every additional person in your group, plus a park entrance fee.

Amenities

  • Flush toilets
  • Hot showers
  • Dump station
  • Kennel
  • Campground store and cafe
  • Trash and recycling
  • Bear lockers

Reservations

Reservations are strongly recommended for the 15 RV sites in the campground, as these fill quickly throughout the season. Advance bookings are typically not essential for the tent/dry RV sites, although it’s a good idea to reserve a spot for holiday weekends.

Morefield Campground is open with full services from early May through mid-October. Off-season camping (no services) is available for a few weeks before and after the campground’s official opening and closing dates. See the campground website for details.

Reservations can be made HERE

A bird's-eye view of the Morefield Campground in Mesa Verde National Park.
A bird’s-eye view of the Morefield Campground. Photo courtesy of NPS.

Campgrounds Near Mesa Verde National Park

Despite the limited options for camping within the boundaries of Mesa Verde National Park, there are plenty of good campgrounds in the surrounding area. All of the campgrounds covered in this section are within 30-minute’s drive of the park entrance. Those wanting to prioritize proximity can camp just down the road from the park entrance, while campers looking for more services will find those in the towns of Mancos and Cortez.

Below we’ve shared our top picks and tips for the best campgrounds near Mesa Verde National Park:

Campgrounds near the entrance of Mesa Verde National Park

Ancient Cedars Mesa Verde RV Park

  • # of sites: 80+
  • Type: Tent, RV, Group, Cabins
  • Fees, per night: $30-$33 (Standard or deluxe tent), $38-$55 (RV w/hookups)
  • Pets: Allowed
  • Fires: Allowed in designated fire pits
  • Reservations: Recommended

This comfortable campground is conveniently located just across the road from the entrance of Mesa Verde National Park. The plentiful amenities make this a great option for RVs and tent campers alike. Reservations are recommended in the peak summer season. There is a $3.50 charge per person for groups larger than two.

Amenities include free wifi, hot showers, laundry facilities, mini golf, dump station, dog park, playground, and swimming pool.

Mesa Verde RV Resort

  • # of sites: 57
  • Type: Tent, RV, Cabin
  • Fees, per night: $31 (standard tent), $39 (RV w/ partial hookups), $42-$49 (RV w/full hookups)
  • Pets: Allowed
  • Fires: Allowed in designated fire pits
  • Reservations: Recommended

The Mesa Verde RV Resort is just minutes from the entrance of the park. This friendly campground can accommodate big rigs, tiny tents, and everyone in between! The convenient shop sells grocery items and snacks on site. There’s a $3.50 extra-person charge for groups of three or more. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling 970-533-7421 or emailing info@mesaverdervresort.com.

Amenities include bathrooms, hot showers, wifi, convenience store, pool, dog walking area, and playground.

Mesa Verde Visitor and Research Center in front of a blue sky.
The Mesa Verde Visitor and Research Center is just minutes from the campgrounds described above. Photo courtesy of NPS.

Campgrounds in Cortez, Colorado

Cortez/Mesa Verde KOA

  • # of sites: 115
  • Type: Tent, RV, Cabin
  • Fees, per night: $43 (standard tent w/electric), $42 (RV w/ partial hookups), $53-$70 (RV w/full hookups)
  • Pets: Allowed
  • Fires: Allowed in designated fire pits
  • Reservations: Recommended

This excellent campground has all of the amenities you’d expect from a KOA, plus easy access to a large dog park, walking trails, and in-town services. It’s a fifteen-minute drive to the entrance of Mesa Verde National Park. Campers love the quiet and scenic setting near Denny Lake.

Amenities include bathrooms, hot showers, dishwashing station, wifi, convenience store, snack bar, pool, dog walking area, and playground.

La Mesa RV Park

  • # of sites: 38
  • Type: Tent, RV
  • Fees, per night: $25 (standard tent, 1 person), $44-$46 (RV w/full hookups)
  • Pets: Allowed
  • Fires: Not permitted. Only gas grills are allowed in the park.
  • Reservations: Recommended

This family-friendly RV Park is a simple, no-frills option that offers a convenient location and reasonable prices. La Mesa RV Park is less than 10 miles from the entrance of Mesa Verde National Park, and very close to shops and services in Cortez. Keep in mind there are extra-person charges for tent campers.

Amenities include bathrooms, hot showers, wifi, and laundry.

Sundance RV Park

  • # of sites: 63
  • Type: RV only
  • Fees, per night: $48 (RV w/full hookups)
  • Pets: Allowed
  • Fires: Not permitted.
  • Reservations: Recommended

While they do not accommodate tent campers, Sundance RV Park makes a great in-town option for the RV crowd. The park is conveniently located within walking distance to grocery stores and restaurants, and it’s just 10 miles from the entrance of Mesa Verde National Park. Keep in mind that there is a $4 per person, per day extra-person charge for all additional guests over age 16.

Amenities include bathrooms, hot showers, wifi, convenience store, dog walking area, laundry, and vehicle wash.

A back SUV pulls an RV in front of a mountain near Mesa Verde National Park.
RV Campers will find plenty of great options in Cortez.

Campgrounds in Mancos, Colorado

Mancos State Park

  • # of sites: 32
  • Type: Tent, RV (no hookups), Yurt
  • Fees, per night: $22 (Tent and RV, June-September), $18 (Tent and RV, October-May) + $9/day park pass
  • Pets: Allowed
  • Fires: Permitted in designated areas (purchase local firewood and check ahead for seasonal bans)
  • Reservations: Required

This is one of the best camping options for those looking to get closer to nature, while still having easy access to Mesa Verde National Park. Camping options in Mancos State Park consist of the Main Campground with spaces that can accommodate most small and mid-size RVs or tents, as well as an auxiliary tent-only West Campground. Both camping areas are on the edge of the Jackson Gulch Reservoir, making for a scenic and tranquil place to spend the night. Keep in mind that reservations are required for all campers and can be made HERE or by calling 1-800-244-5613.

Amenities include vault toilets, drinking water (available at the Main Campground only), picnic tables, fire pits, and a dump station.

Riverwood RV Resort

  • # of sites: 68
  • Type: RV only
  • Fees, per night: $44 (RV w/full hookups)
  • Pets: Allowed
  • Fires: Not allowed.
  • Reservations: Recommended

Guests love the friendly service and well-kept facilities at this convenient RV park. The Riverwood RV Resort is walking distance to the local coffee shop and just a 10-minute drive from the entrance of Mesa Verde National Park. Unfortunately, they only accommodate RV’s, so tent campers will need to head to Mancos State Park if they want to camp in the area.

Amenities include bathrooms, hot showers, wifi, dog walking area, laundry, and a lending library.

Echo Basin RV Park

  • # of sites: 65
  • Type: RV, Cabins
  • Fees, per night: $45-$55 (RV w/full hookups May-October)
  • Pets: Allowed
  • Fires: Not allowed.
  • Reservations: Recommended

This RV park is a bit further afield, but guests enjoy the peaceful, wooded setting that comes with the location. Echo Basin offers competitive rates and a variety of sites for RVs of all sizes. There are also cabins available for rent on the property. Unfortunately, they they do not accommodate tent campers; they’ll need to head to Mancos State Park if they want to stay in the area.

Amenities include bathrooms, hot showers, wifi, and laundry.

Looking out at mountains and scrubland from Park Point in Mesa Verde National Park.
Camping in Mancos gives you quick and easy to some of Mesa Verde’s most beautiful viewpoints, like this one at Park Point. Photo courtesy of NPS/Jacob W. Frank.

Dispersed Camping Near Mesa Verde National Park

For those seeking a less developed and more affordable (ie; free) place to pitch a tent or park an RV, dispersed camping near Mesa Verde is a fantastic option. Keep in mind that it takes a little legwork to find a good dispersed camping spot, and you’ll need to bring your own water and of course, leave no trace. Your efforts will be rewarded with the kind of deep satisfaction that only comes from spending a night tucked in the trees and under the stars.

County Road 34 BLM Land

This is by far the closest dispersed camping option to Mesa Verde National Park. These thirteen dispersed camping spots can be reached by driving for a short ways along County Road 34, which is accessed from US 160 (East Mancos Road). While there are a few potential drawbacks about this area, such as crowds and trash, the fact that it’s less than 10 minutes from the entrance of Mesa Verde National Park makes up for any downsides. It is important to note that County Road 34 is not paved and can get quite rutted. When dry, it’s typically passable for most vehicles and smaller RVs, but it becomes a muddy nightmare when wet.

San Juan National Forest

The San Juan National Forest is a huge and beautiful expanse of wilderness that sits just northeast of Mesa Verde National Park. Below, we’ve shared the best dispersed camping options for those wanting easy proximity to MVNP. Be sure to check the current fire restrictions before heading out.

Madden Peak Road

This is a favorite dispersed camping area for those visiting Mesa Verde National Park. It can be reached by driving a mile or two along a dirt road (Road 316), just off US 160 near Mancos (about 15 miles from the entrance of the park). The road is typically in pretty good shape, and the sections closer to the highway are definitely passable for RVs and larger rigs. There are about 15 spacious spots dotted along the closer stretch of road, although there are more options further back. Those seeking greater seclusion should continue uphill and camp further back along Road 316.

Road 561

There are plenty of dispersed camping areas in San Juan National National Forest that provide good proximity to MVNP, but this is one of the better options. It is located roughly twenty minutes from the entrance of Mesa Verde National Park, and the road is more accessible than most of the other dispersed camping areas nearby (brave souls with good 4WD can also check out Cherry Creek Road). There is a large open area on one side of the road, and then a few more secluded spots further up. Spots are marked with fire rings and many can accommodate RVs. The views of the surrounding mountains are lovely.

Road 566

This is another great option for both tents and RV’s in San Juan National Forest. Also known as Echo Basin Road, Road 566 is typically accessible for all vehicle types, although extreme caution should be used in wet or muddy conditions. It is located about 25 minutes from the park entrance. The spots along the lower portion of the road are located right beside the creek, while the areas further up offer splendid views and seasonal wildflowers.

Close up of the Mesa Verde National Park Cliff Dwellings

Conclusion

There’s no shortage of activities to enjoy in Mesa Verde National Park. You can explore the fabulous network of hiking trails, watch for a myriad of fascinating bird species, and, of course, wonder at the incredible Ancestral Pueblo cliff dwellings. Your next adventure is waiting, and it all starts with the perfect basecamp. Happy camping!

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Shenandoah National Park Waterfalls | The Complete Guide

Shenandoah National Park is full of stunning beauty. This includes the spectacular route along Skyline Drive, incredible sunsets over the Blue Ridge Mountains, and of course the countless waterfalls that…

Shenandoah National Park is full of stunning beauty. This includes the spectacular route along Skyline Drive, incredible sunsets over the Blue Ridge Mountains, and of course the countless waterfalls that dot this landscape. Whether you’re visiting Shenandoah on a day trip, spending a few nights camping, or simply passing through, a visit to one of Shenandoah’s many waterfalls is a must.

In this post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about Shenandoah National Park’s waterfalls including a complete map and list, the best waterfall hikes in Shenandoah, and how to prepare for your visit. Read on to learn everything you need to know to enjoy these beautiful cascades.

Waterfall in Shenandoah National Park

Dark Hollow Falls. Photo credit NPS.

 

In this Post

 

Shenandoah National Park Basics

Before any trip to Shenandoah National Park it is always a good idea to familiarize yourself with basic park information. Below, we’ve included some important information that you’ll need for planning your next trip to Shenandoah National Park.

Permits, Entrance Fees, and Opening Times

 

What to Bring

There are a ton of variables that need to be taken into account when packing for a visit to one of Shenandoah National Park’s many waterfalls. You’ll need to consider the weather conditions (and forecast), length of the hike you plan to undertake, and availability of nearby services.

That being said, there are a few universal items that are essential for all Shenandoah visits:

  • Water: 1 quart per person per hour of hiking is recommended. We like carrying water in a hydration bladder for better weight distribution and easy access.
  • Sturdy Boots: You’ll encounter a variety of trail conditions in Shenandoah, so it’s important to have supportive footwear that is up to the task and protects your feet and ankles. The terrain can also get extremely muddy, so waterproof footwear is a good idea.
  • Layers & Sunscreen: It’s important to dress in layers so you can quickly adapt to the elements. Additionally, the summer sun is strong making it a good idea to pack sunscreen.
  • Backpack: Most hikers will need a comfortable backpack for their outing in Shenandoah National Park.
  • Shenandoah National Park Map – An essential for any trip, a good map is a must.
  • Shenandoah Guidebook – A good guidebook will provide insights and information to help you plan your perfect trip to Shenandoah. We like this hiking guide from Falcon Guides.
  • Tick repellent– Ticks are common throughout Shenandoah, and while it is always a good idea to wear long pants, this tick repellent from Ben’s is worth applying when out hiking or camping.

 

Shenandoah National Park Waterfalls

The map and list below show some of the most popular waterfalls in Shenandoah National Park. We’ve done our best to include all of the easy to visit waterfalls in the park, but be sure to let us know if we missed any!

You can also find additional information on Shenandoah National Park Waterfalls on the National Park Service’s website here.

The list and map are designed to give you a general sense of the waterfalls in Shenandoah, with the following section highlighting some of the best waterfall hikes in Shenandoah.

 

Overall Run Falls

  • Overall Run Falls are the tallest in Shenandoah National Park at 93′ tall. There is an excellent hike to the falls that leaves from the Mathews Arm Campground, located at mile marker 22 along Skyline Drive.

Rose River Falls

  • Rose River Falls are located at mile marker 49.4 on Skyline Drive. From here it is an approximate 2 mile hike to the 67′ tall waterfalls. The Rose River Falls are located a short distance from Big Meadows.

South River Falls

  • The South River Falls soar to an incredible 83′ high and are the third tallest in Shenandoah National Park. There is an excellent hike to the falls that takes 2-3 hours and is highly recommended. There is also an excellent picnic area just off Skyline Drive near the South River Falls.

Jones Run Falls

  • The Jones Runs Falls are some of the most picture perfect in all of Shenandoah. These 42′ high falls are located near both the Doyles River Falls as well as the starting point for the Browns Gap Waterfall Loop. Well worth a visit.

Whiteoak Canyon Falls

  • The Whiteoak Canyon Falls are located on an excellent hiking loop that let’s ambitious walkers visit a series of stunning cascades. This includes both the Whiteoak Canyon Falls as well as the Cedar Run Falls, described below. Whiteoak Canyon is located in the central part of Shenandoah and just a short drive from the Big Meadows Visitor Center.

Whiteoak Falls, Shenandoah

Whiteoak Falls. Photo credit NPS.

 

Cedar Run Falls

  • Cedar Run Falls are a popular spot to visit on the Whiteoak Canyon loop trail. If you’re not interested in hiking the entire loop, it is easy to visit the Cedar Run Falls from the Whiteoak Canyon lower parking lot.

Dark Hollow Falls

  • The Dark Hollow Falls arew one of the most visited waterfalls in Shenandoah National Park. Located a short .75 mile hike from Skyline Drive, the falls are a beautiful and serene place to visit.

Dark Hollows Falls, Shenandoah National Park

Dark Hollow Falls. Photo credit NPS.

 

Doyles River Falls

  • The Doyles River Falls are accessed via a moderately difficult 3.5 mile trail. The falls are located near the Loft Mountain campground and Big Run overlook.

A hiker sits at Doyles River Falls in Shenandoah National Park

Doyles River Falls. Photo credit NPS.

 

Lewis Falls

  • The Lewis Falls are one of the most accessible waterfalls in Shenandoah, with an easy path leading to the falls from the Big Meadows amphitheater. You’ll be blown away by the impressive 81′ tall waterfall!

Browns Gap Waterfall Loop

  • For those looking for an excellent loop hike to take in several stunning Shenandoah waterfalls, be sure to consider the Browns Gap Waterfall Loop. This 6.5 mile loop takes in multiple cascades in the park and makes for a wonderful day out.

 

Best Waterfall Hikes in Shenandoah National Park

Given the sheer number of waterfalls in Shenandoah National Park it can be difficult to decide which to visit and which to skip. In reality, there is no bad answer to this question are each cascade in the park has its own unique character and allure.

However, for those short on time we’ve highlight five of the best waterfall hikes in Shenandoah National Park below. These hikes range in difficulty, distance, and hiking time so be sure to select the best option for your particular circumstances.

For more information on hiking in Shenandoah, visit the NPS website here. 

Enjoy!

Shenandoah National Park waterfall

 

White Oak Canyon & Cedar Run Loop

Distance: 9 miles
Approximate hiking time: 4 – 6 hours
Difficulty: Difficult

The Whiteoak Canyon & Cedar Run Loop is a popular waterfall hike for those looking for a challenge. The 9 mile loop hikes takes hikers deep into the Shenandoah backcountry and visits a series of stunning waterfalls including Whiteoak Falls and Cedar Run Falls.

It is best to start the hike from the Whiteoak Canyon Boundary parking lot, accessed from the town of Syria, VA. Note that the trailhead is difficult to reach from Skyline Drive, so be sure to take that into account if you plan on visiting other sections of the park.

Find more details on the Whiteoak Canyon Loop below:

 

Stream in Whiteoak Canyon, Shenandoah National Park

Whiteoak Canyon. Photo credit NPS.

 

Dark Hollow Falls Hike

Distance: 1.5 miles round trip
Approximate hiking time: 1 – 2 hours
Difficulty: Moderate

The Dark Hollow Falls Trail is one of the most popular trails in Shenandoah. A short, 1.5 mile round trip hike takes visitors to the beautiful Dark Hollow Falls. Keep in mind that although the distance is quite short, the trail to the falls is very steep.

To reach Dark Hollow Falls you’ll park at the Dark Hollow Falls Parking area located at mile marker 50.7 on Skyline Drive. This is very close to the Big Meadows area of Shenandoah. The NPS publishes a helpful map of Big Meadows, including the Dark Hollow Falls trail here.

Find more details on the Dark Hollow Falls trail below:

Dark Hollow Falls in Autumn.

 

Rose River Trail

Distance: 4 miles
Approximate hiking time: 4 – 5 hours
Difficulty: Moderate

Rose River Falls are a stunningly beautiful 67′ waterfall in the Big Meadows area of Shenandoah. The falls are accessed via the Rose River Fire Road, located at mile marker 49.4. From here it is a 2 mile, moderately difficult hike to the falls. You can return the same way you came or create a longer loop to also visit Dark Hollow Falls.

If you opt for this option you’ll return to your car by walking back on the Rose River Fire Road. This adds significant time and distance so be sure you are properly prepared.

Find more details on the Rose River Trail in Shenandoah below:

Lewis Falls Trail

Distance: 3.5 miles
Approximate hiking time: 3 – 4 hours
Difficulty: Moderate

The Lewis Falls Trail leaves from the centrally located Big Meadows Amphitheatre and takes hikers to a stunning viewpoint of the 81′ tall falls. The trail is a popular one in  Shenandoah, so be sure to arrive early on busy summer weekends to avoid the crowds.

The route is approximately 3.5 miles round-trip to the overlook and back, so hikers should plan on spending 3-4 hours on the trail.

Find more details on the Lewis Falls Trail below:

Trail marker for the Lewis Falls Trail in Shenandoah National Park

The Lewis Falls Trail leads to a stunning overlook. Photo credit NPS.

 

South River Falls Trail

Distance: 2.6 miles
Approximate hiking time: 2 – 3 hours
Difficulty: Moderate

The double cascades of South River Falls are some of the most stunning in Shenandoah National Park. The falls overlook are accessed via a 2.6 mile out and back trail that departs from Skyline Drive at mile marker 62.7. For those who wish to continue on a bit further you can continue past the overlook to reach the falls themselves.

Find more details on the South River Falls Trail below:

Conclusion

We hope you’ve enjoyed this post on Shenandoah National Park’s waterfalls. Please let us know in the comments below if we missed any of your favorite trails or if you found the information useful! Also, don’t forget to checkout our other Shenandoah National Park guides below:

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Guide to Camping on the Great Glen Way

The Great Glen Way is an excellent introduction to walking in the Scottish Highlands. The route traces the Caledonian Canal as it makes its way from Fort William in the…

The Great Glen Way is an excellent introduction to walking in the Scottish Highlands. The route traces the Caledonian Canal as it makes its way from Fort William in the south to Inverness in the North. The walk is designated as one of Scotland’s Great Trails, notable both for its stunning scenery as well as historical interest.

Along the way trekkers will enjoy relatively easy access to services and accommodation. This includes some excellent options for camping, both in developed campgrounds as well as great wild camping spots. These campgrounds are the focus of this guide where we’ll walk you through all your options for camping on the Great Glen Way.

We’ve included detailed information on campgroundscamping itinerarieswhat to pack, and more, in order to help you plan your own Great Glen Way camping adventure!

Green hillsides near Inverness Scotland

 

In this Great Glen Way Camping Guide

Great Glen Way Must Know

The Great Glen Way is a relatively new trail having been established as one of Scotland’s Great Trails in 2002. The route follows the Great Glen, a series of three lochs (Loch Lochy, Loch Oich, and Loch Ness) that all connected by the Caledonian Canal. While less popular than its nearby neighbor, the West Highland Way, the Great Glen Way offers easier walking and less crowded trails.

The route begins in the beautiful town of Fort William located on Loch Linnhe before makings its way to northeast along the Caledonian Canal all the way to Inverness. Along the walk you’ll enjoy beautiful loch side hiking, stunning Highlands views, and visits to several quaint towns along the path.

Generally speaking most walkers will complete the Great Glen Way is 5 – 8 days, with six days seeming to be the most common. The Great Glen Way camping itinerary we’ve described below is based off a well-paced 6-day itinerary, although there are plenty of options to shorten or extend your walk.

Map showing the location of the Great Glen Way

The Great Glen Way is located in Northern Scotland.

 

How long is the Great Glen Way?

The Great Glen Way is approximately 125-kilometers or 74 miles from the start in Fort William to the finish at the Inverness Castle.

However, walkers and especially campers, should expect to cover a bit more distance than this as a few of the campgrounds are located slightly off the main trail. Add in a side trips to the local pub or to visit a shop and you should plan on walking well over 75 miles on your own Great Glen Way trip.

Map of the Great Glen Way

Map of the Great Glen Way. Click to enlarge.

 

In addition to the standard route, the Great Glen Way features two excellent high-routes that leave the loch shores and venture into the hills. These high-routes occur between Fort Augustus and Drumnadrochit and are highly recommend for their stunning views.

For more resources on maps for the Great Glen Way Check out our Great Glen Way | Maps & Routes article here.

How difficult is the Great Glen Way?

In terms of Highland walking the Great Glen Way is a very approachable walk. The route is a great introduction to the longer walks in Scotland and should be suitable for a wide variety of abilities and experience levels.

Generally speaking, the southern half of the walk will be much easier than the northern half as it is mostly flat walking along the lochs. As you venture north you encounter more hills and the difficulty will increase, although it never gets too strenuous.

However, as with any long distance walk those attempting the Great Glen Way will want to be sufficiently prepared for long days on their feet, especially for some of the longer stages towards the end of the walk. Those camping on the Great Glen Way will also be carrying a heavier rucksack, which can significantly increase how difficult a given stage is.

We think most reasonably fit walkers will adjust just fine to the Great Glen Way, but we do recommend a little extra preparation for those camping. Try to take few walks with your fully loaded backpack prior to heading out as a way to prepare your body and adjust to carrying the weight.

Trail in the Scottish Highlands

 

Great Glen Way Weather & When to Hike

The Scottish Highlands are known for their fickle weather. One minute you can be enjoying brilliant sunshine while the next you’re slogging through a torrential downpour. In general, you can expect to experience some rain during any month of the year you plan to walk the Great Glen Way, but rest assured that is just part of the experience.

Besides just the weather you’ll also want to think about Scotland’s most famous pest, the mighty midge!

These tiny, biting creatures, have the potential to wreak havoc on your trip and are especially pesky for campers. They are most present during the peak summer months of July and August, although with a little preparation you can avoid the worst of them.

Below we’ve included general information on when to walk the Great Glen Way by month.

April

Unpredictable weather, but very few crowds and midges. Walkers will need to be prepared for shorter days and therefore fewer daylight hours for walking. You’ll enjoy an uncrowded trail and plenty of places to pitch your tent.

May

May is a great month to walk the Great Glen Way as the temperature warms and the wildflowers come into bloom. Midges are also not yet at their peak, making this one of the best months to complete you walk. However, given these circumstances you can expect the trail to be quite busy and accommodation should be booked in advance.

July & August

Crowds, midges, and rain are all plentiful during peak summer these months. It’s still very possible to have a wonderful time if you trek in July or August, just be sure you’re prepared for the midges and don’t mind sharing the trail with other walkers and tourists.

September

This is a fabulous time to walk the Great Glen Way, although it can be quite wet especially near Fort William. The trail is relatively quiet and the midges tend to be less of a problem later in the season. Be aware of the increasingly shorter days as the month progresses.

 

Great Glen Way Camping

Camping on the Great Glen Way is a wonderful way to experience this incredible trail.

Many of the campsites along the route are designated wild campsites allowing campers to experience this stunning environment first-hand and sleep out under the stars. In addition, you’ll save significantly on accommodation costs and have more flexibility in your itinerary.

We can’t recommend camping on the Great Glen Way highly enough!

In the sections below will give an overview of all the campgrounds on the Great Glen Way as well as provide some information on wild camping. In addition, we’ll also include information on how to utilize some of the facilities along the Caledonian Canal that making camping a much easier endeavor. Finally, we’ll provide a detailed stage-by-stage itinerary for camping on the Great Glen Way complete with distances, where to camp, and more!

Camping at Loch Ness

 

Campgrounds on the Great Glen Way

The map and list below show all of the campgrounds that are in the general vicinity of the Great Glen Way. This includes both developed campgrounds as well as wild camping pitches along the route (known as Trailblazer sites, more on that below).  We’ve done our best to include all of the relevant campgrounds, but if you see any missing let us know!

The list and map are designed to give you a general sense of your options for Great Glen Way camping, but we recommend utilizing our full Great Glen Way camping itinerary in the following section when planning your own trip.

Campgrounds are listed in the order you’ll reach them when walking the route from south to north.

  • Glen Nevis Camping & Caravan Park
    • Located south of Fort William at the base of Ben Nevis this large, well-equipped campground is your best bet for camping prior to starting the Great Glen Way.
  • Moy Bridge Wild Campsite
    • The first campsite you’ll encounter is the Moy Bridge wild campsite. Located next to the Moy Bridge over the Caledonian Canal this is a good option for your first night if you don’t want to stay in a developed campground.
  • Gairlochy Holiday Park
    • The Gairlochy Holiday Park is a good bet for your first night on the Great Glen Way. It is located just up the road from Gairlochy and has good facilities for campers.
  • Glas-dhoire Wild Campsite

    • This is our recommend campsite for your second night. Located on the shores of Loch Lochy.
  • Leiterfearn Wild Campsite
    • Located adjacent to the shoreline of Loch Oich, this wild campsite is a good place to stop at the end of Stage 3.
  • Kytra Lock wild campsite
    • One of the Trailblazer designed wild campsites along the Great Glen Way, this site is located adjacent to the canal.
  • Inver Coille Campsite
    • A popular campground on the shores of Loch Ness, this is the perfect place to stop at the end of Stage 4.
  • Borlum Farm Campsite
    • The Borlum Farm Campsite is located on the outskirts of Drumnadrochit and is our recommend stopping point at the end of Stage 5.
  • Abriachan Campsite
    • The Abriachan Cafe and Campsite is located in the hills above Loch Ness. A good place to spend the night if you’d like to split up the final stage.
  • Bught Caravan & Campsite
    • The Bught Caravan & Campsite is located in Inverness and is the perfect place to stay at the end of your trip. That is of course if you don’t plan on splurging for a hotel after walking 75+ miles!

Caledonian Canal Facilities

One of the great features of camping on the Great Glen Way is the ability to make use of several restrooms along the Caledonian Canal. These facilities are typically locked, but walkers, boaters, cyclists and others users of the canal can get easy access for just £10.

To do so, simply head to the Scottish Canals Corpach (near Fort William) or Inverness office during their opening hours to pay your fee and get a key. You’ll then need to return the key at the Scottish Canals Office in Inverness.

Alternatively, you can also arrange for the key to be posted to you by calling the canal office directly.

You can find more information on accessing these facilities on the Great Glen Canoe Trail website here.

Wild camping on the Great Glen Way

Wild camping is a staple of the Scottish wilderness experience. This type of camping seeks to minimize your impact on the surrounding environment by only staying for a single night and by limiting the size of your group.

Although the length of the Caledonian Canal is considered a Scheduled Ancient Monument, which typically prohibits wild camping, there are luckily several informal wild camping spots provided along the Great Glen Way.

These campsites can be broken into two broad categories: Trailblazer rest sites and canalside informal campsites. For all intents and purposes there isn’t much difference between the two, just be sure to only stay for a night and always practice Leave No Trace principles.

Outside of these designated wild camping spots you are not allowed to wild camp along the route of the Great Glen Way.

For anyone interested in wild camping along the Great Glen Way we always recommend reviewing the Scottish Access Outdoor Code as well.

Stage-by-stage Itinerary for Camping on the Great Glen Way

The following guide is based on a moderately paced 6-day itinerary. Starting in Fort William and finishing in Inverness, there is camping available every night of the route. In addition to the itinerary described below it is also possible to shorten or extend the time you spend walking the Great Glen Way by utilizing the campgrounds between stages.

Reservations are recommended for all of the formal campgrounds along the trail and prices are listed to the best of our knowledge.

Stage 0: Fort William

Distance & Elevation: N/A
Where to stay:
Glen Nevis Caravan and Camping Park
Description:

The Great Glen Way officially begins in the center of Fort William. The town does not have a campground, but the nearby Glen Nevis Caravan and Camping Park provides a convenient option. Keep in mind that the campground is approximately 45 minutes walking from the center of Fort William.

For those who plan to camp here prior to starting the Great Glen Way you’ll want to plan on some additional time/distance for Stage 1.

Services at Glen Nevis Caravan and Camping Park

  • Toilets
  • Potable water
  • Hot showers
  • Laundry
  • Dishwashing area
  • Restaurant/bar
  • Small shop
  • Electronics charging
  • WiFi (£2.00 per hour/£5.00 per day)

Price: £11

Glen Nevis Camping Website

Nearby Glen Nevis and Fort William:  There is a visitor center and a few restaurants in the village of Glen Nevis. Fort William is approximately 45 minutes away by foot. There you’ll find supermarkets, banks, a pharmacy, a hospital, restaurants/bars, an outdoor retailer, a post office, a library, and bus and train connections. 

Glen Nevis Caravan and Camping park

Glen Nevis Caravan & Camping Park is a short distance from the start of the Great Glen Way.

 

Stage 1: Fort William to Gairlochy Holiday Park

Distance & Elevation: 11.8 mi // +625 ft, -428 ft 
Where to stay: 
Gairlochy Holiday Park
Description:

The first stage of the Great Glen Way is just under 12 miles and is a great introduction to the walk. The route is relatively flat and will let you get accustomed to hiking with your fully loaded backpack.

You’ll have two options for camping at the end of the first stage, the first being the Moy Bridge wild campsite and the second being the Gairlochy Holiday Park.

Moy Bridge does not have any amenities or restroom facilities and requires stopping a bit earlier in the day, so we recommend that most walkers opt to stay at the Gairlochy Holiday Park. This campground is approximately 15 minutes up the road from Gairlochy.

Services at Gairlochy Holiday Park

  • Toilets
  • Hot showers
  • Dish washing area

Price: £7.5/person

Map of Stage 1 from Fort William to Gairlochy Holiday Park

Stage 1 – Fort William to Gairlochy Holiday Park.

 

Stage 2: Gairlochy Holiday Park to Glas-dhoire Wild Campsite

Distance & Elevation: 9.9 mi // +1,306 ft, -1,233 ft 
Where to stay: 
Glas-dhoire Wild Campsite
Description:

The second stage of the Great Glen Way takes walkers to their first wild campsite of the trip, and an excellent one at that! Leaving Gairlochy hikers will follow the shore of Loch Lochy as they make their way to the Glad-dhoire wild campsite. This campsite is situated beautifully on the shores of the loch.

Be warned that the midges can be pretty bad here!

Services at Glas-dhoire Wild Campsite

  • Small shelter
  • Composting toilets

Price: Free

Map of Stage 2 Gairlochy Holiday Park to Glas-dhoire

Stage 2 – Gairlochy Holiday Park to Glas-dhoire wild campsite.

 

Stage 3: Glas-dhoire Wild Campsite to Leiterfearn Wild Campsite

Distance & Elevation: 7.1 mi // +902 ft, -866 ft 
Where to stay: 
Leiterfearn Wild Campsite
Description:

Stage 3 of the Great Glen Way is a relatively easy one, covering just over 7 miles. The trail reaches the end of Loch Lochy and transitions to following the shores of Loch Oich. You’ll be headed to another excellent wild campsite, this time located at Leiterfearn.

Situated just up from the shore, the Leiterfearn wild campsite has space for eight tents, log seating, and two composting toilets.

Services at Leiterfearn Wild Campsite

  • Composting toilets

Price: Free

Map of Stage 3 from Glas-dhoire to Leiterfearn

Stage 3 – Glas-dhoire wild campsite to Leiterfearn wild campsite.

 

Stage 4: Leiterfearn Wild Campsite to Inver Coille Camping

Distance & Elevation: 11.51 mi // +1,488 ft, -1,537 ft 
Where to stay: 
Inver Coille Camping
Description:

Stage 4 takes walkers to the end of Loch Oich before tracing the route of the Caledonian Canal to Fort Augustus at the tip of Loch Ness. Just past Fort Augustus you’ll have the option to take the first high-route variant of the Great Glen Way, which we recommend.

However, do keep in mind that taking the high-route here will require some backtracking on the main trail to reach the Inver Coille Campground. We think it is worth it for the excellent views, but be sure to consider your own situation before opting to take the high route.

Your campground at the end of Stage 4 is the Inver Coille Campground, a lovely spot on the shores of Loch Ness. Keep in mind that given the current situation it is advised to inquire ahead at the campground, as they are unsure if they will be able to accommodate tent campers in 2021.

Services at Inver Coille Camping

  • Toilets
  • Hot showers
  • Fire Pits

Map of Stage 4 from Leiterfearn to Inver Coille

Stage 4 – Leiterfearn wild campsite to Inver Coille Campground.

 

Tents at the Inver Coille Campground on the Great Glen Way

Lovely grounds at Inver Coille Camping. Photo courtesy of Inver Coille.

 

Stage 5: Inver Coille Camping to Borlum Farm Camping

Distance & Elevation: 17.11 mi // +2,731 ft, -2,759 ft 
Where to stay: 
Borlum Farm Camping
Description:

Stage 5 presents walkers on the Great Glen Way with another high-route option. This alternative leaves the main trail just past Invermoriston and rewards hikers with excellent views of Loch Ness. Keep in mind that Stage 5 is over 17 miles long, so if you opt to take the high-route be prepared for a full days walk.

Your campground at the end of Stage 5 is the Borlum Farm Campground, located on the outskirts of Drumnadrochit. This large campground can accommodate caravans as well as tent campers and features excellent services.

Services at Borlum Farm Camping

  • Toilets
  • Showers
  • WiFi
  • Laundry facilities
  • Dish washing area

Price: Varies. See details here.

Map of Stage 5 from Inver Coille to Borlum Farm Camping

Stage 5 – Inver Coille to Borlum Farm.

 

Stage 6: Borlum Farm Camping to Inverness

Distance & Elevation: 20.1 mi // +2,052 ft, -2,083 ft 
Where to stay:
Bught Caravan & Campsite

Description:

You’ve made it to the final stage of the Great Glen Way!

The route saves the hardest stage for last, with the final day’s walk covering over 20 miles! Early in the stage you’ll leave the shores of Loch Ness and turn inland where a fair amount of climbing awaits. About midway through the stage you’ll pass the Abriachan Cafe & Campsite. This is the perfect place to stay if you want to break up this long final stage, or at least stop to enjoy a cup of tea.

Upon reaching Inverness you’ll have the option to camp at the Bught Caravan & Campsite on the edge of town. Alternatively, Inverness is a great place to splurge on a hotel after spending the past several nights in your tent!

Services at Bught Caravan & Campsite

  • Toilets
  • Showers
  • WiFi
  • Laundry facilities
  • Small shop

Price: £12/person

Map of Stage 6 from Borlum Farm to Inverness

Stage 6 – Borlum Farm to Inverness.

 

What to Pack for Camping on the Great Glen Way

Packing for a camping trip along the Great Glen Way is an exercise in balancing needs vs wants. While having a few creature comforts can certainly make camping a more enjoyable experience, you’ll want to keep your pack weight as light as possible.

It’s simple- the heavier your pack, the harder your effort.

As such, we recommend focusing on bringing high-quality, lightweight equipment. With a little planning and strategy, you can keep the weight of your backpack manageable while still ensuring you have everything you need for your trip.

We’ve provided some general packing information for camping on the Great Glen Way below.

In general, you should be able to get by with a 40L – 60L backpack and the following essentials:

A hiker on the Great Glen Way

 

What’s Next?

You’re well on your way to an incredible camping experience on the Great Glen Way. However, you still have lots of preparation before you’re truly ready! Be sure to read our entire series on the Great Glen Way to learn everything you’ll need to know for your trip!

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