The BEST Garden of the Gods Camping Guide [2022]

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Garden of the Gods is one of our favorite places to visit in Colorado Springs. The awe inspiring red rocks seems to shoot from the ground to soaring heights, with Pikes Peak providing a beautiful background. This public park is a must-see for anyone in the area, and the free admission makes it one of our favorite places to recommend.

For those looking to combine a visit to Garden of the Gods with a larger outdoor adventure, there are tons of opportunities to camp in the immediate vicinity of the park. You’ll find everything from RV campgrounds to dispersed campsites, all within a few minutes of Garden of the Gods.

We’ll explore you best options for camping near Garden of the Gods in this post and provide some recommendations for your best option depending on your preferences.

In this Post

The Basics

There are a few key things to know before you start planning your Garden of the Gods camping trip. First and foremost, there is no camping permitted within the park’s actual boundaries.

The park is open daily from 9am – 5pm during the winter (Nov 1st – April 30th) and 5am – 10pm during the summer, but you won’t be able to spend the night within the confines of the park itself.

However, rest assured that there are several excellent campgrounds just a few short minutes away making it easy to explore this natural wonder during the day before returning to your campsite for the evening.

When to camp near Garden of the Gods

Although the park is open year round, we recommend planning your camping trip to the area during the summer months of May – September. Colorado Springs has a typical Colorado Front Range climate meaning you should expect cold and snow to often linger through April. That being said, you can get beautiful weather any time of the year, and Garden of the Gods will be much less crowded in the off-season.

Summer weekends are quite busy at most of the campgrounds included in this guide, so you’ll want to make a reservation well in advance or show up early for any first-come, first-served campgrounds.

Sun rise at Garden of the Gods
Sunrise at Garden of the Gods

What to do at Garden of the Gods

There are many ways to enjoy a visit to Garden of the Gods including several excellent hiking trails, some world famous rock climbing, and even a Segway or Jeep tour! We’ve outlined a few favorites below for you to check out:

  • Hike through Garden of the Gods: There are 21 miles of hiking trails for all abilities criss-crossing Garden of the Gods.
  • Rock climbing: For the adventurous, a rock climbing excursion is a great way to see the incredible rock formations up close. There are guided excursions available or for the more experience simply register at the park visitor center before heading out to climb on your own.
  • Take a guided tour: There are several guided tours of Garden of the Gods available. Adventures Out West leads Jeep, Segway, and trolley tours of the park.
Hiking trail at Garden of the Gods park in Colorado Springs.
There are miles and miles of excellent hiking trails at Garden of the Gods

What to Bring

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 for camping near Garden of the Gods:

  • Map: A good map is essential to exploring the area, and learning more about your surroundings. We recommend this National Geographic version for a good overview of the wilderness west of Colorado Springs including Pikes Peak and Garden of the Gods.
  • Coleman Camping Stove – This classic piece of gear is perfect for cooking up deluxe campsite dinners.
  • Portable water container – These portable water containers are a lifesaver, especially as some camping areas do not have water available.
  • Cooler – Keeping food and drinks cool is essential when camping, particularly in the hot afternoon sun. We can’t recommend Yeti enough!

Garden of the Gods Campgrounds

Now that you have an overview of what your visit to Garden of the Gods will be like it’s time to find the perfect campground for your trip. You will be truly spoiled for options, with many excellent campgrounds in close proximity to the park.

The list below includes developed, RV, and dispersed campsites near Garden of the Gods and we’re sure one of these will meet your needs.

In addition, the map below shows all of the campground locations, with detailed descriptions following.

RV Campgrounds near Garden of the Gods

If you’re looking for a full service RV campground near Garden of the Gods you’re in luck. There are several great options very close to the park as well as some that have a more tranquil setting just a short drive away.

The list below includes what we consider to be your best options for RV camping near Garden of the Gods and you’ll find detailed information on each campground including amenities, hookups, and more!

RV driving near Garden of the Gods Park

Garden of the Gods RV Resort

Number of sites: Plenty!
RVs: 
Yes, full hookups available.
Reservations: 
Recommended.

The closest RV campground to Garden of the Gods is the aptly named Garden of the Gods RV Resort. You’re only about an eight minute drive from the main park entrance and just half a mile from the park’s south entrance. This makes Garden of the Gods RV Resort a great choice if you’re primary interest is being conveniently located.

This is a large park with many sites that can accommodate a variety of rigs and hookup needs. There is also a tent camping area, bunkhouses, and cottages for rent. Amenities include two heated swimming pools, free WiFi, and a small convenience store.

Note that as a result of the park being so close to Garden of the Gods, it is located close to lots of development and the sites are relatively close together. We think its worth it if you’re after convenience, but if you’d prefer a more secluded camping experience there are better options.

Fountain Creek Campground

Number of sites: Plenty!
RVs: 
Yes, full hookups available.
Reservations: 
Recommended.

The Fountain Creek Campground is located very close to Garden of the Gods and set right off Highway 24 on the edge of Colorado Springs. You can be at the Garden of the Gods main entrance in under five minutes from there, although you’ll want to come prepared to stay at a more urban RV park.

Amenities are basic with internet, full hookups, cable tv, and picnic tables at each site. You’re also close to the historic Old Colorado City here, another great area attraction.

Fountain Creek gets mixed reviews, mostly a result of the fact that it is located in town and many of the sites are reserved for monthly renters. Take a spin through the Google Review before booking to be sure it will meet your needs before deciding on Fountain Creek for your stay.

Pikes Peak RV Park

Number of sites: Plenty!
RVs: 
Yes, full hookups available.
Reservations: 
Recommended.

The Pikes Peak RV Park is located west of Garden of the Gods in the quaint town of Manitou Springs and close to both Garden of the Gods as well as Pikes Peak. This family operated RV park features full hookups including both 30/50 amp service. There are plenty of services in the immediate vicinity, including restaurants and shops which make this a good option if you prefer to be able to walk around a bit from your campsite.

Pikes Peak RV Park has good amenities including WiFi, laundry, and showers, in addition to a picnic area with a few lawn games. There are nice mature trees at the site which provide shade as well as a bit of privacy.

Most of the sites are back-in, and several are located right on a lovely little creek. Rates are reasonable for the location and the owners get rave reviews from guests for how accommodating they are.

Lone Duck Campground

Number of sites: 10 full hookup, 30 water/electric, and 4 pull through sites
RVs: 
Yes, full hookups available.
Reservations: 
Recommended.

Our final recommendation for RV camping near Garden of the Gods is the Lone Duck Campground, located in the small town of Cascade. This is the furthest campground from the park, but it has great reviews and is located right at the base of the Pikes Peak Highway.

This family oriented campground has 44 RV specific sites, as well as 22 tent-only sites. The RV sites vary in terms of hookups, with options available for both full hookups as well as water/electric only.

The amenities at Lone Duck are top notch and include free Wifi throughout, a heated pool, game room, convenience store and much more.

It’s around a 20 minutes drive to Garden of the Gods from here, but we think it’s worth it given the great camping experience at Lone Duck.

Developed Campgrounds near Garden of the Gods

There are two developed campgrounds near Garden of the Gods that make a good place to spend the night if you’re interested in some basic amenities without staying at full fledged RV campground. These includes things such as potable water, picnic tables, restrooms, and trash services.

Both of our recommended developed campgrounds can accommodate smaller trailers and RVs, although there won’t be any hookups available.

We think these campgrounds are best for car campers, those with smaller rigs who don’t need all the hookups, and for anyone looking for a classic camping experience near Garden of the Gods.

Keep reading to see our top picks:

Thunder Ridge Campground

Number of sites: 21 campsites
RVs: 
Yes, but no hookups available. Max length of 30′
Reservations: 
Recommended. Click here to reserve.
Pets: 
Allowed

The Thunder Ridge Campground is located northwest of Garden of the Gods in Pike National Forest. This USFS campground is about 45 minutes from the park via the winding Highway 24. For those that are willing to make the drive, you’ll find 21 individual campsites here set in a beautiful forest with views over Rampart Reservoir. Each site has a picnic table, fire ring, room for a tent and a ~30′ parking area.

Common amenities at Thunder Ridge include a drinking water source as well as vault toilets. There are no RV hookups here, so if you’re after a more deluxe RV camping experience you’ll want to look elsewhere.

Thunder Ridge is a good option if you plan to explore more than just Garden of the Gods during your stay. You’ll be well located to drive up to the top of Pikes Peak as well as check out the quaint mountain towns of Woodland Park and Manitou Springs.

Thunder Ridge Campground
View of Rampart Reservoir from the Thunder Ridge Campground. Photo credit USFS.

Meadow Ridge Campground

Number of sites: 19 campsites
RVs: 
Yes, but no hookups availalbe. Max length of 36′
Reservations: 
Recommended. Click here to reserve.
Pets: 
Allowed

Located adjacent to Thunder Ridge Campground and also in Pike National Forest is the Meadow Ridge Campground. Similar in both amenities and distance to Garden of the Gods, this is another great option for those looking for a campground in the mountains that provides access to some excellent trails but is still close to town.

There are 19 individual campsites at Meadow Ridge, all of which have a good amount of shade. Every sites have a picnic table and fire ring and there are two vault toilets at the campground as well as potable water.

Other nearby attractions include the Rampart Reservoir which permits boating and fishing, as well as several good hiking and mountain biking trails.

Meadow Ridge Campground
Meadow Ridge Campground. Photo credit USFS.

Garden of the Gods Dispersed Camping

Your final option for camping near Garden of the Gods is to find a free, dispersed campsite in the adjacent Pike National Forest. This is likely to appeal to climbers looking to take a shot at the park’s famous routes, or anyone is search of a budget camping trip.

We’ve highlighted two of our favorites below, but we also recommend reading our Colorado Springs dispersed camping guide to get additional ideas.

A dispersed campsite in the forest.

Rampart Range Road

Restrooms: No
Water: 
No
Crowds:
 Moderate
Map

The Rampart Range Road camping area is located northwest of Garden of the Gods and accessed via the town of Woodland Park. This is a fairly convenient place to dispersed camp as you’ll be close to services as well as the park. Most sites along the road enjoy excellent views and there are even a few fire rings available for your use.

To get here, take Highway 24 west from Colorado Springs to Woodland Park and then drive through town until you’re on Rampart Range Road. Take a right on Loy Creek Road before turning right again on Forest Service Road 300. Campsites start just past the Rainbow Gulch trailhead.

The road is rough in places, though there are reports of passenger vehicles making it up here.

Mount Herman Road Dispersed Camping

Restrooms: No
Water: 
No
Crowds: 
Moderate
Map

The Mount Herman Road dispersed camping area is located west of the town of Monument, CO and approximately 45 minutes from Garden of the Gods. This will be a good option if you’re coming from the north, as you’ll reach the dispersed camping area before even getting into Colorado Springs.

The campsites are located on the windy and narrow Mt Herman Road/Forest Service Road 320 around 7 miles past the point where the pavement ends.

Given the condition of the road, the Mount Herman camping area is not recommended for RVs or those pulling a trailer.

Have a great trip!

That’s it!

We hope we’ve provided all of the information you need to plan your Garden of the Gods camping trip, 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 and be sure to tell us about your trip!

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