The BEST Pikes Peak Camping Guide [2022]

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Standing 14,115 feet above sea-level, Pikes Peak is a sight to behold. This stunning mountain is the backdrop for Colorado Springs and attracts countless visitors to drive, hike, or climb their way to the top.

For those looking to camp in the vicinity, there are several excellent campgrounds in the area to suit all preferences and camping setups. From deluxe RV campgrounds, to basic National Forest campgrounds, all the way to free, dispersed campsites, there is something in the region to suit your needs.

We’ve created this Pikes Peak camping guide to help outline your options and provide the best information on where to spend a night under the stars near this famous mountain.

Pikes Peak Camping Guide

The Basics

Before you decide which campground near Pikes Peak makes the most sense for your stay it is important to have a basic understanding of what you’d like to do in the area.

Plan on hiking to the top? Then Barr Camp is going to be worth checking out.

Looking forward to a scenic drive to the summit? Lone Duck Campground is a great option.

The sections below contain some essential information on when to visit and what to do while you’re in the area so you can be sure you make the most of your time camping near Pikes Peak.

When to camp near Pikes Peak

Pikes Peak is primarily a summer destination, although many activities can be done year-round. This includes driving the Pikes Peak Highway (weather permitting) or taking a guided tour.

However, most campers will want to plan their Pikes Peak camping trip during the summer months of May – September. You can certainly extend that season by a month of two depending on the weather or if you’re in a RV/trailer that has heat.

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. All things considered, fall is our favorite time to camp near Pikes Peak. Most of the summer crowds have left and you can enjoy beautiful weather, fall colors, and quiet trails.

What to do at Pikes Peak

There are many ways to enjoy a visit to Pikes Peak ranging from a relaxing guided tour, to the full blown adventure that comes with hiking to the top. We’ve outlined a few favorites below for you to check out:

Pikes Peak Highway
A drive on the Pikes Peak Highway is an unforgettable experience.

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 Pikes Peak:

  • Map: A good map is essential to making sure you are on public land, 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.
  • 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!

Pikes Peak Campgrounds

Now that you have a sense of what dispersed camping in the Pikes Peak region is all about, we’ve compiled the following list of campgrounds in the vicinity. The list below includes developed, RV, and dispersed campsites near Pikes Peak. We’re sure you’ll find something to suit your needs!

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

Developed Campgrounds near Pikes Peak

Developed campgrounds are those that have basic amenities such as potable water, restrooms, picnic tables, and trash service. Many of these can accommodate RVs and trailers, but they aren’t RV specific campgrounds that contain electric or other hookups.

These 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.

Below are our top picks for developed campgrounds near Pikes Peak:

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

The Meadow Ridge Campground is one of two USFS campgrounds located immediately north of Pikes Peak. There are 19 individual campsites at Meadow Ridge, all of which have a good amount of shade and make for a good tent camping. All sites have a picnic table and fire ring and there are two vault toilets at the campground as well as potable water.

You’re not far from Pikes Peak here, although the winding roads make it about a 45 minute drive from the base of the Pikes Peak Highway.

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

Campsite at Meadow Ridge near Pikes Peak
Basic campsites at Meadow Ridge. Photo credit USFS.

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

Located adjacent to the Meadow Ridge Campground described above, Thunder Ridge Campground provides 21 individual campsites in close proximity to Pikes Peak. This is a tranquil campsite that has relatively private sites, many with good views out of 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.

Similar to Meadow Ridge, you’ll be about 40 minutes from the Pikes Peak Highway here with plenty to do in the surrounding National Forest.

Thunder Ridge Campground near Pikes Peak.
Thunder Ridge Campground has excellent views of Rampart Reservoir. Photo credit USFS.

The Crags Campground

Number of sites: 17 campsites
RVs: 
Yes, but no hookups available. Small RVs only
Reservations: 
First come, first served
Pets: 
Allowed

The Crags Campground is tucked away on the west side of Pikes Peak and is a great option for a rustic national forest camping experience. You’ll be further from the hustle and bustle of Colorado Springs here while still enjoying easy access to most of the sights around Pikes Peak. The 17 campsites at The Crags are all available on a first-come, first served basis and have basic picnic tables and fire rings.

Although less popular than some of the campgrounds located immediately adjacent to Pikes Peak, the campground still sees heavy use in the summer months. Given that, you’ll want to plan to arrive early on weekends to give yourself the best shot at securing a campsite.

There is no trash service at The Crags so you’ll need to pack everything out with you and be sure to practice Leave No Trace camping principles here.

Picnic table at the Crags Campground
The Crags Campground. Photo credit USFS.

Mueller State Park

Number of sites: 136 campsites
RVs: 
Yes, electric hookups available at 99 campsites
Reservations: 
Recommended. Click here to reserve.
Pets: 
Allowed

Mueller State Park is located west of Pikes Peak and is a great place to explore regardless of whether you decide to camp there or not. For those that are interested, the large campground here has more amenities than what you’ll find at a typical national forest campground, but less than a full fledged RV resort. This middle ground will make Mueller State Park a great option for many folks looking for some great Pikes Peak camping.

Of the 136 campsites, 99 of them have access to electric hookups, while all feature a fire ring and picnic table. For the tent campers out there 22 of the sites are walk-in, tent-only. These are a good option if you want a quieter camping experience that still has some additional amenities.

Beyond the campsites, Mueller State Park’s campground has a ‘comfort station’ that features flush toilets, showers, laundry, and also sells firewood. Additionally there is a small playground making this a great site for family camping.

Barr Camp Pikes Peak

One of the most unique camping options near Pikes Peak is the famous Barr Camp. You won’t be able to bring your car here as Barr Camp is only accessible via a 6.5 mile hike along the Barr Trail (which also leads to the top of Pikes Peak) making this a remote and scenic camping option. In addition to tent camping available at the cabin, there are also a bunkhouse in the cabin and lean to shelters available.

Meals are provided to those staying there regardless of if you are camping in your tent or staying the bunkhouse. Breakfast is included in the nightly rate, but dinner is available for an extra fee.

In addition, you can camp for free in the national forest surrounding the cabin, although a donation is recommended if using the facilities.

Overall, Barr Camp is our favorite Pikes Peak camping experience!

RV Campgrounds near Pikes Peak

For those in search of full service RV campgrounds near Pikes Peak you’re in luck. There are tons of excellent RV campgrounds near the famous peak and you’re sure to find something that suits your needs.

We’ve outlined the best RV campgrounds near Pikes Peak below including information on amenities, hookups, and more!

Pikes Peak RV Camping

Lone Duck Campground

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

The most convenient option for RV campers looking to stay near Pikes Peak is the Lone Duck Campground, 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 shop and much more.

It is easy to leave your trailer/campsite set up and take the scenic drive to the top of Pikes Peak, or explore any of the surrounding wilderness from here.

Lone Duck is our top pick for RV camping near Pikes Peak.

Rocky Top Motel and Campground

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

Just up the road from the Lone Duck Campground you’ll find the Rocky Top Motel and Campground. This combo motel and RV campground is conveniently located just off Highway 24, which makes for easy access to Pikes Peak, Colorado Springs, and many of the other attractions in the area.

The RV sites are all fairly close together, so you won’t get a ton of privacy at your campsite. However, you will get good amenities including full hookups, interet, and access to a playground. There is also a tent camping area at Rocky Top.

Reservations are recommended at Rocky Top, as it tends to fill up on summer weekends.

Pikes Peak RV Park

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

The Pikes Peak RV Park is located in 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.

You’ll get all the standard amenities here including WiFi, laundry, and showers in addition to a picnic area with a few lawn games.

Most of the sites are back-in, and several are located right on a lovely little creek. Rates are reasonable for the location as well.

Crystal Kangaroo Campground

Number of sites: 32 RV only sites
RVs: 
Yes, full hookups available.
Reservations: 
Recommended.

Located just up the road from the Pikes Peak RV Park you’ll find the Crystal Kangaroo Campground, an RV only campground situated at the base of Pikes Peak. Crystal Kangaroo has 32 campsites specifically for RVs, and all feature full hookups.

Several of the site can accommodate the largest RVs, up to 45′ long. Amenities are basic and include free WiFi in the common building.

Crystal Kangaroo caters mostly to monthly rentals, so isn’t our first recommendation for shorter stays. However, if you’re looking for a longer stay it is definitely worth checking out!

Cripple Creek KOA

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

Your final option for RV camping near Pikes Peak is the Cripple Creek KOA. This campground is located on the west side of Pikes Peak, which makes it a somewhat inconvenient place to stay if you’re hoping to drive or hike to the top. However, you can expect a quieter experience here and many of the surrounding hiking trails will be much less crowded.

You’ll find all the typical KOA amenities here including full hookups, a dog park, and room for even the largest rigs.

Pikes Peak Dispersed Camping

If you’re looking for free camping near Pikes Peak then there are several good dispersed camping areas in close proximity. We’ve highlighted two of our favorites below, but we also recommend reading our Colorado Springs dispersed camping guide to get additional ideas.

View of a fire ring from a tent.

Rampart Range Road

Restrooms: No
Water: 
No
Crowds:
 Moderate
Map

The Rampart Range Road camping area is located northwest of Colorado Springs and accessed via the town of Woodland Park. This is the most convenient place to dispersed camp near Pikes Peak and you’ll also be relatively close to services here. 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 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.

Manchester Creek Road

Restrooms: Vault toilets available at Manchester Creek Trailhead
Water: 
No
Crowds: 
Busy
Map

The Manchester Creek area is a popular dispersed camping north of the town of Divide. You’re a bit further from Pikes Peak here, although still just 30-40 minutes from the base of the Pikes Peak Highway. Access is straightforward and the roads here are in good condition, making this an excellent dispersed camping option for those without high-clearance vehicles.

Getting here is easy as well, simply head north along Manchester Creek Road from Divide until you reach the junction with County Road 5. Veer left here and campsites start just past the large parking area at the Manchester Creek Trailhead. They appear on and off for approximately the next 2 miles.

Keep in mind that these are dry campsites so you’ll need to pack in all of your own water. The area is also very popular with ATVs and dirt bikes so be prepared for a bit of noise!

Have a great trip!

That’s it!

We hope we’ve provided all of the information you need to plan your Pikes Peak 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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