Camping at Rocky Mountain National Park is a popular pastime, so it’s important that you come prepared for your adventure.
Here’s what you need to know to have a comfortable camping trip in the park.
1. Bring a tarp for shade
Many of the park’s campgrounds have few trees due to a recent pine beetle epidemic that killed large stands of the forest.
Therefore, shade is limited at most campgrounds and you’ll want to bring your own tarp for protection from the midday sun in the summer months.
2. Book very early
Camping is exceptionally popular in Rocky Mountain and campsites tend to book quickly. If you want to stay at a reservable campsite, be sure to make your reservation 6 months in advance.
That way, you can avoid disappointment during your trip.
3. Arrive in the middle of the week
For stays at any of the region’s first come, first served campgrounds, try to arrive in the morning on a Thursday or Friday.
These campgrounds fill quickly in the summer and weekend sites can be difficult to come by if you arrive on a Saturday morning.
4. Be bears aware
Bears are very common in Rocky Mountain National Park, so you’ll need to properly store your food and follow the park regulations to prevent any mishaps during your stay.
At all designated campgrounds in the region, you are required to put your food and scented items in the provided food storage lockers.
Alternatively, while backpacking, a bear-resistant food canister is required for all campers between April 1 and October 31.
5. Buy firewood at the park
As previously mentioned, Rocky Mountain National Park has had a number of problems with pine beetles in recent years, which have caused the death of some large stands of trees in the region.
To prevent the introduction of more invasive diseases and pests, it’s best to buy your firewood within the park during your camping trip.
Gaby is a professional mountain guide with a master’s degree in outdoor education. She works primarily in the polar regions as an expedition guide, though she can be found hiking, climbing, skiing, sailing, or paddling in some of the world’s most amazing places when not at work.