The Best Pikes Peak Camping Guide, Campsites and Dispersed Camping

Towering at 14,500 feet, Pikes Peak (or Pike’s Peak as its original name went) belongs to the group of Colorado’s 14er’s – mountains that are over 14,000 feet high – and it represents a natural wonder with perhaps the most significant number of cheeky and incredible stories linked to it.

Pikes Peak is a well-beloved place, and pitching a tent at one of the best Pikes Peak camping sites is the best way to experience this magnificent area. In addition to the best camping areas near and around Pikes Peak, I will also list additional sites for RV camping and dispersed camping.

Overview of Camping near Pikes Peak

Pikes Peak is the second most visited mountain in the world, after Japan’s Mt. Fuji. This popularity is logical, given the excellent roads and many fun activities. You can engage in horseback riding, sightseeing, biking, hiking, and skiing.

Simply taking photos around this area can be a fantastic way to learn about the local history and capture the incredible natural beauty.

However, setting up a tent or parking your RV around Pikes Peak is possibly the best way to take in everything this enchanting place offers.

Primarily active during the summer months (but also all year round in some parts), Pikes Peak is a destination where you can never run out of things to do. Though, many activities are available all year round, as long as the weather allows it. In particular, the peak summer months for camping are May through September.

Also, if you arrive here onboard an RV, you can extend your stay for an extra couple of months if your vehicle comes with heating or air-conditioning.

Speaking of RVs, one of the activities that you can engage in all year round would be going down the world-renowned Pikes Peak highway. Along this scenic ascending route, you can see some of the most breathtaking views anywhere in the world. From Cascade, Colorado, to the summit of Pikes Peak, you have 19 miles of scenery that can efficiently serve as a background to a sci-fi film about a mysterious alien planet.

The roundtrip to the top and back would take at least two hours. Since the first leg of it goes up to an elevation of over 14,000 feet, it is essential to bring extra fuel with you. To prepare for your camping trip near Pikes Peark, read our complete guide to dispersed camping in Colorado.

Developed Campgrounds near Pikes Peak

Lake near the Pikes Peak Highway

The broader area around Pikes Peak is rich in various developed campgrounds. Perfect for folks who want a more leisurely camping experience, developed campgrounds typically come with several amenities that can make your camping experience more straightforward.

Sources of potable water, picnic tables, a trash pickup service, restrooms and fire rings represent some of the facilities you can expect to get at these locations. Other than these, there are multiple RV hookup points you can rely on, as well.

For this reason, hookup points of this type are best suitable for folks with RV rigs, vehicles, or simply campers who want a more relaxed and leisurely camping experience.

Below is a list of my favorite developed campgrounds near Pikes Peak. 

Thunder Ridge Campground

Thunder Ridge campground in Colorado
  • Number of sites: 21
  • RV-friendly: Yes (no hookups available, though)
  • Pet-friendly: Yes
  • Reservations: Booking recommended

Close to Pikes Peak, Thunder Ridge campground offers 21 campsites and some of the prettiest views in the entire Pikes Peak general area. If you set up your tent here or park your RV, you can venture a couple of steps out of either and capture your camera’s gorgeous landscapes with Rampart Reservoir at its center.

Thunder Ridge also sits at a high elevation due to its proximity to Pikes Peak. You can only compare the views you get here with the scenery you get to see if you scale the mountain.

Each of the 21 campsites here has a fire ring, a picnic table, and ample room for a tent, in case you want to pitch one. For campers arriving here onboard their trusty recreational vehicle, there’s the place for RVs, as long as they’re not longer than 30 feet.

Speaking of RVs, while there is plenty of room for the vehicles, no hookups are available. Other amenities include free access to potable water and vault toilets.

Meadow Ridge Campground

Sign at the entrance of Meadow Ridge Developed Campground
  • Number of sites: 19
  • RV-friendly: Yes (no hookups available, though)
  • Pet-friendly: Yes
  • Reservations: Booking recommended

Representing one of the only two USFS campgrounds located north of Pikes Peak, Meadow Ridge sits amidst a forest of gorgeous evergreen trees.

Setting up a tent here, you will have plenty of shade, access to potable water, and two vault toilets. Alternatively, you can have a campfire whenever you desire, as fire rings are readily available at individual sites. For more of a conventional camping experience with a checkered tablecloth and all, there are picnic tables at the location.

In terms of proximity to Pikes Peak, you can be there in ten minutes as the crow flies. That said, the mountainous infrastructure here means the roads wind in a serpentine fashion as they go up toward the summit. For this reason, the ride to the peak will take more than 45 minutes.

If you fancy going fishing and boating in addition to hiking and mountain biking trails, you can visit the Rampart Reservoir – a central recreation area in this region (The roads to this place tend to be rugged, so do expect a bumpy ride there).

The Crags Campground 

Crags Campground Sign near Pikes Peak in Colorado
  • Number of sites: 17
  • RV-friendly: Yes (no hookups available, though)
  • Pet-friendly: Yes
  • Reservations: First-come, first-served

With its location snugly within the National Forest land, the Crags Campground sits on the west side of Pikes Peak – a region with a rustic atmosphere and a relatively tranquil air that you won’t find at many campgrounds close to roads and highways.

This campground is a bit farther away from Colorado Springs, which means a more remote and private camping experience – a perfect option for a person looking to find a place they can enjoy without being distracted by the proximity of other campers and camping and tourist-related commerce.

Arriving at this place early during the camping season is crucial to securing a good spot, as this campground operates on a good-old, first-come, first-served basis.

Regarding amenities, the Crags Campground features no trash service, so packing out your trash is an absolute must. Adhering to the Leave no Trace principles might be a good idea, too. 

Mueller State Park

Mueller State Park in Colorado in fall
  • Number of sites: 136
  • RV-friendly: Yes (no hookups available, though)
  • Pet-friendly: Yes
  • Reservations: Booking recommended 

Representing one of the best RV-related hookup sites, Mueller State Park is a place you do not want to miss out on if you’re an RV enthusiast.

First, this campground is vast, so no matter how large your RV is, rest assured it will fit at Mueller State Park. Secondarily, out of the total 136 sites, 99 feature full electric hookups, which means air conditioning and heating for your RV – depending on the season.

Each of the sites features a fire ring and a picnic table. What’s more, 22 sites are perfectly suitable for tent camping. So, whether you fancy arriving here onboard an RV or setting up a tent, you’ll find plenty of room for both at this location.

The amenities don’t just end in picnic tables, either.

Slightly beyond the campground, you’ll find the so-called’ comfort station’, where you can easily access flush toilets and laundry and shower facilities. Also, you can purchase firewood if you haven’t brought your own. (Sourcing firewood locally is frowned upon by local USFS authorities.)

Lastly, Mueller State Park is an excellent place for families, as it has a small playground and all the other amenities. 

RV Campgrounds near Pikes Peak 

RV Camper in a beautiful green field in Colorado

If there’s one place in the US that combines a mountainous terrain with many fantastic RV campgrounds – it’s Pikes Peak. The incredible combination of winding roads that lead to the summit, the local hiking trails, and the spacious sites where you can park your vehicle make this region a true haven for RV enthusiasts.

That story where you drive your RV through scenic roads winding around a mountain, then stop by at a nearby campsite, and then immediately capture Nat Geo-worthy landscape and wildlife photos after taking only a couple of steps outside of the vehicle – is the reality and norm in the area near Pikes Peak.

In the paragraphs below, I’ve prepared a list of the best RV campgrounds near Pikes Peak.

Lone Duck Campground 

Lone Duck RV campground in Pines Peak
  • Number of sites: 10 full hookup | 30 water/electric | 4 pull-through sites
  • Hookups Availability: Yes
  • Reservations: Booking recommended

Lone Duck Campground features ten sites, each with a full hookup. This campground can be an excellent option for folks looking for a well-rounded camping experience with all the amenities you need readily available.

In addition to the ten campsites with full hookups, you also get four pull-through sites and 30 additional spots featuring fully-functional water and electricity facilities.

Location-wise, you can find this place relatively quickly, as it is at the base of the Pikes Peak Highway. As such, this place also represents a great starting point for getting to know the positively enchanting-looking surrounding natural landscape.

One thing that makes this campground stand out from the rest is its pronounced family-oriented atmosphere and setup. Amenities here are many, and a fair number of them are perfect for kids, teenagers, and fun-loving adults alike.

For good measure, niceties include free Wi-Fi everywhere on the premises, a heated pool, a convenience shop, game rooms, fish ponds, and arcade games.

When you step out of your RV to have fun at the arcades or bathe in the pool, you’ll get fantastic views of the nearby Colorado Rockies. Altogether, a tremendous rustic environment that you don’t want to miss out on – whether you’re a casual camper or an avid appreciator of the natural wonders of the US.

Rocky Top Motel & Campground 

RVs and pickups at the Rocky Top Motel & Campground near Pikes Peak Colorado
  • Number of sites: Plenty
  • Hookups Availability: Yes
  • Reservations: Booking recommended

There are plenty of fantastic natural beauty pieces of scenery, full hookups available galore, and some of the most vibrant, closely-knit places you can come across in the area surrounding Pikes Peak, Rocky Top Motel & Campground is an absolute must-visit if you fancy social camping with other folks around you.

The location of this motel is just up the road from the Lone Duck Campground, just off Highway 24. 

Regarding activities outside of camping, this campground can be a great vantage point for visiting many local attractions. Pikes Peak and Colorado Springs represent only a few excellent locations you can check out, with Rocky Top as the starting point.

Similar to its nearby neighbor in Lone Duck campground, you can find some pretty neat, family-friendly amenities at this place. Full hookups, a stable and omnipresent Internet connection, and playgrounds for kids all recommend this place as a great getaway for kids and adults alike.

In addition to this campground’s RV-welcoming nature, there is ample room for tenting. However, one thing to pay attention to would be that this place tends to fill up rather quickly on summer weekends. To get the best spots for yourself, make sure to arrive here early, or even better – make a reservation well in advance.

Pikes Peak RV Park 

Creek running through the Pikes Peak RV Park in Colorado
  • Number of sites: Plenty
  • Hookups Availability: Yes
  • Reservations: Booking recommended

Getting a reservation for one of the sites at Pikes Peak RV park is an absolute must. Doing so in advance might be a good idea, too – that’s how popular this place can get with campers, nature observers and explorers, and well-meaning tourists.

Besides its fantastic natural beauty, this place is well-known and beloved for its proximity to the Garden of the Gods and Pikes Peak. The easiest way to describe this place would be to call it a family-oriented RV park where you can take full advantage of full hookups and a steady and reliable 30/50 Amp service.

This place ranks highly in terms of amenities. In addition to showers, a picnic area, laundry-washing facilities, and a few lawn games, you also get excellent Wi-Fi coverage. The charge rates here are pretty reasonable, and as long as you book your site in advance, you can get a decent deal.

Several of the sites disperse along a lovely local creek, so if you like parking your RV next to a body of water, booking your location next to this area is a perfect opportunity.

Crystal Kangaroo Campground 

  • Number of sites: 32
  • Hookups Availability: Yes
  • Reservations: Booking recommended

Suitable for RV camping only, Crystal Kangaroo campground features a cheeky name, 32 campsites with full hookups, and plenty of room for even some of the larger rigs (So far, they’re not longer than 45 feet). 

Location-wise, this place is located just up the road from Pikes Peak RV Park.

However, one significant difference between these two parks would be the length of stay. While Pikes Peak representatives don’t impose strict regulations on how long you may stay, Crystal Kangaroo is a more exclusive place that offers accommodations of no shorter than a month.

The roads that lead to this campground are pretty decent, so you don’t necessarily need a high-clearance 4×4 just to be able to reach this area. Since the idea of this place is to be family-friendly, you can quickly arrive here in virtually any road-worthy passenger vehicle.

Best Pikes Peak Dispersed Camping

Sunset at the Garden of the Gods, Pikes Peak

While Pikes Peak may come across as an RV-exclusive area with many RV-friendly campgrounds, some dispersed campgrounds are available in this general area, too.

The massive woodland regions surrounding the mountain and the numerous roads leading to the summit offer several great hideouts and pullouts, representing a perfect opportunity for dispersed camping (All the supplies and equipment are on you if you decide to approach camping in this area in this way, by the way).

Dispersed camping represents the closest you can get to what our ancestors experienced back in the day of horse-drawn carriages and long journeys across the North American continent. 

Rough weather, finding shelter at the base of a mountain, and scaling the same peak in search of gold is what the prospectors would dedicate their whole lives to, and many of them made a fortune.

Nowadays, the fantastic campsites near Pikes Peak remain a testament to the human spirit of campground building and the exciting cohabitation with nature we all share.

Rampart Range Road 

Rampart Range Road near Woodlands Park
  • Map
  • Toilets: No
  • Water availability: No
  • Visitor frequency: Moderate

You can easily access Rampart Range Road via the town of Woodland Park. This place sits northwest of Colorado Springs, so it can be an excellent gateway for this location if you fancy exploring it in more detail.

Even though this campground doesn’t come with water or other amenities, the proximity to Pikes Peak gives you access to supplies and other services.

There’s not much in terms of amenities, but this entire campground makes up for it with its fantastic otherworldly views and roadside convenience. It is rare to find a location so easily accessible by all sorts of vehicles yet offering the kind of natural beauty you would have to hike for miles into the wilderness elsewhere.

Roads here are generally negotiable for passenger vehicles, though you would have an easier time tackling some of the rougher patches (which do exist) onboard a 4×4, high-clearance vehicle. 

The campsites start just after you pass the famous Rainbow Gulch trailhead. At the same time, this makes these campsites the perfect starting point for braving these trails. 

While Rampart Range Road offers a unique camping experience, don’t overlook the allure of free camping near Breckenridge. Just a scenic drive away, Breckenridge provides a refreshing alternative with its own set of breathtaking vistas and untouched wilderness. If you’re looking to diversify your Colorado camping adventures, Breckenridge promises an equally memorable experience without the crowds. It’s a perfect blend of accessibility and natural splendor, much like the Rampart Range but with its own distinct charm.

Manchester Creek Road 

Manchester Creek Road near Divide, Colorado in fall
  • Map
  • Toilets: No (There are some available at Manchester Creek Trailhead, though)
  • Water availability: No
  • Visitor frequency: Busy

North of the town of Divide, you will find Manchester Creek Road, where you will get no water but where you can find such valuable amenities as vault toilets and a couple of other helpful camping fixtures.

In terms of the distance from Pikes Peak highway, you will need 30-40 minutes to get here. That said, the roads in and out of this place are relatively well-maintained and reliable, so you don’t have to have a massive, gas-guzzling 4×4 to access this campsite.

The easy availability of this place has another unsurprising consequence – busy crowds. While this place offers fantastic natural beauty sights, you won’t get much privacy or a remarkably sedate and tranquil camping experience. That said, if you don’t mind a crowd and you like chatting with other campers, or at least you can tolerate their presence – this campground can be a fantastic option.

Another reason this place is so high-frequency in terms of visitors would be its massive ATV and dirt biking potential. There are plenty of excellent roads for these off-roading activities, so do expect some extra noise. 

Last but not least, an essential word of advice – always pack water with you, as there is no secure water source anywhere in and around this campground.

Where to Go Next?

If you’re in it for the exciting rides along winding woodland roads, the numerous mysterious, challenging hiking trails, or the fascinating history and nature of this region, Pikes Peak will not disappoint.

But don’t stop there as there are many awesome camping areas throughout the Centennial State. So, make sure to check out our guide to free dispersed camping near Leadville, dispersed camping in Telluride, and free dispersed camping in Colorado Springs.

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