Reserve Your Spot
If you are RVing to any National Park and want to camp inside the park borders, make sure you plan ahead. Reservations for most campgrounds open six months in advance, and at certain times of year they fill up fast. We chose to stay outside park limits, which opened up some options for us. The right campground for you depends on what you want: Are you looking for convenience, full hookups (electric, water and sewer), and perks like swimming pools and on-site restaurants? Or are you hoping to get away from it all to the wilderness where you might dry camp or boondock without the amenities?
We did a bit of both. On the road on the way to and from Colorado, we opted for full-hookup KOA sites because they are absolutely everywhere and easy to reserve. We could roll in, spend a night and roll out.
For a longer four-night stay in Colorado Springs, we got a spot at the full-service Mountaindale Cabins & RV Resort. It was just outside of town, far enough that it actually felt like camping (in fact, we encountered some black bear cubs while we were there and woke up one morning to see a little family of elk munching on some grass right outside our windows) but close enough that we could easily get to some fun sites.
During the second part of our trip, when we explored Rocky Mountain National Park, we stayed four nights at Hermit’s Hollow Campground 10 minutes from Estes Park. Hermit’s Hollow had zero hookups and was very remote and rustic, tucked up on the mountainside. The site we chose was enormous, with tons of room for the kids to run around, a rocky area where they could climb and our own personal sprawling vista that looked out over the mountaintops.
After that we stayed at Jellystone Park. It had the most amenities of all (full hookups, laundry, showers, swimming pool and more). But after the idyllic beauty of our spot at Hermit’s Hollow, Jellystone Park just didn’t feel very fun.
Trip Tip: Go Solar
Our travel trailer had solar panels, which made it possible for us to stay at off-the-grid places like Hermit’s Hollow while still maintaining some comfortable RV perks like air conditioning, running water (using our tanks), and fully functioning appliances.