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Ready for summer adventures? These are the toughest campgrounds to book in Colorado

Posted at 8:03 AM, Apr 18, 2023

As springs continues to thaw in the Rocky Mountains, Coloradans are beginning to make summer plans, including campground reservations. But some of those are tougher to secure than others.

Most campgrounds require a reservation at least a few days or weeks, if not months, in advance, depending on where you're headed. And it's getting more popular. According to The Dyrt, a popular app used for camping information and booking, 2022 was the most booked-up year ever for campgrounds in the United States.

A recent report from The Dyrt revealed the top 10 hardest-to-book campgrounds across Colorado.

Denver 7+ Colorado News Latest Headlines | April 18, 7am

At the top of the list was Piñon Flats Campground at the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. Its 90 campsites are booked 97.7% of the time and it is ranked as the sixth most popular campground in the country. Visitors can enjoy a unique experience at the park, with a mix of hiking, sand sledding, waterfall viewing, exploring on the dunes and climbing high on some local, but difficult, fourteen-thousand peaks.

According to The Dyrt's report, these are the campgrounds that are the toughest to book in Colorado:

  1. Piñon Flats Campground, Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, Alamosa — Booked 97.7% of the year
  2. Black Canyon of the Gunnison South Rim Campground, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Montrose — Booked 86.3% of the year
  3. Cayton Campground, San Juan National Forest, Rico — Booked 84.9% of the year
  4. Gore Creek Campground, White River National Forest, Vail — Booked 84.6% of the year
  5. Heaton Bay, White River National Forest, Frisco — Booked 81.1% of the year
  6. Bogan Flats Campground, White River National Forest, Carbondale — Booked 80.4% of the year
  7. Difficult Campground, White River National Forest, Aspen — Booked 79.7% of the year
  8. Pawnee Campground, Arapaho & Roosevelt National Forests, Ward — Booked 78.3% of the year
  9. Baby Doe, Pike and San Isabel National Forests & Cimarron and Comanche National Grasslands, Leadville — Booked 77.8% of the year
  10. Ansel Watrous Campground, Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests and Pawnee National Grassland, Bellvue — Booked 77.6% of the year

To make a reservation, head to

Luckily, Colorado has a near-endless list of places to camp, including both other campgrounds and quieter spots where you can seek some solitude.

If you're planning on heading out of state, including to our neighbors to the north and west, make sure to plan ahead in case those campgrounds fill up quickly too.

The Dyrt reported that the most popular campgrounds — in order — across the United States are:

  1. Slough Creek Campground, Yellowstone National Park, WY
  2. Mammoth Campground, Yellowstone National Park, WY
  3. Seven Points, TN
  4. Fruita Campground, Capitol Reef National Park, UT
  5. South Campground, Zion National Park, UT
  6. Piñon Flats Campground, Great Sand Dunes National Park, CO
  7. Upper Coffee Pot, Caribou-Targhee National Forest, ID
  8. Cages Bend, TN
  9. Twin Lakes Campground, Inyo National Forest, CA
  10. Signal Mountain Campground, Grand Teton National Park, WY

Click here to read The Dyrt's 2023 camping report.

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