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Camping near Granby and Grand Lake, around the West Side of RMNP

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Tucked away north of Winter Park lies the “Great Lakes of Colorado,” sandwiched between the Grand County gems of Granby and Grand Lake. This region features a handful of alpine lakes, ranging from small and remote, to the second largest body of water in the state. Due to these amazing landmarks, crowds of people flock to the region for summer water sports and camping.

Whether you’re looking for large campsite with hookups for your travel trailer, or a free dispersed campsite in the woods for your tent, you can find it in Grand County. Most of the campgrounds are found around Lake Granby, the biggest of the lakes. Though you will find some tucked into the woods, in town, or by some of the other local reservoir. The Arapaho National Forest surrounds much of the region, offering additional recreation like great hikes and off-road driving.

List of camping by Granby and Grand Lake, CO, in order of proximity:

Campgrounds in Granby

Granby CO Amtrak Train Railroad Tracks
Amtrak train rolling through Granby, Colo. Photo: Renshin Bunce

The town of Granby has expansive western views, coupled with friendly western charm. It’s a great place to set up base, with all the amenities and facilities needed for a family camp out. There is one year round RV park in town with some tent sites. Granby is located only 20 miles north, about 25 minutes drive on Highway 40, from Winter Park, and less than two hours from Denver.

River Run RV Park

The ultimate in amenities for all types of camping, plus cabins, trailer rentals, yurts, and a full-service bar and grill. This RV park offers seasonal activities for guests of all ages.

  • Closest town: Granby (2mi)
  • Specs: RV sites, full hookups, all drive-through, tent sites, open year-round
  • Amenities: Pool, laundry, dock, bocce ball court, dog park, bar and grill, bowling alley, hot tubs, WiFi
  • Recreation: Swimming, paddle boarding, hiking, kayaking,
  • Reservations: at topdeblogs.com
  • Address: 1051 Summit Trail, Granby, CO 80446 (Map)
  • Directions: From Granby go west .9 miles on U.S. Highway 40. Turn right on U.S. Highway 34 East, go .9 miles to the campground.

Campgrounds by Lake Granby near Granby

Lake Granby Colorado Boating
Boating on Lake Granby, Colo. Photo: Cyndi and Dave

Lake Granby is the largest of five lakes within the Arapaho National Recreation Area, conveniently located minutes north of Granby on Highway 34. The other four lakes include Monarch Lake, Shadow Mountain Lake, Willow Creek Reservoir, and Meadow Creek Reservoir. All offer fishing and some sort of boating, either motorized or non-motorized watercraft. Lake Granby has the most campgrounds spread around it.

Sunset Point Campground

Set next to Lake Granby this campground is a perfect spot for the weekend angler or someone looking for a long term challenging catching the trout in the lake and nearby streams.

  • Closest town: Granby (6mi)
  • Specs: 25 RV / tent sites, water, vault toilet, open June 1 to September 20
  • Amenities: Boat ramp for access to Lake Granby
  • Recreation: Hiking, fishing, boating
  • Reservations: No, first-come, first-serve
  • Address: Colorado Highway 6, Granby, CO 80446 (Map)
  • Directions: From Granby take Colorado Highway 61 1.4 miles to U.S. Highway 34. Turn right on U.S. Highway 34, go 3.9 miles to Colorado Highway 6. Continue 1.1 miles to the campground.

Stillwater RV and Campground

This large campground is located on Lake Granby, the largest reservoir in the Arapaho National Recreation Area. A popular destination for boaters, lake and stream fishermen.

  • Closest town: Granby (8mi)
  • Specs:129 site, 20 electric, 109 non-electric, RV, trailer, tent, open June 12 to September 27
  • Amenities: Boat ramp to Lake Granby, 11 sites outside the campground gate are open year-round
  • Recreation: Fishing, hiking, boating
  • Reservations: at topdeblogs.com
  • Address: 8590 U.S. Highway 34, Granby, CO 80446 (Map)
  • Directions: From Granby go north on 2nd Avenue .3 miles. Continue on Colorado Highway 61 .8 miles to U.S. Highway 34. Turn right on U.S. 34 East, go. 6.9 miles, turn right into the campground.

Cutthroat Bay Group Campground

Looking for a group outing with access to lakes, connecting streams along with a wide variety of outdoor activities? This group campground is for you. Close proximity to two lakes with surrounding streams makes this a haven for families that want to do a little fishing together.

  • Closest town: Grand Lake (6mi)
  • Specs: 2 group sites, that can hold up to 50 people, each site has 12 tent pads and four RV sites, water, vault toilet, open Memorial Day to Labor Day
  • Amenities: Campground set between Shadow Mountain Lake and Grand Lake
  • Recreation: Fishing, boating, hiking
  • Reservations: at topdeblogs.com
  • Address: Colorado Road 64, Grand Lake, CO 80446 (Map)
  • Directions: From Grand Lake go west on Grand Ave .3 miles. Take a slight left at West Portal Road, go .3 miles. Turn left on U.S. 34 West, go 4.6 miles. Turn left on Colorado Road 64. Go .4 miles, the campground will be on the right.

Arapaho Bay Campground

If you’re after trout or salmon, this is the place to camp. Located on the eastern tip of Lake Granby it is a haven for brown, cutthroat, rainbow, and mackinaw. The waters also have good-sized Kokanee salmon.

  • Closest town: Granby (15mi)
  • Specs: 84 sites, RV, trailer, tent, water, vault toilet, open June 1 to September 27
  • Amenities: Bear proof containers, sites 1-7 are free in winter months, boat ramp
  • Recreation: Sailing, boating, swimming, fishing, hiking, horseback riding
  • Reservations: at topdeblogs.com, a few first-come, first-serve available
  • Address: 77 Arapaho Bay Road, Granby, CO 80446 (Map)
  • Directions: From Granby take U.S. 34 East 5.2 miles to Colorado Highway 6. Follow Colorado Highway 6 9.7 miles to Arapaho Bay Road.

Arapaho Bay Big Rock Campground

The little sister of the Arapaho Bay Campground, this campground is spacious but doesn’t have access to or views of Lake Granby. It is only a quarter-mile from the lake and is often considered an overflow campground. It is nestled in mature lodgepole pines and offers a quieter experience on the eastern end of the lake.

  • Closest town: Granby (15mi)
  • Specs: 22 sites, RV, trailer, tent, vault toilet, open June 1 to September 27
  • Amenities: Bear proof containers,
  • Recreation: Sailing, boating, swimming, fishing, hiking, horseback riding
  • Reservations: at topdeblogs.com,
  • Address: Colorado Highway 6, Granby, CO 80446 (Map)
  • Directions: From Granby take U.S. 34 East 5.2 miles to Colorado Highway 6. Follow Colorado Highway 6 9.7 miles to Arapaho Bay Road. Turn left into the campground.

FREE – Dispersed Camping on Stillwater Pass/County Road 4

This is some of the closest dispersed camping to Grand Lake, conveniently located at the northern end of Lake Granby. County Road 4 leads directly from Highway 34 into the Arapaho National Forest, providing preexisting dispersed campsites on this road. Clean up 100% after yourself.

  • Closest town: Grand Lake (6mi), Granby (10mi)
  • Address: County Road 4, Grand Lake, CO 80447 (Map)
  • Directions: From Granby, take US-34 W north for 8 miles. Turn left heading west onto County Road 4. This leads to Stillwater Pass, with dispersed camping opportunities on this road.

Camping by Willow Creek Reservoir near Granby

Willow Creek Reservoir Granby Colorado
Willow Creek Reservoir, Granby, Colo. Photo: sroot2006

The 750-acre Willow Creek Reservoir features one lakeside campground, and another one located twenty minutes northwest of the reservoir on CO-125 toward Walden. The latter is secluded in the Arapaho National Forest. Willow Creek Reservoir is located just 5 miles west of Lake Granby, offering a quieter lake experience. It permits only non-motorized boats, so bring your kayak or stand-up paddle board.

Willow Creek Campground

This very popular campground offers easy access to Willow Creek Reservoir. Fishing, canoeing, kayaking, boating on the reservoir are all popular during the summer months.

  • Closest town: Granby (9mi)
  • Specs: 35 sites, RV, trailer, RV, 1 group campsite, water, vault toilet, maximum length 40’, open June 1 to September 27
  • Amenities: Bear proof containers, boat ramp
  • Recreation: Fishing on Willow Creek Reservoir, hiking, non-motorized boating
  • Reservations: Individual sites, first-come, first-serve, group site reservations at topdeblogs.com
  • Address: County Road 40, Granby, CO 80446 (Map)
  • Directions: From Granby take U.S. 34 East 5 miles to County Road 40. Take County Road 40 3.7 miles to the campground.

Denver Creek Campground

A popular fishing destination for fly fisherman, Willow Creek offers great angling opportunities. Many visitors enjoy driving the nearby roads to catch glimpses of indigenous wildlife.

  • Closest town: Granby (15mi)
  • Specs: 22 sites, RV, trailer, tent, water, vault toilet, open June 1 to September 20
  • Amenities: At the convergence of Willow Creek and Denver Creek, parking lengths from 25 to 45’
  • Recreation: Hiking, fishing, wildlife viewing
  • Reservations: No, first-come, first-serve
  • Address: Colorado Highway 125, Granby, CO 80446 (Map)
  • Directions: From Granby take U.S. Highway 40 West 2.9 miles. Turn right on Colorado Highway 125, go 12.5 miles to the campground.

Camping by Shadow Mountain Lake near Grand Lake

Grand Lake and Shadow Mountain Lake Colorado
Grand Lake and Shadow Mountain Lake in distance. Photo: Don Graham

Shadow Mountain Lake lies nestled between Lake Granby and Grand Lake. It’s connected by a canal to Grand Lake, and the larger of the two. There’s one campground on the southern end of the lake, suitable for both tents and RVs. This is a prime campground for those looking to be closer to Grand Lake and the entrance of RMNP, while still being lakeside.

Green Ridge Campground

Nearby Shadow Mountain Reservoir is a popular fishing destination with anglers working the waters from shore and by boat. The Colorado River runs nearby and is a great place to just enjoy the water.

  • Closest town: Grand Lake (4mi)
  • Specs: 78 sites, RV, trailer, tent, water, vault toilet, open June 1 to September 27
  • Amenities: Boat ramp, bear-proof containers
  • Recreation: Hiking, fishing, boating, hunting
  • Reservations: at topdeblogs.com
  • Address: 66 Colorado Road 66, Grand Lake, CO 80447 (Map)
  • Directions: Go west on Grand Avenue .3 miles. Take a slight left on West Portal Road, go .3 miles. Turn left on U.S. Highway 34, go 2.8 miles. Turn left on Colorado Road 66, go 1.1 miles to the campground.

Campgrounds in Grand Lake

Downtown Grand Lake CO Stores
Downtown Grand Lake, Colo. Photo: Scott Thompson

With its picturesque wooden boardwalk and lakeside village, the town of Grand Lake makes for a charming place to stroll. There are a couple of RV parks in town, which can accommodate those looking for full hookups and more amenities, such as laundry, showers and fast access to the shops and restaurants in town. Elk Creek Campground has ten tent sites too, so consider making it your summer campsite.

Elk Creek Campground and RV Park

An established campground for both the RV / trailer enthusiast and the traditional tent camper. This campground has a double-loop design that makes getting in and out a breeze. Close access to dozens of outdoor activities makes this your perfect basecamp.

  • Closest town: Grand Lake (1mi)
  • Specs: 33 RV sites, 10 tent sites, full hookups, water, restroom, open May to September 31
  • Amenities: Laundry, showers, dump station, “Honeywagon” service, playground, general store
  • Recreation: Pond fishing, fishing, off-road vehicles, mountain biking, horseback riding, river rafting nearby
  • Reservations: at topdeblogs.com
  • Address: 143 Colorado Road 48, Grand Lake, CO 80447 (Map)
  • Directions: Take Grand Ave and West Portal Road to Trail Ridge Road .7 miles. Continue on Trail Ridge Road for .4 miles. Take Colorado Road 48 .2 miles to the campground.

Winding River Resort

A full-service RV campground with every amenity to make your stay a memorable one. With multiple sites in different configurations, there is a camp perfect for you and your RV or travel trailer.

  • Closest town: Grand Lake (3mi)
  • Specs: 128 RV sites, full hookups, water, restrooms, open year-round
  • Amenities: Horse corrals, laundry, sanitary dump, playground, baby animal petting zoo
  • Recreation: Hiking, fishing,
  • Reservations: at topdeblogs.com
  • Address: 1447 Colorado Road 491, Grand Lake, CO 80447 (Map)
  • Directions: From Grand Lake go west on Grand Avenue .3 miles. Take slight left onto West Portal Road, go .3 miles. Continue on to U.S. 34 East, go 1.4 miles. Turn left on U.S. National Park Road, go 1.4 miles. Turn left, the campground will be on the right.

Campgrounds in RMNP near Grand Lake

Timber Creek Campground Amphitheater Grand Lake CO
Timber Creek Campground Amphitheater. Photo: RMNP

The western entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) resides just north of Grand Lake. Continue on Highway 34 north of town and you’ll soon find your way to the Timber Creek Campground inside RMNP. It’s a twenty minute drive to the ONLY RMNP campground located on the western Grand Lake side of the park. It’s the perfect base for exploring Colorado’s most popular playground, located nearby Trail Ridge Road.

Timber Creek Campground

This campground is the perfect launchpad for your outdoor adventures in spectacular Rocky Mountain National Park. Close proximity to all the activities within the park, along with interesting educational presentations by park rangers make this a great place to take the kids, and for you to learn a little bit about the wonders of the Rocky Mountains.

  • Closest town: Grand Lake (10mi)
  • Specs: 98 campsites, 68 multi-use sites, 30 tent only, water, vault toilet, open year-round
  • Amenities: Amphitheater, dump station
  • Recreation: Fishing, hiking, horseback riding, ranger programs
  • Reservations: No, first-come, first-serve, but entry fee and time stamp required at the gate to Rocky Mountain National Park
  • Address: 1000 US Hwy 36, Estes Park, CO 80517 (Map)
  • Directions: From Grand Lake take U.S. Highway 34 (Toll Road) 9.7 miles. Turn left, go .2 miles. Turn left, the campground will be on your left.

Consider Kremmling or Winter Park

Winter Park Resort CO Railroad Tunnel
Amtrak railroad tunnel in Winter Park, Colo. Photo: Cyndi and Dave

Kremmling attracts outdoorsmen to its scenic countryside year round. It’s especially popular for hunting and fishing, though you’ll find great access to boating, camping, hiking, you name it. The thirty minute drive west from Granby to Kremmling, passes by Hot Sulphur Springs, known for its hillside hot springs retreat, as well as Parshall, a tiny community to the north of the Williams Fork Reservoir. You’ll find a lot of campgrounds around Kremmling.

South of Granby on Highway 40 leads you back to Winter Park, which you’d pass first if coming from Denver. At an easy 1.5 hour drive, give or take, from the metropolitan front range, it makes an efficient basecamp for those looking to stay closer to home. There is a lot to do from June through September, with Winter Park Resort operating a summer adventure park of sorts, along with the on-mountain Trestle Bike Park. Any of the campgrounds near Fraser and Winter Park put you in close range to the great lakes region. It’s still about an hour north to the western entrance of RMNP, so Winter Park isn’t the best place to explore this national park from.

Shadow Mountain Lake Green Ridge Campground Campsite Tent
Campsite #44 at Green Ridge Campground on Shadow Mountain Lake. Photo: scrosske2

That’s a roundup of the best places to camp in and around the towns of Granby and Grand Lake, CO.

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