Best Spots to Camp in Vail Valley

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After the valley melts and blooms for springtime, the Vail area yields amazing adventures in the Rocky Mountains. Camping is a popular activity in the state due to fully immersing yourself in the beautiful nature and wilderness of Colorado.  If you’re planning a camping trip to the Vail Valley this year, here’s where you should look into.

Camping in Vail Valley

Gore Creek Campground

Holding it’s top spot on our list, the Gore Creek Campground is located six miles east of Vail.  Sitting at 8,700 feet of elevation, it’s nestled in the White River National Forest, leaving you with plenty of places to explore within a few steps from your tent.

  • 16 back-in sites
    • Anything over 35-feet long will not fit
  • 8 walk-in tent sites
  • 4 handicapped accessible restroom facilities
  • Bear-resistant food lockers
  • Rates: $20-$25 during peak season (May-October)

Camping in Vail Colorado

Camp Hale Memorial Campground

Located at a whopping 9,200 feet, this historic camping site is where the 10th Mountain Division once trained in skiing and mountaineering techniques during World War II.  You’ll find yourself in the heart of the White River National Forest and with only 15 campsites it’s sure to be a peaceful stay.  Though there are fire rings, vault toilets, and picnic tables, be sure to pack your own water.

  • 15 campsites that can accommodate tents, RVs, and trailers
  • Vault toilets
  • Rates: $20-$25 during peak season (May-October)

Lake Constantine

Down for an all-time adventure?  Pack everything into a bag and hike up to Lake Constantine for the night.  This backpacking venture is only 8 miles roundtrip so could absolutely be done in one day, but the breathtaking lake at the top will have you wanting to sleep under the stars right next to it that night.  Once you get there, just pick a spot to set up base camp and enjoy your evening in the woods.

Colorado Camping Tips

Know the Fire Regulations

Summers in the Colorado Rockies can get dry, and fire regulations are put in place to protect our environment.  If there’s a fire ban, you won’t be able to have a bonfire.  That doesn’t just mean in a campground, that means anywhere.  For current fire conditions or weather closures, you can contact the Eagle-Holy Cross Ranger District at (970) 328-6388 or (970) 827-5715.

Hang Your Food Up

Some campsites offer bear-proof lockers to store your food in while there, but others may not and it’s important to know how to properly put your food away to prevent bears from wandering around the campsite.  Side note: it’s not uncommon bears will make an appearance while in Colorado, but to prevent them from setting up camp themselves, food should not be accessible.  Check out this YouTube video for tips on how to hang your food.

Bear Proof Camping Tips
Image courtesy of YCERP

Be Prepared for All Weather

It gets pretty chilly at night near the Continental Divide, even when it’s the middle of July.  Be sure to bring a good sleeping bag, wool socks, a beanie, etc. to stay warm throughout the night.

Need a ride up to the valley?  Peak 1 Express has you covered.  With plenty of discount locations in the Vail area, you can explore town and then hit the trail right after.  Call today to book!

*Featured image courtesy of Pro Trails