Finding a campsite on a weekend in the Denver area can be very difficult, according to Denver’s Rocky Mountain News.
It’s a trend that’s been complicated in recent years because many people are camping closer to home due to higher fuel prices.
There are about 1,000 public campsites within a two-hour drive of Denver. Some are in the foothills and mountains; others are on the plains or near urban areas. There also are dozens of privately operated campgrounds and RV parks along the Front Range.
The Boulder Ranger District of the U.S. Forest Service oversees 243 campsites in six campgrounds within the Arapaho and Roosevelt national forests. Almost all the 128 sites that can be reserved in advance already have been claimed for Friday and Saturday nights through Labor Day weekend.
The other 115 sites at those six campgrounds are available on a first-come, first-served basis through September, but on a recent weekend, 75 percent of those were booked by 9 a.m. Friday.
It doesn’t mean you can’t go camping this weekend or any time through Labor Day weekend, it just means you have to know where to look for open sites or start your weekend early.
“If people go up on a Thursday, they can pretty much guarantee they’ll get a campsite for the weekend,” says Maribeth Pecotte, visitor information specialist for the Boulder Ranger District of the Forest Service.
“If they wait until Friday, unless you’re leaving home at 5 or 6 in the morning, then you’ll probably wind up at the Meeker Park Overflow campground, which is our last-chance opportunity because it’s a little bit less developed and has fewer facilities, compared to other of our campgrounds.”