Winter Camp at Moraine Park

Added by Matthew Eaton

Mountain scenery almost entirely to yourself. Beautiful winter landscapes. Easy access.

For the extra-adventurous (my friends call me crazy for this), I recommend experiencing Rocky Mountain National Park in the off-season, when nobody else is there. Dead winter.

Of course, you'll want to be uber prepared if you choose to take on this adventure, as the mountains are very unforgiving, especially in winter, so why not try a winter camping trip? If you do, you'll get to experience one of the most beautiful places in Colorado, almost entirely to yourself, when nature has painted the mountains white with snow. It's absolutely spectacular. Even better yet, no mosquitoes!

For your first winter camping trip, check out Rocky Mountain National Park's only year-round campground, Moraine Park. The elevation here is only 8,160 ft, and it is easily accessed from Estes Park. Bonus, it's an easy retreat if you get too cold!

In winter all amenities are shut off, meaning there is no running water or restrooms, so it feels like you are backcountry, except you can drive there. While this is the park's only open campground in winter, I've never seen anyone else camped there besides my crew.

At camp, you'll have plenty to do, as well. Winter in the Colorado mountains can be quite windy, so I suggest building yourself a wind-guard for your camp. As you see in one of my photos, I built up a semi-circle around the fire pit so we could relax out of the wind, cook our dinner and enjoy a fire to keep warm. Without this, I never would've gotten a fire started. For added fun (or just something to do), you could build yourself an igloo, should your camp have enough snow.

RMNP offers countless trails to snowshoe in winter, but those can be quite crowded, so I prefer to enjoy hiking around the basin from my campsite.

My favorite activity for winter camping is planning my next meal, and chilling my beer in the snow. Once you get this one completed, you could be ready to take it to the next level, but that's a topic for another day. Enjoy and stay warm.

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Tags

Survival
Snowboarding
Chillin
Camping
Photography
Skiing
Snowshoeing
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Scenic

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

ūü•áTop Contributor

1 day ago

Absolutely Agree

RMNP is a great place to be in the winter and this campground is one of the few in the area that gives you access to this amazing landscape in the off season. Off season might mean cold, but it also means no crowds!

Explorer

ūü•áTop Contributor

almost 5 years ago

Great Campground with Beautiful Scenery!

Camping during the busy seasons in RMNP (such as summer) can be a little frustrating, so camping at Moraine Campground (which is one of the most popular campgrounds in RMNP) during the off season is a fantastic experience. I agree, camping with no mosquitoes is definitely a perk! And there's nothing like the brisk, wintry air that feels so refreshing.

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