Winter Camp at Moraine Park

Colorado Moraine Park Campground

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.

Pack List

  • 4 Season Tent
  • Sub-zero sleeping bag
  • Insulated sleeping pad
  • Plenty of water that you don't let freeze
  • Food to keep the energy levels up
  • Layers, layers and more layers
  • Sense of adventure
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Activities:

Camping, Chillin, Photography, Skiing, Snowboarding, Snowshoeing, Survival

Skill Level:

Advanced

Season:

Winter

Rating:

Features:

Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Scenic

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How to Get There

about 1 year 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.

about 1 year ago

Added by Matthew Eaton

Greetings! I am an outdoor lifestyle and adventure photographer based in Denver, Colorado. Loving life since 1983. I hope you find some of my adventures below helpful and inspiring!

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