Regarding COVID-19: Please recreate responsibly and practice social distancing. Closures and travel restrictions are changing rapidly, always check and respect local regulations.

Estes Park, Colorado

Winter Camp at Moraine Park

Originally 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.

Read More

Tags

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

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

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.

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

Stay Nearby

Estes Park, Colorado

Moraine Park Campground

Larimer County, Colorado

Glacier Basin Campground

Estes Park, Colorado

Estes Park KOA

Allenspark, Colorado

Olive Ridge

Nearby Adventures

Hike to Cub Lake

-8.4 Miles Round Trip - 645 ft gain

Hike along Tombstone Ridge

4.3 Miles Round Trip - 3250 ft gain

Backpack to Odessa Lake via Fern Lake Trailhead

9.85 Miles Round Trip - 1890 ft gain

Tours

Summer, a season not to be missed in Aspen!

"I came for the winter, and stayed for the summer," is a phrase you'll often hear around town.  The weather is one of the highlights. During the day the temperature hovers in the 70's and 80's, and by evening the mercury will drop into the 60's. Arts & culture enthusiasts will be just as fulfilled as the adventure junkie during summer in Aspen.  The events calendar abounds with activities for everyone, from cultural events to athletic pursuits.

Experiencing all Aspen has to offer is as easy as opening the front door. Join us for a summer adventure that’s anything but ordinary.

Learn More