Colorado Whitewater Camping
Local Camping Options
Whether you are looking for an RV campsite or a primitive campground to pitch your tent, there are plenty of options for Colorado camping in the areas near almost all of our trips. Near the Arkansas River, you’ll find the finest Colorado camping throughout the Arkansas Valley near Buena Vista, Granite, Twin Lakes and Leadville. Get the full Colorado experience with whitewater rafting during the day and campfires at night!
My son is turning 16 very soon. This means a drivers license, and a job in the next few weeks. I wanted to spend some time with him before our schedules make a trip like this impossible. Your trip gave us the venue in which to enjoy nature and each other’s company. I have been in a service business since 1986, so I know that pleasing “the public” is a tightrope walk at best. You have to be professional without crushing fun. You have to command respect, without being a Nazi. You have to make the difficult appear to be effortless. Your Crew of Cheyenne, Sally, Adam, Miles and Jed accomplished this tightrope walk with ease. I anticipate booking new river raft trips in the future. Possibly Gore Canyon or the Grand Canyon. I will consider AVA when I make my choice. Thank you and the crew for a great experience!— David and Jake Decoteau
The entire Arkansas Valley is so scenic, so bountiful with outdoor recreation, and so peaceful, you’ll never want to leave. Colorado camping is a fantastic way to get intimate with the incredible outdoors we have to offer. In the Arkansas Valley, you can find the best in Colorado camping with the amenities of the restaurants, grocery stores and shopping of Buena Vista, Leadville or Salida nearby.
You can’t go wrong with any of the surrounding areas, but the following are a couple of our favorites. They are also some of the closest camping to AVA’s Granite Outpost, where you will check in for Arkansas River rafting trips and rock climbing trips.
Twin Lakes Camping (View Map) (about 10-15 minutes to AVA’s Granite Outpost)
The Forest Service campgrounds here are surrounded on all sides by the highest peaks in Colorado. Mt. Elbert and Mt. Massive sit just to the north of this area and trailheads to several 14,000-foot peaks are easily accessible. Two campgrounds, Parry Peaks and Twin Peaks, are located just past the town of Twin Lakes and sit along the banks of Lake Creek as it winds its way out of the granite crags of Indepenence Pass. White Star sits just before the town of Twin Lakes, further up on a hill with stunning views. All campgrounds have easy access to the fishing, hiking and biking of Twin Lakes reservoir. Colorado camping at these locations allows you to escape the heat and pace of the city and relax into a simpler routine. Directions: From Hwy 24, take Hwy 82 (Independence Pass) about 6 miles to the town of Twin Lakes. Continue through the town and a few more miles. Parry Peak and Twin Peaks are on the left-hand side of the road. White Star campground is before you get to Twin Lakes on the right-hand side of the road.
Clear Creek Reservoir Camping (View Map) (about 5-10 minutes to AVA’s Granite Outpost, NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH CLEAR CREEK RAFTING IN IDAHO SPRINGS)
Clear Creek Reservoir and surrounding camping provides great Colorado camping in the Arkansas River Valley, recreational options and serene views, whether you want to relax in your lawn chair all weekend or keep yourself so active you hardly sit down! Camping around the lake is available to tent campers and RVs. Further down the road, find more private camping along the banks of Clear Creek. Let the sounds of the stream lull you to sleep at night. Follow the main road to the ghost towns of Vicksburg or Winfield, where you’ll find the old buildings of formerly-thriving mining towns. Looking for 4-wheel-drive action and the most remote Colorado camping? Continue past Winfield for the ultimate in Colorado camping exploration. Trailheads for several 14,000-foot peaks are also located at Vicksburg—where you can hike part of the Colorado Trail—and at Winfield. Directions: From US Hwy 24 turn west on Cty Rd 390 (Clear Creek Canyon Rd). None of the areas around Clear Creek Reservoir have amenities, it is public lands camping.