The Centennial State is home to pristine alpine lakes, sweeping plains, untouched wilderness and, of course, the majestic Rocky Mountain range. Indeed, when it comes to natural wonders, few states can compete with Colorful Colorado. That said, backpacking through the backcountry isn’t for everyone. Fortunately, you can still enjoy an awe-inspiring stay in the Great Outdoors even if roughing it is decidedly not your thing, and our roundup of the best places to go glamping in Colorado is proof.
Lawson Adventure Park and Resort
Why We Recommend It: pet-friendly, winter activities, outdoor adventures, connected
Lawson Adventure Park and Resort is a premier Rocky Mountain destination that hosts rafting trips, ATV tours, guided fishing trips, rock climbing expeditions that finish with a thrilling zip line ride and more. Of course, you can always do your own thing and explore the many hiking trails in the region or hit the slopes for some skiing and snowboarding fun during the winter season. Once you’ve put in a full day outdoors, grab a bite to eat at the resort’s bar and grill before returning to your comfy base camp. The pet-friendly lodging options on offer include fully furnished cabins, which boast all the amenities of a modern home (think: full kitchen, private bathroom, flat screen TV and Wi-Fi); and, for the slightly hardier visitor, heated camping yurts that are outfitted with bunk beds, an electrical outlet, light and access to a (heated) bathroom with showers.
Arapaho Valley Ranch
Why We Recommend It: kid friendly, water activities, hiking, wildlife viewing
This family-owned guest ranch is surrounded by the majestic beauty of the Arapaho National Forest, where visitors can enjoy a wide range of kid-friendly outdoor attractions, including boating, wildlife watching, fishing and breathtaking scenic hikes that feature breathtaking waterfalls and lush wilderness. Personal tent camping and extra cushy cabins are on offer, but if true Goldilocks-style glamping is what you seek, Arapaho Valley Ranch has got you covered with tipis and glamping tents—both of which boast a queen bed and two cots (cozy bedding provided), a camp kitchen, a buddy heater for extra warmth and easy access to bathrooms, showers, and the lodge where a full-service bar can be found. (Note: The glamping tent upgrade also gets you a private deck overlooking the lake and a personal fire pit, as opposed to the communal fire pit in Tipi Village.)
Collective Retreats Vail
Why We Recommend It: good eats, horseback riding, mountain biking, fly fishing
Located just 20 minutes from the namesake resort town, Collective Vail promises visitors a taste of the rugged West with the added bonus of seriously swanky digs—you know, the kind that won’t leave you wanting for big city amenities. Rent the Summit or Journey tent and you’ll be treated to tasteful decor, high thread count bedding, down comforters, electrical outlets, spa-quality bath products, complimentary farm-to-table breakfast and cocktail hour, and either an in-tent private spa bathroom (former) or shared bathroom (latter). Oh, and did we mention that both lodgings provide panoramic views of the Eagle River basin and surrounding mountain range and plenty of fresh air? If you’re looking to get in touch with nature without straying too far from the lap of luxury, this one fits the bill.
Why We Recommend It: good eats, wildlife, mountain biking, fishing
Sitting pretty on the banks of the Dolores River, this cattle ranch from the 1800s has been converted into a summer-only glamping site with five-star accommodations. For starters, the camp’s eight two-person safari tents are decked out with double vanities and six-foot soaker tubs and showers, both equipped with on-demand hot water. And you needn’t pack a lunch, either, since nightly rates provide for all food and drink from a menu that features local organic ingredients, top-notch vino and hand-crafted cocktails. Suffice it to say, the roughest part of this outdoor experience will be tearing yourself away from the celebrity treatment long enough to make use of the two complimentary mountain bikes, so you can explore the stunning alpine setting. Fortunately, activity planning is also a part of the packaged deal.
Royal Gorge Cabins
Why We Recommend It: mountain views, outdoor activities, connected
Folks who prefer sleeping in a rock solid structure will find an ideal nature retreat awaits them at Royal Gorge Cabins, where luxury cabin vacation rentals are on offer in addition to glamping tents—and all the accommodations promise stunning mountain views and a wide range of outdoor adventures within arm’s reach. The cabins, which sleep as many as four, have more amenities (TV and private patio) and a size that’s better suited to families and large groups. As for the “rustic” tents—you can expect a single or double queen-sized sleeping arrangement with high quality linens, heat and evaporative cooling, and access to shared showers and Wi-Fi. Needless to say, you won’t be roughing it either way.
Why We Recommend It: rustic, off-the-grid, great for skiing and hiking
This family-run business rents out 12 different yurts in secluded locations within Colorado State Forest State Park. Skiing, hiking and mountain biking opportunities abound, jaw-dropping natural scenery is a given and the accommodations are far more comfortable than pitching a tent. That said, this spot serves up a more rustic backcountry experience, so don’t expect running water or cell phone/Wi-Fi service, and be prepared to bring your own linens and do your business in an on-site outhouse.
Why We Recommend It: off-the-grid, fine dining, wildlife viewing
Here, another Nordic-style and oh-so snowy outpost for skiing enthusiasts and backcountry explorers alike. The solar-powered sleep yurts at Tennessee Pass are beautifully furnished and equipped with quality linens, running water, a kitchenette and a wood burning stove where you can warm up after a day spent out in the fresh and frosty air. You won’t need to pack too many provisions, either, since fine dining, as well as room and bottle service are also available. Luxurious though it may be, it’s worth noting that this is an off-the-grid glamping experience that will appeal most to those who don’t mind unplugging for a bit.
Why We Recommend It: mountain views, hot springs, spa treatments
Situated at the gateway to the exquisite San Luis Valley in the Sangre de Cristo mountains, Joyful Journey is a hot springs spa and resort that caters to those who are seeking some serious R&R in a serene, natural environment with stunning mountain views. A variety of lodgings are available for rent—including hotel rooms, tipis, heated all-season yurts with separate bathhouses and old-school RV and campsites, all of which provide unlimited access to the mineral hot springs, as well as complimentary breakfast and dinner.
Why We Recommend It: wildlife viewing, family friendly, on-site recreational activities
The protected Wilderness Area and lush foliage of Pike National Forest extends as far as the eye can see at this treasured glamping destination. You can expect an outdoor adventure filled with incredible wildlife watching and stargazing at this alpine oasis in the Rockies. Take your pick from a wide range of lodging options—electricity-equipped tipis and geodesic domes, as well as bubble tents with 360-degree panoramic views, to name a few—that have first-class amenities and be sure to make the most of the on-property activities and communal grilling areas.
Echo Canyon Campground
Why We Recommend It: white water rapid rafting, scenic, connected
Echo Canyon Campground is yet another gem in Royal Gorge country and a prime destination where thrill-seekers can careen down the Arkansas River on a white rapid rafting adventure. Both the single and double queen glamping tents offer electrical outlets, Wi-Fi, cooling, fire pits, access to shared bathrooms and showers, and a private deck with outdoor seating that’s just right for canoodling with your chosen company.
Why We Recommend It: historic, private, backcountry experience
Once a house to the railroad workers who lay down track along the Boreas Pass, this historic cabin is now available for use by backcountry explorers visiting the region. The cozy lodging sleeps up to 10 people and features wood burning stoves for both cooking and heat, solar powered lighting, period furnishings and an outdoor vault toilet. Book a stay for a memorable outdoor experience in a unique museum-like venue with some welcome modern comforts.
12. La Junta KOA
La Junta KOA
Why We Recommend It: urban-meets-country experience, historic and cultural attractions, outdoor recreation
This glamper’s paradise is located in the high plains of Southeastern Colorado and just a stone’s throw away from multiple historic and cultural sites (Bents Old Fort National Historic Site and Koshare Indian Museum, for example) and the comforts of urban life. The campgrounds are also in close proximity to Picketwire and Vogel canyons, where visitors can hike and mountain bike along scenic nature trails and get a glimpse of the nation’s largest mapped site of dinosaur tracks. In terms of lodging, cabooses and camping cabins are available—some with full bathrooms and kitchens, and all with proper beds, and digital antenna, as well as recreation room and (seasonal) pool access.