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15 Scenic Ski Town Campgrounds You Need to Visit Right Now

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Along with being the unofficial start of summer, Memorial Day weekend also is when campgrounds across ski country start to open up as snow recedes and roads dry out. Ski town campgrounds are some of the best places to stay on the cheap and enjoy the boom of new summer attractions being built out by resorts or taking in the scenery and wilderness. To make sure our readers know where to point the wagon this summer, Curbed Ski has put together a map of 14 ski town campgrounds that should be on any shortlist of places to visit this summer.


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Riverside Resort

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Riverside not only has tent camping but gives you the option of cabins and yurts, as well. Whistler Village is only minutes away, and you'll want for nothing at this campground. Mini golf. 'Nuff said.

Trillium Lake Campground

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Trillium Lake offers killer views, swimming, fishing, hiking and biking. The town of Government Camp and historic landmarks are nearby, as well.

D.L. Bliss State Park

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There are a lot of camping options around Lake Tahoe but competition is often fierce. D.L. Bliss offers a lot of sites along with being close to one of Tahoe's summer gems, Emerald Bay.

June Lake Campground

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Next to June Mountain and about a half-hour from Mammoth sits June Lake Campground in an Aspen and pine mix forest. There's plenty of fishing and easy access to sights of the Eastern Sierras.

Apgar Campground

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Even though a lot of ski areas are on public land, much fewer are on the doorstep of a National Park. That's why getting a taste of Glacier National Park and Whitefish is such a treat. Apgar is a well-trafficked campground just inside the park.

Albion Basin Campground

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Though Albion Basin doesn't open until July 4th, later than nearby Tanners Flat, it makes up for it with wildflowers, biking trails and a killer location at Alta.

Gothic Campground

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While it won't be open for Memorial Day, the rugged Gothic Campground should be ready for visitors by mid-June. This is the place to stay if you want to ride the 401 Trail.

Steamboat Springs KOA

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This is the perfect place to stay on the cheap in Steamboat. It's an easy bike to downtown, trails, hot springs and everything the town has to offer. Pro tip: Using the bus service that stops at the campground, float the Yampa River from the opposite end of town right back to your site.

Difficult Campground

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Difficult Campground is only five miles from Aspen along the Roaring Fork River. Along with 47 sites, there is a group area, a trailhead and a day use area.

Gore Creek Campground

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This is the closest campground to Vail and is actually pretty private and senic, being situated on Gore Creek. It's well-maintained, with picnic tables, bathrooms and fire pits. Beware: Those amenities and the proximity to Vail means it gets busy in a hurry.

Idlewild Campground

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It's right off Highway 40, but the location is hard to beat just next to Winter Park. There are 24 first-come, first-served sites that back up to the Idlewild mountain bike trail system. Opt for a site farther into the forest to avoid highway noise.

Twining Campground

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Just down the road from Taos Ski Valley, Twining Campground is a great launching point for lots of remote hiking. There are only four sites here, so show up early.

Jamaica State Park

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Outside of Stratton Mountain Resort is Jamaica State Park, which has fly fishing, swimming and hiking.

Smugglers Notch State Park

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Smuggler's Notch State Park is actually closer to Stowe than it is to the Smuggler's Notch resort, but the campground has new facilities and is close to the Ben & Jerry's ice cream factory.

Bigelow Preserve Public Reserved Land

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Near Sugarloaf Mountain Resort, Bigelow exists because of an effort to stop a ski area. There's fishing, hiking and access to the Appalachian Trail.

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Riverside Resort

Riverside not only has tent camping but gives you the option of cabins and yurts, as well. Whistler Village is only minutes away, and you'll want for nothing at this campground. Mini golf. 'Nuff said.

Trillium Lake Campground

Trillium Lake offers killer views, swimming, fishing, hiking and biking. The town of Government Camp and historic landmarks are nearby, as well.

D.L. Bliss State Park

There are a lot of camping options around Lake Tahoe but competition is often fierce. D.L. Bliss offers a lot of sites along with being close to one of Tahoe's summer gems, Emerald Bay.

June Lake Campground

Next to June Mountain and about a half-hour from Mammoth sits June Lake Campground in an Aspen and pine mix forest. There's plenty of fishing and easy access to sights of the Eastern Sierras.

Apgar Campground

Even though a lot of ski areas are on public land, much fewer are on the doorstep of a National Park. That's why getting a taste of Glacier National Park and Whitefish is such a treat. Apgar is a well-trafficked campground just inside the park.

Albion Basin Campground

Though Albion Basin doesn't open until July 4th, later than nearby Tanners Flat, it makes up for it with wildflowers, biking trails and a killer location at Alta.

Gothic Campground

While it won't be open for Memorial Day, the rugged Gothic Campground should be ready for visitors by mid-June. This is the place to stay if you want to ride the 401 Trail.

Steamboat Springs KOA

This is the perfect place to stay on the cheap in Steamboat. It's an easy bike to downtown, trails, hot springs and everything the town has to offer. Pro tip: Using the bus service that stops at the campground, float the Yampa River from the opposite end of town right back to your site.

Difficult Campground

Difficult Campground is only five miles from Aspen along the Roaring Fork River. Along with 47 sites, there is a group area, a trailhead and a day use area.

Gore Creek Campground

This is the closest campground to Vail and is actually pretty private and senic, being situated on Gore Creek. It's well-maintained, with picnic tables, bathrooms and fire pits. Beware: Those amenities and the proximity to Vail means it gets busy in a hurry.

Idlewild Campground

It's right off Highway 40, but the location is hard to beat just next to Winter Park. There are 24 first-come, first-served sites that back up to the Idlewild mountain bike trail system. Opt for a site farther into the forest to avoid highway noise.

Twining Campground

Just down the road from Taos Ski Valley, Twining Campground is a great launching point for lots of remote hiking. There are only four sites here, so show up early.

Jamaica State Park

Outside of Stratton Mountain Resort is Jamaica State Park, which has fly fishing, swimming and hiking.

Smugglers Notch State Park

Smuggler's Notch State Park is actually closer to Stowe than it is to the Smuggler's Notch resort, but the campground has new facilities and is close to the Ben & Jerry's ice cream factory.

Bigelow Preserve Public Reserved Land

Near Sugarloaf Mountain Resort, Bigelow exists because of an effort to stop a ski area. There's fishing, hiking and access to the Appalachian Trail.