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Sleep Under the Stars in These Nine Scenic Campgrounds

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Summer adventures in the mountains are often synonymous with camping, but too often, that can mean staying in a tourist trap heaving with crowds, packs of screeching children, and fleets of Amtrak-size motorhomes. For those who prefer their campgrounds a bit more Zen, yet accessible to town, there are plenty of ski area options offering everything from primitive, backcountry-feeling sites to sweet, riverside digs, with (almost) nary an RV satellite dish in sight. To help end Outdoors Week with a bang, Curbed Ski has rounded up some of the best from Whistler to Telluride, right this way.

Please note that the campsites are ordered from west to east, not from best to worst.


· 13 Outdoor Adventures You Must Do Before Summer Ends [Curbed Ski Archives]
· The Best Day Hikes in Ski Country [Curbed Ski Archives]
· Rent a Ritzy Treehouse, Teepee and More in Ski Country [Curbed Ski Archives]
· All Outdoors Week Coverage [Curbed Ski]

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1. Riverside Resort

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Mons Road, Whistler
BC V0N 1B8, Canada
Tripadvisor

2. Trillium Lake Campground

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National Forest Development Road 2656, Mt Hood National Forest
Government Camp, OR 97028
Oregon River Rentals

3. Fallen Leaf Campground

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(530) 544-0426
Visit Website
Kitty and Chris

4. Ponderosa State Park

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Huckleberry Loop
McCall, ID 83638
(208) 634-2164
Visit Website

There are two campgrounds- Peninsula and Northwest Passage, on this 1,000-acre finger of land jutting into Payette Lake, near McCall. The latter campground is far smaller, with only 22 sites at just $9 a night (not including tax). Try hiking, biking, and checking out the plentiful wildlife- from osprey and bald eagers to moose, bear, and muskrats. There’s central water and vault toilets; camping is first-come, first-served through October, weather permitting.

5. Telluride Town Park

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500 East Colorado Avenue, Uncompahgre National Forest
Telluride, CO 81435
(970) 728-2173
Visit Website
JD Wetterling

6. Silver Queen Campground

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Maroon Creek Road
Aspen, CO 81611

It’s impossible to find a campground or site in this region that’s not stunning, but Curbed Ski has a soft spot for this primitive campground, located 6.5 miles from Aspen in the Maroon Bells Scenic Area. With just six sites adjacent to Maroon Creek, even when at capacity, you’ll feel far removed from reality. You’re also hiking/biking distance from the Maroon Bells proper, and all the glorious backcountry that entails. You’ll need to purchase a 5-day vehicle pass ($5 for camping) at the Welcome Station across from Silver Bar Campground, the first of the designated camping areas. Reservations must be made four days ahead of arrival; pets permitted on leash, open until September 27. Firegrates, trash, vault toilets, and potable water available. If you’d like to explore the other side of Aspen, Lincoln Gulch Campground is a beaut, with just 6 sites amongst the pines on Independence Pass.

7. Oh-Be-Joyful Campground

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Slate River Drive
Crested Butte, CO 81224
Chino House

8. Lost Lake Campground

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Kebler Pass
Gunnison National Forest, Colorado 81230
(970) 874-6600
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Few out-of-state vistiors know about this remote pass connecting Crested Butte to the Western Slope (it bisects McClure pass, and you can either head to Telluride, or east(ish) toward Aspen. Wild and lonely, Kebler Pass is a place of dense aspen grove and evergreen forest, meadows, alpine lakes, and little-trafficked hiking and fishing spots. Lost Lake Campground is just 18 miles from Crested Butte (and roughly 32 from Paonia), but be prepared for a slow drive between the scenery, wildlife, winding road, and often-wet monsoonal summer conditions. Reservations not taken; there are vault toilets, treated water, and 18 sites, some of them equestrian-friendly. Despite the isolated location, be aware that the campground is often full in season (June-October).

9. Smugglers Notch State Park

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6443 Mountain Rd
Stowe, VT 05672
(802) 253-4014
Visit Website
Tripadvisor

1. Riverside Resort

Mons Road, Whistler, BC V0N 1B8, Canada
Tripadvisor
Mons Road, Whistler
BC V0N 1B8, Canada

2. Trillium Lake Campground

National Forest Development Road 2656, Mt Hood National Forest, Government Camp, OR 97028
Oregon River Rentals
National Forest Development Road 2656, Mt Hood National Forest
Government Camp, OR 97028

3. Fallen Leaf Campground

South Lake Tahoe, CA
Kitty and Chris

4. Ponderosa State Park

Huckleberry Loop, McCall, ID 83638

There are two campgrounds- Peninsula and Northwest Passage, on this 1,000-acre finger of land jutting into Payette Lake, near McCall. The latter campground is far smaller, with only 22 sites at just $9 a night (not including tax). Try hiking, biking, and checking out the plentiful wildlife- from osprey and bald eagers to moose, bear, and muskrats. There’s central water and vault toilets; camping is first-come, first-served through October, weather permitting.

Huckleberry Loop
McCall, ID 83638

5. Telluride Town Park

500 East Colorado Avenue, Uncompahgre National Forest, Telluride, CO 81435
JD Wetterling
500 East Colorado Avenue, Uncompahgre National Forest
Telluride, CO 81435

6. Silver Queen Campground

Maroon Creek Road, Aspen, CO 81611

It’s impossible to find a campground or site in this region that’s not stunning, but Curbed Ski has a soft spot for this primitive campground, located 6.5 miles from Aspen in the Maroon Bells Scenic Area. With just six sites adjacent to Maroon Creek, even when at capacity, you’ll feel far removed from reality. You’re also hiking/biking distance from the Maroon Bells proper, and all the glorious backcountry that entails. You’ll need to purchase a 5-day vehicle pass ($5 for camping) at the Welcome Station across from Silver Bar Campground, the first of the designated camping areas. Reservations must be made four days ahead of arrival; pets permitted on leash, open until September 27. Firegrates, trash, vault toilets, and potable water available. If you’d like to explore the other side of Aspen, Lincoln Gulch Campground is a beaut, with just 6 sites amongst the pines on Independence Pass.

Maroon Creek Road
Aspen, CO 81611

7. Oh-Be-Joyful Campground

Slate River Drive, Crested Butte, CO 81224
Chino House
Slate River Drive
Crested Butte, CO 81224

8. Lost Lake Campground

Kebler Pass, Gunnison National Forest, Colorado 81230

Few out-of-state vistiors know about this remote pass connecting Crested Butte to the Western Slope (it bisects McClure pass, and you can either head to Telluride, or east(ish) toward Aspen. Wild and lonely, Kebler Pass is a place of dense aspen grove and evergreen forest, meadows, alpine lakes, and little-trafficked hiking and fishing spots. Lost Lake Campground is just 18 miles from Crested Butte (and roughly 32 from Paonia), but be prepared for a slow drive between the scenery, wildlife, winding road, and often-wet monsoonal summer conditions. Reservations not taken; there are vault toilets, treated water, and 18 sites, some of them equestrian-friendly. Despite the isolated location, be aware that the campground is often full in season (June-October).

Kebler Pass
Gunnison National Forest, Colorado 81230

9. Smugglers Notch State Park

6443 Mountain Rd, Stowe, VT 05672
Tripadvisor
6443 Mountain Rd
Stowe, VT 05672