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Tent Camping near SMNP with showers and some privacy

Level Contributor
2 posts
11 reviews
Tent Camping near SMNP with showers and some privacy

We are fair-weather tent campers (two adults, 16/12 year-olds) heading to the RMNP area on a Saturday through Thursday (not including the 7/4 holiday). We're looking for options that will give us some privacy from other sites, ideally some kind of view-stream, lake, mountains, trees, something other than the back of an RV : ) We like the activity of Jellystones (pool, shop, etc.), but it's not critical, and the Estes Park Jellystone doesn't have the best reviews. We'll be doing college visits before and after we camp, so need to stay in the general vicinity of Ft. Collins/Boulder (east side of the park). I've read the reviews and looked at websites of places near Estes Park, but those recommended on here generally have mixed reviews when I dig further, and most sites don't seem to have any privacy. We're fine staying a little farther out if we can get privacy and available showers. Our main activities while camping will likely be going into the park some, otherwise hanging out at our campsite, cooking out, relaxing, etc. We prefer to be able to have our vehicle near our site and bathrooms within a reasonable middle-of-the-night walking distance. I know, I want a unicorn, but we've seemed to find great places at all our other destinations, just having trouble with RMNP area. What ideas do you fine folks have? Thank you!

Windsor, Colorado
Destination Expert
for Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park
Level Contributor
13,112 posts
140 reviews
1. Re: Tent Camping near SMNP with showers and some privacy

Most people prefer staying inside RMNP at one of the national park campgrounds but those do not come with showers. There are shower stalls for solar shower bags at the Moraine Park Campground. There are public showers available in Estes Park.

You are correct that many of the campgrounds in Estes Park don't get great reviews and Jellystone gets better reviews than some of the others. Jellystone sits directly on very busy highway 36. Sites close to the highway would be noisy. The KOA in Estes Park sits directly on highway 34 with the same issue.

For what you want in Estes Park, the best option is probably the East Portal Campground.


People like camping at Hermit Park Open Space but there are no showers.

Some of the sites at Marys Lake Campground might work. This campground is at the corner of Marys Lake Road and Peak View Drive but those roads are not terribly busy. I would look at sites off of Peak View or further away from Marys Lake Road.

In the Fort Collins area, take a look at Horsetooth Reservoir.


Level Contributor
2 posts
11 reviews
2. Re: Tent Camping near SMNP with showers and some privacy

Thank you! I snagged the last available site at Estes Park Campground at East Portal. Looks like a great fit!

3. Re: Tent Camping near SMNP with showers and some privacy

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