Renting an RV in Colorado

Colorado is one of the country’s most popular travel destinations, and for good reason. With so much pristine land, untouched forest, and the Rocky Mountain range, it’s nearly impossible to get bored when all you can do is walk out and look at the views around you. Renting an RV in Colorado is a great way to take in all of Colorado’s gorgeous sights.

Whether you’re renting an RV solo, with your partner, or the whole family, Colorado has plenty of recreational activities for everyone to enjoy. There’s loads of hiking, fishing, snowshoeing, horseback riding, and other fun traveling nearly everywhere you look. So when you rent an RV in Colorado, get ready for the time of your life.

Why Renting an RV in Colorado Is the Way to Go

There’s no better way to see Colorado than from the road. As you see the mountains approaching through your windshield, and the plains surrounding you, you can feel the excitement build in you and your travel companions. Renting an RV makes the whole experience that much better.

There are lots of perks to traveling in an RV, but one, in particular, is that you get to stay right in the thick of nature. You’re staying right inside all of the views you’re enjoying. And renting an RV, especially if you’re new to them, makes it even easier.

An RV is a big investment and can require maintenance and general upkeep you might be ready for. Don’t get us wrong: if you want to buy an RV, we can definitely help you with that. But otherwise, renting an RV is a perfect alternative. It’s also a great way to get acclimated to driving and living in one—especially if you’re considering buying one. Renting an RV can also get you out on the road even faster. Shortage of vacation time? An RV rental in Colorado can have you out on your vacation in no time.

10 Majestic Places to See in Colorado in Your Rental RV

Colorado is considered one of the most beautiful places in the United States, and for good reason. Its lakes, streams, rivers, plains, and mountains make it a glorious place to go and connect with nature. For that reason, it’s very popular with vacationers. With so many places to go, it’s difficult to decide just where you want to spend your time. We’ve put together a list of 10 majestic places in Colorado that you can guide your trip.

1. Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the country’s most-visited parks, and for good reason. There’s so much to see and do in this park, it’s easy to spend your entire vacation here. There are five different regions inside the park: meadows, alpine, wilderness, backcountry, and the heart of the park.

The park is known for its rugged hiking and mountain climbing, including Longs Peak, the tallest spot in the park. It’s also popular for watching wildlife, like moose, elk, bighorn sheep, bears, and more. There’s a little something for everyone in The Rockies, whether you’re simply there to enjoy the views, or want to get out and experience nature.

Learn more about Rocky Mountain National Park

2. Garden of the Gods

Just outside Colorado Springs, The Garden of the Gods is a state park built around impressive red rock formations. It’s a popular place for photographers and thrill-seekers alike. The sandstone rocks jut up as much as 300 feet toward the sky and the park offers unparalleled views—including one of Pikes Peak.

Inside the park, there are 15 miles of hiking trails, ranging from easy to more rugged, with guided technical tours available. Cycling, horseback riding, and even jeep tours are also available. The park is also a big draw for rock climbers, who love the steep and sheer surfaces and the technical challenges the formations offer.

Learn more about Garden of the Gods

3. Pikes Peak

Pikes Peak is one of Colorado’s most well-known summits and the highest in the Rocky Mountain range. Just outside Colorado Springs, it and the Pike Forest are big draws for vacationers every year. While some of these travelers are looking for the opportunity to climb the peak, many are just happy to take in the views—and a few photographs.

In your RV, you can travel down Pikes Peak Highway: 19 miles of road with astounding views and frequent pull-offs. Once you’re in the park, several hiking trails reach up toward the summit. One of the most popular, Barr Trail, is rated easy, but be warned: it climbs 8,000 feet in elevation and is 13 miles one way.

Learn more about Pikes Peak

4. Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve

Dunes? Near the mountains? Believe it. These are the tallest sand dunes in North America, and there’s a wealth of biodiversity surrounding it. To get to the dunes, you’ll have to traverse Medano Creek, a wide and shallow body of water that runs at its peak from May to June. Otherwise, there are trails and hiking through the rest of the park and preserve.

Visitors are welcome to climb the dunes, but with the warning that the sand can reach extreme temperatures. Sandboarding and sand skiing are also both popular activities. Mountain biking, fishing, photography, and the sandhill crane migration are all things to enjoy while you’re there. When you’re camping there in your RV, do yourself a favor and experience the night at the dunes. The view of the starry sky is something to behold.

Learn more about Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve

5. Dinosaur National Monument

This isn’t your roadside dinosaur attraction. This monument, which stretches between Colorado and neighboring Utah, is home to over 800 dig sites where paleontologists found thousands of dinosaur bones. In the Dinosaur Quarry, you’ll have the opportunity to see real dinosaur fossils embedded in the rock.

The monument spans 210,000 acres of recreational space. Get out and enjoy hikes in the untamed desert, or go rafting on the rivers that cut through the canyon. There’s great camping here as well, though your rental RV may not be suited for some of the rougher terrain. Even without the fossils, Dinosaur National Monument is a spectacle of red rock formations and scenic cliffs. Oh, and be sure to get a glimpse of the petroglyphs carved into the cliffsides that hint at earlier civilizations.

Learn more about Dinosaur National Monument

6. Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

This spectacular park is named for two things. First, the Gunnison River, which spent 2 million years carving and eroding its way through sandstone to create this dramatic, steep-sided canyon. Second, it’s called the “Black Canyon” because it only receives up to 33 minutes of sunlight a day, leaving it cast in shadows.

Both the North and South Rims are accessible by road and the views will leave you awe-inspired. Want to get closer to the action? Trails run along both rims and are enjoyable for anyone. But if you’re feeling adventurous, you can access the river via unmaintained routes (but you need a license and it’s suggested you be in excellent physical shape to do so). RV campsites are available on the east and south ends of the park.

Learn more about Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

7. Mesa Verde National Park

Mesa Verde is a stark reminder that there were people here long before we were. The Pueblo called Mesa Verde home for over 700 years, between 600 and 1300 CE. As a UNESCO protected site, you’ll see many of their dwellings protected in excellent condition. You’ll find 600 cliff dwellings and over 5,000 archaeological sites throughout the park.

Some of the most well-known areas in the park include Cliff Palace, Balcony House, and Spruce Tree House. It’s possible to visit a cliff dwelling, but they require a guided tour by a park ranger. If you’re not able to get in on a tour, several lookouts and overlooks are accessible by trail to offer incredible views and photo opportunities of the dwellings.

Learn more about Mesa Verde National Park

8. Telluride

A former mining boomtown, Telluride is now a quaint and popular stop for travelers and vacationers in Colorado. It’s fun to visit year-round with both summer and winter recreational activities available. In downtown Telluride, you’ll find lovely shops and exquisite dining options, while its surroundings are picturesque.

Recreation is everywhere near Telluride, with hiking trails, technical mountain biking routes, and river rafting all fun summer activities, plus fishing. In winter, skiing and snowboarding are popular. For unparalleled views, a free gondola will take you up to Mountain Village (sitting at 13,000 feet above sea level) and let you look down at the town. And of course, don’t forget the famous Telluride Bluegrass Festival which draws music fans from across the country to see some of the best and most famous bluegrass musicians every year.

Learn more about Telluride

9. Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness

Looking for unparalleled beauty? Look no further than Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness. This recreation area is popular with hikers almost year-round because of its striking scenery. The space contains over 100 miles of hiking trail above 12,000 feet with up-close views of six peaks and several mirror-surfaced alpine lakes. If you’re feeling technical, mountaineers also love to scale these mountains, but it’s not for amateurs.

When the wildflowers bloom midsummer, expect explosions of color everywhere you look. And you may run into wildlife as well: bighorn sheep call the area home, and deer and elk are both common in the area. After a nice, long hike in the cool mountain air, rest your muscles in the Conundrum Hot Springs.

Learn more about Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness

10. Colorado National Monument

Sheer walled canyons, towering sandstone formations, and red rock expenses are just a few of the sights you can expect to see at the Colorado National Monument. Mountain biking, road biking, hiking, and wildlife are all very present in the area. A total of 13 backcountry trails will lead you deep into the monument and up to varying heights.

Rim Rock Drive is a great way to take in a lot of the monument without hiking all of it, with fun twists and turns that also give you a good line of sight to the bighorn sheep or eagles that call the monument home. You may also see climbers tackling some of the formations.

Learn more about Colorado National Monument

Campgrounds and RV Parks in Colorado

Campgrounds and RV parks are abundant in Colorado. With all of this nature, how could they not be? Many of the national parks offer camping on-site, with primitive, backcountry, and RV hookups all available. In some of the more protected areas, however, you may need to find a campsite near the park. Good Sam has a list of campgrounds in Colorado worth checking.

Because Colorado is a very popular tourist and vacation spot, many campgrounds will fill up fast. People want to be close to the natural beauty of the place. So much so, that many campgrounds and parks require reservations and without one, you may be turned away.

Try to plan your trip ahead of time, as well as your route, so you’ll know which campsites to reserve. Otherwise, you may end up boondocking—not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course. See the Good Sam campgrounds in the area here.

Things to Note About Camping in Colorado

Colorado has a lot of different kinds of land. It’s part of what makes it so appealing. That said, it also presents challenges when you’re packing and planning to camp in Colorado.

Many parts of Colorado act like a desert. They get warm during the day (up to and sometimes over 100 degrees is common) but then cool down immensely at night. Dressing in layers, especially if you’re doing active recreation, is important for staying safe.

Temperatures can also swing significantly because of altitude. While it may be 85 and sunny in the city you’re driving through, up in the mountains near your snowshoeing trailhead, it could be well below freezing, cloudy, and dropping fresh powder. Always pack additional layers, including a coat, when you’re camping in Colorado.

Dry Camping or Boondocking in Colorado

Dry camping or boondocking refers to camping in your RV without any hookups—in fact, you may not even be at a campsite. Some boondockers prefer to get way outside of civilization when they camp, and Colorado is a great state for that. There are things to know before you go, though.

Campers are permitted to dry camp on any land maintained by the Bureau of Land Management. In Colorado, the BLM oversees about 8.3 million acres. Of course, not all of that will be accessible to you in your RV. Remember, your rental RV is not an offroad vehicle, and many of Colorado’s lands can be technical to traverse.

If you’ve never dry camped, prepare ahead of time. It’s different from regular RV camping: you’ve only got the water in your tanks and a generator for power. It’s a great challenge and an even better way to commune with nature, and Colorado is one of the best places to do it.