How to Have an Affordable Summer Vacation in Colorado
Get ready for the upcoming summer vacation season! If you happen to be in or near Colorado, consider yourself fortunate as this region offers some of the most delightful RV-friendly destinations for your summer getaway. Whether you’re captivated by majestic mountains, enchanted by national forests, or charmed by picturesque alpine towns, Colorado’s summer roads have something to offer for everyone.
Exploring the summer vacation spots in Colorado is best experienced through RV travel, which allows you to immerse yourself in nature without breaking the bank. Moreover, you can partake in affordable family vacation ideas by setting up camp wherever you park your RV.
Now, let us present a selection of our preferred RV destinations in Colorado during the summer. Additionally, we’ll share some budget-friendly family vacation ideas to ensure your entire crew enjoys a cost-effective and entertaining time in this beautiful state.
Colorado sometimes has a reputation for being a somewhat expensive place to take a vacation. By traveling in an RV, you’ll be able to get into cheap vacation spots that are just as wonderful as an expensive cabin or a resort-style hotel. Additionally, you’ll be able to enjoy cheap vacation ideas like s’more building, fire crafting, and outdoor dinners with the family.
If you don’t have an RV right now, renting one is a cheap vacation idea that’ll deeply connect you with Colorado’s nature. Outdoorsy owners have affordable RV rentals in places like Denver, Grand Junction, and Boulder. Our owners are passionate about RVing and would love to help you navigate RV travel in Colorado during the summer.
When you’re traveling in an RV through Colorado for the summer, few spots in the state are better than the southwest corner. We can be your home base for your trip because we offer spacious RV sites, cabins, glamping tents, our own private fishing hole, and easy access to things like Durango, Pagosa Springs, and Mesa Verde National Park.
Cheap vacation spots in Colorado are yours for the taking when traveling in an RV. Like many other southwestern states, Colorado has loads of land that is managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) or the Forest Service. Many of these lands allow for cheap or free RV camping, meaning they can be your base for cheap vacation ideas like family picnics, hikes, and fly-fishing.
The San Isabel National Forest — The Forest Service manages over 3 million acres of the Rocky Mountain Region, and San Isabel has the majority of Colorado’s 14ers (what locals call peaks over 14,000 feet high). You can start your visit with a summer drive in your RV along one of Colorado’s scenic passes. After that, you can find cheap or free camping at one of the three RV campgrounds located within the forest. Once you’re parked, indulge in more nature-inspired cheap family vacation activities, like fishing, geocaching, and — for the more adventurous families — mountain climbing.
Bear Lake Campground — Located in the south-central region of Colorado and managed by the Forest Service, this rustic camping spot has access to amazing hiking, fishing, and views. The Spanish Peaks Wilderness is miles from the campground, and the Forest Service has even provided a list of cheap vacation ideas near Bear Lake. At $23 per night, this is one cheap vacation spot in Colorado that will give you far more than you pay for.
Pagosa Springs — Nestled in the San Juan National Forest, Pagosa Springs is a vibrant little mountain town that also offers cheap vacation ideas. For example, you could take a scenic summer drive in your RV by going up and over the continental divide along Wolf Creek Pass, or you could spend a day in town walking along the river, soaking in the hot springs, or checking out one of Pagosa’s four waterfalls.
From Pagosa, head west on Highway 160 toward Durango. Along the way, you can check out spots like Chimney Rock – an archeological site dating back to 1084 AD. You can also discover the indigenous communities that built Southern Colorado at the Southern Ute Museum in Ignacio.
The route along Highway 160 also gives you the chance to swing into Outdoorsy Bayfield if you’d like to take a camping break from public lands to refresh your RV tanks (and yourselves) with full hookups. Bayfield even offers glamping options (e.g. luxury tents) so you and the family can try a new experience.
Continuing to follow Highway 160 West will lead you into Durango where you’ll want to take Highway 550 North. Known as ‘The Million Dollar Highway’, this route takes you through the San Juan Mountains into the rad little town of Silverton. From there, the 550 continues its journey through the peaks in spectacular fashion, ultimately culminating at one of the coolest towns we’ve ever seen, Ouray, CO.
Ouray — Known as the Switzerland of America, Ouray is known for off-roading, hiking, and sightseeing. Cheap family vacation ideas in the area include things like visiting the Bear Creek National Recreation Trail or taking a family walk along Ouray’s historic main street. For a unique and affordable vacation activity, be sure to check out Ouray’s Alchemist museum to learn how a pharmacy worked in the wild west. You’ll discover how snake-oil salesmen sold their quasi-medicine and see how drug stores looked on the frontier.
Colorado boasts an extensive array of magnificent destinations that are perfect for RV adventures during the summer months. The state’s remarkable landscape, characterized by its abundant natural beauty, presents a delightful yet daunting dilemma when deciding among the myriad of available options. The information provided above is here to lend a helping hand by offering a selection of lesser-known, off-the-beaten-path gems that you can explore in your RV, enabling you to relish the breathtaking wonders of Colorado during the summer season.