Colorado Campfire Reality

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When you plan your Colorado camping vacation, make sure you’re flexible about that dream of sitting around the campfire. They aren’t necessarily a given in Colorado!

Colorado’s naturally dry air and strong winds can lead to short-term and long-term burn bans. There may be little notice to the bans being implemented. These bans are set by local authorities, varying from one campground to another.

Too, some campgrounds are situated in such climates that they never permit campfires, while others follow the guidelines set by their local authorities. Still others enforce more stringent fire bans than their local authorities (sometimes based on the distance to their emergency responders or the overall likelihood that a campfire could further stress the already stressed response system).

How can you know if a campground bans campfires? Ask them!

Sad Facts:

  • An average of 1.2 million acres of US woodlands burn every year.
  • Most wildfires are caused by people rather than by lightning.
  • Wildfires spread quickly, igniting brush, trees and structures.
  • Wildfires have been known to burn for weeks or months, causing evacuations to last just as long.

Evacuations are enforced by local authorities. Colorado campground owners are grateful for the assistance that is provided by the local authorities and hope every guest heeds urgent directions.

CampColordo’s list of NEVERs:

  • Never discard a lit cigarette, regardless of how close to the filter it has burned; extinguish it completely.
  • Never toss a lit cigarette out of the car window.
  • Never leave a campfire burning or smoldering; extinguish it completely before walking away.
  • Never light a campfire without first consulting the campground staff, even if a fire ring is in place.

While we hope all conditions are perfectly delightful for your campfire smores, CampColorado simply hopes to brace you for the possibility that you’ll need an alternate plan. But while we’re in the mode of informing you on the possibilities, let’s take it one step further.

Imagine yourself on a two-week vacation, hundreds of miles from home, and you’re told that you must evacuate. Is there time to unhook your RV from its campsite or tear down and stash your tent before leaving? Not always! We suggest you read our blog about staying prepare for wildfires to improve your chances.

For more information click here.

Click here to find an RV park or campground. 

This publication is supported by funding from the Colorado Tourism Office, a state agency. Turn to for a comprehensive list of festivals, events, historic areas, itineraries, and community insight.

Stay Prepared for Wildfires

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If your Colorado vacation winds up involving the unexpected drama of a wildfire, this knowledge and understanding, coupled with prudence, will assist you in being prepared to get out of the path.


  • Provide the office staff with the accurate size of your party, including day visitors. They will need to know who to account for when emergency conditions erupt.
  • Know the whereabouts of individuals in your party.
  • Make sure campfires are allowed before you light one, even if a fire ring is already in position at the campsite.
  • Don’t leave a lit campfire unattended.
  • Don’t let the flames dance too high and don’t burn things that create sparks.
  • Pull vegetation away from the fire ring before lighting the fire.
  • Pay attention to what you see and smell.
  • Report conditions you witness that could spark a wildfire (someone carelessly discarding a lit cigarette or creating a campfire when you’ve been told otherwise).
  • Keep matches out of the hands of children.
  • Be alert to your escape route, understanding that it might not be the way you arrived.

If you’re on an evacuation warning, plan according:

  • Locate your car keys, maybe even leaving them in the ignition.
  • Charge your mobile devices.
  • Put the following items into your vehicle:
    • Credit cards and cash
    • Emergency supply of food and water
    • Protective clothing: sturdy boots, long pants, gloves, and handkerchief
    • Blankets and sleeping bags, one of each per person
    • Your medicines
    • Basic personal care items
    • A change of clothing per person
    • Flashlights and plenty of batteries
    • Extra set of eyeglasses
    • Family documents (i.e., title to RV, if it’s stored in the RV)
  • Position your vehicle facing the direction of escape.
  • Confine your pets so you can quickly grab them (have their supplies ready to go, too).
  • Close your RV’s windows, doors and vents.
  • Turn off pilot lights and turn off the propane at the tank.
  • Turn off the water to the RV.
  • If you choose to evacuate before the mandatory orders are given, notify the camp office so they’re not needlessly searching to notify you of the upgraded orders.

When you’re told to evacuate, quickly and safely:

  • Grab your mobile devices and charges.
  • Put your family and pets into the vehicle … don’t dally!
  • Drive at a safe speed.
  • Watch for changes in the speed and direction of the wind, fire and smoke.
  • Heed the directions of the authorities.

Click here to learn about creating an emergency kit.

Click here to learn more wildfires safety tips.

Click here to read our blog post called Colorado Campfire Reality.

Click here to find an RV park or campground! Don’t let this blog deter you from vacationing in Colorado. Millions create fabulous Colorado camping memories every year, without incident. Knowledge and understanding are meant to offer comfort, not fear!

This publication is supported by funding from the Colorado Tourism Office, a state agency. Turn to for a comprehensive list of festivals, events, historic areas, itineraries, and community insight.

Marijuana Considerations While Camping in Colorado

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If you 21 years of age or older, you can legally possess THC (aka cannibas or marijuana) as defined by the Colorado Constitution. Yes, you can smoke it or enjoy many types of edible products and topicals during your visit. No, you don’t need to be a Colorado resident to possess cannabis. Yet the story doesn’t end there.

You see, although it’s legal, there are guidelines, policies, and details of the law you should consider. First off all, discretion is appreciated and is often required. The law doesn’t permit consumption “openly and publicly.”

CAMPING Before assuming anything, contact the campground’s office to learn of their policy. Some are very strict, while others treat it similar to smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol. If consumption is your desire, ask of their policy before you book your campsite (remember, some campgrounds impose a cancellation fee).

KEEP IT IN COLORADO If you’re buying to use in states where it’s illegal, well, using it or even possessing it is still illegal in those states.

If you’re planning to mail some home to yourself or a buddy, don’t. The Drug Enforcement Administration and the US Postal Service inspectors are keenly watching for such activity from within Colorado.

Bottom line: Use it or leave it in Colorado.

FEDERAL LAND Your right to possess marijuana ends at the property line of federal land, including national parks, forests, monuments, and even courthouses. Possession of marijuana on federal land is punishable by jail time and financial fine even on the first offense (second offenses are more stringent).

DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE The Colorado Department of Transportation provides this insight regarding driving while impaired. Bottom line: don’t drive while under the influence of anything, including marijuana.

Camp Colorado wishes you and your camping neighbors exceptional Colorado getaway memories.

his publication is supported by funding from the Colorado Tourism Office, a state agency. Turn to for a comprehensive list of festivals, events, historic areas, itineraries, and community insight.

Blend Winter Adventure With Valentine Romance While Camping in Colorado

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Whisk off for the holiday of love. Surround yourself with Colorado’s fresh air, and enjoy making some new memories with your valentine. Mix it up with some winter adventures to create a genuine Colorado getaway! Here are a few ideas to stir your imagination.

Ouray lives up to its nickname “The Switzerland of America.” Hot springs, sledding, back-country skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling, and don’t overlook the wall of ice for climbing … that’s to name a few of the winter activities you might embrace. Ouray RV Park & Cabins now offers meals at its Ouray Café. Their Facebook posts whet the appetite every time we seem.  If your RV is winterized, consider one of their vacation rental cabins. The scenery of snow covered canyon walls is breathtakingly gorgeous!

Glenwood Springs offers the world’s largest hot springs pool for relaxation, and nearby businesses cater to the continued relaxation generated by massages, facials, and body healing treatments. If you want a little adventure before you relax, snowshoeing and snowmobiling await you, as do cave tours and ice skating. Shopping and cuisine just might complete your Valentine Getaway. Conveniently located to all of this, you’ll find Glenwood Canyon Resort ready for your RV or vacation rental cabin.

Given the “banana belt” location of Buena Vista, you can enjoy year-round adventures, from hot springs to hiking, biking, snowmobiling, ice fishing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, fat biking, and even dog sledding. Snowy Peaks RV Park offers camping sites and even some rental options, if you book early. From there you can certainly enjoy the scenery of several 14ers (peaks above 14,000’).

You don’t need to venture into the mountains to find love in the air in Colorado. Loveland, known as the Sweetheart City, boasts love all year and makes a big deal out of Valentine’s Day. Its family-friendly Fire & Ice Festival is an event to consider. Many couples get married in the amphitheater, while others renew their vows. The post office processes an enormous number of love messages by postmarking vast amounts of valentine cards.  And those who love to camp have some choices:

Spacious, shady RV sites! (Loveland RV Resort ~ Loveland Colorado)


Loveland RV Resort is located between I-25 and downtown Loveland.



Riverview RV Park is located west of town.



Fireside Cabins & RV Park is located west of town.



How about a little wine to go with your Valentine’s Day? In Western Colorado, convenient to I-70, is Colorado’s wine country. Here you will find wineries from Palisade to Grand Junction. If wine isn’t your valentine’s preferred beverage, check out the breweries and distilleries. Rest assured there’s plenty of adventure to add to your getaway:  downhill skiing and snowboarding, ice fishing, ice skating, snowmobiling, snowboarding, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, sledding, tubing and fat biking. You’ll find these RV parks ready to accommodate you, both offering campsites and vacation rentals:

Palisade Basecamp RV Resort


Palisade Basecamp RV Resort


Junction West RV Park 


We hope you stayed with us for this next idea, last but definitely not least!

Plenty of room for Big Rigs at Westerly RV Park!

A few minutes north of Durango is where you’ll find Westerly RV Park, which is in walking distance (even in the winter) to Trimble Spa & Natural Hot Springs. In addition to the natural hot mineral soaking pools, they offer a variety of relaxing and therapeutic spa services. Winter adventures await you here, too:  skiing, ice climbing, snowmobiling, snowboarding, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, dog sledding, tubing, and more.

We hope these ideas stir your imagination and inspire you to make plans for a lovely getaway to commemorate Valentine’s Day.

Use our Campground Search page, click on February, and you’ll see many more Colorado campgrounds that might be able to accommodate you for a Valentine’s getaway.

This publication is supported by funding from the Colorado Tourism Office, a state agency. Turn to for a comprehensive list of festivals, events, historic areas, itineraries, and community insight.

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