Top 4 Spots for Royal Gorge Camping

Is there anything better than sipping a hot coffee at the foot of a river while you prepare for a day of rafting, fishing, or just relaxing on the shore? We don’t think so, which is why we ensure our river trips include the best Royal Gorge camping. 

Spending the night enjoying the bright stars, a flickering campfire, and a rushing river is the best way to forget your troubles in the real world and spend quality time with yourself, your friends, or your family. 

But where can you find these priceless moments? Here are just a few of our favorite spots for camping near Royal Gorge. 


4 Best Spots For Royal Gorge Camping

  1. East Ridge Campground of Royal Gorge Park
  2. Red Canyon Park
  3. Shelf Road/Sand Gulch 
  4. Temple Canyon Park

Best Tent Camping in Royal Gorge

East Ridge Campground of Royal Gorge Park

Price: $20/night

Primitive Camping: Vault toilets, fire rings, picnic tables, no water

This primitive campsite has everything you need and nothing you don’t, with tons of space and several nearby trails to explore. There are stunning views of Cañon City and the surrounding Royal Gorge Park, and it’s just a 10-minute drive to Arkansas River Canyon. 

Red Canyon Park

Price: Free

Primitive Camping: Vault toilets, fire rings, picnic tables, no water

Red Canyon Park is a free, first-come-first-serve camping option perfect for campers who want to sip their morning coffee with a view of the famous Colorado red rocks. There are five sites spread out across the park and several trails to explore while you camp.

This option is a little farther from Royal Gorge (approximately a 40-minute drive), but along the way, you’ll pass interesting scenes like The Garden Park Fossil Area and several creeks following the road. 

Shelf Road/Sand Gulch 

Price: $7-14+/night

Primitive Camping: Vault toilets, fire rings, picnic tables, no water

Adventurers and rock climbers love this site thanks to its proximity to fantastic Colorado sport climbing. You can find walk-up convenience to towering limestone cliffs that feature sport climbs of all levels. 

The campsites are simple and remote with limited spaces, so book your spot in advance to ensure you’ll have a place to rest your head when you get there. This spot is a killer location for climbers, and also only a short distance from all Royal Gorge activities and Royal Gorge rafting

Temple Canyon Park

Price: Free

Primitive Camping: Vault toilets, fire rings, picnic tables, no water

Temple Canyon Park is home to four primitive campsites spread out through the park so you can sink into the relaxing solitude of the area. These sights are right near the Grape Creek hike, a popular outing for anyone who loves seeing water while they hike up the trail. This is a great option for people who want to enjoy semi-remote camping while still being only a short drive from the Royal Gorge fun. 

Best RV Camping in Royal Gorge

Royal Gorge/Canon City KOA Holiday

Price: $95+/night

Camping with Amenities: Bathrooms with showers, pool, access to water

When you hear KOA as an RV camper, you hear dependability, consistency, and all the amenities you need for an easy-breezy Royal Gorge camping adventure. Royal Gorge/Canon City KOA Holiday is nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and has several different hookups, from standard to big-rig friendly. There are on-site activities for your family, like a pool, mini golf, and snack bar. There is also great hiking and biking right off the property. And, of course, the river is just a short distance away!

Royal View Campground

Price: $60+/night

Camping with Amenities: Bathrooms with showers, pool, access to water

The rustic nature of this RV park is classic and charming – everything you want from a peaceful RV Camping getaway. This site is known for having especially spacious sites, meticulously clean facilities and the biggest pool in the area. It is ALSO known for being an adults-only RV site – for the past few years, only visitors 45+ can camp at this location! 

Our Favorite Activity While Camping Near Royal Gorge

Looking for some heart-pounding adventure during your camping trip near Royal Gorge? Look no further than our premier Royal Gorge Whitewater Rafting Trip. Brace yourself for class III–IV+ whitewater rapids, featuring massive waves, steep drops, and thrilling plunges of up to 65 feet per mile. Navigate almost continuous rapids in the narrow gorge, surrounded by towering canyon walls over 1,000 feet tall. This high-adrenaline Royal Gorge rafting is ideal for adrenaline junkies seeking the ultimate thrill.

Choose from half-day or full-day options, but be prepared – participants must be 14 years or older and have the ability to swim. Are you ready to take the plunge into the extraordinary world of Royal Gorge rafting?

Pro-Tip: Multi-Day Rafting Trips with Arkansas River Tours

Some of the best campsites along the Arkansas River Are ones you reach by raft. When you book a multi-day rafting trip along the Arkansas River, you will enjoy nights at some of the most picturesque camping you can find. 

Our Cotopaxi riverside campsite has amazing views and offers a great backdrop for a bit of fishing, a game or horseshoe, and swapping stories around the campfire. Our team will manage the camp setup and chores, from pitching tents to making a delicious meal. 

Our multi-day trips are incredibly customizable, making them a great option for families or bigger groups. You can plan a fun camping and rafting trip without having to pull together all the logistics, with splashy possibilities for children and exciting rapids for experienced adventures – and everything in between. Choose between our Multi-Day Family-Friendly River Trip (ages 8+) or crank up the adventure with our Multi-Day Premier Arkansas River Trip. You can choose between 2-day and 3-day trips with each option. 

Are you ready to sleep under the bright stars that cover the sky near the Arkansas River? Now is the time to escape for a Royal Gorge camping trip (and discover the 5 Best Things To Do in Royal Gorge)! If you need any help getting on the river, reach out to our team! We’ll save you a seat on a raft.

By: brandon
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