Frequently Asked Questions
Are there walk-in campsites?
If a site does not have a reservation, it is available as a "first-come first-served" site. These are only released to guests who have arrived at the park without reservations and cannot be reserved in advance over the phone or online on the day of arrival. These sites may be in limited supply. Advance reservations are highly recommended.
What is available at each campsite?
Every campsite has a fire ring, a picnic table, and a bear-resistant food storage locker. Tent sites have designated tent pads. “Big Rig” full hookup campsites with water, electric, and sewer are available at the Estes Park Campground at Mary’s Lake with 30/50 amp service and a 20 amp GFI outlet. Partial hookup sites with water and electric and 30 amp service are available at both campgrounds. Dump stations are also available at both campgrounds. ADA accessible sites are also available.
How many people, vehicles and tents are allowed on each site?
The maximum for single sites is 6 people (including children). Double sites allow up to 10 people.
RV-Only Full hookup sites allow one camping unit (for example: RV camper, pop-up, fifth wheel, truck camper, etc.) with one vehicle. Tents are not allowed in full hookup sites.
RV-Only Water & Electric sites can accommodate one camping unit with one vehicle. Tents are not allowed in water & electric sites.
RV-Only No Hookup sites can accommodate one camping unit (rv, trailer, truck camper, van camper, vehicle with a rooftop tent) with one vehicle. Tents are not allowed in standard sites.
Tent-Only No Hookup sites can accommodate one large 6-person tent or two small 3-person tents and one vehicle.
There is a one car limit in each camp site (this is strictly enforced). If you have an additional vehicle, be aware that at the Mary's Lake Campground, there are only a few overflow parking spaces available and they are not guaranteed. At the East Portal Campground, all extra vehicles must be parked off of the property. A $7.00/day vehicle fee will be collected for every vehicle.
How big can my tent be?
The largest we can accommodate is one 6-person tent per site (approximately 12' x 16'). Two smaller 3-person tents are allowed as long as they fit on the provided tent pad. If you plan to bring 2 large tents or more than 2 small tents, you will need to rent two camp sites. This is strictly enforced. Please check the tent pad size when making your reservation to be sure it will meet your needs.
Can I put up a shade canopy?
Yes. One shade canopy is allowed in each site. We allow 2 shade canopies in the double sites.
Are hammocks allowed?
Yes, as long as they are secured to trees with straps that do not damage the bark. Trees must be located within the designated boundaries of the camp site.
Is there a limit to the size of a group?
Yes. In order to be courteous to other campers, we have set a size limit for groups. The maximum is 30 people and five sites. The Estes Park Campgrounds do not have dedicated group areas. We try our best to accommodate small gatherings, but cannot go over the designated maximums because of overcrowding, the strain on our bathroom facilities, and how large gatherings have the potential to negatively affect other campers in the campgrounds. If you would like to book multiple sites, please contact the Campground Manager by calling the Park directly before making your reservations to determine whether the campground is an appropriate facility for your gathering. If it is determined upon your arrival that you have exceeded the maximum number of people or the maximum number of sites per group, the reservations may be forfeited without a refund.
Is there shade in the campsites?
The Estes Park Campground at East Portal is heavily wooded with plenty of shade and the Estes Park Campground at Mary’s Lake has dispersed shade mainly in the tent site areas. Many of the Tent-Only sites at the Mary's Lake Campground now have shade shelters over the picnic tables. The full hookup and water & electric sites at Mary's Lake receive full sun.
Is there a length limit for RV's?
The Estes Park Campground at East Portal is well-suited for tent campers and RVs or trailers that are less than 22’ in length. Navigating trailers around the narrow campground roads has proven to be challenging, so the RV length limit is strictly enforced. RVs and trailers longer than 22’ in length are much better suited for Mary’s Lake Campground which has sites suitable for rigs up to 43’ in length.
How do I determine if my RV or trailer will fit in a site?
Please measure the total length of your RV from the front on the tongue/gooseneck to the rear bumper. Many times the model number on trailers only accounts for the length of the box, so it is important to include the length of the tongue or gooseneck in the total length. the maximum allowable length is listed on the site description on ReserveAmerica. Your truck or tow vehicle will be parked perpendicular to your RV and does not need to be added to the measurement. The driveway lengths are accurate and cannot accommodate RVs that are even slightly over the listed vehicle length limit. Please choose accordingly as refunds will not be given if it is determined upon your arrival that your RV is longer than the maximum length allowed in the site.
Is there WiFi and/or cell service in the campgrounds?
We are not able to provide Wi-Fi due to limited bandwidth. Cell phone coverage at Mary’s Lake is good-to-excellent. Cell phone coverage at East Portal is marginal depending on your provider. An emergency phone is provided at the office.
Are there showers?
Yes. Estes Park Campground at Mary's Lake and Estes Park Campground at East Portal have shower houses. Showers at the Estes Park Campground at Mary’s Lake are coin-operated and require quarters (minimum $2.00). Change machines are available on site. The facilities are meticulously cleaned multiple times a day and we regularly receive compliments on their cleanliness from appreciative guests.
Do you have ADA campsites and bathroom facilities?
Yes, there are wheelchair-accessible campsites, bathrooms, and showers at both campgrounds. Reservations for an ADA campsite can be made online at www.reserveamerica.com or by calling the ReserveAmerica Call Center at (800)964-7806.
How's the fishing?
It's great! The reservoirs adjacent to the campgrounds are periodically stocked by Colorado Parks and Wildlife. The Estes Valley lakes, reservoirs, and rivers are known to have some of the best trout fishing in Colorado. For more information on the Colorado Parks and Wildlife stocking report go to their website at http://cpw.state.co.us/thingstodo/Pages/StockingReport.aspx
Can I boat or swim in Mary's Lake?
No ... boating and swimming are not allowed. Mary's Lake is a reservoir that is supplied by a powerful flow of water coming from Grand Lake and has an extremely strong undertow near the outlet. However, fishing from the shore is a great way to spend a day.
Any place to hike nearby?
Absolutely. The Estes Park Campgrounds are in close proximity to numerous hiking trails in and around Rocky Mountain National Park as well as the Estes Valley. There are trails suitable for easy short strolls as well as more strenuous trails which will take you to the top of the continental divide. For more information on hiking trails in the National Park, please visit http://www.nps.gov/romo/index.htm and navigate to the Park map and/or Trail Conditions page.
What is the weather like?
It’s always best to plan to dress for four seasons even in the middle of July! If you intend to venture up into the higher elevations in Rocky Mountain National Park, be prepared for much cooler temperatures as well as sudden electrical storms and the possibility of heavy rain and hail. There’s a common saying in Colorado ... “if you don’t like the weather, just wait 15 minutes” which means that our sudden mid-day showers tend to pass through quickly and are typically followed by afternoon sunshine.
Do I get a refund if it's rainy or windy during my visit?
Sorry, we cannot control the weather during your stay. No refunds are given for less-than-ideal weather conditions including heavy rain, wind, snow, smoke, and hail. Refunds are not given if your camping equipment is damaged by the weather.
How can I find out about events and activities in Estes Park?
Besides asking our friendly and knowledgeable staff, check out http://www.visitestespark.com/things-to-do/for information on local festivals and activities. Almost every weekend has a special event going on in town and the list of activities is long and varied. Rent a bike, paddle Lake Estes, play a round of golf, go rafting, take a scenic tour, or go on a guided horseback ride … the possibilities are endless!
How can I contact the campgrounds directly?
The campgrounds are closed between September 29th, 2020 and May 27th, 2021. If you have a specific question during the off-season, you can call the campground, leave a message, and the campground manager will return your call. During the regular season between May 28th and September 27th, 2021, the camp offices are open and can accept phone calls between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. daily.
The Estes Park Campground at Mary's Lake (970) 577-1026
The Estes Park Campground at East Portal (970) 586-4188