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“Good car camping experience, amazing location” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Moraine Park Campground

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Moraine Park Campground
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Certificate of Excellence
Lyons, Colorado
Level Contributor
50 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 121 helpful votes
“Good car camping experience, amazing location”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2012

We recently "car camped" at Moraine Park Campground in the first weekend in August 2012.

First off, this campground is well situated on the western side of Rocky Mountain Nat'l Park. Note that you will have to pay the typical $20 per vehicle reusable entrance fee to RMNP in order to access the campground.

The views are amazing at almost every site, and there is easy access to Estes Park for shopping, food, and the last minute grocery run. Potentially, if you wanted, you could choose not to bring meals and plan to take a 10 minute drive to run into town, but you're there to camp outdoors, right?

Speaking of purchases, there is a local vendor who comes into the campground in the evenings and sells some essentials near the main gate. Someone below mentioned a cranky lady... this was a pleasant older man who had a truck full of firewood and kindling bundles, as you are not supposed to tear down trees in the park (to make sure there are some trees available for the next camper). Additionally, he has some other fun items such as ice cream bars for the kiddos. Oh, alright, I admit it - ice cream for me too. :)

The available amenities at this campground are better than I have seen most other places. The bathrooms near our site had actual flush toilets that weren't at all scary to sit on. There are dumpsters sprinkled throughout the large facility for ease of drop-off. Additionally, there's even an amplitheatre with some evening seminars from Park Rangers and services from local ministers.

Onto the few things to be aware of:

1. Bear boxes: they are sprinkled around the campground and are to be shared with your neighbors. Don't expect to fit your standard large red cooler in there and still have room for anyone else. Think more about something the size of a large backpack to be 'your' allocated space in there.

2. Wildlife: RMNP has more wildlife roaming around than you probably think. We did not see any bears, but we did see a pod of elk across the road from the firewood purchase location and we had a lone deer walk right through our site not 10 feet from where we were roasting marshmallows. Be conscious about your smellables (food, toothpaste, etc.).

3. Distance to car: If you are the kind of person who plans to leave gear and/or coolers in the car, note that some sites are a ways away from the single car parking spot. Others are right on top of their cars. Take a hard look at the map before choosing a spot, depending on your preference to be close to the road where your car will be.

4. RVs: most of the campground is a mix of RV parking spots and tent pads. Plan accordingly. The campground makes the most of the space it has, so think about how close you want to be to someone's generator at night time. If you want to stay away from RVs, the D-loop on the far west side is tent-only.

5. Tent pads: the Park Rangers will require you to be on a tent pad. Most will fit two 2-3 man tents close together or one 5-6 man tent... and that's it. Large groups should plan accordingly and reserve neighboring sites.

Don't let those few things above deter you. Moraine Park Campground is really a wonderful place to stay, especially for a families and groups camping together. There is lots of wildlife, beautiful views, and you can easily pick clusters of sites to be near each other if in a group setting.

Here are two links to get you started (note that I don't maintain either of these sites if they change):

Recreation.gov for the campground and map:
http://www.recreation.gov/camping/Moraine_Park_Campground/r/campgroundDetails.do?contractCode=NRSO&parkId=70943

Very helpful pictures of every site at the campground (note that a/b/c... just indicates multiple pictures of a single site):
https://picasaweb.google.com/parkcampsites.com/ColoradoRockyNPMorainePark

We plan to go back again! Enjoy!

Room Tip: Decide if you want to be close to your car and choose a site wisely. There is potential to have sit...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
Helpful?
18 Thank beartrax79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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131 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (27)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
  • German first
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English first
Fort Collins, Colorado
Level Contributor
21 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2012

I took my four sons (8,6,4,2) camping for the evening here. Great spot for car camping with a family. There is a free shuttle service to several trailheads. The views from Moraine Park are stunning. There is one loop that is first-come-first-served. If you arrive early in the day there are sites available.

  • Stayed August 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank vincemblack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wisconsin
Level Contributor
80 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2012

Our family loved our campsite, #95. It had an open view of Longs Peak, was next to the flush toilets and dish washing station, had great boulders behind us for the kids to climb on and sit and read on. Some sites were a bit crowded but overall each site had plenty of room. There are minimal low bushes so there is not a lot of privacy from other sites but that also means you can see the mountains, the deer and elk as they wander through. Some sites don't have mountain views but each loop does have some sites with views. The sites without views tend to be nestled into a small nook providing more privacy. There are no showers but if you bring a solar shower or large jug of water they do provide 2 outdoor shower stalls.

The campground is also close to nice trails, about 7 or so miles from Bear Lake which had my favorite hike with incredible views between Nymph Lake and Dream Lake. Alberta Falls in the area also very nice.

We checked out Aspenglen Campground, which was small and pleasant but did not have the views of this campground.

Room Tip: Plan to be in bearcountry, you'll have to store all food and worn cloths in the car. No leaving...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank traveler53719
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Collins, Colorado
Level Contributor
33 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2012

I went with my husband and two kids. Even though we could not have a camp fire (due to all of the forrest fires in Colorado at the time) it was a super fun camping trip. We took a drive around the park and saw some elk. We then took a little hike to a waterfall and had a little family picnic. It really is so beautiful. In the campsite, there are bucket toilets and a few flush facilities with running water. The rangers are super nice and helpful. They offer tent and camper sites. Our campsite had a beautiful view. I will definitely take my family back again.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
Helpful?
3 Thank BrennyE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
55 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2012

We stayed 4 nights in Moraine Park Campground. We loved our site (A123) and had plenty of room and were close to a bear box which was very handy... the toilets were fine - only gripe was the light above the sinks was not working and there was no way to dry your hands. But if only they would install a shower block somewhere in the park! (there aren't any showers anywhere in the park). The only public showers are a 20 minute drive away in Estes Park and are $5 a go...

The only thing to be aware of is that they are currently doing road works on Bear Lake Road in the park which can make getting in and out of the campground a bit of a process but we didn't find it a big problem.

Other good sites were A124 and A122.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
Helpful?
5 Thank Unruly11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
southeast us
Level Contributor
177 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 6, 2012

We stayed in our RV for 3 nights (loopA #35). Our spot wasn't the prettiest in the campground, but thanks to 2 small hills on either side of us we had no one else next to us. Not too far away from the bathrooms either (flush toilets & sinks). Our kids loved waking up and watching the mule deer walk around the campsites. Can buy firewood, kindling, ice, soda, & ice cream during the evening hours each night.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank tarheelUS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
denver, CO
Level Contributor
47 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2012

great location. great bathroom. can't really complain about anything.

Stayed May 2012, traveled with family
Helpful?
Thank ptm2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Moraine Park Campground

Property: Moraine Park Campground
Address: Moraine Park, Estes Park, CO
Location: United States > Colorado > Estes Park
Hotel Style:
Ranked #18 of 77 Specialty Lodging in Estes Park
Number of rooms: 244
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This campground is a good base from which to explore the park. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Moraine Park Campground Hotel Estes Park
Moraine Park Estes

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