Not only is White River National Forest one of Colorado's most popular outdoor destinations, but it is also the most visited national forest in the entire nation.

A Popular Destination

There's a reason why White River National Forest is so popular. For one thing, it's huge - 2.3 million acres. That means plenty of room for outdoor activities year-round. There are no less than 11 ski resorts, 8 wilderness areas, 10 mountain peaks over 14,000 feet, some 2,500 miles of trails, and lots of campgrounds.

A large number of developed campgrounds can be found from Aspen and Basalt to Rifle, Eagle, and Vail including family and group campgrounds and picnic areas.  You can find a list of the campgrounds with detailed information about each campground on the U.S. Forest Service website.

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Reservations Now Available

Some campgrounds open as early as mid-May and reservations are now available for many of the camping areas in the White River National Forest. Considering how popular the forest is, it definitely pays to plan ahead when you're planning a camping excursion. Early planning can help you get not only the campground you want, but the specific campsite you want as well. It's always good to have Plan B and Plan C in your mind.

Obviously, weekends are the time when most people can get away, so those are going to be the most challenging times to get the camping area and site you want. If you can go during the week, it will be to your advantage.

No Reservation Required

What you may not realize is there are some developed campgrounds in the White River National Forest that don't require reservations - only luck. They are filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

According to the famous Christmas song, the holiday season is the most wonderful time of the year. I have a feeling that camping enthusiasts would have a different take on that idea. It's very possible this is the best time of the year. The campers are ready.

Western Colorado Getaway: Trappers Lake Lodge