Golden Gate Canyon State Park is conveniently located near all Front Range towns and offers a variety of recreational opportunities, including overnight camping.
Day visitors will, of course, enjoy biking, hiking, trail running, and wildlife viewing in this sprawling park.
Despite its easy access, this lovely park generally lacks cell phone service, adding to the park’s wild feel.
However, there is nothing quite like spending a night or two away from civilization under the stars. Golden Gate Canyon provides ample opportunity for this.
Additionally, unlike in National Parks, dogs are permitted in the backcountry.
Backcountry campers seeking a more remote experience can take advantage of four three-sided structures reminiscent of the Appalachian Trail that sleep six people each, as well as approximately 20 backcountry camping sites.
The Golden Gate Canyon is located approximately 16 miles northwest of Golden, California. It spans 12,000 acres of the Rocky Mountains’ Front Range, including portions of Promontory Ridge.
Golden Gate Canyon is located on the ecotone between plains and Front Range forest communities, as well as the confluence of Ralston, Nott, and Deer Creeks.
The park is located in Golden and offers a variety of activities, including biking, camping, fishing, hiking, and horseback riding. There is some rock climbing available, but it is located in the backcountry.
The park is open all year, but cross country skiing and snowshoeing are particularly popular in the winter.
There are numerous camping options available, including cabins, yurts, backcountry, and modern campgrounds.
Each of the park’s five fishing ponds, Kriley, Slough, Dude’s Fishing Hole, Forgotten Valley, and ranch, is stocked with fish up until the end of June.
There are over 12,000 acres of pine forests, aspen groves, rocky peaks, and subalpine wildflower meadows to enjoy along 35 miles of mostly wooded trails for outdoor enthusiasts of all abilities.
Several campsites are available in Golden Gate Canyon:
Ridge of the Reverend
At Reverend’s Ridge, there is room for everyone. Trailers, motorhomes, and tents coexist peacefully here, but if you’re looking for something a little more luxurious, you’ll also find cabins and yurts.
The campground also features flush toilets (ooh la la! ), showers, and laundry facilities, ensuring that you never smell like a stale bonfire for an extended period of time.
Unless you so desire… because bonfire perfume only improves with age; in either case, you’ll want to call your mother to tell her how fantastic your camping trip is going.
Except that you will be required to use a payphone. They still exist, at least out here, which is fortunate given the lack of cell coverage.
This campsite is located near the northern end of Golden Gate Canyon State Park; the campgrounds are easiest to reach by taking Highway 93 north through Golden and turning left onto Golden Gate Canyon Road, which is also known as Washington Avenue.
The road connects Golden to the campgrounds. Gilpin County, where the site is located, is currently under a Stage 2 fire ban.
There are 97 reserved campsites, two yurts, and six cabins at this campground. The campground is well-known for its summer and winter activities, with September being an excellent month for mountain biking, hiking, and fishing.
Golden Gate Canyon State Park, located only 30 miles from Denver, is known for its rocky peaks, aspen-drenched forests, abundant wildlife, and diverse recreational opportunities.
The scenic site, which is home to aspen forests and a variety of wildlife, offers similar summer activities to neighboring Reverend’s Ridge, including hiking and fishing.
There are 35 tent-only campsites at Aspen Meadows Campground, and they are all equipped with fire rings, tables, tent pads, water pumps, and gender-neutral restroom facilities.
Two of the locations have been specifically designed to accommodate horses, but you will need to construct your stall. From May 1 to mid-October, camping is permitted.
Autumn is a great time to visit, as the campground is completely surrounded by aspen groves which are in the middle of a change, creating an incredibly colorful camping experience.
Additionally, Reverend Ridge Campground offers yurts, cabins, and guest houses, but booking is recommended in advance.
The campsites feature a raised gravel bed and a shady tree canopy. From the campground, there are several moderate hiking trails that generally follow well-graded fire roads.
We hiked along the Snowshoe Hare Trail to Dude’s Fishing Hole, a catch-and-release pond. Additionally, we took the 2.5-mile Buffalo Trail from Rifleman’s Group Compound down Gap Rd., through Forgotten Valley, to a restored settler’s house and pond.
Panorama Point, located west on Gap Rd., provides stunning views of the Rockies’ central ridge, and there is a 3.5-mile loop on the Raccoon Trail there.
Winter and summer visitors will find plenty to see and do, including mountain biking, hiking, fishing, horseback riding, hunting, picnicking, and wildlife viewing.
During the winter, you can also enjoy cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Happy Camping!