Chatfield State Park is the largest campground in the Denver Metro area, boasting nearly 200 campsites. Because of its location, it’s also one of the most popular—it’s surrounded by rolling, grassy foothills and is adjacent to one of the largest bodies of water in Colorado.
Hiking, biking, and snowsports abound in addition to the extensive opportunity for recreating on or in the water. Plus, it’s dog-friendly, and the 69-acre fenced dog park is one of the best in the state. Miles of hiking and several ponds are located within the dog park. There’s a small $2 daily self-serve use fee, and annual passes are also available.
The campground itself is packed full of amenities—flush toilets, hot showers, laundry, centrally located water, firewood, and a scat machine are available for all campsites. Note that fire bans are often in effect during the high season, and it’s highly frowned upon to bring firewood from out of state (it notoriously spreads insect pests and can carry other diseases that local flora and fauna are unequipped to combat).
Be wary of visiting in the heat of the summer because the campground doesn’t provide much shade, and temperatures can climb into the solid triple digits. However, each site is within walking distance to the reservoir's swimming area if you find yourself in need of a quick dip. It’s also recommended that you check the events list before you visit so your trip doesn’t accidentally coincide with a massive event that you’d rather skip.
If you’re within the Denver metro area, reservations can be made through Colorado Parks and Wildlife by calling 303.470.1144; if you're outside of the Denver metro area, call 1.800.678.2267.