Situated along one of the Arkansas River’s most popular fishing areas, the Cotopaxi / Arkansas River KOA is a family-friendly RV park to the west of Colorado Springs. Aside from the incredible dry-fly action from mid-April to mid-May, the river is also a popular whitewater rafting destination, with both tame and challenging rapids to explore.Camping at Cotopaxi / Arkansas River KOA includes access to a range of full hookup sites, with 30 or 50 amp electrical connections and the space for big rigs up to 75 feet in length. There’s a picnic pavilion where you can mingle with other guests and a dog park where your four-legged friends can run free, as well as a swimming pool to cool off in during the hot, summer months. You can grab snacks, firewood, and propane at the on-site camp store and there’s a mini-golf course that the kids will love. Aside from an art shed and craft classes during the holidays, Saturday evening hayrides are one of the highlights of camping with an RV at this KOA.Cotopaxi campers are on the doorstep of the Royal Gorge Route Railroad and the Royal Gorge Dinosaur Experience, as well as being just a short drive from the historic town of Salida. The Great Sand Dunes National Park lies just to the south while the Pike and San Isabel National Forests are a stone’s throw away.
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Camp in an RV near Cotopaxi and head north to the Pike and San Isabel National Forests, which are famed for their “fourteeners,” peaks that rise to over 14,000 feet in height. These include Mount Elbert, the highest peak in Colorado, as well as the Collegiate Peaks and the Sangre de Cristo Range. Together the two forests encompass nine different wilderness areas that each have their own characteristics and recreation opportunities. Aside from challenging hikes to tick off the “fourteeners,” the area is also a popular winter sports hub, with the Monarch, Cooper Hill, Conquistador, and Cuchara Valley ski areas all within their borders.RV parks in Cotopaxi also make a good base for visiting the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, which is renowned for its towering sand dunes, some of which are up to 750 feet in height. Wade through the seasonal Medano Creek to access the dunes or follow the Medano Pass Primitive Road to explore the Sangre de Cristo mountains. Sandboarding and sand sledding are both popular activities (with boards available for rent just outside the park), as is hiking to the park’s wildlife-filled wetlands and alpine lakes.Cotopaxi / Arkansas River KOA can also be used as a base for exploring the Rio Grande National Forest, which sprawls across 1.86 million acres in southwest Colorado. Within its bounds lie one of the world’s largest high deserts and the immense agricultural alpine valley of San Luis, together with four designated wilderness areas. Spot black bears, cougars, and bighorn sheep in the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness, follow part of the Colorado Trail through La Garita Wilderness, or explore the sparkling lakes and high peaks of the South San Juan Wilderness.
RV camping at Cotopaxi / Arkansas River KOA is a great option if you want to ride the Royal Gorge Route Railroad, a heritage railway that departs from the Santa Fe Depot in nearby Cañon City. It follows a portion of the former Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad along a spectacular section of the track while offering an insight into the railroad’s storied past. Learn about the competition between the Rio Grande and Santa Fe railroads as mining activity grew in the Arkansas Valley and the two-year struggle between them that became known as the Royal Gorge War. Cañon City also has a good selection of supermarkets and gas stations if you need to fill up your RV rental, as well as plenty of eateries for dining out.If you’re traveling with kids, don’t miss a visit to the Royal Gorge Dinosaur Experience, which features an interactive museum and a park filled with life-size dinosaurs. Join a guided tour to learn about the museum’s fossil collection and sees casts of dinosaur-age creatures, then wander through the outdoor animatronic dinosaur park. Aside from a theater where you can learn more about these prehistoric creatures, there’s also a ropes course that brings you face-to-face with animated dinosaurs.Motorhome camping on the Arkansas River is also ideal if you want to visit Colorado Springs, which nestles at the foot of the Rocky Mountains just 90 minutes’ drive away. Soak up the panoramic views from Pikes Peak, which rises behind the city, and admire the red-hued rock formations in the Garden of the Gods. You can also explore the state-of-the-art facilities at the United States Olympic Training Center or coincide your visit to the United States Air Force Academy with one of their impressive training flights.Whether you want to explore the rugged landscapes of central Colorado or the training centers of Colorado Springs, book an RV in Fremont County and start planning your next vacation.