Thursday May 7, 2015
Colorado and camping go hand-in hand, especially as the hot summer months have everyone craving cooler weather. But to have a legal, 420-friendly camping trip, you'll have to do a lot more than just head up the mountains. That's because federal cannabis law trumps Colorado law, and many campsites fall on federal land.
Unfortunately, state-owned campsites also have a strict policy against marijuana for reasons outlined by the Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act. Though general smoking restrictions reduce the areas in which people can smoke to private or outdoor areas, marijuana consumption has been restricted even more.
According to the State of Colorado, marijuana is intended for private consumption, only. Public sidewalks, sporting arenas and state-owned parks prohibit the use of cannabis and could result in a fine (or worse) should you choose to ignore these rules.
I did find a few 420-friendly campsites in Colorado, though. One of which is CanyonSide Campground, a privately owned campground located 60 minutes northwest of Fort Collins. Because it is on private land, the owners are granted the right to decide whether or not to permit marijuana in the area and they’ve said yes!
CanyonSide Campgrounds you have your choice of basic tent camping, RV camping (with hookups) or fully-furnished cabins. Activities around CanyonSide include hiking, fly fishing, horseback riding and many miles worth of ATV trails.
Cabins start at around $99 per night for up to two people, RV parking for $50 and tent sites for $20 per person each night. The tent area over looks the river so that's cool, plus, when you get sick of tossing rocks in the water, it's good to know that New Belgium Brewing Company in Fort Collins is just an hour away.
Another fun 420-friendly camping site, located in the San Juan National Forest just 20 miles southwest of Pagosa Springs, is the Wilderness Bud and Breakfast. Here you'll find fully furnished single and double tipis (starting at $70 per night), as well as waterfront tent sites for $45 per night per person. No tent, no problem. You can rent those too, along with sleeping bags and mats for a small charge. There will also be a community kitchen, secured food storage coolers and BBQ available all day, plus an outhouse and solar-heated shower facility for your convenience.
Your stay at the Wilderness Bud and Breakfast will also include a continental breakfast and 420 campfire and happy hour. Activities available at the site include swimming, fishing, hiking, rock climbing and even lunch with a llama if you're feeling especially adventurous.
There are other places to stay in the mountains that are 420 friendly, too, though not necessarily camping. Depending on where you're headed, you can find a number of 420-friendly cabins and hotels in and around our cozy mountain towns. Plan a trip around one of the area’s local festivals for an extra dose of Colorado fun.
In Colorado, nature is meant to be experienced. With mountains to climb, rivers to ride and trails to explore, it’s no wonder Colorado loves camping.