You may have felt it in the air the past few nights...a chill, ever so slight—signaling the end of summer. It got me thinking: A hectic schedule and a devastating fire season (and the numerous fire bans that accompanied it) put a serious damper on my camping escapades this summer.
Now that it's cooled off a bit, I'm ready for some tent-pitching. But not quite ready to let the summer offerings of the city (free concerts, movies in the park, food truck festivals) go. With these quick trips from the Mile High City, you can still keep one foot in the door of summer—and welcome fall with a big batch of s'mores.
1.  Dory Hill Campground: Tucked among the meadows and wildflowers near Black Hawk and Central City (the casino towns are just five miles away), Dory Hill offers tent, cabin, and RV camping. This is a great base for scenic drives and hiking, and there's even a small store for late-night snacks and forgotten toiletries.
2. Chatfield State Park:  Just off C-470 in Littleton, Chatfield offers 200 campsites, all within walking distance to the water. You won't exactly be roughing it—all sites have electrical hookups for your gadgets—and the campground has luxurious amenities like showers, laundry facilities, restrooms, a playground, a volleyball court, and horseshoe pits.
3. Golden Gate Canyon State Park:  It's just a few minutes away in Golden, but this park feels like it's far away from the hustle and bustle of the city. There's camping and cabins, but grab one of the yurts ($70 per night, sleeps six) for something different.
Be sure to check with each park individually about current fire restrictions. With the summer we've had, it's imperative that we all be responsible citizens and stewards of Colorado's landscape.
—Image courtesy of Shutterstock