A summer at Cheley Colorado Camps means spending your summer hiking, backpacking, horseback riding, and playing in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Wake up each morning to freshmountain air, views of peaks that soar to 14,000 feet, and the laughter of your fellow campers. Since 1921, Cheley Colorado Camps has welcomed more than 50,000 young people from every state and more than a dozen countries, including many second, third and now fourth generation Cheley campers.
Families choose Cheley because they know they can expect an experience of exceptional richness, quality and consistency in a community that celebrates the individual interests and needs of each participant. Camp lies 75 miles northwest of Denver on the 750-acre Land O’ Peaks Ranch south of Estes Park, surrounded by the snow-capped peaks and forests of Rocky Mountain National Park, Indian Peaks Wilderness Area, Roosevelt National Forest and Rawahs Wilderness area.
Cheley operates its backcountry program on permits from the National Park Service and the Forest Service. In addition to the Land O’ Peaks Ranch, Cheley owns 5 more locations totaling approximately 700 acres. Two of these locations are the site of two additional camper units while the other three locations serve as overnight camping spots. No matter how many years you come to camp, it’s tough to see it all.
In Rocky Mountain National Park alone, more than 600 miles of trails wind through sunlit meadows of wild flowers, cool forests, brilliant snow fields and vast boulder fields to high country lakes, ponds, glaciers and rivers—and peaks that soar to 14,000 feet. Cheley’s facilities include five horseback riding rings, a climbing wall, a gymnasium, a fleet of 40 mountain bikes, a ropes course, a grassy amphitheater with a lighted stage, a soccer field beside an aspen grove, a weight room, a fishing pond, and facilities for working with leather, paints, fibers and wood. Camp buildings are rich in tradition and steeped in memory.
Handsome lodges and snug log cabins dating to the 1920s merge gracefully with the rocky landscape, offering stunning views at every turn. Facilities and grounds are constantly improved and scrupulously maintained for the safety, comfort and enjoyment of campers and staff.
My son tells me daily that he can’t wait for his summer time at Cheley! Camp Cheley provides my son with a much needed escape from the pressures of school, sports, etc… He has the chance to unplug and spend a month in nature. As he describes it, “Texas is flat in boring. The mountains in Estes Park are majestic and like nothing I have ever seen before! Hiking in snow while wearing shorts is awesome!” He met incredible new friends, and he learned a lot about other countries from his new friends who traveled from overseas to attend camp. He found he was able to push himself beyond his physical limits, and he enjoyed learning about a healthier lifestyle. When we picked him up during parents’ weekend, he was stronger mentally and physically. The change that occurred in just a few weeks was remarkable. He had this smile and glow that I can’t wait to experience when we pick him up again this summer! And, what an experience it is for the families to have the opportunity to meet the staff, counselors and the other families. The horse show was outstanding, and the food was delicious! My son still talks about taco night! The accommodations could not be more beautiful – I wish we could upload photos so I could show you the amazing place my son feels is now his summer home. The staff was very responsive, and they were great dealing with a nervous Mom’s first time sending her son away to a multi-week camp. They even make sure parents receive a handwritten letter at least one a week. Cheley is not just a camp – it’s a family, it’s a tradition, and it’s life changing. Thank you to everyone at Cheley for impacting so many young lives!!
Cheley Camp is a very special place. My children will be going back for their 6th summer this year. My kids get to spend 3 1/2 weeks in glorious RMNP with other amazing young people from all over the country. Cheley encourages them to do what they love, challenge themselves, make great personal choices and just have fun! Unplugged, away from their usual daily lives. They have made life long friends from near and far and come home raving about the food, the freedom and awesome adventures they experienced. My kids have grown up so much at Cheley camp thanks to the values the Cheley family has instilled for 95 years. I highly recommend the Cheley experience. It's simply the best there is in one of the most gorgeous settings in the United States.
The summers our three children have spent at Cheley have been not only the best summers of their lives, but by far and away the most impactful and transformative. Living, hiking, riding, singing and making friends in the mountains, without the pressures of school, technology and constant assessments, has increased their confidence, independence and joyfulness. The emphasis on character and community is priceless. The staff is very well trained, the setting gorgeous and the activities a wonderful contrast to school and competitive sports.