Cheley Colorado Camps

Estes Park, Colorado    

Lantern Review of Cheley Colorado Camps

It’s hard not to remark on Cheley Colorado Camp’s national (even international) reputation and it’s easy to understand why this generational family-run camp enjoys such a popular reputation. Cheley’s culture exudes the Colorado way of being, that is to say a way of life that embraces the outdoors, celebrates self-reliance and revels in a joy of the simple pleasures of life. It’s important to recognize, however, that the Cheley experience is a reflection of a deep conviction in the value of character development and a genuine desire to impact campers by developing those character traits that Cheley values; that of resilience, self-reliance and the process of discovery.

Tucked into the dramatic mountain landscape with splendid panoramic views of the Colorado Rockies, the Cheley cabins are wonderful wilderness outposts, but very little time is spent here. Indeed, walking into Cheley, you might be surprised to find so few campers on the camp’s grounds despite a large number of campers who are here at any one time. The boys and girls of Cheley are typically rafting or on the hiking, horseback or mountain bike trails of the adjacent national park or forest. The program here is about being “out there” to explore and discover. You find your way by the sure and gentle guidance of professionally trained counselors.

To create an environment that values self-discovery and still produces camaraderie, the campers’ first task is to develop a “Code of Living” among their group. By allowing the campers to express their own goals set within general camp guidelines, a collective “code” of behavior helps campers navigate their own process of discovery while understanding and respecting the implications of their decisions on the greater camp community.

The activities at Cheley have remained largely constant for generations, a visible manifestation in the belief of enduring values. The vistas from Cheley are broad and beautiful and a wonderful metaphor for the broad impact they hope to have each summer.

Fast Facts

  • COED
  • 490 Campers per Session
  • 4-week
  • Founded in 1921
  • $$$

Director's Message

Our mission states, "We build the lasting character and resiliency of young people, creating unique life experiences in a challenging and nurturing natural environment." Our programs are a vehicle for us to pursue our mission. We are a mountain camp so we utilize our environment to provide a quality experience for our campers. A focus on strong family values creates a environment focused on growth and support.

Program Highlights

  • 13 Activities
  • Team Sports
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Mountains
  • Individual Activities
  • Drama
  • Tripping
  • Forest
  • Remote

Top 5 Activities

  • Hiking
  • Backpacking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Rafting
  • Climbing

Travel Information

Many of our campers fly inter Denver International Airport. We meet the campers at the gate, help them through security, get their bags and put them on a charter bus for the 90-minute ride to camp. Other campers arrive to camp by car.


Cheley Colorado Camps

(303) 377-3616

(970) 586-4244

Jeff Cheley