Quiet, beautiful, and clean. We even had visits from deer, a very bold skunk, chipmunks, squirrels, and blue jays. The camp hosts were delightful, too!
I spent 2 nights on my rode trip from El Paso to Provo. I reserved site 9 on Recreation.gov. The host expected me. The site was shaded encircled by pine trees and it was cool in late August. The squirrels are voracious and chewed through my stuff sack with sealed food that I left on the picnic table when I went for a bike ride around the lake.
NF Big Lake Rec Area is developed around Big Lake, which isn’t big. I asked the tackle shop clerk about swimming and he warned of hooks and lures. He said the water was fine except for a film of algae. I didn’t swim. The campground seemed used by anglers and off-roaders.
I found the first non-motorized trail off the gravel Forest Service road by the lake. It wasn’t walking distance from the campground. The forest had burned in 2011 according to warning signs, but by 2020 there was new growth and plenty of trees survived. The trail teamed with wildlife. There were squirrels and chipmunks everywhere. I spotted a group of elk cows and later mule deer bucks. I observed at least 5 species of birds. The forest was alive with activity. I didn’t see any people on the trail.
There were many dispersed camping spots throughout the forest and several campgrounds along black river.
I had a big juicy burger at the Alpine Grill and Still, whose bar area was open for dine in despite the coronavirus.
Despite the development, I recommend it.