Standard (tent/RV)
RV Sites
Tent Sites
Fires Allowed
Pets Allowed
Drinking Water
About Ansel Watrous

Ansel Watrous Campground is located on the Cache la Poudre River, 22 miles northwest of Fort Collins, Colo., along Highway 14. Visitors enjoy the area for its great rafting, fishing and hiking opportunities.


The Cache la Poudre River offers whitewater rafting and fishing. Anglers cast for brown, cutthroat and rainbow trout, among other species of fish.

Hiking, biking and horseback riding trails are in the surrounding area, including the 4-mile Young Gulch Trail.

Other popular activities enjoyed by visitors to the campground include birding and wildlife viewing.


The campground offers accessible single-family sites, each equipped with a 12-by-15 tent pad, a picnic table and a campfire ring with grill.

Vault toilets and drinking water are provided. Dead and downed firewood may be gathered in the forest or purchased from the campground host.

Natural Features

The canyon's vegetation varies from dense forests to open meadows and the campground is surrounded by steep mountains. The campground is situated among Ponderosa pines on the banks of the Cache la Poudre River, Colorado's first river designated as a National Wild and Scenic River.

Charges & Cancellations

A $10.00 service fee will apply if you change or cancel your reservation. Late cancellations are subject to additional fees. For full details see NRRS Reservation Policy.

ADA Access: N

National Forest
Drive In
Walk In
ADA Accessible
Alcohol Allowed
Drinking Water
Electric Hookups
Fires Allowed
Firewood Available
Pets Allowed
Picnic Table
Trash Available
Ansel Watrous is located in Colorado
40.6897 N
-105.3492 W
Get Directions
From Fort Collins, take Highway 14 northwest for 13 miles.
10 Reviews of Ansel Watrous
Great place!

This campground was beautiful and the owners are SO NICE. Each campsite is right next to the river and have the nicest little set ups. We will be coming back!

It's ok

If you need to be close to Fort Collins or early in the season this is an ok campground. To close to the road and usually very busy. Sites are nice and shaded though and really close to the river. But there are much better camp grounds on up 14.

Sites right on the Cache la Poudre River

It's a very small campground with sites right along the river. There is a hairpin switchback to get into the lower loop and the website states that it is not accessible to trailers longer than 20 feet. Our friends cancelled because of that statement, but we watched some large trucks with long trailers negotiate it without issue.

The Greyrock Trailhead is close by and  we enjoyed hiking to the rock.

The only drawback to this campground is the rattlesnakes. The camp host warned us not to walk in the tall grass because they have caused trouble to other campers and their dogs. We didn't see any slithering around, but we found two dead rattlers on the road near our site so I don't think she was exaggerating.

Fishing paradise

We stayed here for three days in the beginning of August. The sites were fairly close to one another. The river provided great trout fly fishing and mountains provide a beautiful backdrop for camping.

Tent site #8 by the river

Couldn't be happier with our stay at this campground!! The site was right by the river in a small cluster of 3 tent only walk in sites. The walk in is only a few feet for this site so it's not really a walk in site, perfect if you don't want to wander too far from your car. The site is right on the banks of the large rushing river that will lull you to sleep at night. The two other sites are close by and there isn't much privacy but they are set apart enough so that you don't feel on top of each other at all. The bathrooms are very close by as well. No showers at this campground and only pit toilets, no cell phone service. Go down the street to the Mishawaka, great bar and food and amazing bartender.

Perfect Getaway

We loved this little campground! It is the perfect getaway from Fort Collins being easy to find and not too far. We loved going in the winter and enjoying the sounds of the river lack of cell service for a weekend. Lots of hiking, mountain biking and rafting opportunities nearby.

A great little camp ground on the Poudre River.

Its right on the river!! You get the sound of the rushing water 24-7. Fun spots for kids to play later in the summer when the water isnt as high!!

Between the Mountains and the River

We came into this campground on a Tuesday after camping through Wyoming. We stopped at the NFS visitor center to get a map of the Theodore Roosevelt National Forest and a list of all the dispersed campgrounds as we thought all campsites would be full. They had several people in them, but were definitely not full.

We were tent camping and were thrilled when we came upon this great walk in site. The site was very close to the parking lot, but didn't matter because of the beautiful terrain.

On one side of the campground (across from the road) is an enormous grassy hill. We looked for bighorn sheep with no luck! The other side of the campground is surrounded by the Cache la Poudre River.

Each site had a great tent pad (tough ground though, bent some tent stakes), a great picnic table, and very nice fire rings. There is a nice little trail that meanders through the campground. There were two other campers in the campground, but due to the terrain, we didn't even notice them.

The bathrooms are vault toilets and were very clean. There is drinking water available via a hand pump that was very easy to use.

We camped in a Big Agnes Tent and were very glad that we put every single guy line out! There was some amazing wind coming through the canyons during the night! It was very clear overnight and the sky view was awesome.

There seemed to be a lot to do in the area, lots of outfitters putting people in the river on rafts and kayakers around.

sound of the river

We stayed here only one night but it was amazing. it was not the destination but it came upon us when we needed it. we got a spot and the guy with the huge RV came over and gave us a warm welcome and told us he sells bundles of wood for 5$. it was a great campsite, with the river running right next to it. we saw a guy on a mountain bike. this spot was relatively close to fort collins where we got coffee in the morning. i would go back to this campsite anyday.

First to Review

This campground is in a great location for hiking with Grey Rock and Hewitt Gulch about a mile or 2 a way. This campground is also only about a mile from the Mishiwaka Amphitheater so it makes a great option for show camping. It is also right on the Poudre river for water access.