Lodgepole Campground is a creekside destination with incredible Colorado mountain views. The campground is located 3 miles south of Jefferson Lake, one of the highest elevation lakes around, capping 10,685 feet elevation and bordered by steep 12,000 foot peaks.
Fishing in both the creek and lake offer promising catches of trout. Another noteworthy aspect of the campground is its access to the Colorado Trail.
Lodgepole sits in a valley along Jefferson Creek facing Jefferson Hill at the high elevation of 9,900 feet. The single-loop campground is surrounded by groves of aspen and mixed conifer trees. Jefferson Lake, spanning about 182 acres, has deep, cold waters and freezes over in winter.
The best hiking, biking and horseback riding experience is on the epic Colorado Trail, a 471-mile trail that extends from Denver to Durango. Also accessible from the campground is the West Jefferson Loop Trail, a foot path that extends for 11 miles and reaches the Continental Divide.
Rainbow, brown, mackinaw and brook trout can be found swimming in the creek. For those who prefer fishing by boat, Jefferson Lake has a boat ramp. It is a no-wake lake.
Lodgepole offers more than 30 reservable campsites. Parking aprons are gravel and dirt and the max RV length 30 feet. Amenities include picnic tables, vault toilets, drinking water and grills.
Visitors enjoy Fairplay, Colorado, a ghost town that was once a frontier boom town. The South Park City Museum contains 34 authentic buildings with 60,000 artifacts.
We stayed in the ‘over flow’ or dispersed camp sites and not the reserved spots. It’s a little ways in, but not bad. Probably not good for a stock car but an SUV with decent clearance should do fine. The site we found was in terrible condition, which is sad that people leave the camp site that way. There was trash every where, beer cans, broken pieces glass, parts of an old tent, and toilet paper. I realize that’s not anyone’s fault but just humans who are inconsiderate. The sites, for being dispersed are pretty close to each other. But there’s some beautiful views and lots of wildlife.
We have previously stayed at Aspen and decided to try this campground since Aspen was full. Our site was very spacious and it was nice to spread out, however, the actual tent spot was really close to the vault toilets. The smell wasn't terrible, but definitely had some foot traffic during the night.
We expected plenty of people given that it was 4th of July. There were a couple very loud large groups and some RV's that ran their generators all day long. Not really the campgrounds fault however.
The water was fine but it was quite the workout to get it pumped. Bathrooms were decent. No real complaints about anything, we just missed the smaller campground at Aspen.
Dirty and over used is the shortest description. There were small bits and pieces of plastic, trash, cigarette butts almost every where I looked. The strangest part was the wire. There was so much insulated wire it almost looked like a junkyard. I guess hunters had used it to hang deer for gutting. At fist I thought it was string and I continually went to pick it up only to find more wire.
Overall we enjoyed our stay. the bathrooms were clean and our campsite was very large. Wr loved the easy access to the Colorado Trail as well. The negatives were that we were not expecting so many generators to be running while we were there. Also, the water is drinkable, but there was a sign about how they got cited for not keeping the minimum required water records in May of 2018. We were not 100% sure if the water was safe. We would return again, but will be strategic about what site we book.
The Lodgepole and all of the Jefferson campgrounds provide great access to the Colorado trail. I’ve camped here several times, but be sure to catch it in the fall! The colors are amazing. Just a short drive to Jefferson Lake, or you can hop on the Colorado trail just across the road. Not the most secluded sites, but plenty of trees and shade to feel private enough.