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Alamosa, COLORADO
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Dunes adventure

We just got back from our trip to the dunes. It was a fun experience and we will be returning in the the fall once the mosquito horde has died.

The sites:

  1. Choose wisely not every site has a view of the dunes. I did my research and was rewarded with a site on the outer portion of the camp ground. Our site had decent shade but many are exposed, bring a tarp or canopy.

  2. July was mosquito madness. Honestly I am from the country and can deal with bugs, but being dived bombed by 30 mosquitos (not exagerrating) is intense. Be ready for battle. Bring a arsenal or bug spray etc. if you come during their prime months. Persobally I will only return in fall or spring prior to these months from now in as it can be tough to relax. They are everywhere except they do thin out the higher you go in the dunes. Just be ready mentally to combat those suckers, they are relentless and thick.

  3. Very close to the creek and dunes. We hiked the dune overlook trail and it was really nice-1 mile long and gave a different perspective of the dunes. There are a few hikes we wanted to try there but the mosquitos were just so thick we stuck to the dunes mainly this time.

  4. No showers. Which can be a bummer in the heat and sand combo so bring shower wipes.

GPS fail and stinky

GPS won’t get you here because 2nd Street is bisected by a creek with no bridge. I had to back my trailer a couple of blocks. I went for the Premium River site (creek). Directly across the creek is a horse enclosure - IOW stinky. The horse enclosure is about 50 feet from the back of my trailer. I’m in site 9. I won’t stay here again.

Fun, rocky road up the mountain

We drove up the road for a while to find a higher up spot. High clearance is definitely needed, dirt road turns into curvy, rocky road with multiple spots on both sides. There were plenty of already made fire pits. The views are amazing and even though we saw several other people, we never heard them. There was a few 4wheelers and dirt bikes. All around great, free spot.

Good

Wish that it were a little cheaper and maybe a bit fatter from the road but it is a nice spot right in the river and has amenities.

Great Spot ⛺️

This campground has 3 walk in tent campsites, a pit toilet, picnic tables, fire pits and great access to West Spanish Peaks trailhead. Very clean & quite. Great Mountain View’s. There are fees for camping & day use. US Forrest Service land.

Stunning views from almost every site!

I really can’t say enough praise about how beautiful this campground is! A real nice scattering on trees everywhere to break the daytime sun and allows for good shade. The sites are nicely laid out with picnic table, fire ring and grills, and high post hooks. The vaults are clean and well managed. The site host was super friendly with a nice dog. But its the spectacular views are what will take your breath away. Honestly, I don’t think there is a bad site to be had here. Trail access is great too. Plenty to see and do!

Great view of the dunes

Location we had was nice and quiet.

Great BLM spot near Great Sand Dunes National Park

We stayed a week and half in late June 2019. The camping areas are very easy to find and are directly off Lake Como Road which is off Hwy 150(main road that leads to Great Sand Dunes NP). There is a BLM sign at the turn to the right. The GPS coordinates will take you to the correct area. There are several camping areas as you drive down the road. There are all on the left side. There is a large dip right after you turn and before the sign. Make sure you are going slow and you shouldn’t have any problems. The road is washboard sand and dirt but overall is not bad to drive down, especially if you go slow. I think any size rig would be fine to travel to the first three camping areas. Each camping area could probably fit 3-5 rigs and some tenters without being on top of each other. The first camping area is about¼ mile down the road. Not a bad area, but it was a bit busier when we arrived(probably due to the proximity to the road). We went to the second area which is probably another¼ mile down the road. That area was busy as well, but we liked it better(more grass than dirt). We setup camp in the back of the area and were able to get level without blocks! Most everyone else needed blocks, but they didn’t seem to have much problem leveling. As you continue down the road, its condition does worsen. Tenters and small vans have more options towards the mountain. We did see a decent size Airstream make it to the fourth pullout area, but we didn’t feel comfortable taking our 30 ft travel trailer past the second section. We did walk down to the third pullout and it was not as level or as big, so we were happy with our decision to stick to the second section. The road was a bit worse from areas#2-#3, but still probably doable for most rigs. After that it starts to get a bit rough, at least in our opinion. Cell reception was good, we had 2-3 bars 4G LTE on AT&T. We use hotspots for internet and have AT&T and Verizon and both worked well. No amenities at all so pack in and out. The area is about 20-25 minutes to the Great Sand Dunes National Park. We were able to get potable water there(at the dump station) and dump as we were leaving. They also have dumpsters we used to dispose of our trash(and the trash of inconsiderate tent campers who left over two bags of trash for us to collect for them). The town of Alamosa is about 30 minutes away and has places for groceries, propane, and anything else you may need during your stay. The camping areas have a wonderful view of Blanca Peak. If you are in better shape than we are, you can attempt the summit while there. There are no trees or any obstructions on any of the pullouts. Perfect for solar, but also no protection from wind and blowing sand. It was windy several times when we were there, and it will blow sand and dust in the RV. Nothing too bad but be aware. The weather was great until the last few days when the high was almost 90. Small rain events happen frequently in the afternoon, but they never last long and some don’t make it to the area, but you can see them in the distance. The area gets busy on the weekend, but during the week it slows down. Everyone was respectful and enjoyed the quiet. The biggest noise was the free-range cows in the morning making a raucous and using the RV as a back scratcher. They didn’t visit every morning but were there several times bright and early. Dark skies there. You can see the Milky Way with the naked eye. Overall, it was a great stay and we would stay again if ever back in the area.

So much to do

We stayed for one night in late June. The hot pool was a welcome destination after an afternoon of sliding down sand dunes and hiking back up.

Nice grass for tents.

Cafe menu is great.

Showers and washroom are good

Sand boards are available to hire

Happy place

I just really enjoy the layout of this campground, the nice big bear boxes, and the park ranger who has a cat in his truck sometimes when he cruises around.

First to Review
Quiet

It is a small quiet Campground.  Large level sites.  Owners dogs Ron free.

A Beautiful Spot

This is a truly beautiful spot to camp. A large campsite with enough spots for 3 to 4 RVs plus several tenting spots less than 10' from the water.

Cozy riverside camping. New go-to spot

This site is awesome. Dog friendly easy to access but still out of range of the normal weekenders from Denver, etc. The campground is right off highway 160 and is tucked away down a small hill and some tall pines. Vaulted toilet and brand new bear lockers at each plot. Fire pit and picnic table too. We slept 10 yards from what we see as an offshoot of the Rio Grande and got in the river in the morning to wake up. It runs pretty loud (late May) so be ready to hear that all night. We found it relaxing though. Check out county road 380 for some good views and hiking as well nearby. There's not really a town close though so bring your water and firewood and snacks. 1 hour drive from Sand Dunes park too.

Simple and quiet

The campsite was clean and simple with a fire ring, picnic table, and trash can (tent site). The bath house with private restrooms and showers is a great relief after a long day. Landscape is natural with great views of the mountains, only downfall is no trees, so no shade. Fairly close to fellow campers but our neighbors are friendly and quiet. Only 20 minutes from Sand Dunes.

Quiet Oasis with Amazing Views

We’ve done 2 weeklong stays at Grape Creek RV Park near Westcliffe, Colorado. The spaces are long and level and each contains full hookups, a large patch of grass, aspen trees, and best of all great views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The town of Westcliffe with shops, museums, restaurants, and grocery store is a couple miles away. Within an hour’s drive there are many attractions, much wonderful scenery, and endless lakes for fishing and trails for hiking. Don’t miss out!

The Oasis is a hidden gem

It's slight hidden behind a bigger RV andodge campground. It was beautiful views from ANY tent site you got. It had bathroom n accessible showers if needed. Firewood. Friendly hosts and snacks. And RIGHT outside the entrance to see the dunes. It was awesome! Close to lakes n rivers to fish and just beautiful.

Beautiful by the Rio Grande

Spent one very restful night here. Slept right alongside the river. The sound of the running water put me to sleep quickly. The campground was very clean and all the important information was clearly posted. A very beautiful spot and will definitely return here.

Campground

We stayed here mid summer. We picked a perfect time because it rained in the afternoons which cooled things down nicely and kept the sand firm in the morning while we hiked. By the time we got to the top it was dried out enough to board or sled down which was a blast. The falls are really cool as well as beautiful scenery in all directions

Ranger Review: Éclipse UPF Neck Gaiter at Sacred White Shell Mountain

Campground Review:

We chose this BLM campground because it is right outside of Great Sand Dunes National Park.  There are several sites along Lake Como Road.  The type of vehicle you have determines how far up the road/secluded you can get.  We were there over Memorial Day Weekend and it was packed.  However, there are tons of sites and plenty of space for all!  We camp in a RV and there were plenty of accessible sites for us to choose from us well.  The road in is really bumpy so we parked in the first parking area on the left as you come in and were happy with it.  This is a popular area for off-roading so be prepared for some traffic heading up Lake Como Road to hit the trails if you are there on a weekend.  The only downside to this area was the CRAZY winds that blew through.  There were gusts of 67 mph one day!  The views are amazing in this spot.  And, even better – our Verizon hotspot was strong enough for us to both work all week.  When the weather was clear it seemed no matter where we looked, we had mountain views.  Not to mention the spectacular view of Blanca Peak.  It’s also amazing being so close to the National Park.  We were really happy with the location and thoroughly enjoyed our time in the park.  We were really happy with this free spot!

Product Review:

As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I occasionally get to test products.  During this stay, I tested Éclipse Sun Protective Clothing’s neck gaiter.  I knew the sun would be strong when we were hiking the dunes, so we wanted to protect ourselves.  We also expected the wind to blow the sand around so we figured this would be the perfect product to protect us from both.  Boy, were we right!  The gaiters were perfect.  They come with an info sheet showing you the different ways you can wear your neck gaiter.  I assumed I would just wear it around my neck as planned.  However, prior to hiking the dunes we hiked a Zapata Falls and I was a little chilly.  I pulled the neck gaiter out and wore it like a headband and LOVED it.  It was super easy to get comfortable and in a good spot and it was nice knowing my hairline was protected from damaging UPF rays.  Once we started hiking the dunes, I assumed I would pull it back down around my neck.  However, I loved it so much as a headband I didn’t want to move it.  It did a great job of keeping the sand out of my ears which I am so thankful for.  My husband wore his around his neck and he too was really happy with it.  This is versatile product has earned a permanent spot in our day packs.  Way to go Éclipse!

Better camping on the dunes

The campsite is cool, but crowded. You can get a permit to backpack a mile into the dunes (away from people's sight). It's a good hike into the dunes, but once you find a spot, it's incredible. Beware what time you go, it can be freezing and windy, so best to go probably in May. It's extremely secluded - you're fully surrounded by the dunes with the mountains in the background. Obviously good to be prepared with plenty of water and food cuz sand… Highly recommend doing this! One of my favorite and most memorable camping/backpacking trips, for sure.

Great spot off the beaten path!

Nice quiet dispersed campground near Sand Dunes National Park. It is a bit of a trek to get to, but with the busy season, it was nice to get away from big crowds. We got there earlier in the day in order to get a good spot and were the first ones for the weekend. Our spot was amazing with established fire pit and tree stumps for sitting. The view was incredible. We had a nice flat area to park our pop up. We enjoyed the spot for a quiet place to camp with our family. The dogs on site kept our fur girl entertained and made it feel safe. They had firewood for sale which was awesome. The area can get very windy so we were unable to make a fire one of the nights which is ok. Good reason the go to Calvillo’s in Alamosa. (About 35 min away)

Ranger Review: Trekz Air Aftershokz Headphones at Rabbit Hole Ranch

Campground review: 

I chose this spot to scout for my Dyrt Ranger Mission  because I had stayed at a similar place right near here last Summer (see Zapata Under the Stars review) and I was excited to get back out into dispersed wilderness again. The views and solitude of the desert did not disappoint. 

After booking I realized I wanted to add an extra night and the hosts got back to me immediately saying it wasn't a problem. I also asked them about the dogs since I was bringing mine to camp with us. They said the dogs were very friendly and it shouldn't be a problem at all. They also let me know I could purchase wood at the site. 

We ended up arriving after dark on Friday night and following the directions wasn't a problem. The directions from the hosts after booking are like a scavenger hunt of sorts. It was a bit hard to make out in the dark, but thankfully, we are pretty good with directions…and puzzles. The site is approximately 10 miles from the main road. 

This is a dispersed style campground for the most part. There is one site that has a landing pad, grill barrel, and was near the PooLoo and the Woodstock but the others were marked by little orange flags (we noticed those in the morning). Since there weren't clearly marked sites so we did drive around a bit until we saw what looked like remnants of a former campsite and pulled in there.  There weren't big spots to fit our tipi tent but we made it work. I think most of the sites are made for smaller 2 man tents. 

We were immediately greeted by one very friendly Pyrenees dog named Kaylee who took an immediate liking to our dogs and began playing with our youngest pup. They seemed to really take to each other. Another one showed up named Deja and seemed to be the protector of the campground. Deja was not a fan of our playful puppy and Deja made it known that our dog was not to be around her. We kept a close eye when Deja and Kaylee came around since they looked so much alike, our puppy was confused as to which one would play and which one would growl and take him down. 

That night Deja and Kaylee slept outside out tent the majority of the night while our pups were inside the tent. One of the outside dogs began barking nonstop in the middle of the night and wouldn't stop for a couple hours. This happened both nights. Thankfully I had my aftershokz headphones (with the ear plugs) so that was my saving grace in falling asleep through the barking.

Other than the random dog drama and barking, this site was fantastic! It was quiet and peaceful. Had great views of Mt. Blanca, the Sand Dunes, and easy access to town if needed. 

Bathroom: The pooloo was hilarious (see video). The concept and view was fantastic! It was just a bit too close to the big site. If we were the only ones camping there it would have been perfect, but it was far from where we camped and since there were other people camping at the large site, it was a bit awkward to use when kids are running around that can see your face. 

Water: We brought plenty of water so we didn't need to see the pump, but if you contact he host, they can operate the well water pump for you. 

Firewood: Firewood is for sale on site. Unbundled but large stacks of wood. $6 per stack and it's on the honor system. So please make sure you are being good humans!

Local attractions: From the main road, you are about 30 mins to Sand Dunes National Park, 50 mins from Zapata Falls, 45 mins to Del Norte, and 30 mins from Alamosa. There is also an Alligator and Reptile Refuge about 20 mins North. There is also a large pool/hot spring in Hooper, Co near the refuge (this pool is alligator free). 

Product Review: 

As a Dyrt Ranger I get the opportunity to receive products to review and a month ago I got these for a biking trip that ended up being cancelled. I wasn't intentionally going to use these and review them on this trip but they ended up being needed for both nights so I figured it is the perfect time! The product is the Air Trekz by Aftershokz https://aftershokz.com/collections/wireless/products/trekz-air

I was super curious when I received these headphones.I can't use normal headphones because they are either are super painful or fall out since my ear canals are very small. 

These headphone ROCK! They are super comfortable and stylish. I found that I started using them for just about everything, driving on the phone, riding my bike, walking the dogs, hiking, and even sleeping when it's noisy. As my boyfriend put it "this is the end to people's tone deaf singing, since they can now hear what they sound like". 

They are a bit big for my head so the back strap falls down a bit but they never fall off. They come with a set of ear plugs so you can focus on the sound if preferred too. 

They come with a really sturdy case that stands up on its own. The base is wider so they don’t get smashed or broken when put in a bag.

The sound quality if pretty good considering you are hearing it from your cheek bones instead of your ear drums. podcasts are clear, music is fluid, and even instrumental music is clear. The only genre that gets a bit wonky is music with heavy bass. The sound just can't compare to professional headphones when it comes to bass. 

For the purpose of using these for our trip, I used them on a hike and while sleeping when the dogs outside the tent started barking late night. I was able to fall asleep on the side of my head without worrying about painful ears. They worked like a charm.

It would be a great place but...

This is a beautiful area, the lake is gorgeous and on the way in we saw a huge herd of elk which was awesome. However not long after we set up some rowdy locals decided to do donuts on the beach in their truck, some playing loud music. Thankfully they left but it wasn’t the peaceful evening we were hoping for. There are two sides of the lake to camp on. One side had pit toilets but it was more crowded with lots of people on ATV’s there are tons of trails you can see where they go all over that side. On the other side of the lake there are no toilets and not as many ATV trails. It’s a great free place to camp but it may not be the quiet peaceful place you’re looking for if the wrong crowd is here at the same time.

Cutest Cabin Ever!

This place was magical. It was the perfect way to celebrate our anniversary! Only an hour from the Sand Dunes, 45 min from Creede, and close to Three Barrel Brewing Co!

The cabin was perfect, full bathroom, half kitchen, and plenty of sweetness that makes you feel cozy!

Difficult road VERY bumpy

Nice being so close to Sandunes and there’s 1/2 price camp spots for those with access passes to the national parks

Waterfront, mountain drop, dispersed campgroud

Really loved this spot. It was windy and tree coverage was limited but we found an awesome spot for the weekend towards the end of the road. There’s lot to explore on foot and we hit the Great Sand Dunes National Park about 45 minutes away on our last day out here. The water, hiking, breathtaking views, and wide expanse to post up camp was great. Next time will bring a 4 wheeler. PSA: pack it out, it was heartbreakingly prevalent here.

Great sunset views

Beautiful camp sites that are perfect for visiting Great Sand Dunes NP. The views are incredible, there are restrooms, fire pits, and all sites are well marked. The road up is long and bumpy but well worth it once you’re there. The only downside about this campground for me was that the sites were a little close together and we could always see our neighbors. That being said, I would absolutely stay here again and recommend it to anyone heading out to the park.

Great Access to Sand Dunes!

We camped here during the winter while the car camping in Great Sand Dunes national park was closed. It's about 10 miles from the park and the view of the dunes and the valley is gorgeous. The road in is a little bumpy, but sedans were definitely able to make it.

The campground doesn't have a whole lot of trees and some of the sites are close together, but in the quieter winter season we had plenty of privacy. Campground has pit toilets, fire rings, tent pad, picnic table, but no running water. 

The nearby hike to Zapata falls is worthwhile too, especially in winter for the giant ice sheets in the canyon.

Scenic and all encompassing

The landscape is absolutely beautiful, a perfect view of the mountains and close proximity to Alamosa grocery stores and Great Sand Dunes National Park. Super friendly camp host as well! Amazing and private bathrooms! Very clean overall. Fire rings and trash cans too.

Undescribable fun with views

Four stars because the campsite at the actual park was full and the one outside of the park was unorganized, but they had great service and were very friendly. Hiked around 10 miles with my dog in the dunes and on the mountain and will return in a couple days to go to the summit.