This campground allows easy access to Denver, Golden, and the foothills. Campers are close together, but there are some mature trees. This campground is nicer than most that provide access to Denver.
The campground has a pool and hot tub. The play set for kids is small. The bathrooms are very clean. The staff is helpful. Walk up the hill to the open space adjacent to the campground for a view of the mountains and the city.
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.
the first time I ever camped here (I've gone a half dozen times) I'll never forget. We had just finished setting up the pop up ( there was pleanty of room for it) and had opened a drink when a heard of elk came through. i mean litereally, an elk walked between my father and I only 5 feet apart! the whole herd walked though our campsite heading down to the valley. beautiful views of Long's Peak and quick access to Estes Park. love it
This campground is always full. Right inside the border of RMNP out of Estes Park, it’s accessible but removed enough from traffic and noise. Some of the sites are close together but each has a generous tent pad, bear proof storage (most, not all) and a fire pit. Also available are reasonably clean toilets and sun shower stations. Nice views (Longs Peak), trees for hammock-hanging, and great camp hosts. Definitely recommend, if you can snag a site. Reserve in advance if possible.
Very close to home. Lake Dillon Res is cold water. Always, even in July and August. Were at about 9000 feet, weather can change rapidly, and forecasters can be wrong. Be prepared for all 4 seasons. It can snow in July. No lie.
Update on getting in water, it is open seasonally. When allowed, you can try to swim and get into the lake. Very short season that this is available.
The ski resorts listed are NOT open year round. There is "shoulder" or "mud" season as we call it, where the resorts close, the restaurants close, shops, everything on the mountain stops. Towns still are fully open. But not the base of the ski resorts.
Only Reservoir in lower 48 with Arctic Char. Also have Kokanee Salmon. In addition to many species of trout. Lake, Rainbow, and Brown.
Lots of space in campground. Our usual spot has trees still and cover. Helps when it gets windy. Access to lake is great. Clean and up kept. It can be beautiful but chilly for most folks. Can even shore up boats in certain camp sites.
Lake is extremely low this season (2019) and camp will be further away from any water access.
This campground is one of many driving up route 67. They're all closed in the winter and through the beginning of May. Very basic sites are available no amenities. Make sure you have 4-wheel drive available in the early spring.
Brainard Lake Recreation Area has some really great hikes to alpine lakes, and Pawnee campground is the place to stay if you want to be the first person on the trail. Overall it is your standard large campground - the sites have grills, fire grates, picnic tables, bear boxes, and are fairly close to one another. The campground also has clean restrooms and you can book your site online.
There are a lot of moose in the area! I have been here twice and I have seen moose both times. Once was just along the road, and the other time I saw 2 moose while I was hiking to Lake Isabelle. Also, the Lake Isabelle hike is one of my favorites - I recommend coming here just to do this hike. It is helpful to stay at the campground the night before because the trailhead parking lots fill up quickly.
This is a pretty popular area for camping thanks to the Colorado Trail being in close proximity and the abundant amount of aspen trees here that turn gold come September. There are 2 campgrounds to accommodate - one on each side of Hwy 285 and they can become rather crowded on summer weekends. Luckily, there is a limited amount of dispersed camping sites here as well if you are searching for some peace and quiet to go along with your camping trip. In this area the Forest Service specifically states that dispersed camping is only allowed in designated sites along NFSR 126 and 126.A on the east side of Hwy 285.
We drove along 126 and were able to snag the last dispersed site late on a Saturday. I would say that there couldn't be more than 10 dispersed sites along 126. I did not drive down 126.A. Also, on 126 you eventually come up to a gate and the road goes through private property. The very last dispersed site is right before this gate, and that is the one we got. This site required some hauling of gear from the road down to the site, but it wasn't very far. This would not be a good site if you have a rooftop tent though, because you are not allowed to drive down to the site you have to park on the road (not all of the dispersed sites were like this though). There were actually 2 fire rings at this site too - we went with the further one from the road for privacy. Overall it was a good site and much quieter than the campgrounds. Would recommend if you are trying to stay near the Colorado Trail or want to camp in the aspens in fall.
So the Gordon Gulch dispersed camping area has around 15 numbered sites that are ok… but if you keep driving further down 233.1 you will find many more unnumbered campsites. I am reviewing one of these unnumbered campsites in particular, because this one had the best view. Before you read too far, I can't guarantee you will be able to reach this campsite without a 4X4 high clearance vehicle. We got to the site with a Jeep Wrangler and Toyota Tacoma TRD so we had no problems… I can't definitely say a Subaru would make it though. In the pictures I have included a map of the Gordon Gulch trail system. Entering through the Gordon Gulch entrance and taking 226.1 to 233.1 is the hardest route - there is one very steep and washed out spot. Entering via 120J/Switzerland Trail from the Peak to Peak Hwy and then turning right onto 233.1 is the easier option. On that map I have marked the general area of the campsite with a pink dot and here are the coordinates.
DMS: 40°01'18.5"N 105°28'37.6"W
DD: 40.021814, -105.477103 - if you type this into Google Maps it will locate it
As for the actual campsite, it is a great option for spring/fall camping in Colorado. The elevation is about 8,800 ft and it is on the south side of a hill so it gets a lot of sunlight and is protected from northern winds. In terms of privacy, there are no other campsites that can be seen from this one. However, Gordon Gulch is a popular off-roading area so dirt bikes and Jeeps pass by frequently. This campsite is set up high above and away from the road though, so it is really not that bad. Another thing to point out is that this is a popular area for shooting as well, so if you absolutely hate guns it may not be the place for you. Also, as stated before, this is a dispersed campsite the only thing it has is a fire ring. Pack it in, pack it out!
Mueller State Park is a great location, close to Colorado Springs and far away enough to have that quiet camping experience. There were amazing views of Pikes Peak and so many camping spots. We had a group of us, so we found two camping spots together and across the road from vault toilets. The 5 kids in our group had a great time and I was impressed with how clean the campsites were kept. I would highly recommend camping at Mueller State Park and would love to return for another camping experience.
Some friends and I camped here in early October. It got a bit chilly at night, two layers, smartwool socks, a Carhart beanie, sleeping pad plus a medium temp sleeping bag kept me semi warm in our tent. The hikes we went on were beautiful and the restrooms were clean and close to our site. Because it was a last minute reservation we ended up in the RV section of the campsite so it was a little nosier than neccessary. We saw the park ranger ride through about every half hour to hour during our weekend stay. I would defintely stay there again!
This is a pretty popular campsite and I can see why! It’s right outside of Denver and can easily be a quick night away or a weekend of fun. Sites filled up quick when we decided to go around the end of July. We didn’t get a personal campsite but got on the waiting list. When we arrived back to check to see about availability there were other campers waiting as well. One of the campers suggested we all go in on a group site and we got enough people to agree. Everyone was very friendly and we met all kinds of families. I’d definitely recommend trying a group site if a personal one isn’t available. There was plenty to do during the day. We fished, kayaked and walked around the park. There were plenty of people on bikes as well. We also noticed lots of SUPS out on the water as well. There is a dock for boats and even an area for dogs off leash. The campsite had some construction going on when we went but everything was well kept and clean. We will definitely come back to this campsite soon!
Camped here one night as we prepared to leave Colorado for home. The park is in the city, but surprisingly doesn’t feel that way. The place was busy and no privacy between sites. Bathrooms were clean and well kept. There were a few “interesting” characters in the park. Felt like they came here to party and hangout on the weekend. It was a convenient camping experience.
This was one of our go-to spots. If we needed a place to get outta dodge for a weekend with no fear of having a spot available, this was the spot. The creek flowing by the camp makes for a great nights sleep and to toss a line into. If, by some crazy happening, the campsite is full or you don’t want to pay…keep on truckin’ down the road and you might be able to find a free dispersed camp spot (some of which are by the water as well). Overall, it’s a great space close to Summit county that is not widely known.
This area used to be a lot nicer when all the trees were still around before the pine bark beetle infestation. However, they planted new trees to take their place! The river is relaxing at night and keep you cool on those hot summer nights.
Beautiful spot with a gorgeous view of a couple of mountain peaks (Thunderbolt Peak?) with the reservoir in the foreground.
-Camping is on the left as you approach the lake, there is nothing past the first big area you see.
-Many spaces available, just pick a primitive firepit and setup around it.
-Lake is technically private and the locals WILL hassle you if they catch you fishing/swimming/boating.
-We easily made the drive up in a low clearance car, and Rv's should have no problem.
- In total I'd say around 15 separate campsites could operate here comfortably on a busy weekend.
We were actually surprised when we found a quiet spot out here. We tried to turn into a lot of the turn offs and there were bullet casings all over the ground. There are signs everywhere that say "DO NOT SHOOT THE TREES" and we laughed at it but then we kept going and noticed that the reason why those signs were there were because there were clear cuts of trees just shot down and the casings were left on the ground.
We spent a good hour cleaning up our site before setting up camp. We carried out a large trash bag of bullet casings.
It was a beautiful view of Pikes Peak and it is a great easy place to get away from the hustle of the city. We found a safe spot for us to go shooting clays the next day and we had a blast just releasing some energy. We did clean up all of our trash as we went. Leave no trace!