the dyrt
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Easy Get Away from the City

This si the place my friends and I go to just for a night away from everything. It is just out of reach of the city and far enough away where we can find some peace and quiet. The views are incredible!

Lots of climbing routes nearby and easy to find some good spots away from others.

Excellent in all respects

Excellent stay - camp is at Brainard Lake recreation area and one of our all time favs ! Clean vaults excellent hosts and cleanest sites - many things to do including hikes on multiple trails and kayaking on lake or just looking for moose and casually relaxing. Reservations very difficult to get but if you get in - enjoy it’s excellent . Moose loop nice with trees - Elk loop has some sites with no trees or shade due to wind storm years ago. Our site 9’was partial shade and site 11 was also shaded.

Lots of free camping nearby

It's a great campground and there is plenty of beautiful dispersed camping a short drive (or walk) down the road, so you're guaranteed to get a spot!

Great spot with 360 degree views

The fire tower has two levels with 2 twin beds on each level. I recommend staying in the top level as the views are amazing. Look one way, you can see downtown Denver. Look another, Pike's Peak. Another, Mount Evans. It is windy up at 11,500 feet and it rattles the windows at times, but again…the views. The space itself is only about 20' x 20' but you are never bored as the scenery changes in every direction every 5 minutes. You have to reserve the tower well in advance but it is definitely worth it. I must mention there is also about a mile hike up to the tower with your gear but again, it is definitely worth it.

Small and cozy enough, your perfect fishing spot

I'll agree with the other posters. Platte River Campground is a great location if you are looking to do some fly fishing. The river is right there and easy access. Or if you want to set up camp here and then drive up/down the road there are tons of fishing spots.

Keep in mind there isn't a store or anything close by so be sure to carry in all you need. I don't recall water on site so better to be safe and carry plenty in.

I went in mid Oct so off season and there was only 2 other campers in the campground. I chose site #8, furthest away from the parking area but also more trees. There was a bit of road noise but not horrible. Was quiet and just a cozy place to stay.

A great site to check out what this campground looks like and how it's laid out is you can check out this video I found useful on YouTube.

Ranger Review of RoM Pack at Buckingham Campground

Campground Review 

I came upon this campground in an effort to squeeze in one last big fall hike before the Colorado winter (aka snow) settled across the Front Range Mountains. My research led me to the Fourth of July Trailhead and adjacent Buckingham Campground, just west of Boulder, Colorado. Our plan was to car camp at the campground the night before hiking to ensure that we would get a good parking spot at the trailhead and an early start on the hike. We arrived after nightfall and were very surprised to find that we were the only people there, despite many online reviews describing how crowded this area got on the weekends. The lack of other cars and light made it quite difficult for us to differentiate between the campground and the trailhead parking, so we drove around for a bit and finally settled on a nice flat spot that was relatively free of snow. While driving around looking for a spot, a giant mother moose and her baby crossed the parking lot which was such a cool (but slightly terrifying) surprise! We were sure to find parking far away from the direction that they were wandering towards. 

Overall, the campground didn’t offer much. We visited quite late in the season and there was a lot of snow on the ground, so it was really hard to tell where the actual designated camp sites were. I am guessing that it is better maintained during the summer. While there was a bathroom, as my photos show it was unfortunately quite dirty and full of trash. The location totally made up for any downsides of the campground though! When we woke up the next morning we were shocked by the beautiful views seen from every direction. The parking lot began to fill at dawn and there were only a few spots remaining when we started hiking around 8 am. We hiked two of the trails from the campground, Arapaho Pass and Diamond Lake, both were absolutely amazing and some of the most beautiful hiking I have done in Colorado. I would highly recommend hiking, backpacking, and/or camping around this area to anyone visiting the Colorado Front Range! 

A word of caution-The road to this campground can be fairly rough in some spots and was made more difficult by the snow on the ground when we visited (mid-October). A high-clearance vehicle is definitely needed and something with 4WD would be necessary if there is any snow or mud on the road. Check trail conditions and road closures prior to setting out to this beautiful destination!

Product Review 

As a Ranger for The Dyrt, sometimes I have the opportunity to test some great products! At this campground, I tested the RoM Pack. This unique backpack comes with quite a cool origin storyfrom its’ inventors, so I was very excited for the opportunity to test out something so innovative. When the pack arrived, I certainly was not disappointed. Unfortunately, quite a few early snow season storms delayed my attempts to get out in the field to test it although once I finally got the opportunity, it was totally worth the wait! 

This pack is nothing short of versatile. It not only serves as a backpack with optional removable outer pockets, but can also be used as a blanket and a wearable poncho!! Seriously, this thing is so cool. I could probably go on all day about the reasons I was impressed by this product, but for the sake of those reading, I decided to narrow down my top 3 favorite features of this backpack:

1) The material. The designers of this product clearly have been in the woods a time or two. The pack is made out of a water resistant and super durable material on the outside but the other side is a thin polar fleece. This feature was really important as we went camping in the snow with it. 

  • As a backpack-this means everything inside your pack is protected from the dirt and the elements.  I had no fear of my gear getting wet when I set my pack down directly in the snow.
  • As a poncho-the inside is warm and soft while the outer material keeps you dry.
  • As a blanket-although this product is lightweight, it is surprisingly thick and well insulated. We had to camp directly on the snow one night, so I laid down the blanket on the floor of my tent to use as an extra layer of insulation below my sleeping pad. It really added some much appreciated warmth! 

2) Did I mention all of the pockets?! I am a bit of an organization freak when it comes to camping, so I really appreciated how many places there were in this backpack to store and then easily access all of my things. 

3) The versatility. To me, this seems to be one of the major selling points of this incredibly innovative product and for good reason. Not only is it a high quality backpack, but it can also serve to provide two essential things while adventuring in the outdoors-warmth and protection. You can leave your extra layers and picnic blankets at home when you have this backpack to cut down on weight and gear. Additionally, switching between the uses is really quite easy and well explained in this videofor first time users. 

Overall, I was really impressed by the RoM pack. I will definitely be following this brand in the future and can’t wait to see what other novel products come from the genius behind RoM Outdoors!

Typical campground

Pretty standard place. Nothing fantastic one way or another.

Perfect Quick Escape

Trees, trails and tranquility just an hour from Denver? Yes please! This is one of my new favorite spots -perfect for a quick weekend escape. We loved the roomy pull through spots for our camper, easy electrical hookups, super clean bathrooms and shower house. So many other campgrounds in Colorado have been hit hard by the pine beetle epidemic, but Reverends Ridge still has towering trees that make the loops feel private and remote. Dont mIss the easy hike to Panorama Point. From there you can let link to the rest of the extensive trail system through the park.

Rocky Mountain High!

We arrived in Denver area on October 12th, who would've guessed it would snow. We spent 25 years in Florida…so this was a treat. 3 days later it was 60 again. The campground it spacious, level, paved, lots of green space. The staff here is helpful and organized. The campground is almost always sold out every weekend but they have a wait list you can be on starting at 9am…we were lucky enough to extend. Plenty of city conveniences nearby and they have free wifi that works great!

Heaven on earth

Spots are a little close, beautiful area w/lots of Hiking, biking, walking trails. Golden is a lm awesome area to explore & very close to Denver

Easy Backpacking Experience

My husband went to this campsite with a group of Scouts and took me and our 1 year old a few weeks later. I had never been backpacking up until this point because I was always intimidated by the experience. This was an excellent "beginner" foray into backpacking!

This semi-primitive campsite requires a permit from the Open Space Office of Jefferson County, CO. The permit is free, however you must pick up the permit in person at their offices. Be prepared with a valid ID. This is a popular campsite for Scout Troops, so calling ahead for availability is a great idea.

There is an exact address available on the website and at the Open Space Office that you can put into your GPS and drive straight to the parking lot of the trailhead.

My husband and I came in through the West Trailhead. It is a 1 mile, easy hike. The first 1/3 of a mile is dirt, the remainder is gravel. It is fairly hilly, but easy enough that we actually opted to push our Jogging Stroller with our kid the entire way (which is very doable) whilst wearing our backpacking gear.

The campsites are well maintained and quite spread out from one another. So although there was a group of scouts, a group of friends, and a bigger youth group who all hiked in, it did not feel crowded or noisy.

We brought our dog, as pets are allowed on a leash. We set up our tent on the graveled pad at each site and boiled up some soup on the provided picnic tables. The website as of 2018 will tell you that fires are permitted in the designated fire rings, however a permanent fire ban has recently been put into place (which is too bad!) and all the fire rings and wood piles have been removed from the area - so really, NO FIRES ALLOWED. The pit toilets are very accessible and clean. It is technically Bear Country, so bear boxes and trash cans are provided for the overall campground.

My favorite thing about our particular campsite (site 15) was the view. At night you can see all the city lights of sprawling Denver, but then have a perfect view of the sunrise in the morning. Witnessing the sunrise from this spot will always be one of my favorite memories. Seriously so amazing!

We hiked out the next morning, simple as that, but realized we had misplaced our car keys…after 2.5 hours of searching and walking back and forth between the campsite and our car, we found our keys in the bottom of our tent. So really, if I could offer one piece of advice, always know where your keys are! Despite this incident, the location was great and the experience worthwhile! And I feel like it gave me a good taste of what to expect when backpacking in the future, which is exactly what I was looking for.

Great place to stay, but Mt. Evans is 10 miles away

The campground is at 9600’ and the last mile of the road is a bit rough, but I have seen low profile cars and 32’Class A motor home with a towed vehicle. Well water supplies the campground to faucets and there are vault toilets. The creek is less than 100 meters from the campground and fishing this year was poor… water level was low. Lots of great hiking and climbing in the area. About a 40 degree difference between day and night. During the fire ban, dispersed camping is limited to just a few areas so the campground is a great place to stay and you might still be able to have a fire in the fire ring.

Awesome for kids

This place is great for little kids. From flag raising in the morning to hay rides, all day activities to the camp fire story times there is something for every kids to keep busy. The staff is amazing and friendly every time.

Not bad for a quick getwaway

So, the camps themselves aren't anything spectacular but make for a really nice one maybe two nights to get out of Denver. The types of people camping up here can be sort of rough, my girlfriend and I were woken up at 4 AM by someone accidentally discharging a firearm, which the sheriff responded to.

Stunning views & adventurous hikes

This is a really awesome spot for hiking and camping. There are so many abandoned mines out here and old trails, it's a fun adventure trekking up to the collapsed rubble of mining history. When the fire ban is not in effect there are also a lot of great shooting spots out here. There only downside is there are not very many camping spots, and the last one is quite a drive into rugged roads. There is a possibility of driving all the way in just to turn right back around due to no vacant camp grounds. If you get a chance to camp out here I highly recommend it. There is also a really beautiful spring with some of the freshest pure water that's tough to find but worth the hike to get to it!

Expensive camping

Nicely maintained campgrounds. It is paid camping, but it also gives you access to nice amenities like trash disposal and restrooms. However the camping costs per week did seem a bit over priced in my opinion. They close their campgrounds in the middle of September unfortunately, so if you're going to enjoy the fall weather your best bet my be dispersed camping.

Stunning views, bumpy ride in

Definitely worth checking out for the stunning views. It can be a bit tough to find a spot to pull over and park as it's a narrow dirt road into Rainbow Lakes. It's also definitely a super bumpy ride in so brace yourselves. If you want more luxurious camping you can rent out a campground at the very end and have access to water and restrooms. Definitely very family friendly when you pay for camping. Otherwise the free camping is great so long as you can find a spot to park and don't mind hauling your gear.

Gorgeous Camp Site

The beautiful views of this campground allows you to free your mind and relax. I loved this campsite a lot and I reccomend it to anyone.

One of our favorites!!

My family and I LOVE this area. It is close to Denver, yet out of town and in the mountains. It is first come first serve so you need to try to get up there early to get a spot on weekends. The spots have tons of space for you and friends. If you have ATV's you really need to discover this area. Drawbacks are the ATV noise during the day (and it starts pretty early). But if you have toys to drive on the trails you will fall in love with this place. Also bathrooms are kinda sparse, and there is a lot of dust. But despite the dust and noise we truly love our weekends up here.

Campgound in town but feels miles from town.

My family and I tend to do more boondocking camping than any other. But occasionally we go to Cherry Creek State Park. We love the fact that we live 10 minutes away and yet when we get into the park we feel miles away from town. On a clear day at the swim beach you have an amazing view of the mountains too. The campgound is extremely clean. The bathrooms are extremely nice to use, and the showers were pretty cheap as well. My family loves this park.

Good camping with occasional harrassment.

Legal to camp here as long as you're 100ft away from the road and in between the National Forest signes. You can't miss this huge turnaround right around Peak to Peak Hwy and CR 103. This single campsite is huge and great for group camping. I'd recommend group vs. solitary camping due to the amount of moose and bears that frequent the watering hole nearby. The only issue is harrassment from the locals nearby that try to claim that property as theirs. Absolutely no campfires allowed!

Small dispersed camping

Nice dispersed camping if you don't mind a smaller area. Small trailhead with not a lot of parking, but still reasonable. Lots of people come out in the fall for hunting season. Also a great place for outdoor yoga! Nice if you want some peace from the accessibility of West Magnolia as its a bumpy 5 mile ride down Magnolia Rd, which isn't paved. Keep an eye out, it's easy to miss the turn onto 357!

Its campable

Spot 21 is the best for privacy but the road is a bit rugged getting back there. I recommend a high clearance vehicle to enjoy. There are decent amount of campsites to pick from. Don't keep any valuables unsecured, as this campsite is a bus ride and a hitch away for the Boulder homebums. Don't mind the transient kids, they're just there. Campsite 15 also has a pond right by it if you want a bonus view while camped. Also, it's a good place to gather firewood.

Stunning views!

Always a beautiful hike around this area. Just a few miles up from the hessie trailhead, its definitely a bumpy ride that I recommend having a high clearance vehicle for. On beautiful days finding parking can be tough as everyone is out trying to enjoy the views at once. Had my first date here, and we were lucky to catch a view of a waterfall and a view of the galaxies at night. Great place to be and enjoy nature! If you're up for a mega hike there's also a glacier up the Fourth of July trail.

Alright dispersed camping

There are fifteen "marked" campsites. Throughout the summer they are all frequently occupied so it may be hard to find a spot a times. Moose visitors at dawn and evening, and hungry bears scavenging for food at night is a common occurance. Luckily my car alarm scared them off pretty easily. You'll hear dirtbikes during the day. The only main complaint I had was the lack of peace due to constant checks from boulder sheriffs.

There are many campgrounds in Colorado, but only one Colorado Campground!


Colorado Campground is one of several campgrounds less than 10 miles north of the city of Woodland Park off Route 67 in the Pike National Forest.

Situated at 7800 feet elevation, even summer nights get cool. Nearby 5 acre Manitou Lake is a trail walk away. You can toss your canoe or kayak in, but unless you are simply trout fishing, it’s tiny size doesn’t offer much variation.

Numerous foot trails lead into the National Forest, offering wonderfully quiet hikes and exploration.

There are 81 sites available, but some are adjacent to highway 67, so periodic road noise will be heard. The ponderosa pines assist in muffling highway noise.

Neighboring sites are visible across the entire campground, but they are situated in such a way that you are not directly on top of each other.

The back loop sites are larger and set deeper (Site 19, 20,21, 22, 23) which are my choice. Sites can be secured on There are double sites which garner double fees. At the time of this review, sites are $23.00 nightly (a bit pricey for no showers or modern facilities). When there during the week, not including the host and groundskeeper, only four sites were filled. Most sites were reserved for weekends and upcoming Labor Day holiday.

No RV/Campers over 36 ft permitted. Parking pads are gravel, a few are pull-through. Sites are non-electric with no hookups…no showers Water spigots, metal trash containers and pit latrines are spaced out through the campground. Each site has one stationary picnic table and a fire pit. Most sites appeared fairly level. No specific tent pad locations.

With the towering ponderosa pines, there is ample shade.

Plenty of trails permit mountain biking as well as the paved centennial bike path that runs along highway 67 from Woodland Park 15 miles north…that you can walk, in-line, cycle and even ebike.

You have plenty of local activities to keep you busy, including the Red Rocks a couple miles south…or drive east on Rt 24 to Pikes Peak, or further into Manitou Springs for the Incline, Red Rock Canyon Open Space, Garden of the gods and more!

Just six miles south into Woodland Park offers every food or shopping option.

All in all, a nice, clean campground in a great location.

Popular and large campground near the lake

As it is very close to the city, the temperature stays consistent with Denver temps. So in the summer, it will not be as cool as some mountain spots. That being said, it is very easy to get to and you’ll have the lake right there to cool off!

Entrance into the state park is about $7/day. There is a dog park within the state park that allows off leash and has some ponds the dogs can swim in. Entrance to the dog park is $2.

Fun lake access for family fun

Wellington is a favorite, but has been getting more crowded over the years. We still live going with other families with all of our kids but I definitely recommend going earlier in the summer- the toilets get really stinky because of all of the use! Regardless, the lake is pretty and the trail is fun for hiking. Word of caution- every year I see/hear about multiple dogs going down the waterfall. No major injuries but it scares the owners. The rocks are so slick- don’t let kids/dogs try to climb through or over. Campsites are generally roomy enough. For more privacy go further away from the water.

Peaceful on the river, great for families

We’re tent campers so at first I was a little thrown by the string of trailers & campers that line the road. Fortunately, our friends got a spot on the river so we didn’t feel like we were smooshed between vehicles. We had an awesome time between 6 adults & 7 kids! It is so much fun tubing down the river. The kids were old enough to walk up the path, tube down a little ways, then get out to do it all over again. Vault toilet was clean and there were a few water spouts around if needed. Pine Grove and Deckers are close enough that if you want to get out to eat you have that option. We were so content at our sites that we didn’t even need to do that. Overall I’d recommend this campground for a pretty easy getaway. If you’re a fisherman just be aware that the river is constantly fished so it’s pretty but tough to catch anything- all of the guys in our group have been to this area multiple times, are experienced fly fisherman, and never catch much if anything.