S I liked everything about this campsite, it was clean, spaced out so no one was too crowded, and a beautiful area. What I DIDNT like was that I was accused of being here for more than 2 weeks while I have only been here for 8 days. And then was told I wasnt allowed to camp at free sites unless I had proof of a physical address in Colorado. I'm from Michigan and was vacationing here. Can someone explain to me HOW that makes sense? I rented out a place at my boss's house before I came to this campsite and she told me that doesnt count. Sorry for the long rant, just doesn't make sense to me.
I initially found this campground while searching on The Dyrt for a place to camp near Buena Vista for a weekend. I camped here in May with a group of friends as we spent the weekend rafting near Buena Vista on the Arkansas River.
The road leading up to the campground isn’t paved but doesn’t require any technical or 4x4 driving. However, if you pass the campground and continue down the road (as we initially did) the road gets much rougher and requires high clearance and 4x4. We also saw some sweet dispersed camping sites along the road past the Turtle Rock Campground which could be useful if the campground itself is ever filled up.
Overall, I was quite impressed with this campground. It is simple but well maintained and met all of our needs. Each site has a fire pit and ample space for group camping. Our group consisted of 4 tents and 4 vehicles, our site had plenty of space for parking and for all of tents to be quite well spaced out. Most of the sites also offer trees for shade which will be nice in the warmer months. The views from this campground are incredible, seriously some of the best in the state. We climbed up Turtle Rock itself (a bit of scramble so use caution!) for the sunset one night and the views were top notch. I will definitely stay here again whenever I am in the area.
As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I sometimes have the opportunity to review products that I use while camping. On this trip I got to test out an ICEMULE Cooler, specifically the ICEMULE Pro Large (23L). This trip seemed like a great opportunity to test a cooler because Colorado was finally warming up enough for us to want some cold beer while camping and rafting! By the end of the trip, everyone from our group was jealous of my awesome cooler and wanted to buy their own!
This backpack cooler is seriously awesome, it has a massive capacity and easily held enough a day’s worth of food and drinks for 6 people on the river. With all of that weight, I was a bit skeptical about the comfort level when using it as a backpack. I was really impressed about how ergonomically the straps and breathable back panel felt. This is such an efficient way to carry your cold goods while out on an adventure. We were also able to just strap it right onto our raft and had no worries about a heavy cooler flying out on the rapids. Furthermore, I had no fear of the cooler getting destroyed while being tossed around the boat or scraping on the rocky ground because the material is really durable. It really seems like a product that is going to last a lifetime.
So with any cooler, the real question is, will it keep my drinks cold? Heck. Yeah. After two days, I still had ice in the cooler and not a single warm beer was consumed on our trip. For being so lightweight, I was shocked with how well insulated this cooler is. There is also a really cool (no pun intended) valve which allows you to add air into the insulation layer to increase the insulating power! Then when finished using the cooler, you can open the valve to release all of the air and roll up the bag into a super compact size. This is one of my favorite features, because the cooler really takes up no space or weight for efficient storage. I’m excited to pack it along on some backpacking trips this summer as well!
In the end, I think this is one of my favorite new pieces of gear. Since getting the cooler I have used it at least once a week; I’ve used it for camping, rafting, skiing, tailgating and even carried it while riding horses on a trail ride! I don’t think I will ever go back to a standard hard-shelled cooler after getting my ICEMULE. You really can’t beat the durability, carrying comfort, insulation and compact storage design.
Great campground with a lot of space at each site. Great views of mountains and rock formations.
Free and easy to get to from Buena Vista
This is a great free place to camp and the whole four mile recreation area is great. It is a bit bumpy getting to this point, but most awd cars/suvs should be ok if they go slow. Was kinda crowded this weekend (August 25), but free is great and the views are amazing.