I typically visit this campground a few times per year on mountain biking trips. The grass fields and trees are unique in that most desert camping is spent sand out of all your nooks and crannies. The showers are a bonus after long days in the saddle.
Great helpful camp hosts. We had one of only a few "walk in" camp spots. Which were very nice, spacious, shady with grass. Everything was in good condition, bathrooms, laundry, shower was okay. Fairly small area and lake. Great biking/hiking trails. Loads of day use area and shelters with picnic tables all around the lake. Even permanent hunting blinds for waterfowl. Not to mention a very safe feel to the place.
Reservations only- and they mean it.
Group sites were occupied by school groups and loads of kids. Which is awesome and the place is great for them, but we felt we should have been told it's not just a day camp, these kids were loud all day and for most of the night, every night. Then when they left, a new group followed in their place. So not exactly what we expected from a State Park camp stay.
Make sure to bring bug spray. And lots of it. Extra strong stuff would be good. Mosquitoes were major downfall of stay.
Still we had a great time and liked the place overall!
So we chose this campground this time around because it has a lake that you can swim in. The temps were 100 degrees during the day and exhausting. With two small children and a week worth of camping planned, we decided the higher price of a state park was worth it for the convenience of the lake. Plus, we were working on a geocaching event and needed to add to our collection, and there are 13 in the park. Granted one you have to have a boat for so we weren't able to find that one but there are boats that you can rent so if you are really interested in grabbing that one, you can without too much trouble.
When we arrived there were 4 sites available. There would have been more (we came in on a Monday) but their irrigation had flooded many of their sites. The camp host said "15 is high and dry" so we took site 15. We camp in a tent so dry is a must. On the upside, 15 has a water spicket in the site. That was nice, cold water available when ever with out walking to another location. The lake was also really near by. Just a short walk across the parking lot, a nice grassy area that had a playground and then the beach is right there. The lake didn't have a ton of boat traffic early in the week. We stayed two nights so we left Wednesday morning. The first night there were looming storms all around but nothing ever hit the park. We did the majority of our geocaching that day. While out walking in the desert (there are parts of the park that seem pretty remote, even though you are still in the park) we came across what we believe to be mountain lion scat. We learned while camping in Wisconsin all about predator scat and that it typically will contain bones and hair, this particular specimen had lots of hair and clearly looked to be feline. It was mentioned that it could also be bobcat. Either way, a larger cat of prey was in the park at some point, granted a good half mile from the campground.
So obviously there is the lake to enjoy but there are also many mountain bike trails. We walked a lot of those while geocaching. Some took us way up to some amazing 360 views. I certainly could not imagine biking up but the trail did indeed go up. There are also a couple different lakes in the park. High Line Lake is the main one but there is also Mack Lake (I think was the name of it). That lake did have people fishing but it is not a swimming lake and I'm not sure boats were allowed. The campground had some perks that we appreciated. There were flush toilets and they were relatively clean. There were also showers, granted you had to pay $1 for four minutes and every quarter after was another minute. They also were pretty clean. I don't think they get used a lot. The park claims that the fee is to help conserve water. There was a change machine on the wall outside the building so that you could change out those dollar bills for usable quarters.
The last night there we saw more looming storms around and while we were eating dinner the wind kicked up real bad, we packed up just in case and then before we knew it it was pouring and thunder and lightening. So that was interesting but it cleared up and we enjoyed a slightly cooler evening.
We also did not plan for a campfire as there have been fire bans all over the state for most of the summer. So when we arrived to find out fires were allowed, we were disappointed that our meals were all freeze dried. But, Mountain House does a good job with their freeze dried meals and we enjoyed spaghetti and chicken and potatoes over the course of the two nights. The Chicken and Mashed Potatoes had some mixed reviews but we prepared it just as the package instructed and it turned out just fine. I was apprehensive but it looked like chicken and it tasted like chicken and the texture was right. There were a few spots that may not have fully rehydrated with the water level in the package but that was user error. It could have used a little seasoning, as we do like our flavors but as is, it was not bad. It was nice to have a full chicken breast instead of just little chunks of meat here and there. The Spaghetti was spot on, it rehydrated amazingly and the textures and flavors were really good. We really enjoyed this one. I will definitely be taking more of this when we know we either need to save space, don't have refrigeration or can't have a fire. It was well worth the purchase. Over the course of the week we ate this one several times. We also had the Biscuits and Gravy for breakfast. This one has been a little hit or miss and because we only had one pouch for three of us we also cooked up some mashed potatoes and paired together were actually quite amazing. It stretched out the biscuits and gravy and added very little cost as small packets of instant potatoes run about 98 cents at walmart. One thing we really appreciated about Mountain House is that their cook times usually run 8-10 minutes. We tried another brand and the cook time on it was 15 to 20 minutes for every 5000 feet of elevation. So the meal we cooked up later in the week was supposed to take 30-40 minutes due to being at nearly 10,000 feet. So Mountain House has the cook times down and they are much more convenient.
Overall, our campsite was spacious, our neighbors were friendly and the lake was refreshing. Definitely will return in the dog days of summer.
Campground is a loop of 30+ sites. Sites on inside of the loop are mostly roadside with a few pull through sites. There is a lot of green space in the middle with a few more sites. Most sites on the outside are back in/pull in sites, and some are quite deep. The sites are a nice size, but you are in close proximity to your neighbor across the road in many cases.
The transaction fee of $10 for a Colorado state park reservation on reserveamerica.com is the highest I have encountered. Then you pay $7/day for a state park fee when you enter the park. (Or buy the CO parks pass for $70.) Add these fees to the base cost of $20/night, and two nights cost us $64 total which seems pricey for a site with no electricity. We did have water at our site so you can hook up a hose if you want. The bathroom has showers that cost $1 for 4 minutes.
Generator policy is quite liberal…and ineffective. You can use a generator any time except during the 10 pm to 6 am quiet hours. That's good for people with big RVs, but it's obnoxious if you're near a generator. Had to ask someone to turn their generator off after 10 pm because the host on duty was not around to ask (asleep). Then someone else turned theirs on around midnight and left it on all night. No one reviews campground rules at check-in so this is the result.
In addition to noisy generators, people wanted to share their music choices with everyone around them. It was the loudest campground we've been in this year (and we've been in 45 campgrounds for about 100 nights). Maybe it was people coming in for Country Jam, or maybe there were just a lot of inconsiderate people.
This seems like a park where local people come to hang out and use the lake. There is a beach along with cabanas/picnic tables and trails around the lake. If the lake is what you want, it might be a good option…if you don't mind the noise. If you are touring the area, there are federal lands that are less expensive, more scenic and quieter.
Great campsite: clean, grassy with big trees, flush toilets. Great Lake access with a playground. We go in the fall and spring, summer is too hot. Easy to get to mountain biking.
This is a small campground on the Western Slope of Colorado. It has a lake that allows motor boats. During high usage times, it gets smelly on the beach from boat exhaust. But people love to be there, it gets super crowded during the peak times of the summer. They also rent paddle boats on site. We visited the two swim beaches. One thing that is disappointing is that the swim beach is all gravel. It's really hard on the feet. Bring some sort of water shoes. The campsites are pretty centralized, all pretty close to the restrooms. The water was nice. The sites spacious and very accommodating. Definitely will camp there again. Another cool thing is they have 13 geocaches in the park, while we didn't have time to go find them, they are there and we were able to look them up. We will save that for another time.
This is a great spot to camp if you want to ride the course for the 18hrs of Fruita mountain bike race. The lake is simple and clean, there is a large swim beach and the visitors center has childrens fishing gear that is free to use during your visit. There is a wooden play structure as well. This is a quiet park, far removed from the freeway and the noise of the city. It's an oasis in the dusty desert that is Fruita. The sites are nestled in a grassy flat area which is a welcome break from the dry, sage covered lands that surround it.