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Medicine Bow-Routt NFs & Thunder Basin NG, WYOMING
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Most Recent Medicine Bow-Routt NFs & Thunder Basin NG Camping Reviews
Easy Escape for 3/4 of the year

This is our go to campground coming from Denver. It's only 1.5 hours away and it offers biking, hiking, and climbing galore. We love to come in the Fall when the Aspens are changing and we always find ourselves pretty secluded here. There are other people in the sites but we haven't felt overrun yet.

Nice camping near a resort

We stayed here for a weekend since we were married there the year before. It's a beautiful camping spot close to amenities. Felt like camping in a forest.

Great late season spot

A few sandy campsites by the Platte River - had we gotten there earlier, we could have parked on the river's rocky shore. Someone beat us to it though!

There are actually two separate camping areas of this access - when you get to the fork, there are sites in either direction. Both are denoted with the Foote Public Access area signs, so you know you found it. There was also a boat ramp. I am not familiar with this section of the Platte, but I would imagine fishing and hunting are probably great activities if you're staying here for a few days. Wildlife appeared abundant in September - luckily, mosquitos and flies were not!

It is a road through private land, which is relatively well maintained, but please respect private property. Also be aware of current fire restrictions - there are no fire rings here, and open fires are not permitted. A firepan or fuel-based cooking system would be good to have.

Dispersed camping on the North Platte River

This tiny dispersed site is on the North Platte River with boat access and a few weedy, private sites spread out in this area tucked inside private property. Since you have to drive over private property to get here, be mindful of speed on the dirt access road and clean up after yourself. I did not camp here as all of the sites were taken but I did visit with a couple traveling from Canada. They liked how quiet it was and loved how secluded it was. They said the mosquitoes were horrific, but worth dealing with to camp in such a great spot. Just up the road is the actual public access to the river, but in the campground there is a small boat ramp that you could use to launch a small boat or canoe. I'm keeping this one on my list for future reference- free, beautiful, and secluded. Hope I can get a spot in the future.

Easy Isolated Perfection

Definitely should have a 4 wheel drive to get out there, but you are able to drive right up! The camp grounds are big enough to support lots of people (and trust me, we had lotssss) but you totally feel isolated when you are there. The lake is beautiful and it's easy to but in a kayak, tube, etc. There is also great chances to climb, play around on the rocks, etc while there! I love this campground! Just fyi, cell service is reallllly spotty and you may not have any (not at all a bad thing just be sure to let people know where you are!)

What a great place to camp!

My husband and I stayed there for one night and we loved it! That was first time camping for him and he really enjoyed it! The grounds were clean and well maintained, there was a little shop were you could buy wood or other things you might've missed to bring like food, plastic utensils etc.

Beautiful sites and great boondocking

Half of the upper loop sites have a lake and mountain view. Plenty space between sites for privacy too. They had twice daily ranger visits and they were very polite. No trash and all campers seemed very friendly.

Beautiful Spot

It is a beautiful place to camp, all spots within walking distance to the lake. Some of the handicapped marked sites seem to be hard to access.

Bald Eagles!

Beautiful spot right on the reservoir. Fun trails all around. Stinky toilet but that's a pit toilet for ya! It didn't ruin my camping!

Peaceful Paradise

We decided to camp on the other side of the lake which was about 1/2 mile in. It was well worth the work. This is one of the quietest places on earth and it was magnificent! Waking up and watching ospreys soaring over the misty lake was surreal! Great climbing on the rocky mountains surrounding the lakes is a bonus!

Van Camper 2018

awesome campground with vault toilets, fire ring and picnic tables. BRING WATER.

I’m not a climber but enjoyed watching others.

Peaceful getaway

This is one of my favorite places to camp and hike. Less people and very beautiful. Lots of lakes and very peaceful. Only open a short window of the year due to being high altitude and road closes in the winter.

Dispersed Camping at American Lakes

This is one of my all-time favorite places to hike and camp in Colorado. I have not yet stayed in any of the campgrounds but have backpacked to the top of the American Lakes Trail. Not only is this hike fantasticly beautiful and full of wildlife (tons of moose especially) but there is great dispersed camping along the trails. You simply cannot find more scenic and free camping in Colorado. I would highly recommended camping anywhere in State Forest State Park!

Also, there are quite a few huts, cabins and yurts that can be rented year round in SFSP!

Beautiful spot, less than friendly hosts

We went camping mid August and pulled into our campground that was pre-paid for and was tagged with our reservation about half an hour before our check in time. We started unloading and setting up. We brought our two large dogs with us and they were anxious and barking. After constantly consoling the one that kept barking, he was starting to settle in. It had only been about half an hour since we arrived. The hosts at the campground drove up and stated that we could not camp here because it was reserved. Neither of them asked our names or if we had a reservation. We explained that, yes, the reservation was made by us. Next they went on to explain that someone had called and complained about our dog barking. One of the hosts stated, your dogs will need to be quiet or we will have to call animal control… We all stated that they would settle down once they got used to their surroundings and that would not be necessary because if they continued barking we would take them home. The campsite was great overall, clean and easy to get into. As for the hosts, they could use some manners and maybe a better approach to making all their guests feel welcome… even the furry ones! There were dogs barking all over the park the rest of the weekend, but it didn’t come from our site.

Home Away From Home

Curt Gowdy State Park is a great camping and recreation facility just west of Cheyenne, WY. It seems to be our home away from home, since we spend at least 3 or 4 weekends here every summer. The facilities are clean and well placed. The camping spots are spaced far enough apart that you are not on top of your neighbor, but close enough that you may hear the rowdy crews later in the evening.

We love CG because it is less than 90 minutes from our house and has quite a few recreational activities that we enjoy. The paddleboarding opportunities are immense on both reservoirs, as well as across the road in the cove. The mountain bike trails are top notch and provide endless miles of well groomed and sometimes techy fun. There is an archery range that is more than the 20-60 yard standard course. Get on the trails and find the 3D targets!!!

A word of caution regarding the local youth that have discovered they can come in to the park after hours to party and then scoot out at the break of dawn. The park is big enough that is difficult to patrol and allows for these popup parties to happen.

Also, the winds in WY are no joke. Be sure your tent is well staked down and your RV awning is rolled up anytime you are not near the camper.

Don't let this stop you. The welcome center offers spacious pay showers and there are a few hookup spots. Book early, if you can't get into the park during the week or at least by Thursday afternoon for FCFS spots.

Fall camping by the lake

This is a beautiful campground located along hwy 14 near Fort Collins. I brought my family here for some car camping last fall and was not disappointed by the campground itself, and the nearby dispersed camping along Hohnholz Lakes Road. We checked out the campground and were impressed by it’s cleanliness, well-appointed campsites and general amenities. This is especially nice to see in campground that has such a limited opening season, as we somewhat expected it to be somewhat neglected as we were visiting at a time so close to when they close for the season. 

Although the campground was nice, we actually opted to camp alone the Hohnholz Lakes Road just outside of the campground, which offers beautiful dispersed camp sites above the lake. We did this because we had 2 large dogs with us and figured having more space would be appreciated by the other campers and the dogs! The sites up here were even more scenic than within the boundaries of the campground, but still offered plenty of well cleared areas to set up tents, ample parking, and well-made stone fire pits.

I would highly recommend both the campground itself and the surrounding dispersed sites when the road conditions allow (summer and early fall).

Campground in the canyon

Great campground and amazing people! It gets very cold at night if you’re near the river!

Hynds Lodge at Curt Gowdy State Park

Hynds Lodge at Curt Gowdy State Park

Ranger Review: OOFOS Women's Recovery Gear 3/4 Zip- Charcoal at Curt Gowdy State Park

Campground Review:

Located within Curt Gowdy State Park between Cheyenne and Laramie, Wyoming, Hynds Lodge includes a great hall, kitchen, modern restroom facilities, and an upstairs sleeping area. I spent a retreat weekend here with fellow hikers and ambassadors from the organization, Hike Like a Woman. It was the perfect spot for a quiet retreat with hiking trails nearby.

Nestled in between large boulders and evergreens, this spot is ideal for receptions, retreats, weddings, family reunions, and more. The lodge can hold up to 90 people and sleep 20. The great hall has a built-in stone fireplace along with three couches. The kitchen includes a gas stove, refrigerator/freezer, microwave, sink, cupboards and counter space. You will need to bring your own utensils and cookware, bedding and linens, as well as your own firewood. Additional chairs and tables are included for set-up in the great hall. The upstairs sleeping area contains 20 twin sized beds with mattresses. An attached covered porch with large picnic tables creates even more space for visitors, and a beautiful view of the surrounding rock formations and forest. A couple of things to consider here are there are no showers within the lodge, so if you're staying for an extended period of time you'll have to access showers in a different part of the park. And, cell phone reception is spotty at best. The lodge can be rented for $150 per day, starting at 10:00 am till 10:00 am the following morning. Guests are responsible for clean up.

Just a short walk from the lodge is The Amphitheater; a great spot for weddings, talent shows or musical entertainment. It can be rented for an additional $50 per day. Curt Gowdy also offers tent and RV camping sites along with lots of hiking trails, and SUP, canoe, and kayak rentals. Hunting and fishing are also permitted in designated areas. All vehicles must obtain a daily use permit; $4 per day for residents, $6 per day for non-residents. Reservations can be made through wyomingstateparks.reserveamerica.com.

While in the area, I highly recommend visiting Vedauwoo Recreation Area, located inside of the Medicine Bow National Forest. Famous for its amazing granite rock formations, it's approximately a 30 minute drive from the Lodge. Vedauwoo offers a variety of trails; some surfaced, some primitive, and climbing is allowed. It’s important to note that the road leading into Vedauwoo coming from Hynds Lodge is dirt and can be bumpy.

Product Review:

As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I get products to test from time to time. This time around I had the opportunity to test out the Women's Recovery Gear 3/4 Zip- Charcoal pullover from OOFOS.https://www.oofos.com/collections/apparel/products/official-apparel-half-zip-charcoal?variant=36083325641

1. While OOFOS is a company that offers a variety of shoes for outdoor/sports recovery, they also offer accessories which include shirts and pullovers. The 3/4 zip seemed like the perfect option for morning hikes and evening fires at the lodge.

2. The pullover is made from moisture wicking material and is quick drying; a good thing on this trip as we ran into light rain more than once while outside.

3. The pullover also has thumb holes, which I like. My hands get cold easily, so it's nice this garment has this option. I would have liked it if there had been a zippered pocket of some sort to stash keys or my phone. I did like that while it was form-fitting, it wasn't snug, and fit true to size.

4. The pullover fit nicely into my backpack and didn't take up much space. With cooler weather fast approaching, the OOFOS pullover will be be stowed in my pack for autumn hikes and nights around the campfire.

Great campground

The campground was great overall and well maintained. Showed up to it and we did find a lot of trash scattered. Other than that it was close to some great climbing and hiking.

Old water handpump is a unique amenity.

Beautiful tiny campground. The mountain across the highway looks like a sleeping elephant. The toliets are well maintained.

Beautiful view. Right on the river

This campground has great sites right on the Poudre river as well as some quiet, peaceful sites just a few yards from the river, in the surrounding Aspen trees. Sites were well kept and in a really beautiful area.

Easy access and spacious. Close to the river as well.

We pulled in there July 2 and stayed the night, loved it. The river can be heard from 100' away, but just puts you right to sleep.

We have a 22' travel trailer. Fit into Site #7 backing in and parking the truck on the side. We saw someone with a larger TT about 30' pull in, look around, then left. So larger rigs may not fit here. I didn't really check the west side much for space as these were already occupied. Everyone there, 90% full by late afternoon, were tent campers. I'd say tenters, vans, cars, truck campers had to love this. Good distance between sites. Once it got dark, traffic virtually stopped on the highway. I wasn't woken once all night. VERY quiet. Fire pit with a grill. I packed in my own wood, didn't see any for sale. Will go back for sure.

$17/nite. $8.50 with a senior pass. There may have been a water spigot, but I didn't see one. I'd have rated this 5 stars had it not been that pricey for just a spot to stay with no real amenities.

Gorgeous Rocky Mountain Camping - North Michigan Campground

We found State Forest State Park on a whim this past July 2018. We were on a road trip from California to Colorado for a wedding in Granby, CO. We were camping in Utah at Dinosaur National Monument, but due to the smoke from a nearby wildfire and the high heat of the summer, we decided to cut our stay one day short, and head over to the Rockies a day early. We wanted to be fairly close to our final destinations, Granby then RMNP, but wanted to go somewhere we hadn’t been before. My boyfriend and I are both animal lovers, and our dream was to finally see a moose on this trip out to Colorado. In researching moosey areas on the internet, we found the Moose Visitor Center at State Forest State Park. We figured that a place with a Moose Visitors Center was as moosey as it comes, so we reserved a site online and headed out to Colorado.

It was late afternoon when we arrived, but since we had already eaten, we didn’t have much to do besides set up our tent and sleeping pads for the night. Getting to the campground and visitors center is easy as they are both right off the highways 41 and 14, but it is quite a drive to get to, in general. The scenery is so pretty, that we did not mind the drive to or from SFSP. North Michigan Campground is right by a lake, it is pretty.

The sites are primitive - each site had picnic benches and a firepit, but at the time we visited there was a Stage 2 fire ban in place, so we couldn’t have a campfire. The fire ban included the burning of wood and charcoal - using a propane stove was OK.

There were pit toilets, and they were well maintained. The sites appeared to have once had more in the way of trees and shade, but it looks as though SFSP was hit by the pine beetles, like so much of Colorado. It’s sad to see the destruction the beetles left in their wake, and fewer trees mean less privacy and less shade for tent campers. We would have had a hard time setting up extra tarps in case it had rained that evening. Bringing an easy-up or canopy would be smart in the summer to protect against sun and heat, or a passing thunderstorm.

WARNING: You ARE in bear country and there were no bear bins in the campground - be bear safe and bear smart, lock all of your food and toiletries inside your car at night. I was once told by a ranger in Yosemite NP that bears can recognize coolers when peering into car windows, so we always put a towel and gear over our coolers when keeping them in the car overnight.

We packed up early and arrived at the Moose Visitors Center when they opened. The visitors center was educational and interesting, and the staff was friendly and knowledgeable and answered all of our questions. After studying some maps of the area with the rangers, we decided to try our luck driving along Highway 14 towards Fort Collins.

We stopped at various spots along the highway, and ended up walking around the Joe Wright Reservoir for a while. Thunderheads were rolling in, and some rain and thunder started, so we decided to start making our way back towards SFSP then head down to Granby, our next stop. We were around Cameron Pass and had given up on seeing any moose when we saw traffic slowing and cars stopped alongside the road - there were two young bull moose snacking by a small river on the side of the road! We pulled over, turned our hazard lights on, grabbed the camera, and jumped out to see our first moose. The moose seemed unconcerned by their growing audience, and continued to chomp away on their lunch - there was a small ravine between the moose and their human audience, so neither moose nor humans felt threatened.

According to the staff at the Moose Visitor Center, there are only about 1,000 moose in the entire state of Colorado - and here we stumbled across two moose at once! We were ecstatic, and so happy we made the impromptu, unplanned trip out to State Forest State Park! We returned to the Moose Visitors Center to share the experience with the rangers (they record the specifics of moose sightings in the area on a board), and the ranger gave us a high five for spotting our first ever moose.

I would like to return to the area someday to hike, I imagine the nearby trails must be goregous!

CAMPSITE SPECS

Fees: $18/night

Plumbed Toilets: NO - pit

Drinking Water: Yes

Showers: NO

Picnic Table: Yes

Firepit: Yes

Cooking Grates: Yes

Shade: Limited!

Cell Service: NO

Animal Bins/Food Lockers: NO

National parks camping - quiet, some sites are close to each other

This campground in Yellowstone National Park has 85 first-come, first-served sites. It was a good base location for us for exploring Yellowstone although there are other campgrounds that will put you closer to geysers, hot springs, and all the beauty of Yellowstone. We had to do more driving but our first priority was getting a campsite; we didn't want to get deeper into the park and hit full csmpgrounds. Plan on an early start for exploring in the summer, because the parking lots can be full by mid-morning .

The appeal for us was that we could get here in 30 minutes from our campground in Grand Teton NP. We arrived around 8 am because we saw on the NPS website for Yellowstone that the campground had filled around 11:30 am the previous two days. You can see the "full" time for the previous day or two for all Yellowstone parks at this link:

https://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/campgrounds.htm

This is a great feature; these campgrounds fill up daily during the summer. 

Our early arrival time gave us a good choice of sites on a Wednesday. On Thursday, people were looking for sites before 7:30 am. The ranger was pulling tags off the sites that indicated a Thursday departure date, but remember that people can decide to pay and stay if they're already on the site. On Saturday, someone was cruising for a site as we were leaving before 7 am. They weren't going to have any problem finding a site because lots of sites are vacated on Saturday.

This campground has the standard amenities for a campground that has no hookups: vault toilets, water spigots for potable water and trash/recycling bins.

Walk in sites W1-W17 (with a specified parking spot for each site) are good tent sites, but so are many of the sites on loops A, B and C. There is also a hiker biker area in the walk in area.

Back in/pull in parking areas are fairly short; length limit is 25 feet. Some have parking areas alongside the road with no demarcation where one ends and the other starts, that is, two sites share a parking area alongside the road. If you have a vehicle and trailer/pop up, you're better off staying away from sites with shared parking. See photos for a trailer and truck sharing a parking area with another vehicle.

Our fave place to camp and fish

Its a great place but a long drive to civilization. Thank goodness

Easy access, beautiful lake

West Lake campground is a beautiful spot off 74. The lake is great for fishing, and the tent campsites are super private. Your pass includes access to other lakes in the surrounding area as well.

We didn’t see any moose but we could definitely hear them early in the morning.

Clean bathrooms and great, friendly hosts!

Beautiful, remote gem in the Rockies

We camped here July 25th-29th, 2018 with our 5 children (4-13) in our pop up camper. 

First thing to know is this is a remote area of CO at 9,000+ ft. elevation. It is also an area that has been affected by wildfire (2016). It is still absolutely gorgeous!

Worst part—> You will have to travel down a gravel/dirt road for ~30 miles to get to the lake and campground. Sections of it are TERRIBLY washboarded. Plan for over an hour to navigate through. You will be rewarded at the end! 

There is zero cell service (we have Sprint and Verizon), no electric/water/sewer hook ups or bathhouses. There are pit toilets throughout the campground that appeared to be very well maintained and cleaned often. There are also numerous water spigots throughout with potable water. 

The sites are all HUGE, almost all are pull through and many offer beautiful lake views with trails directly from your campsite to the water. We were in site 14. It did not have a water view, but was still amazing. All sites are gravel and appear to be fairly level. Most have pine trees, boulders and other natural landscaping that adds to the beauty of the campground. Very nice metal fire pits and sturdy, large picnic tables (though many are slightly bowed) were present at each site we saw. Bear proof dumpsters were easily accessible. 

We had hundreds of chipmunks visit us each day to clean up the kids’ crumbs. We also saw antelope and deer on the drive in and several moose, elk and a coyote off the highway heading to RMNP. 

There are two trailheads in the campground, lots of areas to fish, a boat dock and horse corral. 

This was our very first run at dry camping. We were 10 hours from home with 5 kids! We may be crazy, but lots of memories were made and we are calling this trip a big success! 

This campground was only $10/night and a true hidden gem in the Rockies. (Those roads though…ugh!)

First to Review
Host are nice

The host have been there the last 4 years I know of such nice people. It’s hard to get a spot here unless you reserve a spot 6 months ahead. Great Lake to hike around and fish.

Hidden gem

Great section of national Forest between Cheyenne and Laramie. Easy access off the interstate. Lots of atv traffic but otherwise quiet and easy to find your own spot away from 'neighbors'

Basic RV camprground right on the North Platte River.

Only one tent allowed per RV site, cash only. Easy walking distance into town for bars and restaurants. Best to call to reserve, request Riverside if you want to be on the river.