Hayley K.
Denver, CO
Joined July 2016
Former outdoor guide who loves traveling and exploring new and quiet places. Year round camper.
Insanely packed and animal filled

Normally I don’t mind animals around the site, but the critters here are known for their scavenger abilities and getting into the bear cans.

The bathrooms are well maintained considering how many people come in and out of this campground. Don’t try to get a site here on the weekend without some patience. We were infiltrated by another group who tried to take over our site. We had to have a discussion with the ranger in order to set the boundaries at the site.

There were also many bear in campground sitings in the area due to food being left out.

The views were incredible from the site and it was easy to get to trailheads from the campground.

Big skies for stargazing

This is beautiful desert floor campground in a national park with 136 sites & 18 hook-ups, washrooms, water supply & fire pits.

The sites are large enough for big tents but the RV’s are close by so keep that in mind if you are looking for a quiet spot. I found that the sound of the RV’s didn’t bother me too much but I was aware they were there.

The bathrooms and water sources are great! The nearby store is air conditioned and carries ice cream, which is nice in the daytime heat after a beautiful hike through marble canyon or playing on the dunes!

The sky at night is incredible! I’ve been to a lot of places but I have never experienced the Milky Way as incredible as it was in Death Valley! No light pollution really helps!

The ground is hard, so bring a mallet to stake your tent down. We got stuck in a sandstorm at night and ended up hanging out in the tent playing card games till it passed. It was no joke though, we woke up with a layer of sand on us, inside the tent.

Lots of Shade and Easy Access to the Coast

We were able to get a site without any problems during the weekend. The site was large and there were TONS of sites and loops. The redwoods gave tons of cover and space to set up hammocks. 

You can walk over and see McWay Falls on the path. You are also within walking distance to the beach as well. This site is one of the largest in the park so it is usually pretty packed but we happened to go when there were rockslides on the 1 so it was easy to find a spot. 

There were full bathrooms and trash receptacles all around the park. There are raccoons and small critters in the area so keep your food stored properly. It is also a large campground with lots of traffic so make sure that your belongings are stored and not laying around.

Great for Hot Days and Batty Nights

This campground was perfect for a large group camping trip! We were there during the week so it was pretty quiet and we had free range to play at night in the area. 

The group sites were large enough to fit a group of 15-20 and were spaced far apart enough to have your own space. There was shade and great parking spots. There was trash receptacles scattered around the area, and there were were bathrooms easily accessed. 

The hiking was filled with incredible views and there were plenty of spaces to climb and have stunning views for a day in the park. 

The general store and pool was perfect after a long day of hiking. 

Make sure you check out the bat caves and keep your food stored properly, little critters do roam the campground.

Quiet Spot Away from the City Filled with Peace and Quiet

I was looking for a quiet place to get away from Denver but I wasn't able to take off on a long drive to get there, then I found this place. A flower farm, with rows of beautiful blooming flowers, a natural pool, a Jacuzzi, and a beautiful view of the Rocky Mtns? Sounds perfect for a midweek getaway to me!

When I pulled up, Terry came out to meet me and give me a tour. He took me to the tent spot and I quickly realized that they didn't get many tent campers, they mostly received RV and AirB&B guests. The tent site was big enough to fit a couple tents (or a large family tent) but there wasn't a bathroom or even many places you could nature pee around the area. Terry informed me that they don't have bathrooms yet, but they are in the process of turning the old silo's into bathrooms and potentially another bedroom to rent out. That should be done by the end of the Summer. 

Then he gave me a tour of the pool and the flower shop. The land here is just incredible! They only bought this property 9 years ago and only started growing flowers on it 6 years ago and it has obviously transformed into a stunning landscape. The flower storage was filled with stunning colors and smells of all the assorted flowers they grow on the farm. Meg came out later to say hi and tell me a little about the events they host on the property. 

The natural pool was beautiful! I was the only camper there so I had free reign of the place. I lounged for a bit on a float in the water until I had a friendly visitor in the water with me, A small king snake (the good kind of snake) was cooling down in the water and when we saw each other we both ran the other way. See my video of an alternative use for the morsel spork…:-) I didn't see him again the rest of the time out there. Terry laughed at my tomfoolery and said they normally don't come near in the water, but he likes knowing they are out there since they eat rattlesnakes.

As the sun went down I took my book into the hot tub and relaxed for a bit. While Terry and Meg's kids rode around on the golf cart and jumped on the trampoline on the other side of the property, it was very soothing to hear the quiet laughter and fun being had by a beautiful family and yet still feel like I had my privacy. 

All in all it was a beautiful stay at a lovely location. I would recommend this place for a girl's day trip, bridal shower, or bachelorette location too! It is screaming to be filled with sundresses and mimosas. RV camping or even staying at the AirB&B would probably be ideal for your stay until they get the bathrooms built. 

I requested that Meg send me information in regards to events at the site and she sent me the following: 

Red Daisy Farm Event Space: We have a beautiful 4 acre property for you to host your special event at. We have fields full of flowers, a beautiful man-made natural swimming pond with a soothing waterfall. We have an antique barn full of vintage treasures for you and your guests to peruse. We have plenty of grassy areas and lots of room to roam around and enjoy! Set up your cornhole or volleyball net, badminton or croquet game! Let us know your ideas, and we’re happy to try and accommodate them!

***If you are planning on renting our Cottage House at the same time of your event, please take 30% OFF prices listed below.***.

 Two Night minimum stay to receive the party fee discount. Corporate Events, Birthdays, Anniversary’s, Bridal/Baby Showers, Graduations, Family Reunions, etc. This does NOT include weddings. 

We have special wedding packages, please let us know, and we’ll send you that info.

 A La Cart: Rental Fee:$200 per hour, with a 2 hour minimum. You may come up to two hours before the party to set-up for no additional fee. 

Tables- 6ft.X2.5ft:$10 per table 

White Table Cloths:$4 each 

White Folding Chairs:$2/chair 

White 10’X10’ Tent:$25each- 4 available 

Trash removal:$30 for 50 guests or less$45 for 51-100 guests$60 for 101-150 guests 

Fresh Flowers for tables/decor: 

Small table bouquets:$25ea 

Medium table Bouquets:$40ea

Large table Bouquets:$55ea 

A non-refundable,$200 deposit is due at time of booking to reserve your date. We encourage you to bring in your own food and drinks, as we do not provide catering at this time. If you will be having alcohol present, you will need to sign a waiver releasing RDF from any liability, and/or have a licensed and insured bartender. All parties/events need to be shut down no later than 10:30pm. Feel free to check out our website for more pictures of our special property: www.reddaisyfarm.com

On the Border of Colorado and Mojave Desert

The thing I love about this desert, is it's ability to be beautiful in any weather and situation. Whether is is down pouring or blazing hot, the desert displays it's true beauty in the form of wildflowers, Joshua Trees, amazing rock formations, and loads of secret wildlife. 

We typically stay where is available in Jtree and for the most part, this camp tends to be completely full. I'm not sure if it is because it is the first site of of the enormous granite rock formations after driving through the last bit of the Colorado Desert, or because it is near the junction for the South and Eastern entrances of the park, but it is always full. 

The hiking here is super fun, you feel like a real life spiderman. It is easy to get lost on the rocks so make sure you keep track of where in the area you are. 

The toilets are pit toilets and there is no cell service. Most people trying to communicate with other people will post notes on the back of the entrance board. 

While you are here, you should drive down and check out the Cholla garden at sunset. It is magnificent!

Big Ferns, Beautiful Views, and lots of Redwood Love

This is one of my all time favorite places to stay in the coastal redwoods! When we visited, it was quiet and peaceful. We were there during the week so we didn't get a lot of traffic. Felt like we had the place to ourselves. 

The trees provided us with plenty of shade and protection for the tiny rainstorm that came over us. 

The bathrooms were well cared for, the camp hosts were personable and very helpful with information on what to see. We ended up spending most of our time searching for serpentinite on agate beach.

Quiet and Challenging

We did a backpacking trip from Johnsondale Bridge down to Fairview Campground following the Rincon trail in May. 

It was hot but the views and the quietness was beautiful! Be prepared with lots of water and food. The trail from the bridge to the campground is approximately 16 miles total but it is mostly exposed and with lots of chaparral and little water.

Backpacking Paradise!

We ran a 5 day backpacking trip out of this meet up and around Jtree in March and it was one of the most exciting backpacks we have done. We saw tons of animals, it wasn't too hot, and the elevation gain and loss was neutral. 

Be away that when you are out in the backcountry you need TONS of water caches beforehand. Make sure you put proper protection over them since the bees are searching for water and will attack your cache. 

We were with a trained naturalist for the area so we were following the rules, but respect wildlife out in it's natural habitat!

On top of each other

We ended up here for a night with a bachelorette party (see costumes) and it was good for a stopping over point but if I was looking to spend quality nature time, this would not be the place. 

The hosts were nice but the sites were right on top of one another and we almost didn't have room for our tent in the site itself, it was that small. 

Then beach was right there so we spent most of our time there but it was a really tight fit at the campground.

Easy group camping but loud and dirty

We do a yearly camping trip out here with friends. The area we go to is hot and usually filled with garbage so we have to clean it up first before we set up camp. 

It stays pretty quiet for the most part but there are LOTS of atv trails and no respect for timing or personal place on this public land. They will come by really early in the morning or late at night and will zoom right next to our camp. 

Otherwise, the stars are great and this is an easy spot to set up if you aren't spending a ton of time here and really just need a spot for camp while you explore the park. No one really messes with your gear and you aren't far from town. 

PACK IT IN AND PACK IT OUT! Please don't leave trash out here, it does hold water in the rainy season so be aware of flooding.

Great for group camping

I travel here once a year with a large group of students so we always get the large group sites at the top of the campground. I prefer these sites over the normal campsites because they at least resemble a bit of privacy. The individual sites are pretty much right on top of one another, but that is okay when all you are really doing there is sleeping due to there being so much to do in town!

The large groups sites at the top have their own bathroom and showers. The showers are incredibly hot but run out of hot water after about 7 students shower back to back. The toilets are flushing toilets and have electrical outlets for charging phones or other electronics. You will need tokens (not quarters) for the showers. They implemented this a couple years ago. 

The sites are quite large so you can fit a lot of people in them and still have some common open space. 

Surrounding the camp are Eucalyptus trees. These are beautiful and smell lovely, but watch out! They tend to drop their branches in the wind and I have seen a tent or two smashed in the middle of the night. Try not to camp directly under loose branches and you will be okay. 

It is a short walk down to the marina to rent a kayak, or over to the museum to watch the cute sea otter video. 

Otherwise it is a nice bike ride or short car trip into town from here. The food in town is amazing. 

There is cell phone signal throughout the camp as well. And you can head across the estuary to play on the sand dunes (watch out for scorpions) or up to Montana de Oro for tidepooling!

In October there is a migration of butterflies that stop at the trees in Morro Bay on their way down to Mexico. You can watch the trees "glitter"!

Odd camping area but great hot springs

We stayed at this site after a day of rafting in Browns Canyon. 

The tent site was really odd, right on top of the other sites with a drop off into the creek on one side and the road within inches of the tent area. We were camping in what looked like an old animal pen or chicken coop. It was expensive to camp here. $45 per person. That fee includes soaking in the hot springs but still for that much it would be nice to not feel like you are in the middle of a party town after a relaxing soak. 

The Hot springs however were beautiful. The pools varied in temps so you could go from one to another easily. They were large enough to fit a lot of people. There were even sun shades over them so you didn't roast in the Summer. 

One of the pools had a beautiful Indigenous woman statue overlooking the pool. All the pools seemed to be hand designed. 

There is a lodge and a women's dorm to stay in as well. I didn't get a chance to take a look at them inside but from the exterior, it looked a bit like they had been there a while. It truly is an original hot spring. 

I would recommend going to a day soak and checking it out.

Ranger Review: Trekz Air Aftershokz Headphones at Rabbit Hole Ranch

Campground review: 

I chose this spot to scout for my Dyrt Ranger Mission  because I had stayed at a similar place right near here last Summer (see Zapata Under the Stars review) and I was excited to get back out into dispersed wilderness again. The views and solitude of the desert did not disappoint. 

After booking I realized I wanted to add an extra night and the hosts got back to me immediately saying it wasn't a problem. I also asked them about the dogs since I was bringing mine to camp with us. They said the dogs were very friendly and it shouldn't be a problem at all. They also let me know I could purchase wood at the site. 

We ended up arriving after dark on Friday night and following the directions wasn't a problem. The directions from the hosts after booking are like a scavenger hunt of sorts. It was a bit hard to make out in the dark, but thankfully, we are pretty good with directions…and puzzles. The site is approximately 10 miles from the main road. 

This is a dispersed style campground for the most part. There is one site that has a landing pad, grill barrel, and was near the PooLoo and the Woodstock but the others were marked by little orange flags (we noticed those in the morning). Since there weren't clearly marked sites so we did drive around a bit until we saw what looked like remnants of a former campsite and pulled in there.  There weren't big spots to fit our tipi tent but we made it work. I think most of the sites are made for smaller 2 man tents. 

We were immediately greeted by one very friendly Pyrenees dog named Kaylee who took an immediate liking to our dogs and began playing with our youngest pup. They seemed to really take to each other. Another one showed up named Deja and seemed to be the protector of the campground. Deja was not a fan of our playful puppy and Deja made it known that our dog was not to be around her. We kept a close eye when Deja and Kaylee came around since they looked so much alike, our puppy was confused as to which one would play and which one would growl and take him down. 

That night Deja and Kaylee slept outside out tent the majority of the night while our pups were inside the tent. One of the outside dogs began barking nonstop in the middle of the night and wouldn't stop for a couple hours. This happened both nights. Thankfully I had my aftershokz headphones (with the ear plugs) so that was my saving grace in falling asleep through the barking.

Other than the random dog drama and barking, this site was fantastic! It was quiet and peaceful. Had great views of Mt. Blanca, the Sand Dunes, and easy access to town if needed. 

Bathroom: The pooloo was hilarious (see video). The concept and view was fantastic! It was just a bit too close to the big site. If we were the only ones camping there it would have been perfect, but it was far from where we camped and since there were other people camping at the large site, it was a bit awkward to use when kids are running around that can see your face. 

Water: We brought plenty of water so we didn't need to see the pump, but if you contact he host, they can operate the well water pump for you. 

Firewood: Firewood is for sale on site. Unbundled but large stacks of wood. $6 per stack and it's on the honor system. So please make sure you are being good humans!

Local attractions: From the main road, you are about 30 mins to Sand Dunes National Park, 50 mins from Zapata Falls, 45 mins to Del Norte, and 30 mins from Alamosa. There is also an Alligator and Reptile Refuge about 20 mins North. There is also a large pool/hot spring in Hooper, Co near the refuge (this pool is alligator free). 

Product Review: 

As a Dyrt Ranger I get the opportunity to receive products to review and a month ago I got these for a biking trip that ended up being cancelled. I wasn't intentionally going to use these and review them on this trip but they ended up being needed for both nights so I figured it is the perfect time! The product is the Air Trekz by Aftershokz https://aftershokz.com/collections/wireless/products/trekz-air

I was super curious when I received these headphones.I can't use normal headphones because they are either are super painful or fall out since my ear canals are very small. 

These headphone ROCK! They are super comfortable and stylish. I found that I started using them for just about everything, driving on the phone, riding my bike, walking the dogs, hiking, and even sleeping when it's noisy. As my boyfriend put it "this is the end to people's tone deaf singing, since they can now hear what they sound like". 

They are a bit big for my head so the back strap falls down a bit but they never fall off. They come with a set of ear plugs so you can focus on the sound if preferred too. 

They come with a really sturdy case that stands up on its own. The base is wider so they don’t get smashed or broken when put in a bag.

The sound quality if pretty good considering you are hearing it from your cheek bones instead of your ear drums. podcasts are clear, music is fluid, and even instrumental music is clear. The only genre that gets a bit wonky is music with heavy bass. The sound just can't compare to professional headphones when it comes to bass. 

For the purpose of using these for our trip, I used them on a hike and while sleeping when the dogs outside the tent started barking late night. I was able to fall asleep on the side of my head without worrying about painful ears. They worked like a charm.

Cold but quiet

Granted it was cold when we were out there so take this as a "non-busy" season but we loved the solitude of the weekend. 

We had a beautiful view of the reservoir and were all alone at the site. There was one other RV in the area but they were quiet. 

No bathrooms up near our site, there are bathrooms down by the lake. We weren't sure if we were in dispersed or the campground itself. 

Great location for fishing, biking, hiking, and relaxing with beautiful views. 

Bonus: The small general store in town (at the main road) makes pretty great breakfast burritos and fudge as well!

Great for all Seasons

We have camped here for years as large groups. There are plenty of places to camp for just 1 or 2 people but group camping is a bit tougher up there. There is a big wind shielded area that fits about 30-40 people easily. We have camped there in snow, Spring, Summer, and Fall. It's easy to get to and close to Nederland.

Cutest Cabin Ever!

This place was magical. It was the perfect way to celebrate our anniversary! Only an hour from the Sand Dunes, 45 min from Creede, and close to Three Barrel Brewing Co!

The cabin was perfect, full bathroom, half kitchen, and plenty of sweetness that makes you feel cozy!

Incredible Campground with all the amenities

We got this spot once our backpacking permits were denied due to fire. We were there for 5 days and got to experience the site well. Due to the beauty of Glacier, we didn't actually spend a lot of time in the site, just for main meals and sleeping. The water was a 1 min stroll from the site so we took advantage of that fully! 

The camp hosts were right next to us and they were super sweet! We even pulled up ant three baby deer were occupying our site. They told us how they would pop in every few days and feed on the fresh grass. 

The bathrooms were easy to get to and the shower house was fully equipped. Apgar village is a 7 min ride away so it was easy to ride bikes there or drive over and spend the day.

Amazingly quiet and easy to get to in the middle of Winter

We stayed in cabin #3 and it was an awesome experience! We had room enough for 4 people and 3 dogs and didn't feel like we were on top of each other. The gas stove kept us nice and toasty all night long! 

There are 4 cabins. Ours seemed to be the smallest sleeping 5. The largest cabin can easily hold 30 people. 

The bathroom was a pit toilet, which was up the hill and farthest from our cabin so it was a chilly bathroom run in the middle of the night. 

We spent a lot of time sledding and snowshoeing and we were basically the only ones out there. There was another large group in the bigger cabin but we barely saw them until they left on Sunday. 

The beds were plastic coated so it was easy to throw a sheet over them and sleep. The Couch was a bit gross, not sure if the cover gets washed much. There were shelves to hold food and an outdoor picnic table in the room to cook on.

Ranger Review: Icemule Jaunt Cooler at Allen Ranch Campground

Campground Review:

Allen Ranch offers RV, Tipi, Canvas, and basic tent sites located under shade along the river. Pull-thru sites are also available. All RV sites have water and electricity, with a dump station available on site. I only took a star away because of the loud road next to it. I didn't mind but some of my family mentioned it once or twice so I thought it needed to be scored. 

Allen himself stopped by on our first day to say hi. And he is a really nice guy! He is a former Park Service Law Enforcement Officer and Fire Ranger. He bought this land a long time ago and didn't want to leave it to work at other parks. He knows everyone in town and can recommend some great spots to visit. He started this campground and has been maintaining it with his family for a long time. It's on a beautiful strip of land right on the Fall River. The Fall River is fed by hot springs so the water stays nice and just slightly chilled. Almost feels like getting into a heated pool, like where you step in say "ahh that's nice" instead of cringe with chills. Since we were the only tent campers there we offered to mow the grass or help set up the tipis but Allen wanted us to just relax since he had his family helping him. So that is what we did. I did offer him a nice cold beer out of my Icemule cooler though. He was shocked to see "such a neat contraption!"  

There are 12 RV sites, 6 tent sites, 1 group site, and 3 tipis. I saw one canvas tent that was set up. You can call ahead and reserve sites but we found that we could just drive up and put our names on a site as put the money in an envelope at the shower house. On a busy weekend I would call ahead. 

Cost:

Tent sites: $25 to book and $5 for each additional person. 

RV site: $40 for 2 people and $5 for each additional person.

Group site: $8 per person for groups 10+

Tipi: $70 (plus $5 per additional person) for basic (you furnish), $130 per couple for everything included (including breakfast)

Glamping tent: $130 per couple (min 2) and $25 for each add person for everything included (including breakfast)

RV sites: Sites are within walking distance to the shower building with hot water and restrooms. They are right when you pull into the campground so you don't get the generators bugging you at night. They are far enough away from the tent sites to create good space. 

Tent sites: There is a large group site across from the shower house. There isn't much shade for the group site but it is large enough for a good sized group. 

The other tent sites are right next to each other so when it is busy, it would be packed. We got lucky and we were the only ones there so we got our pick of the sites. We chose sites 2 and 3 since they were perfect for our sized group and had the best flow section of the river right at the site. We were able to walk right into the water and hang out on tubes without feeling like we were sucked into cattails or "rapids". 

The sites hadn't been mowed, so the grass was a little tall, but we came at the end of a very rainy and snowy week and Allen hadn't had a chance to mow since were there the first day it stopped snowing/raining.

Other than being right next to the main road, the sound of the creek and the cottonwood trees blowing in the wind was lovely. The road wasn't too noisy and the sound went way down at night. 

There are tables at each site with 3-4 wooden round seats. The seats weren't super sturdy but the tables were great for keeping our food off the ground and away from our dogs. 

Bathrooms:

The tent sites are pretty far away from the bathroom and there isn't a place to properly go to the bathroom near the site without being seen from the main road. So that is the only big downfall. 

There is a port-o-potty up by the tipis and the canvas tent. 

The showers are free and hot. They aren't the most up to date facilities but they are functional and easy to use. 

There is a grill on site but it wasn't open when we were there, I think it is mostly open for Summer. They also offer catering for large groups, reunions, weddings and celebrations of any kind. As Allen says: "Come join us for a fun filled , relaxing camping experience near Hot Springs located in the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota Mountain hiking, Interpretive talks and warm water river tubing down gentle Fall River, which runs through the entire campground."

Inner tubes are provided FREE for the guests too. They are located right next to the playground. 

There is also a big stage on site where i'm guessing bands or events can play or take place. 

Product Review:

As a ranger we sometimes get the opportunity to review products that would benefit the camping experience. On this trip, I decided that floating down a river with family was the perfect time to review the IceMule Jaunt Cooler from https://icemulecoolers.com/

I chose the Jaunt because I wanted something that was easy to carry just a few beers instead of my whole fridge in a bag. Icemule does a great job of creating lots of options for cooler sizes and the Jaunt seemed to be the perfect fit for my lifestyle. Plus, I LOVED the colors! 

It says that it can hold a six pack or 3 bottles of wine. At first It seems like it can hold a lot more than that based on it's height, but I quickly learned that it won't properly keep chilled or stay leakproof if it is filled too much. OOPS! Once I learned to fill it properly, it worked like a charm. Even floats when you need to pass it between people on the water. 

There is a front pocket on the bag that is supposed to be waterproof but the zipper is lined along the outside with no real way to close it fully so I wouldn't trust it to keep things inside perfectly dry. It is also hard to zip with one hand (see video) which is something that would make it easier to use. 

Other than that, it was a great addition to our basecamping and day trip gear. It sites comfortably on my back and isn't too heavy being filled with liquid. It is WAY easier to carry than a cooler and way more more enticing to drink cold beer that wasn't just shook up in a warm backpack while out snowshoeing.