Kristen

The Dyrt Pro

Colorado Springs, CO

Joined April 2021

Beautiful Wyoming Camping

We visited Curt Gowdy when multiple fires were burning nearby, so all our pictures are tainted with smoke. This facility offers campers two lakes and several different types of sites. Some are full hook-up and others are no hook-up. We had the latter, but were so happy with our spot. The park is primarily composed of dirt roads. There are so many different types of sites, from those with several trees, lake side, open, or group spots. Water is available for filling bottles, but not campers. No dump stations are open here, but Wyoming has dump stations at its rest stops along the interstates/highways for free. Cell service is unavailable away from the beautiful visitors center. Our campsite sat by itself, on a ridge next to the furthest away lake. It was beautiful and a worn trail at the campsite ended at the water's edge where we could store our kayak in the trees for the weekend. A small beach allowed for chairs to be set up at this spot as well. The lake offers fishing and kayaking. The real draw, though, is the IMBA mountain biking trail system that weaves throughout the park. The trails are well-marked and maps are easy to follow. Hiking is abundant as well. This park sits near Medicine Bow National Forest and has similar typography with awesome rocks, evergreens, aspen and creeks. Hiking is a pleasure in this environment. Our campsite was pull-through with a fire pit and table. There was a fire ban (for obvious reasons) during our September visit.

Urban Camping

This location is in Denver. Cherry Creek State Park has a nice lake, fishing areas, a bike trail looping the entire lake, and several activities. A robust visitors program and center, plus full hook-up spots, make this an easy getaway. The campground is well-treed and sits near the lake. A bike trail connects the campground to the visitors center and beach area (on opposite sides of the road). Picnic areas and fishing-specific areas are found on this side of the lake as well. The campsites offer grass, paved pull-throughs, and big trees. The campground was full while we were there. We attended a program to learn more about the park and enjoyed it. We went swimming at the beach and played in the sand. Several locals spend the day grilling and enjoying the sunshine here. They have a marina that interestingly has sailing lessons and rents boats. Each campsite has a fire ring and table and was raked when we arrived. A large lightening and thunder storm occurred during our visit (not surprising for June). The area is flat, so water pooled around the camper and on the paved roads and brought some crazy clouds. The park trails connect to a trail that leads to Castlewood Canyon State Park in Castle Rock as well (for those who want a good ride). We will be staying here again and enjoying their amenities which include full showers/flush toilets, laundry room, park visitors center (they sell ice cream) and a relaxing "beach" environment in Denver. For more: Minnieoutwest.com

A State Park that Has It All

If you want a park with a little of everything, Chatfield might be the place for you. Situated near the mountains and also close to Denver, Chatfield is a busy place on the weekends with boaters lined up to enter the park. The reservoir provides an updated swim beach, several areas to fish, a trail that circles the lake, and numerous, full hook-up campsites. An area to fly model planes, trails for bike riding, a museum, visitors center, day-use picnic areas, and hot air balloons launching can also be found here. In other words- it's a busy place that offers fun and relaxation. We have stayed here a few times. Several pull-through campsites that are mostly level and paved with FHU are here. Large trees in almost all sites provide shade, especially for people in exterior loops. A fire ring and picnic table are at each site. Shower/bath buildings are in each loop. Trees are generally cottonwood or juniper (low growing). This sits very near Roxborough State Park, a day-use only park that is definitely also worth a trip if staying here. We have also camped here when going to Red Rocks Concerts. Campsites are rarely close enough to walk/carry your kayak to the lake, but there are some close enough to see the lake and all are close to the trails to bike and walk. For More: minnieoutwest.com

Lakeside camping near Fort Collins

Boyd Lake State Park is situated near the city of Fort Collins with distant views of the mountains. It has a large lake that is used by boaters, fishermen and sandcastle builders all summer. The campground consists of several loops. Trees were planted years ago and several are larger, creating a reasonable amount of shade at some campsites. We stayed in campsite 126 our first time camping there and it was ideal. Located at the end of a camping loop, the level, paved site provided a view of the lake and reasonable shade from a distant cottonwood tree during dinner. The sites here are generally level and spacious with full bathrooms in each loop. Electric is at each site, with a water and dump station located near the entrance of the campground. Bike trails for the city intersect this campground, so you can bike to Loveland or Fort Collins on paved, wide paths. Kayaking is easy with several inlets, or if you have a boat, bring it and enjoy the water. A newer, large picnic area and new playground are a quick bike ride from the campground next to the swim beach. There is an event area that can be rented and several opportunities for recreation throughout the park. We visited in both June and September. Both were busy, but the campground was quiet at night and the staff was helpful. There are horseshoe pits, small playgrounds, and a volleyball area in various camping loops. I definitely would stay again if in this area. Learn More: minnieoutwest.com

Camping next to the city with full amenities

Cheyenne Mountain State Park is a newer park in the Colorado State Parks system. Their camping facilities provide full-hookups at most sites, with two loops for tent campers. We have camped here in a tent and also in a camper. This is one of our favorite spots. It is close to town (only 5 minutes to a Safeway), but the park has abundant hiking and biking trails that go from prairie grasslands to mountainous evergreens. Watch prarie dogs pop out of their holes and enjoy the butterflies while geocaching. Ride bikes through their several trails or relax at your large campsite. Their visitors center has great displays and a live snake! You can also purchase ice cream. Their camper services building has flush toilets, good showers, a laundry room, and sells everything you need for a good camping trip (s'more items, ice, ice cream, etc.). Rangers and volunteers are helpful. This campground sits on the side of the mountain and has beautiful views of the city at night. It also sits near Fort Carson and you can hear when it's time to wake up or eat dinner. One of their newest items is their disk golf course, located next to the campground. It is fun and somewhat challenging. The only real problem here is the wind. It can get quite windy in the fall or spring. Since it is close to town, internet and phone service is excellent.

Beautiful high altitude camping

This Colorado state park brings visitors year-round for all types of recreation. We have traveled here several times, both tent camping and in our camper. The views range from evergreens and aspen to Pikes Peak. Camping is a pleasure with electric hookups at several sites, a camper services station with showers, flush toilets, laundry, and a dump station with water filling. Water spigots are located throughout the park, but are not for camper filling. The rangers are consistently pleasant. Since the park is at 9,000 feet, bears and sporadic weather are present. The hiking trails are well-marked and lead to various ponds, abandoned buildings (from when this was a ranch) and an abundance of wildflowers. Fall is especially beautiful when the aspens turn gold. Winter camping is available and perfectly situated near sledding hills. There are several well-maintained picnic areas and a visitors center where you can learn about the wildlife and geology and purchase a few trinkets or the sweatshirt you will need by nightfall. There are no "bad" spots in this park. We particularly like 120, at the end of the loop. It is quiet and close to several trailheads. For more reviews of Mueller, see minnieoutwest.com.

Lathrop State Park has a little of everything

We have visited this park several times, in the summer, spring and fall. The campground provides a nice visitors center, two small lakes (one non-wake), a sand beach, paved and unpaved bike trails, fishing, a kids fishing pond, trails, and electric or no-hook-up camping. The campground is divided into three loops with each loop containing flush toilets and shower facilities. A tent-only campground is situated closer to the highway, while the three loops are far from the road and provide ample star-gazing experiences. Favorite spots include 102 (has a great view of the Spanish Peaks), and site 84 (private pull-through with junipers and other short trees to block the road/other campers). I have attended several ranger programs here and hiked on all trails. Playing on the beach and picnicking is enhanced by the water stations to wash off the sand, benches, picnic tables, and shade trees. Kayaking on the no-wake lake is peaceful and fishing is abundant. Bike riding is simple and mostly flat. A fully paved trail circles the lake and is accessible by the campgrounds. A public, 9-hole golf course sits directly next to the park. The course is inexpensive and fun for an afternoon or morning. If you've exhausted all your options at the park itself, head one hour away to the Great Sand Dunes National Park to "surf" on the dunes and learn about this beautiful area. This park truly has a little of everything and while it is one of the oldest state parks in Colorado, it is well-maintained and enjoyable year-round.