The area surrounding Purgatory is GORGEOUS. It’s straight out of a movie or picture book. The roads to get to the campsite were pretty rough and many of the lower campsites had standing water on or near them. Our site was steep to get to, but level and felt separated from the other sites.
The nearby towns are VERY small and don’t have much to offer for activities, restaurants or supplies if you forget something. Several beautiful small lakes nearby though!
Pueblo State Park is so underrated. We booked with on a few weeks notice so worried about how good the park and our spot would be. We weren’t really close to the water and Pueblo isn't known for having much tree coverage. But to our surprise, our spot was wonderful and we really enjoyed the park.
**camping hack: pull up google maps and check out your spot from an overhead view to make sure the site orientation works with your set-up. Pictures don’t always do it justice. The majority of sites at Juniper Breaks have the picnic table and fire ring on the drivers side of your vehicle (if you back in). We have young kids so wanted to be able to see the door of our camper if the kids came out after bedtime while the parents were still up.
Our site was in great shape and was really level which made setting up our old pop-up camper a breeze. The bathrooms were as great as vault toilets can be and there were water pumps by all of the bathrooms. The rangers were really helpful even though we got threatened with a ticket for parking on the gravel at our site. There’s lots of extra parking by the bathrooms for day visitors too.
We took our kids (2, 5, & 7) to the junior ranger class they host at the visitor center almost every Saturday. They learned about boat safety and got free sunglasses and emergency whistles. My 7 year old niece finished her ranger booklet and got a junior ranger badge, which she loved.
We spent some time fishing but didn’t catch anything but our site we hiked to was secluded and nice. The lake is so big, there are plenty of spots to hide out and fish at. There is also a swim beach nearby…it was too cold when we were there to justify swimming.
We’ve stayed here twice, both in early June so we were relatively prepared for the cold coming off the lake. Like with any campsite, I say do your research on the area before visiting. Not all sites have views of the lake, but there is PLENTY of space to explore the shore. We were in Loop E most recently and backed up to a beautiful open space. We saw a big pronghorn and plenty of ground squirrels. Even though we were a little close to our neighbors, we barely heard them thanks to the boulders that served as site dividers. The bathrooms are always stocked and clean. During the day, we ventured down to the Marina Shop, played on the playground with our daughter (the slides are steep but she loved it), and then wandered along the shoreline. They offer kayaking, but it was way too cold for us.
We can’t wait to go back!