Ranger Review : Outdoor Element at Dispersed Grand County Rd 11, MBRNF

Campground Review

Beautiful spot to watch the Aspens change. Fairly open camp spot, mostly flat, lots of room for a trailer if you'd like. Good spot to have a group gathering, large fire pit and good amount of room for people and cars and camp. 

Had a pair of moose, Mom and Calf, walk right through, about 15 yards from me, while I was waiting for my dinner to re-hydrate. They seemed to have no cares. 

Fair amount of trails around if you can find them, although not maintained by anyone it seems, except maybe hunters? Beautiful area to explore!

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Product Review

I tested the Outdoor Element Firebiner, a Survival EDC Carabiner

Great little tool to have with you! Just in case, cuz you never know. Especially here in CO! 

The many functions of the Firebiner I have yet to try, but the fire starter and tinder quicks I did. It takes two hands, so trying to film it was a bit of a struggle for me. But the spark was very intense and lit the tinder quick within 3 strikes. I then laid it onto a home made fire ensurer in the wood tepee with paper and it was full blaze on in no time! 

I have one clipped to my daily backpack. One in my hunting bag. The lightweight and useful functions make it easy to add to any bag or kit, car, truck, outdoor, emergency and more!!

Ranger Review: IceMule Cooler in Dispersed Camp NF - Hunter Central

Campground Review:

Great flat spot to set up camp. Been mostly cleared of deadfall, has good views off back of camp. Get a bit of service on one part of camp, and head up the other ridge to get full 4G. 

Beautiful spot to watch the leaves change this fall. Has some Aspens mixed with Pine trees. Sagebrush, berries, and scrub oak around as well. Lots of views to see. 

Rough 4x4 road - DO NOT ATTEMPT without 4x4 LO 

Product Review:

I wish I had more good things to say about the IceMule Cooler. It did not perform to my expectations. Seems to leak whenever turned on its side or over. In Colorado Summer/Fall temps, 70's to 40's in temps, the cooler did not hold ice for 24 hours. Great for short/small trips and only use it for drinks.  Unless you have access to ice and can refresh often. I find the rolling/closing to be a bit cumbersome, and as I said, I can not get a good water tight seal either. Great for the boat, day hike, picnic but not what I was looking for in a camping cooler.

Not bad

Beautiful views abound, the lake is very clean and access is easy. There is lots more lake for us to explore on our paddle boards, but each day the wind picks up around 1-2pm and makes travel treacherous at best on the lake. Camp hosts are friendly and welcoming. They offer $7 bundles of firewood and $4 bags of ice.

The bathrooms are all vault toilets, with running water sinks. Very clean and up kept but no soap. And we never saw any showers anywhere. There is a fish cleaning station next to the launch ramp, which was very nice to use.

Fishing was rough from shore, conditions are slow due to temperature and late season snows, some locals informed me. Also advise trying to get on the water to fish, much better results trolling, just like you see lots of folks on the lake doing.

The campground has no shade, no trees, no cover, only some picnic tables have roof covers but no wind block. There is no cover or shelter from the wind. And it blows, everyday, according to the camp hosts. Sometimes extremely high winds- 40+ mph. We had to use our hammock rain cover as a shield in the shade shelter to cook dinner, and help keep our sanity in the wind.

Sites are all very small for tents. If you have a large tent you may have trouble finding any ground worthy of trying to sleep on. Most camps we saw had campers, and parked them all as wind blocks, hiding out each afternoon behind the RV or camper.

The camp was fairly clean, although I did pick up handfuls of micro trash and did a loop around the campground picking up a handful of larger trash too. I'd say a B+ on litter.

Overall we had a good time, but for the price- we did expect a little more. Showers. More space and flat area per campsite. Trees, cover, wind blocks are needed when it is known to have such high winds on the daily.

Free but Very Close to the Railroad

We stay here to go to the hot springs that are across the railroad tracks. 

Great because its free, but no real amenities

Close to town too, close to the river, nice open spots with big trees. 

Next to Colorado Open Space and SWA

2nd Best in the State!

We absolutely love staying here! Many options to stay including walk in camping and covered wagon cabins. There is a long steepish trail that leads to many camp sites along the river. You are not allowed to drive to camp, you must walk your gear in. Very shaded and flat areas built for tents in each site, picnic table, gas grill with propane, fire pit, showers and bathrooms are a short distance away. Running water and easy access to the Hot Springs too.

The place is always updating and staying on top of upkeep. It has many pools of various sizes and temperatures. Even river access to cool off when it's not moving too quick.

As you can see on this visit, we were snowed on. As it seems to be a crazy season this spring 2019- be prepared for muddy rough conditions on the road to the Hot Springs entrance. It can require 4x4 and sometimes is not passable. Depending on weather and conditions. See there website and/or call!

Great but $$

This is a great smaller campground in the Lake Pueblo State Park. Lots of juniper trees and a natural like setting around the sites. Didnt seem to have as many camp sites either, which is nice for some of us folks. Dont think there was water in any sites, and there was no water in the bathrooms and no shower. There is a drinking water spigot near the bathrooms. For the price, $22 a night, and having to use the other campgrounds shower facilities, plus no running water in bathrooms, it seemed a bit steep per night. The lake shore was a short distance from our camp, but for some camps you would need to go through other sites to get to the lake. Or use the day use and fishing access areas. Cliffs and drop offs are surrounding the lake, so caution and look for paths to be able to get to the shoreline. The firepit has the grill attached, so if planning to use charcoal plan accordingly, it is far away from the bottom of the pit to the grill. Fairly hard to cook on. Had to pile charcoal on wood coals, and still were too far from grill. Very popular on weekends and holidays. Every site was taken but then almost completely cleared out on Tuesday. Again weather was not all sunshine and rainbows, but the cover, trees, and topography of camp helped keep the wind at a more tolerable levels for us. Great spot, views, really liked our site!

Nice but could be better

Huge campground with multiple areas within. We were in Yucca Flats. Which was nice, but very open. Not much cover anywhere, maybe 1 tree or large bush per site? There is running water in the bathrooms, which is super great, and each individual bathroom has a shower, which is good and bad. No bathrooms when everyone is trying to shower, and not many hooks for your items or a place to keep things dry while you shower, and when you shower it's a button you push continuously apx every 30 seconds or the water stops. But nice that you don't have to pay for a shower, and that there is hot running water. Also no soap for handwashing at sinks, which was eghh? We had a great time even with the weather was all over the place. The access to the lakeside water can be a bit tricky. Look for small trails that lead down to the lake. Lots of cliff spots and drop offs. But the fishing was good, better when you get on the water via paddleboard or boat. Seemed to be very popular for Memorial Day Weekend!

Nice but could be better

Huge campground with multiple areas within. We were in Yucca Flats. Which was nice, but very open. Not much cover anywhere, maybe 1 tree or large bush per site? There is running water in the bathrooms, which is super great, and each individual bathroom has a shower, which is good and bad. No bathrooms when everyone is trying to shower, and not many hooks for your items or a place to keep things dry while you shower, and when you shower it's a button you push continuously apx every 30 seconds or the water stops. But nice that you don't have to pay for a shower, and that there is hot running water. Also no soap for handwashing at sinks, which was eghh? We had a great time even with the weather was all over the place. The access to the lakeside water can be a bit tricky. Look for small trails that lead down to the lake. Lots of cliff spots and drop offs. But the fishing was good, better when you get on the water via paddleboard or boat. Seemed to be very popular for Memorial Day Weekend!

Simple but gets the job done

No frills campground. No water. No amenities. But nice big shade trees to help give you some cover. There is trash and bathrooms. 

Make sure you bring bug spray, the mosquitoes can be relentless. 

The campground is tucked in a small gulch, helping to give relief from high winds. The lake is a short car drive away, quite a walk or mild bike ride. 

We had lots of room to lay out our car full of gear and reorganize. Would use again but not plan to stay more than a night if so. More of a great spot to stay while your exploring the area.

First to Review
Great but gets HOT-

Very nice Pinon Pines and other small trees for cover. Up on the top of a hill next to the lake, so not much access to the water. One year, when the water was low, it took about 15 min both ways up/down pretty rough and rugged trails. Or you drive around to other places to access the lake.

Nice place to stay, but gets VERY HOT. And can also have some unpredictable weather roll through with high winds. Remember this site is on a hilltop. 

One photo you can see another campground, across the lake, that has almost no cover, not much sagebrush even, but is right next to the water. We choose the Ridge with Pinons, and the hike to water. But some may want more water access.

Only 4 stars because -

It depends which campground you get in Town Park. On the softball field vs vendor camp, totally different. Our experience is more vendor camp which includes- tons of trees, beautiful views, but minimum space for tents. Great bathrooms, running water and random portaloo during festivals. Showers are coin operated and nice. Always enjoy coming to Telluride, weather can be unpredictable so prepare for 4 seasons. Most of the year. Had a seriously huge bear walk right next to our tent, so make sure to be safe and aware. Lots of bears on the area. And they are crafty.

Best Campground sites on this side of Lake

Love this campground. Lots of good times and good spots. Big sites for campers, right next to lake, trees and wind blocks, great to good fishing. Almost always try to go here when we go.

High Country Lake. Weather can be severe at times, including very high winds. Bears and wildlife will want to eat your food. Be aware that your closest means of supplies/gear are at the Master Bait and Tackle on the other side of the lake.

That being said, boating and swimming plus other water sports are great for Summer. But Spring and Fall can be chilly. Or snow even.

1 of the 2 best on this side of the lake

Weather and fishing dependent, easily one of the best campground on this side of Green Mountain. Multiple sites right next to the lake. Good to okay fishing. Swimming and water sports are good during Summer. But can be chilly in Spring and Fall. Not as much coverage in some sites compared to South Cow. But still has some good wind block, which you will want during most evenings. Weather can be unpredictable and severe at times. Beware. High Country lake. Bears, wildlife, weather all unpredictable. Phone service can be scarce. Only services and gear/supplies are at the Master Bait and Tackle on the other side of the lake, sometimes the Marina depending upon what you need.

Cant wait to go back!

When it doesnt snow on us anyway.. but the weather was good for long soaks in the awesome hot springs. Camping area was nice, large spots, in close proximity to the springs. We had a great time, the facilities are great, and everything was awesome besides the weather. But you cant win em all. Photos show us waking up to snow one morning. Still - We cant wait to go back and visit again!

Great Local Campground

Very close to home. Lake Dillon Res is cold water. Always, even in July and August. Were at about 9000 feet, weather can change rapidly, and forecasters can be wrong. Be prepared for all 4 seasons. It can snow in July. No lie.

Update on getting in water, it is open seasonally. When allowed, you can try to swim and get into the lake. Very short season that this is available.

The ski resorts listed are NOT open year round. There is "shoulder" or "mud" season as we call it, where the resorts close, the restaurants close, shops, everything on the mountain stops. Towns still are fully open. But not the base of the ski resorts.

Only Reservoir in lower 48 with Arctic Char. Also have Kokanee Salmon. In addition to many species of trout. Lake, Rainbow, and Brown.

Lots of space in campground. Our usual spot has trees still and cover. Helps when it gets windy. Access to lake is great. Clean and up kept. It can be beautiful but chilly for most folks. Can even shore up boats in certain camp sites.

Lake is extremely low this season (2019) and camp will be further away from any water access.

Horrible Park Service

The horrible park service at Arches and recreation.org have problems. Reservations that cancel and show available as "Walk-In" are not. The rangers sell those cancelled reservations to campers who are already staying at the campground and would like extra days. They discouraged us from trying to be there to get any spots opening the next morning and said they were probably all sold, any of the sites that said first come first serve, on recreation.org. Such a disorganized mess. They dont even keep a tally or list as to what they have sold or to which camper. Claim because of no cell service. But they have radios. And a list of cancelled reservations to sell that morning. Such a BS way of running a camp. Reservations only. Which sell out 6 months in advance and go on sale on a certain day. What a mess Arches NP was. Lines to the highway every day, 30+ min to get into the park, nope. Not my style.

Love this place. Keep coming back-

We prefer to disperse camp along the North Shore of the lake, basically directly North, across the lake from the marina, in the small coves that have 4×4 and dirt road access. Dispersed camping allowed all around the lake with certain restrictions - need to check local info online for more info. No water. No toilets. No trash. And do the right thing folks. Pack it in, pack it out. Portaloo and deposits included.

Getting to the lake from the North is a very long, sometimes confusing and difficult, maze of 4x4 and dirt access roads for Natural Gas wells. If it rains, especially a good amount, the roads can be impassable. Huge ruts can form and high clearance necessary on some routes. But….

Once you get to the lake, find your own paradise. So many places to choose from. Roads all over in loops, some can get into sand- again caution. Do not get stuck. You are basically secluded and out on your own. Some folks know the area, had times with multiple neighbors. Also had days with 0.

Water is usually beautiful. Great temps. Love to fish and SUP. Much success and stories from both.

Winds can be high, strong, and ferocious. Beware. Keep an eye on clouds and weather forecast. Use natural wind breaks instead of setting up right next to lake-

Trails can be fun for mountain biking and exploring. Or 4x4 and off roading. Razors, side by sides, quads, anything fun will be useful. Jet skis, boats, water floating devices. Also, bring GPS. Phone service can be spotty.

Remember your dispersed camping. Miles from town, help, useful things may be hours away. Make sure to over pack if anything. Be kind to one another while there. And please, most importantly - dont trash these areas. Noone wants to see leftover junk at such a beautiful place.

Friendly, safe, nice

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 Amazing

Bring lots of water. And ice. Especially in summer. Town is a long drive. Great spacious spots, sunshade (not rain proof) and picnic tables, fire ring w/grill. Very quiet, but able to hear everyone in camp. Most folks seem to be there to explore or sight see, so up early and to bed early. But be prepared to hear your neighbor. Facilities were cleaned daily. And in excellent condition. Really great spot in Pinion Pines and sagebrush. In such great proximity to trails and viewpoints. We woke up 15 min before sunrise, poured hot water in our French Press, drove to Mesa Arch, pressed, and then hiked watching the sunrise. It was beautiful. One night we took our dinner plates to the overlook for sunset, it was an amazing dinner. Luck of the draw on getting a spot. First come, first serve. I could see it being a mess during peak season and holidays. Although we managed to get a spot and be there for mother's day weekend. Saw many discouraged cars circling and leave on many days, but many sites were available when we left.

Pretty nice

Great facilities, able to walk around town from camp, upkept, clean and seemed safe.

Downfalls would be our ability to hear traffic from our tent camp. And the small area designated for each tent site.

We used it as a restarting point to regroup, do laundry, shower, repack and move onto the next portion of our trip. Also came back for showers on our way through town.