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Posted: 6/1/2009 1:03:08 PM EST
I am planning to go camping with my wife and kids this spring, and am looking for advice on places that I can drive to w/ a stock Grand Cherokee (wearing A/T tires) and set up camp right outside the Jeep. Parameters are that it should be within a couple hours drive from metro Denver, and not be too high in elevation (7,000 or 8,000 feet maybe?). I am looking for "spots" in the national forest/BLM land/ etc. near some water source (lake, pond or stream) and not camp grounds––I want to get away from people, not live closer to them than I normally do! The places I have gone to in the past are all at 10,000' or higher in Summit or Eagle counties, and this time of year they get too cold at night (low 30's) for my little ones even with what I think are warm mummy bags. Anyone have ideas on camping areas at lower elevations that are scenic and not too hard to access? Thanks!
Link Posted: 6/1/2009 1:23:46 PM EST
Colo. Springs area off Rampart Range Rd. You can find good spots fairly easily behind the Air Force Academy (east side or road), or to the west most anywhere along the road, this puts you around the backside of Rainbow Falls/Deckers area. Any restrictions are well signed right now. Take a day to scout it out and have fun!
Link Posted: 6/1/2009 5:08:31 PM EST
Buena Vista in the desert area just east of town. Lots of great spots away from people and there's a stream that goes through much of it.
Link Posted: 6/1/2009 7:27:42 PM EST
Cloyses Lake, and clear creak res. are beautiful, not sure if they
are below 8000ft never been but have seen pics of friends who
have gone. Say it's just shy of 100mi west of co springs
Link Posted: 6/1/2009 8:03:19 PM EST
+1 for Buena Vista.

Here is the location that I have camped in and I believe was mentioned in a previous post. The entrance to this area has a scenic overlook with pit toilets, so that takes care of that issue if need be. The trail along the river is an old railroad bed and it dead ends at a gorge, which is kinda cool to go see. 100% of the area is passable by any 4x4 and any other vehicle with high clearance. The area is all sand, so that is a plus. It is nice and soft under the tent.

Original Size
Link Posted: 6/2/2009 3:08:44 AM EST
[Last Edit: 6/2/2009 3:09:03 AM EST by kpp80202]
That BV area looks promising––I've never thought about going there. Can you let me know where the access is to the trail along the river? I can't quite tell with the map you provided. (By the way––thanks for the map!)
Link Posted: 6/2/2009 9:39:16 AM EST
FYI Be aware that there is a prison up there, north of the highway and east of BV.
Link Posted: 6/2/2009 1:26:59 PM EST
Link Posted: 6/2/2009 1:46:01 PM EST
Originally Posted By kpp80202:
That BV area looks promising––I've never thought about going there. Can you let me know where the access is to the trail along the river? I can't quite tell with the map you provided. (By the way––thanks for the map!)

I usually go into downtown BV and take a right at the light (main street). Then take a left onto North Colorado Ave/CR 371. Follow that along the river and when you see a tunnel in front of you take your

first right. From there just have some fun exploring until you find a spot you like. There are many trails back there and tons of places to camp. Just make sure to clean when you leave because

that is a favorite spot for many of us and we want to keep it as beautiful as possible. There's nothing quite like camping and waking up with the collegiate peaks in the background.
Link Posted: 6/2/2009 2:24:00 PM EST
The access to that area is on 285. On this map it is the trail between the 2 285 markers closest to Johnson Village. You know you went too far on 285 if you get to the bottom of the hill where the KOA campground is. The entrance is the closest road to the KOA, but back the way you came. I think initially it is gravel and then when you get past the observation loop/point and bathrooms it turns to sand. When you get to the area that like goes off in many directions, the roads farthest left and right are the railroad beds.

A scenic drive around there is a road, again closer to Denver a couple miles but on the opposite side of 285. I think there might be a sign for a ranch. It is passable with a stock vehicle all the way to the ranch and the small ghost town.
Link Posted: 6/2/2009 2:33:50 PM EST
Link Posted: 6/13/2009 7:02:15 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/13/2009 7:04:35 PM EST by kpp80202]
Thanks so much for the detailed maps. I will definitely have to check that out. And, I try to leave campsites cleaner than when I get there. I think it's good to teach the kids that when they are very young. I appreciate all the advice, and will let you know it we get out there in the next couple weeks.
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 2:31:08 AM EST
Pingree Park north of ft fun or some off hwy 14 areas along the poudre up near mishawaka. However the Poudre is running ver y and FAST. That will get lower and slow some once we have a solid 3-4 weeks of sun
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 8:12:25 AM EST
Originally Posted By thelastgunslinger:

+1 (buffalo creek area)

Was up there last weekend for the first camping trip of the year, very nice. The road up to wellington lake has some nice spots, but can get pretty crowded.
Link Posted: 6/14/2009 7:52:23 PM EST
Here' a pic of the Buena Vista area for camping:

Link Posted: 6/18/2009 3:46:07 AM EST
Alkoe––I have camped along the forest road between Wellington Lake and Buff Creek and really liked it. You are right though about the crowding––I almost didn't find a spot last time I was there.

Jeep––great photo!
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