Colorado State Park Camping- Looking for Ideas

The friendliest place on the web for anyone with an RV or an interest in RVing!
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.

X-Roughneck Strike 3

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 15, 2021
Posts
99
Location
Bad Water Texas
Hello board. We have zero-D in our sights back for another Colorado Trip this summer with our Grand Son.

We will be taking off soon after his 10th Birthday this summer.

Last June 2020 we took our Grand Daughter on a Loop out of Texas to Monument Valley, Grand Canyon, Bryce, Arches, Durango, Silverton and back home which proved to be too tiring and too much Wind Shield time.

After some discussion with the little Man, we have decided that we want to go,..

"Camping, Camping". Meaning setting up and staying put.

I am trying to go somewhere I have not personally been, but it is tempting to take him right back to Estes Park and Spend two weeks Re-Hiking the trails of RMNP we took last August when we escaped the Blast Furnace heat down here in TX.

We are In Search of a Beautiful Colorado State Park with 30 Amp and Great Views. Open to Private Campgrounds also.

Maybe close to a City where we could go in and try and find some fun things to do if we want to have a urban day.

Would love to hear about any Colorado Camping Adventures that the board cares to share their experiences with.

I am trying to book a Colorado State Park? I am thinking Grand Lake Area? Ouray? I love to be near water.

I am not wanting to boondock and am not looking for a locale that could possibly involve needing to be towed out due to the remoteness either.

Looking to spend 11 nights (State Park or open to a Private Camp Ground). I might even consider breaking the trip into two locations doing a 5 night / 6 night split in separate locations. We are not wanting to Move around alot during the time we are together and want to be semi close to civilization.

I want to try and stay at locations at higher elevation as this will be a July 2021 trip. I want to go ahead and book it.

JD

BTW: For those who are booking Estes park this Summer. Spruce Lake RV is a Great place to Stay near the RMNP Beaver Creek Entrance to the park. We stayed 2 weeks in August 2020.
 

X-Roughneck Strike 3

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 15, 2021
Posts
99
Location
Bad Water Texas
TR,

I have passed thru that town, but I think for July I am wanting to stay in higher elevations of the state as to get a better chance of cooler weather?

Trinidad is around 500 miles from where I live here in TX.

Looks Pretty for sure! What time of the year did you go? If in the summer was it HoT?

Where you just relaxing or did you do any cool things while there?

JD
 

Larry N.

Well-known member
Joined
May 26, 2010
Posts
7,342
Location
Westminster, Colorado
John,

Winding River RV Resort I've enjoyed. Here's a web page that shows some pix taken there and other info: Winding River RV Resort - Grand Lake, Colorado - Campground Reviews which includes some reviews. Their website itself is: Grand Lake CO Cabin Rentals & Camping | Winding River Resort

I have no idea how the East Troublesome fire affected it, but it's literally walking distance to a small piece of RMNP. But here is their comment from their web page:

UPDATE SINCE THE WILDFIRE

Winding River Resort and its owners ask for your patience as we go forward from the East Troublesome fire that came through the area on October 21st. The campground will be operating for the summer of 2021 with all the campsites and cabins/rooms still intact. We did lose the West End building that contained shower/restrooms, laundry, meeting room, and apartments. We are slowly working towards a normal office work day. At this time, we are only taking camping reservations. On hold, for now, are lodging reservations and the online booking system. Phone service has been restored and can call for reservations Monday through Friday 9am – 2pm MST.

Thank you.

Winding River Resort Staff

 

Larry N.

Well-known member
Joined
May 26, 2010
Posts
7,342
Location
Westminster, Colorado
John,

Here is the Colorado Parks/Wildlife website for Ridgway State Park, a place we've enjoyed, a bit north of Ouray: Colorado Parks and Wildlife

In the (small) town of Ridgway itself, there is an interesting restaurant (next to a small city park) that boasts about movies made in the area. It's the True Grit Cafe: True Grit Café - Ridgway Chamber of Commerce -- food's pretty good, too.

Ridgway Chamber Of Commerce web site: Welcome to Ridgway Colorado - Ridgway Chamber of Commerce

In Ouray itself is the Ouray KOA. An interesting area, and a nice drive south from Ouray to Telluride (preferably only in your toad), thence to Silverton, if you like.
 

X-Roughneck Strike 3

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 15, 2021
Posts
99
Location
Bad Water Texas
John,

Winding River RV Resort I've enjoyed. Here's a web page that shows some pix taken there and other info: Winding River RV Resort - Grand Lake, Colorado - Campground Reviews which includes some reviews. Their website itself is: Grand Lake CO Cabin Rentals & Camping | Winding River Resort

I have no idea how the East Troublesome fire affected it, but it's literally walking distance to a small piece of RMNP. But here is their comment from their web page:
Larry,

That one you shared near Grand Lake (Winding River) is catching my eye. I hate to hear they got burned in the fire. I like the horse back riding as I am sure a Kid would love to do that. The site map looks like this place could be a excellent choice. I am going to call Monday and see if they can get me into a shady spot. I am a bit flexible with dates but am targeting July so pretty sure I can plug in to their calendar. I did not see a fenced dog park, but can't have everything. My 4 legged son Archie, is getting up there in Age, (11+ yrs) for a Chinese Shar Pei is, well rare! He does not like to take care of his "Dirty business" on the leash. He will take you on a 1/2 marathon most of the time before he goes, so the Dog Parks Rate very high in my book.

What do you think the most likely scenario is for the Grand Lake weather that time of year? Coin Toss? I know Texas is off the list for sure in July for me, LOL. The Grand Lake area is about the length of travel at 1000-ish miles that I was targeting as my max.

Last year with my 10 Year Old Grand Daughter the entire trip ended up in the 3000 mile range which was exhausting. Kind of took the vacation into more of a Grinding fast pace and with me clocking all the miles behind the wheel it was too much wearing me out by the time it was over, I needed another 2 weeks of rest at home. 3000 miles is way too much windshield time for a kid also.

I think I read that Winding River RV Park is two miles from a RMNP entrance. Do you have any recommended Points Of Interest, Specifically in this area of RMNP as a "Must See" in your personal opinion?

The Beauty of RMNP is breathtaking anywhere you look for sure. August last year we did some incredible Hikes in the Bear Lake Area Close to RMNP Beaver Meadows Entrance, near Estes Park.

Spruce Lake RV is a great Location for that side of the park. Many great hikes and trailheads close by.

For those coming to RMNP do yourself a favor. Go to a Park Concession Store Near a Entrance or Up at the Alpine Center and purchase the Hiking Adventures Trails Map for $1 (Pics). It lists all the hikes, distances, and rates them to difficulty. We would start the AM off with a hike, come back and have lunch and have the afternoon to explore Estes Park which is a beautiful little town in itself.

Unless somebody can sway me out of it, I am leaning toward Winding River.

JD
 

Attachments

  • RMNP1.jpg
    RMNP1.jpg
    113.2 KB · Views: 3
  • RMNP2.jpg
    RMNP2.jpg
    188.1 KB · Views: 3

prnebs

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 17, 2015
Posts
196
Location
FOCO CO
I'm not sure exactly sure where the RV park is located. But remember that there's a possibility it won't be the usual scenic area. There is alot of burn scars from the fires last summer. Ask them when you make the reservation if everything is still open. There are also some county campgrounds that might meet your requirement as well.

Good luck.
 

touchracing

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 17, 2017
Posts
81
Location
On the move
TR,

I have passed thru that town, but I think for July I am wanting to stay in higher elevations of the state as to get a better chance of cooler weather?

Trinidad is around 500 miles from where I live here in TX.

Looks Pretty for sure! What time of the year did you go? If in the summer was it HoT?

Where you just relaxing or did you do any cool things while there?

JD
I took that picture October 21 of last year. We stayed for 4 night on our way down to Texas. The weather ranged from the upper 70’s during the day to upper 20’s with some ice one morning. I enjoyed some of the wonderful hiking trails around the lake.
 

Larry N.

Well-known member
Joined
May 26, 2010
Posts
7,342
Location
Westminster, Colorado
What do you think the most likely scenario is for the Grand Lake weather that time of year?

July weather up there will likely be warm during the day, but some heat for the night might feel good. The park is over 8,000 feet so the nights will be cool, though it can get rather warm on occasion. Do be aware that fire seasons are getting longer, stronger and more frequent in recent years, so keep track of any wildfires in the area. Like prnebs says, some of the forest areas (and maybe some not so forested) have been burned over, though news pix seem to indicate that there is still a lot of forest up there (I haven't been up there since the fire).
 

TheBar

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 25, 2018
Posts
820
Location
MS
We always stayed one night at the Great Sand Dunes National Park just because the kids enjoyed it so much. We never made it a destination point just a stopover. One of the few places in CO where your kids can't get hurt while they run off all that excess energy. But they can get lost. Shoot, I got lost a couple of times.
 

prnebs

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 17, 2015
Posts
196
Location
FOCO CO
We always stayed one night at the Great Sand Dunes National Park just because the kids enjoyed it so much. We never made it a destination point just a stopover. One of the few places in CO where your kids can't get hurt while they run off all that excess energy. But they can get lost. Shoot, I got lost a couple of times.
Side Bar - The Sand Dunes Swimming Pool & RV park is about 30 mins from the Great Sand Dunes Natl Park. It had 10 spots for elec & water, only 1 had 50 amp. But there is an area with no hook ups available. It has a swimming pool fed by a hot spring and an adult only facility called the Greenhouse. We were going there this week to celebrate DH retirement, but couldn't make it. Maybe next week. Has great reviews, except a few about covid protocol.
 

jackiemac

Site Team
Joined
Feb 22, 2016
Posts
5,456
Location
Scotland
We really liked the Colorado National Monument and surrounding area. Might be too far West for you. There is the James M Robb State Park in Fruita (there may be 2 areas I can't recall but the nicest was close to Minument. There are also campsites in the Monument itself, length restrictions I think. The Colorado River is close.

View towards the Book Cliffs and Fruita from the Monument.
 

Attachments

  • 45722957_10156208377746596_8168784268051349504_o.jpg
    45722957_10156208377746596_8168784268051349504_o.jpg
    133.6 KB · Views: 4

X-Roughneck Strike 3

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 15, 2021
Posts
99
Location
Bad Water Texas
Beautiful Landscapes for sure Jackie. I know being close to Rocky Mountain National Park on either side of the Continental Divide Can't go wrong.

I am a little concerned about the "Prospect Fire" Larry Spoke of, but right now unless that person on the phone talks me out of staying I think I am going to lock down a couple weeks.

I know in June last year coming out of Arches, I routed thru Cortez going east on 160 to Durango and dodged a fire that was active at that time. The one I was really concerned with at that time June 2020 was four days prior near the Arizona Utah border as I could see it Blazing off the 89 highway. Lucky for us at the time we were able to use the highway with no restrictions due to the large amounts of smoke blowing the other direction.

I still may split those 14 nights and do a 7 night and travel to new location and do another 7 at a different Colorado location.

At my Grandson requests we are going camping, camping.

Thanks for the input... I am still seeking ideas.

JD
 
Last edited:

Larry N.

Well-known member
Joined
May 26, 2010
Posts
7,342
Location
Westminster, Colorado
James M Robb State Park in Fruita (there may be 2 areas I can't recall

Yes, there are two sections for camping, the one in Fruita that you mention (exit 19) and the other one (Island Acres, exit 47) just east of Grand Junction off of I-70. There are also three other small sections, for day use only, along the Colorado River. The CPW website: Colorado Parks and Wildlife
 

X-Roughneck Strike 3

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 15, 2021
Posts
99
Location
Bad Water Texas
Yes, there are two sections for camping, the one in Fruita that you mention (exit 19) and the other one (Island Acres, exit 47) just east of Grand Junction off of I-70. There are also three other small sections, for day use only, along the Colorado River. The CPW website: Colorado Parks and Wildlife
Larry,

Did the Frutia area get Fire Damage in the Prospect Fire last year?

I Am looking at that Camp Ground near the water at James M Robb State Park it looks like a WOW location. Have you ever camped there?

I see it is near Grand Junction, and I have never been there, but looks promising. If traveling to this area will I be forced to take the tunnel, as trying to remember the fire story from a clouded memory, seemed like one area took the brunt of the fire, and one side of the mountain was spared from it? I remember it was being talked about on these Forum pages at the time.

I mapped James R Robb in Frutia and it is approx 220 miles to Winding River, in the Grand lake Area. a 7 day split locations? I need to decide and try and lock in for the summer season I feel real soon.

Now I am thinking maybe to split the trip between these two locations somewhat close locations.

I am going to log in to the Colorado State Park site and see if they have anything that will fit my RV.

JD
 

TheBar

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 25, 2018
Posts
820
Location
MS
Side Bar - The Sand Dunes Swimming Pool & RV park is about 30 mins from the Great Sand Dunes Natl Park. It had 10 spots for elec & water, only 1 had 50 amp. But there is an area with no hook ups available. It has a swimming pool fed by a hot spring and an adult only facility called the Greenhouse. We were going there this week to celebrate DH retirement, but couldn't make it. Maybe next week. Has great reviews, except a few about covid protocol.
It has been a been a few years but we stayed at the Oasis just outside the entrance. There are others: Area Campgrounds - Great Sand Dunes National Park & Preserve (U.S. National Park Service)
 

jackiemac

Site Team
Joined
Feb 22, 2016
Posts
5,456
Location
Scotland
We were there in 2018 and the Island Acres was not pretty as it looked as though there had been a fire there. I thought I had photos but it looks like I deleted them. Regarding the Fruita one, I do not know if the fire hit there last year.

What I can tell you though is that it was a really nice park with a large laundry area and ramadas at most sites. 2 photos.

We could only get a night or two and had to move to the RV Park across the street which was tighter but nice enough, 2 photos, but we would have preferred staying at the state park.

The camping in the Monument looked amazing, Saddlehorn Campground 40ft limit.

Call the park and ask about the fire...
 

Attachments

  • 20180907_114755.jpg
    20180907_114755.jpg
    128.3 KB · Views: 3
  • 20180907_114810.jpg
    20180907_114810.jpg
    142.5 KB · Views: 3
  • 20180908_192023.jpg
    20180908_192023.jpg
    151.6 KB · Views: 3
  • 20180908_192030.jpg
    20180908_192030.jpg
    78.7 KB · Views: 3
Last edited:

Larry N.

Well-known member
Joined
May 26, 2010
Posts
7,342
Location
Westminster, Colorado
Did the Frutia area get Fire Damage in the Prospect Fire last year?

I don't know, John. It's been at least 3-4 years since we were there. It was a nice place when we were last there, though, as Jackie indicates.

One note: Colorado State Parks fill up the almost the moment that scheduling opens (exactly 6 months in advance, to the minute of the beginning of the day), especially Friday and Saturday nights, but more recently the weekdays fill quickly, too.
 

Lou Schneider

Site Team
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Posts
10,638
We always stayed one night at the Great Sand Dunes National Park just because the kids enjoyed it so much. We never made it a destination point just a stopover. One of the few places in CO where your kids can't get hurt while they run off all that excess energy. But they can get lost. Shoot, I got lost a couple of times.
San Luis Lake State Wildlife Area is about 10 miles west of the park entrance on Mosca Rd near Hwy 17. It used to be a state park until water supply problems forced it's closure. But the campground is still open, free with a Colorado fishing or hunting license ($10-36). No water, but each of the 51 campsites has a picnic table, shade cabana and fire grill. And due to a power agreement, 50 amp power. There's also a dump site but it too doesn't have any water.

San Luis Lakes State Wildlife Area – Mosca, CO
 

X-Roughneck Strike 3

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 15, 2021
Posts
99
Location
Bad Water Texas
So many choices, and the longer I procrastinate the lesser the chances of booking what I want. I didn't Call Winding River today, as I wanted to peck around on YouTube as see some other Colorado options.

I was looking out West of Colorado Springs, Mueller State Park at over 9000 ft elevation. Looks Great, but can't lock anything in. I was watching some You Tube on it. Fantastic Looking place.

I may be able to cobble a few nights together at State Parks but I guess I am going to call that Winding River tomorrow and see what they have to say.

You can't go wrong with Colorado.

Appreciate all the tips.

JD
 
Top Bottom