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Old 05-21-2009, 04:28 PM   #1
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Laimer County...

Hey all,

I just wanted to get something started in the Colorado section regarding some camping sites and open space areas that may be of interest. Since I'm within 30 miles of most of these areas, Larimer county seems to be a good place to start. Check out the link - http://www.co.larimer.co.us/naturalr.../ParkAreas.htm

Experiences:

Between Berthoud and Loveland areas:
Carter Lake - One of our most favorite places where the wife, myself, and one of our faithful companions (dog) go to relax and have a few beers while sitting around the campfire. There are 5 campground areas and our favorite is the North Pines campground (dry camping, no electric or individual water supplies). There's only 4 campsites there which makes it nice for having your own little area, but it can be tough to get a spot if you expect to drive in and park on a weekend. There is day use access, a boat ramp, and the sailing club is stationed near the exit of the area. Early in the year when the water level is up and the docks are out, I've caught several small mouth bass just off the docks. Another place we've stayed is at the Eagle campground which has 49 campsites, one is setup for the camping host when they are there during the summer months. Each of the spots have electrical connections and a general access water supply is available. This makes it perfect for that 1st time out and you need to flush the pipes and test the functionality of all the toys in the camper. The southeastern section of this area has an open field and can be some of the better sites if you want to be a little more excluded from the pack. The Big Thompson campground is just over the dam and has 8 sites that have fantastic shore fishing access to the lake. However, its fairly close to the main road and since there is a residential area to the North of it, it tends to get a little noisy. Same with the 7 spots (2 of which are walk in tent camping only) at Carter Knolls, but if you want a good view and close access to fishing, these two locations might be your cup of tea. Finally, South shore campground has 30 spots to camp of which 6 are walk in tent camping and the other 24 have electrical hookups and general water access available. This campground we've never stayed at, but we've driven through it several times to scope out or next plan. It seems to have the most variety of all the campsites by having several close quarter sites, which is optimal for groups and large family outings, close fishing access, a boat ramp, volleyball section, large group gathering areas, and trail access. Eagle is the closest to the marina and the trailer parking is actually a section of the camping area that allows access to the campsites during the summer but they block it off during the winter months. We've stayed quite a few times here and each time, we've seen migratory birds, white tail dear, and fox. There's stories of bobcats and bears that have gone through the area also, but i have yet to see any of those animals. On the North entrance of this area, there is a bar/diner place and a mom & pop general store at the top of the hill that you can visit or pick up supplies like bait, supplies, tackle, or food (Don't expect a huge variety, its just the basics). The general store also has some camping spots if none of those other areas sound good or if the park is full. On the South entrance is the dump station and there are two entrances to it so that vehicles don't block the main road to and from. Don't block the road or pull off into the grass, the county sheriff does come around quite often on Sunday during checkout time.

Flatiron Reservoir and Campground - There's 37 camping spots, 3 of which are walk in tent access and there is also an additional 2 camping cabins here if that's your thing. There are shelters and group areas along with the horseshoe pits and a volleyball area. We've fished this area and most of what you catch are stocked trout, but for the most part, it's a quiet place to enjoy the day you chose to call in sick (cough cough). We've never camped yet....yet.

Pinewood Lake and Campground - 25 camping spots, 7 walk in tent sites, day use shelters, trail access, and good fishing access. This is a lot like Flatiron as far as the type of area to expect. It's fairly small and quiet for the most part. We haven't camped here yet either, but it's on our list for trying it out during the week when there's less crowds.


Ft. Collins area:
Horsetooth Reservoir - (have to work now...i'll come back to it and edit with more info later)
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Old 10-29-2009, 12:51 PM   #2
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Hey there...live in Greeley and actually go to Carter Lake quite often since it is so close, yet feels like you are miles away. Tend to use the Eagle campground since I still like some of the amentities such as A/C in the heat of the summer. Have gone up enough that I'm going to get a annual pass this year. Friends from Denver like to come up as well and join us. We have other friends that have a boat and tent camp, so we usually pay for a space and then have them set up their tent with us and feed them as long as they provide the boat!

My other favorite place is Golden Gate up between Central City and Nederland. Very nice - tends to be more quite than Carter since people aren't getting up early to go boating

Maybe we'll see you up there sometime!
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Old 10-29-2009, 01:40 PM   #3
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Hi Tom,

Golden Gate huh? I haven't been to that one yet. Sounds interesting and i'll to put it on my "places to check out" list for next year. Unfortunately, the wife and I didn't get to spend much time at Carter this year. We went on a family reunion in Red River, NM and came back up through Pagosa Springs and wound up spending most of our summer in Pagosa. We love that area and the hot springs are well worth it. Especially when we scored some discount tickets at the campground we were staying at.

Have you tried out the Hermit Park area yet, just outside of Estes on hwy 36? That's a pretty nice place and very quiet as well. No electric to be found and I don't think they allow generators, but it's very close to all the hiking you can handle. I heard that it used to be owned by HP or one of their affiliates and they recently released it for public use, so it's still rather new. Campground 2 i believe was just opened up this year too, so we might have to go check it out one more time if we get good enough weather to pull off one more trip.

I'll keep an eye out for ya next time we're in Carter.

Joe
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Old 10-29-2009, 04:01 PM   #4
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I know about Hermit Park (intials are HP...get it). I've worked for Hewlett-Packard for 30 years and it was our campground/recreation area in Northern Colorado for some time. As HP looked for cost cutting measures, the recreation areas around the country were one of the first casualties. I enjoyed the area but had not been up there since it became part of the Larimer County Parks. Drove through it this summer while at Carter...forgot how nice it was...might have to do some boondocking this summer
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Old 10-30-2009, 11:36 AM   #5
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Rthrbelsewhere, great info thanks for posting it. May be picking your brain a bit this next year as we are hoping to be able to make a trip to Colorado from the Ouray area down to Durango. Have you written up these campgrounds on RVparkreviews.com? It's not just for commercial sites and I always really appreciate when people post reports for other types of campgrounds there like these.
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Old 10-30-2009, 12:04 PM   #6
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I'll have to look into that review site. Been to quite a few of them here in Colorado as have our friends from Denver. So if you have specific questions you can always send me a direct email at tomsas@comcast.net
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Old 10-30-2009, 01:42 PM   #7
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Tomjsas,

That's awesome. Our friends have been to CO twice as their son is going to college there and have told us about the campgrounds charging for your toad vehicle. As we will be bringing our Jeep in tow I would much rather find a place that doesn't charge me extra for it. I will avail of your knowledge when the time comes, thanks...
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Old 11-09-2009, 09:19 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NWJeeper View Post
... hoping to be able to make a trip to Colorado from the Ouray area down to Durango...
Hey NWJeeper,
Will you be taking the direct route (550) from Ouray to Durango via Silverton or going around through Telluride, Rico, and Dolores and that direction?
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Old 12-15-2009, 02:47 PM   #9
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Just as a note for those looking to book a spot in Larimer County, Colorado. They used to have their own reservations site (noted in the first post above). However as of the December 2009, they are going to be using Reserve America. So look for Carter Lake, Horsetooth Resevoir or the others within Reserve America.
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Old 12-15-2009, 11:22 PM   #10
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Hey Tom,

Thank you for posting that. I got the email earlier this year and totally forgot about the link in that post.
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