Featured Photo: Football Brown

Featured Photo: Football Brown

Thursday, July 20, 2023

Colorado 2022 Day 7: Moving to State Forest State Park

Our time in Rocky Mountain National Park had finally come to an end. We had enjoyed our time there and had some of the best hikes of our whole trip. We still had two excellent hikes, one shorter and one longer, but we were headed towards more fishing (or so we thought) on the rest of the trip. 

State Forest State Park was our next destination. Part of our goal on this trip was to enjoy the autumn colors, and from past experience I knew that it offered some incredible potential. The only downside is that we were visiting a bit earlier than my previous experience. Still, we hoped that would mean nice weather and a good time out camping.

After packing up everything at Timber Creek Campground, we headed out on a long circuitous route that would see us just a few miles from where we started, but on the other side of the mountain. Such is life out west. The trip went by uneventfully. We had a quick picnic lunch at a roadside picnic table and grabbed some groceries, but otherwise were anxious to get to our next destination.

As we got close to our campground, we started to find some cause for worry. A sign on the road in warned that the water was out in our campground. We had reservations to stay at the Crags Campground. I was hoping to hike to at least one more high elevation lake on this trip, and that campground was close to the hikes I wanted to do. I was NOT impressed with the fact that the Colorado Parks and Wildlife had not informed us about the water being out. With a toddler along it proved to be a real pain, but something we figured we could manage for the two nights of our reservation. I almost simply moved to an unoccupied site at another campground, but in the end we decided to just go with it. Of course the Park office was already closed, so we couldn't really do anything but figure it out for ourselves. 

Needless to say, I don't recommend staying at CPW campgrounds if it can be avoided. On the other hand, I will also say the campground at Elevenmile State Park that I've stayed at before was very nice and we had no problems. So, your mileage may vary. I was mainly just really aggravated that we were already working hard to take a toddler camping, then they made it harder and didn't bother telling us.

Our evening drew to a close with a beautiful sunset that lit up the mountain behind us with a warm glow. Best of all, we discovered that we had camp deer! Our little one loved every minute that the camp deer were wandering through snacking on the greenery around us and that made it all worth the trouble. The next day was going to come before we knew it, so after a quick supper, we went to bed. As we drifted off, we heard large creatures walking around chomping, presumably our camp deer or moose, but we were too tired to investigate...

Mule Deer at The Crags in State Forest State Park



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