Welcome to our (very personal) reviews of the campsites we have visited. If you arrived here from a link on our travel blog, Semi-True Tales of Our Life On the Road, you can click here to read all of our campground reviews.

If you would like to know more about me, or contact us, click on "Who are We?" (to the right). For more information about what you can expect to find in these reviews, click on "About These Reviews". Finally, a note about the photos: hover your cursor over a photo to read the caption, or click the photo to enlarge it.

Saturday, August 23, 2008


Our Opinion: Recommend. A pleasant, reasonably spacious, well-managed RV park near town.

Date of Stay: August 21 through August 28, 2008

Weather During Stay: The usual high mountain summer weather. High’s in the 80’s, lows in the 40’s. Sun, clouds, showers…and a major thunderstorm complete with flash flood warning.

Site Description: 34 sites are arranged in 3 rows in this small, scenic, commercial RV park. All sites are pull-throughs and long enough for big rigs. Each has a bit of green grass and a lovely little clump of aspen trees. Our row (the back row of three rows) has 50 amps; the other two rows have 30 amps. Most of the sites in the 50 amp row are rented to seasonal visitors from Texas.

Sites are reasonably level, and we are able to find a gap through the trees for our TV satellite. Picnic tables are scarce, about half a dozen for the park. Two or three tiny cabins are available for rent.

Rate: We paid $192.50 for a one week stay (weekly rate) - $27.50/night.

Phone/radio/TV: Verizon phones have 2-3 bars, sufficient for calls. Aircard has 3-4 bars of Broadband speed. Excellent local NPR on 88..5. Many rigs have their TV antenna up, we didn’t bother. Park brochure says you can get 2 stations. No cable TV, no internet access (free internet is available in town, less than 2 miles away).

Elevation/Landscape/Terrain: A somewhat sloping park at 7,900 ft in a high, wide, mountain valley on a small bluff above Grape Creek. Local views are neighboring RV’s and the rolling green pastures and cattle of area ranches. Distant views to the east are of the Wet Mountains. The spectacular Sangre de Cristo range, 5 miles to the west, dominates the landscape.

Lighting/Noise: Very quiet, just the lowing of cattle at feeding time and the whisper of the aspen leaves. Unfortunately, the park has one streetlight right in the center, which is on all night. Fortunately, we are no directly under it. The stars would be fantastic if the light was turned off!

Favorite Sites: Any of the 50 amp sites in the back row. All sites face east, so a 5th wheel with a back living room would have a spectacular view of the Sangre de Cristos in this row.

Hiking/Walking: Not a lot here in the little park, but good hiking is not far away. The nearest trailhead to access the Rainbow Trail (a gently undulating trail above 9,000 ft that stretches at least 100 miles along the east side of the Sangres) is about 12 miles away.

Comments: This is an enjoyable park a few miles south of an interesting (though tiny) town in a beautiful location. It appears to be the only RV park in town. Good boondocking is available at De Weese Reservoir, not far from town on the northeast side.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Our Opinion: Recommend, if you are willing to pay the high price. We would “rave” about this lovely state park if the fee structure was more equitable

Date of Stay: August 18 through 20, 2008

Weather During Stay: Typical summertime mountain weather - cool nights, sunny mornings, clouds and thundershowers in the afternoon.

Site Description: We are in site 4, with a great view of Pikes Peak out our front window, forest to the left and a meadow to the right (second photo). The roads and all of the 132 RV sites are paved. Most sites are back-ins, with some pull-outs and a few pull-throughs. All have 20/30 amp electric. All have picnic tables in good condition. No water at sites, but you can fill your tank at hose bibs scattered through the loops.

Most sites are large enough for larger rigs, but you need to keep an eye on tree branches and positioning. Sites are generally level, but some are way too sloped to level a motorhome. Deluxe dump station for arrival or departure. Several comfort stations, with pay showers. Large visitor center (top photo).

Rate: The rate for camping is $18/night. If you want to make a reservation on the internet, add another $8 per reserved period (not per night). To that, add a day use fee of $6 PER MOTORIZED VEHICLE. If you have a trailer, you pay a day use fee for your towing vehicle. If you have a motorhome and tow a vehicle, YOU PAY $6 per day per vehicle ($12 per day for the two), even though you will be camping in one vehicle and driving the other, no different than a trailer and towing vehicle. So, we paid $18/night to camp, $12/day for our vehicles, and $8 for a 3-day reservation, a total of $98, or over $32 per day for a site with 30 amp power, no water, no sewer.

Phone/radio/TV: Verizon phone is working on 2 bars. Aircard is working on 1-2 bars, sometimes broadband, sometimes slower. Local NPR is on 90.5 (not the clearest signal). Nothing is blocking our TV satellite. Several campers had their local TV antennas up.

Elevation/Landscape/Terrain: The state park road climbs a steep hill to a ridge top, so the land falls away on both sides of the campground, which is at 9,600 feet. Lots of trees, several meadows. Most hikes are down-and-up, not easy strolls.

Lighting/Noise: Quiet and dark. Wonderful.

Favorite Sites: We like the Peak View spur (bottom photo), with views of Pike’s Peak and plenty of privacy (only 5 sites on the spur). Sites 4 and 2 work best for us; site 5 would not work. The sites in the Conifer Ridge Loop don’t have much privacy, but some have good views (41 and 42). The farthest loop, Grouse Mountain, is much more heavily forested - shade, but no views. Most of the pull-outs and pull-throughs are along “Revenuer’s Ridge”, the ridge road that links the camping loops/spurs.

Hiking/Walking: Miles and miles of hikes in this huge park.

Comments: This is our second stay here - it is a great park that receives heavy use due to the proximity to the urban areas of the front range - Denver and Colorado Springs. Don’t bother coming without a reservation during the summer vacation season. Like all Colorado State Parks, the price is high, and the extra fee for both motorized vehicles strikes us as very inequitable and annoying. We were visiting a friend near Colorado Springs, so paid the price for the proximity, beauty, and cooler high altitude. Watch out for mice here.

Monday, August 4, 2008


Our Opinion: Rave. Large sites, reasonable price, friendly management make this a winner

Date of Stay: July 31 through August 17, 2008. We liked it so well that we returned August 28 through August 31.

Weather During Stay: A wild mix, typical of high mountain summer weather. Heat, sun, clouds, thunderstorms and a few chilly mornings. A cold wave moved in for the last three days of our stay: rain, rain, rain. Snow on the high peaks.

Site Description: We began in site 19, then moved to site 29. Because this used to be a mobile home park, the sites are twice the size of other commercial parks in the area. Many have a mature trees; all have some watered grass, a small concrete patio, and a picnic table.

There are around 50 spaces for RV’s, with 12 mobile homes still in the park. Don’t expect manicured green lawns - the park has a somewhat rustic, “country” feel - they don‘t call themselves a resort, and they are not. Roads are dirt (and dusty); sites are gravel and nicely leveled. 50 amp FHU. Laundry, showers, sufficient dumpsters, and the owners live onsite. They seem to cater to longer-term stays (mailboxes are available), and an older crowd; we didn’t see any children.

Rate: $25/night for FHU. Weekly rate is $160 plus tax; monthly rate is $375 plus tax and any electric use after the first $30. Stay 2 nights or more and get 10% off for cash or check. We paid around $22/night for our 18 night stay - a bargain for the area.

Phone/radio/TV: Verizon phones have a good signal; aircard on broadband most of the time. Local NPR on 89.9. No cable TV, but our satellite has a clear view. A couple stations are available on TV antenna, including Colorado PBS. WiFi is available through TengoInternet, but we used our aircard.

Elevation/Landscape/Terrain: A gently sloping park with trees and patchy grass at 8200’ elevation. View are of other rigs and nearby mountain peaks.

Lighting/Noise: Night lighting varies from site to site. In site 19, night lighting was unobtrusive - in site 29, a “streetlight“ reflects off the bedroom side of the rig, but it didn‘t keep us awake. No traffic noise at the back of the park, where we stayed, but the front sites would have highway noise. Dirt bikers used some nearby dirt roads and jumps from time to time - an infrequent annoyance.

Favorite Sites: Site 33 looks best to us for afternoon shade, but 29 must be the largest site. 30 is nice, too.

Hiking/Walking: A loop or two around the park is pleasant in the morning, but you need to drive to find a walk of a mile or more. We walked the Barbara Whipple trail 2 miles away in Buena Vista when we weren’t doing one of the many gorgeous hikes in the mountains.

Comments: This was a gem for us. “Homey” seems like the best description; nice big sites with folks relaxing outside their rigs, very mellow yet well-managed with the owners always around. The rate is less than ANY of the other RV parks in the area, yet the sites are twice the size of the usual commercial park. Opportunities for outdoor recreation and sightseeing are unlimited. When we return to this area, we will call in advance to reserve a favorite site for a nice long stay. 866-399-8107 and www.fourteenernet.com/valleymobilepark.