Ever think, “Man, it’s hot in Denver. Let’s take the kids out of school on Friday and go camping.” Then you get there and the mountains are still snowed in? If you haven’t put your kids through the discomfort of this, you should. They’ll learn more than they did in school that day anyway. Take the steep winding road outside of Minturn towards Leadville, dotted with abandoned mining towns and towering railroad bridges long forgotten. The drive is beautiful as they typically are in Colorado, with lots of tight turns, cool bridges, and endless views. Try to keep your eyes on the road.
The reservoir itself was still iced over the last time we camped there (in mid May), but the campsite we found was dry and excellent. A small stream ran next to the tent which provided hours of entertainment for the girls.
We tried a hike on Saturday but turned around after miles of grueling climbing due to snow on the trail. It was such a steep and rigorous hike we were all actually pretty glad to go back and sit in our ridiculously comfy Kelty camp chairs til dinner.
The tent was tucked back into the trees with cliffs and a meadow overlooking the river valley. It was mostly quiet and scored high on our ranking system. Wonderful place to start out the camping season.
The reservoir is great for SUPs, canoes, fishing and hiking. It was iced over the last time we were there. After all it was in May.
Directions: From Denver, take I-70 to Minturn and head south. One of the prettiest drives in the state in my opinion. Stay on 24 past Red Cliff and you’ll see a turn off for Homestake Reservoir on the right. There’s a pay campsite right off the highway but keep driving and start looking for a spot.