Dispersed Camping – Homestake Reservoir Road

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.

Red Cliff bridge. The hat is a bit punchy, I know. Shut up.

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.

Better than being home and worth missing school for. Picture by someone else.

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.

Viva Modelo!

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.

Steep climb ending in snow drifts.

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.

Published by willbarch78

I grew up in the middle of nowhere Texas. The nearest Walmart was a full two hours away. My family still runs a ranch back home that I grew up on, but at some point in my treasured youth I hung up the idea of becoming a cowboy, and pursued my passion for architecture. Today I still find myself trying to fit in to a life that has treated me with the average ups and downs one can expect after a certain number of years. My wife and I moved to Denver after attending Texas Tech School of Architecture in Lubbock as we needed a grade change from the Llano Estacado. We camp with our three growing girls all summer and into the fall while I write and create and fly fish to maintain sanity. Life is moving fast as our careers and children progress in all areas, so being outdoors with each other keeps us mostly grounded.

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