Campground – Arapahoe Bay

Reserved campgrounds. Some can lead to breathtaking views and pure existential experiences, and some just suck. Depending on your site, the Arapahoe Bay paid campground can be either one. Maybe we are just the luckiest bunch of campers in the country, or maybe our research lends to better decisions. I tend toward the latter. In the case of this particular campground, we hit pay dirt. Some of the campsites are stacked up on top of each other, but if you are willing to hump your gear up a steep rocky trail there are some gems that don’t put you next to that couple who get knee-walking drunk and fight all night then have equally loud make-up sex.

Sunset over Lake Granby.

Our site perched at the summit of a small hill about 100 yards from the parking area with 360 degree views of the mountains and Lake Granby granting us exceptional sunsets over the sparkling water and without nosey dogs and generators next door. Our enormous wall tent fit snuggly on the tent pad and looked light a lighthouse when illuminated by our lantern after sundown.

Clear mountain water nestled between the Rocky Mountain peaks.

Our spot was likely the most private in the whole area but still a short rough walk down to the lake and the vault toilets (which the camp host kept spotless). Chipmunks and hummingbirds were our constant companions over the weekend and the occasional bald eagle or osprey hovered overhead fishing for their next meal.

Room with a view!

A short drive away was beautiful Monarch Lake. It gets a little busy on the weekends so getting there early to grab a picnic spot along the shore is advised. This little jewel of a lake is perfect for paddle boarding, canoeing, or float tube fishing for stocked rainbows and supposedly monster browns. We caught some rainbows from the float tube and since they are stockers, we fried them up for appetizers in the evening.

Spotty little rainbow.

Colorado is obviously filling up with people, but it’s nice to know there are still places you can escape to and fill your lungs with clean mountain air and unparalleled scenery. You just need to be willing to get out there and find it. Or stay at home. That’s totally fine with me too.

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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