Filed under: Nature & Wildlife, Outdoor Recreation & Hiking, State & National Parks
Peace in Pike National Forest
As part of our annual summer RV trip, we had planned a drive through Colorado to see and experience more of this beautiful state. Natives of Wisconsin, we have become enamored of the Rocky Mountains and explore unseen portions of them every chance we get. Given the distance, this practice is usually relegated to our summer trips.
This year, a climb we had planned led us into the Pike National Forest. We usually make reservations for all the sites we will need while out on a long trip as we travel more comfortably with a guarantee that we will have a spot to stay. We usually travel during peak summer months which also means the demand for camp and RV sites is at its highest level when we are on the road. We are eagerly awaiting the time when we can be full time travelers and travel at low traffic times as well.
It was our trip to the Pike that led us to the Geneva Park Campground. In spite of the fact that they typically have no hookups for our small camper and that showers are not usually available, we have really come to enjoy staying in small national park campgrounds as we have travelled. What they lack in amenities is certainly made up for in natural beauty and peaceful surroundings.
Investigating online for a campground within the National Forest, I came upon Geneva Park Campground as the closest to the trailhead for our intended hike; a mere four miles away. This would make our intended early morning start more pleasant as we would not have to drive for an hour to reach it. There was another campground slightly closer, but it offered only first come, first served sites and as we would be arriving on a Saturday afternoon in late July, we were not interested in taking a chance that all sites would be filled.
We had a light day of travel and had only been on the road for four hours the day we pulled into Geneva Park. In spite of that, it was not an easy day of travel. Signage in the Pike and for Geneva Park was elusive and difficult to locate so we had to retrace our steps several times looking for the correct roads. Once found, our difficulties were not over, however. Turning down the correct road to the campground at last, we were forced to slow to 10 miles per hour as the ungraded gravel road was so littered with potholes that even at that low speed, it looks and sounds as if the camper will bounce away from the Durango. It is a long six miles into the campground.
Once there, however, we are pleasantly surprised. Our site is the most spacious we have had on this trip and covered with a nice collection of statuesque pine trees, leading to a large clearing in the middle of the forest. We have more space than we need but it is welcome as we are camped next to a large group with many small children. In spite of this, the campground is quite peaceful and reminds us why we escape civilization and immerse ourselves in the wilderness on regular occasions. It is a good spot for a respite.
For more information on campgrounds in Colorado, browse Woodall’s listings for Colorado camping.