My name is Rene’ and I am a friend of Travel + Family blogger and, with a teenage son that is two years from graduation, I bring a different perspective to travel than those with smaller, or no children. My husband, son and I enjoy atv-ing, trailer camping and kayaking and once a summer we try to find at least one campground in Colorado that we have never visited. We have found some true gems (Rifle Gap Reservoir being one of our favorites) and we have found some campgrounds that we would not recommend (11 Mile is one we would not re-visit) but the adventure of visiting a campground we know nothing about is fun no matter the outcome.
Every year we try to plan a camping trip where we pack up the whole family, including my mother, brother, nieces and ourselves to go on a camping trip. Due to a few time constraints this year, we decided on the closer destination of Green Mountain Reservoir at their Cow Creek South camp ground. Green Mountain Reservoir is about 23 miles North of Silverthorne, Colorado and 90 miles West of the city of Denver, Colorado.
If you go to Green Mountain Reservoir (or many campgrounds in Colorado) be sure to make a reservation (https://www.recreation.gov/ ) and make them early if you can because the spots fill up quickly. We were fortunate to have made our reservations in March so we were able to reserve a spot near the water where we had easy access for kayaking and fishing.
The campground was clean and, although full, relatively quiet; Cow Creek South is what my husband and I designate as a “primitive” camp ground…which just means there are not any amenities such as hook ups for RV’s and no water available within the campground so you should pack water in for your stay. The campground does have restrooms in areas throughout and they were very clean and well kept.
The camping spot we had (spot #22) was large with a picnic table, a fire pit and plenty of room for our trailer, a tent and two vehicles. There were not “designated” spots for tents or trailers, so it was up to us to determine the best spot for parking and setting up the tent. As with many campgrounds, there were not many spots with shade so be sure to bring lots of sunscreen and possibly a canopy or two. When visiting a campground we take some time to drive through the sites to get a lay of the campground and figure out, if we were to come back, other spots that we would like to try – for the Cow Creek South campground we would recommend trying out spot #13, #25 or #32 – they all had great water access and looked like some good shade trees.
Our spot did provide easy access to the water with a rocky beach area where we could keep our kayaks and where we spent lots of time sitting in our camp chairs enjoying the water, each other, skipping rocks and enjoying the views. One important note is that the mosquitos were in masse but if you come prepared with mosquito repellent and citronella candles (or whatever you choose for mosquitos) the mosquitos can be ignored.
The reservoir did not have a lot of motorized boats or wave runners so the kayaking was perfect, especially in the morning when the water was smooth and calm. When we were there the weather was warm during the day, windy in the afternoon and got rather cold at night.
My husband would give the shore fishing at Green Mountain reservoir a score of 3 out of 5 fish; the fishing was slow without a lot of bites. His opinion is that the fish could be found where it was deep, but from the shore or via his float tube it was uneventful. When we were there the last week of June the Parks and Recreation district were paying fisherman for any pike that were pulled out of the water – I am not sure when that offer ended but consider looking into that if you’re interested.
All in all, the camping at Green Mountain reservoir was good for either tents or RV’s, especially considering the relatively easy drive from the city.
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