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  1. #1
    breyman's Avatar
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    Looking for Colorado Favorites for a Family

    Its the time of year where our family begins planning our next year's summer outings.

    What would you recommend as a good family-friendly (either drive up or short/relatively easy backpacking), hammock-friendly location within say 3 hours of Denver? We've been to good number but often get in a rut and want to try some new places. Also, I have a decent campground guidebook but I find personal recommendations are much more valuable.

    I'll start with two we like; Queen May loop at Turquoise Lake (super pretty) and Pickle Gulch (very close to Denver).

    Those in Colorado, what are your favorites?
    Brian
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  2. #2
    Senior Member ibgary's Avatar
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    Well I love the hiking in Rocky Mountain NP, but I haven't camped there, so I can't speak of their hammock policy. I've camped at Golden Gate, above Boulder. They weren't very hammock friendly, but they seemed open to the idea. I'll say I was perswasive enough to sleep in mine for the 3-4 nights I was there.

  3. #3
    Senior Member 1066vik's Avatar
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    another vote for RMNP -- but no idea of their hammock policy.
    Bear lake is a favorite hike, though -- lunch at the lake staring at the glacier is awesome!

  4. #4
    Senior Member Mustardman's Avatar
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    RMNP's established campgrounds are not the best for hammocks, in terms of tree availability, and the short backpacking options aren't great for a family due to the requirement to use a bear canister, and worrying that the kiddos will forget a snickers or some chapstick in their packs.

    One of my favorite spots for a "short" backpacking loop is Buffalo Peaks Wilderness. It might be a bit long, at 11-ish miles total for the loop, but you could do a shorter in-and-out rather than the full loop, and the scenery is much less rugged than the typical Colorado hiking trip. It's a high-altitude location full of rolling hills, gorgeous wildflower-filled meadows, and beaver dams with ponds full of trout. I posted a trip report here: http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/s...ad.php?t=19079

    For car camping, one of my favorites recently has been Kelly Dahl Campground - that was the location for the CO Summer Hang this year, and it was a really nice area close to some good day hikes, with lots of trees available for hanging, especially if you picked good sites. Trip report here: http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/s...ght=kelly+dahl


    There are MANY more great Colorado locations scattered through the trip reports here on HF.


    Or, you could build a couple of MustardDog and/or TurtleDog portable hammock stands, and you could then set up your whole family on tent pads and use any campground you like

  5. #5
    breyman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mustardman View Post
    One of my favorite spots for a "short" backpacking loop is Buffalo Peaks Wilderness. It might be a bit long, at 11-ish miles total for the loop, but you could do a shorter in-and-out rather than the full loop, and the scenery is much less rugged than the typical Colorado hiking trip. It's a high-altitude location full of rolling hills, gorgeous wildflower-filled meadows, and beaver dams with ponds full of trout. I posted a trip report here: http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/s...ad.php?t=19079

    For car camping, one of my favorites recently has been Kelly Dahl Campground - that was the location for the CO Summer Hang this year, and it was a really nice area close to some good day hikes, with lots of trees available for hanging, especially if you picked good sites. Trip report here: http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/s...ght=kelly+dahl
    A few good recommendations that I hadn't tried yet, thanks!

    Do you happen to know which site(s) you'd recommend as best at Kelly Dahl? Or at least their proximity in the campground (I can then check the map to see if I can backward engineer the site numbers)?
    Brian
    Denver, CO
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Mustardman's Avatar
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    We were at the sites in the neighborhood of 41 - these work well because they are at the back of the campground and back up to the national forest. A lot of us actually hung our hammocks on the other side of the fence, on the forest land, and left our cooking setups on the campground side with the picnic tables and whatnot.

  7. #7
    breyman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mustardman View Post
    We were at the sites in the neighborhood of 41 - these work well because they are at the back of the campground and back up to the national forest. A lot of us actually hung our hammocks on the other side of the fence, on the forest land, and left our cooking setups on the campground side with the picnic tables and whatnot.
    Perfect, thanks!
    Brian
    Denver, CO
    Father. Husband. Scoutmaster.

  8. #8
    New Member Co-Forever's Avatar
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    I live in Grand Junction. The place where we love to go is the Grand Mesa. It has a bunch of fresh water lakes to fish in. Beautiful areas to hike and explore. The elevation is about 10k so there is no really hot summer there. Tons of trees to hang from and camp. The backcountry is where I always go, away from the camp sites. You just park your vehicle and hike away. The drive would be about 3.5 hours from Denver so I think it would be worth a try.

  9. #9
    breyman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Co-Forever View Post
    I live in Grand Junction. The place where we love to go is the Grand Mesa. It has a bunch of fresh water lakes to fish in. Beautiful areas to hike and explore. The elevation is about 10k so there is no really hot summer there. Tons of trees to hang from and camp. The backcountry is where I always go, away from the camp sites. You just park your vehicle and hike away. The drive would be about 3.5 hours from Denver so I think it would be worth a try.
    Good suggestion. I've heard great things about Grand Mesa but have never been there. I've heard that the bugs can get pretty intense at times. Has that been your experience?
    Brian
    Denver, CO
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  10. #10
    Sevens's Avatar
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    We really enjoyed the Ceran St. Vrain trail. There's water the whole way. Plenty of spots to hang. We heard that there were usually a lot of day use folks using the trail. We went late September and it wasnt too bad. When you hike all the way back to where the four wheel drive trails start there is a nice little aspen grove you can get 3 hammocks in. It's right by the water. You might even see a moose.

    Here's a link to the Forest Service site.
    http://tinyurl.com/cck3vp6
    "May the song of the LORD in your heart become a terror to the enemy of your soul."
    -Ray Hughes-

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