After a snowy winter along the Front Range, Memorial Weekend finally arrived, and glamping season has officially begun! This is our second trip to Colorado Campground. If you would like to read more information, and view more pictures, click on our previous 2015 post link.

After setting up camp, we walked the outer fence to have a look around the campground. There are signs of deer all around, and we ever came across some deer bones. We headed to Manitou Lake and saw a beaver swim into the beaver damn. The lake had Blue Birds nearby, Tree Swallows skimming the surface, and White Pelicans floating around. This year the wildflowers seem to be a few weeks behind schedule.

Due to the unstable weather patterns, we decided to do more exploring in the Jeep. Our first adventure where the roads behind the Manitou Experimental Forest. The beginning of Hotel Gulch Rd. is very narrow, and made us nervous. It is best to explore these roads with an up-to-date topo map. We got out from time-to-time and hiked around the dead end roads, bird watching, and exploring beaver dams. We came across a Lewis’s Woodpecker  and a 3-toed Woodpecker. The road eventually ends at Rampart Range Rd., which took us to Woodland Park. We stopped at Joanie’s Deli for a piece of quiche and blueberry treats. 🙂

Another area that we explored were the dirt roads past Painted Rock CampsitePainted Rock Rd., to Westcreek Rd., coming out at Westcreek. There is a lot of logging on this road due to the Hayman Fire.

Note that there is a lot of target shooting happening in these two areas, along with the mess from people that do not care about the mountains. It is heartbreaking to see the disrespect that people have by leaving spent cartridges and targets in their wake.

The fish were definitely biting during our trip. The fly that they loved most was a green pine squirrel leachwith a bead head. I caught a big cutbow trout and many 12″-14″ stocked rainbows. It was a treat to float among the Pelicans and other water fowl, I wish I had been close enough to throw some fish their way!

We took a long walk behind the camp searching for the Boreal Owl that we could hear hooting around the campsite. We found a feather, but it seemed to be for another owl, possibly a Long-eared Owl. Na took some amazing pics of a Western Tanager. We did not find the Boreal Owl — perhaps next year. We also found the bones of a coyote that we had found last year. It’s neat to see what nature does to the bones over the year.

This was an anticipated trip into the mountains, and it was everything we expected: relaxing and fun!

When: Summer, 2016
Elevation: 7,800′
Reservation: Colorado Campground, CO
Misc: level, water

Campground

Scenery

Hiking

Fishing

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