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Ken Rogman: Top Spots In Colorado

Camping site at Moraine Park campground in Rocky Mountain National Park – Elk on other side of berm


Camping at Weston Pass campground and hiking the Rich Creek Trail

TCM: That sounds like very good safety advice.  We use a SPOT Satellite Messenger which emails friend and family your GPS location via satellite.  For someone who is not sure about their navigations skills, like us, it’s a nice peace of mind accessory.  Is there anything else that we didn’t ask you about that you would like to add to your interview?

Ken: Once you learn how to do it, it’s really easy to load and unload the camper on the truck.  It’s also really easy to set up once you’re ready to camp for the night.  All we do is unlatch the four clamps, pop-up the top, level off, and extend the legs.  It’s simple and it’s so much more comfortable, clean, and relaxing than a tent or a SUV.

TCM: Thanks Ken.  Could you send us some additional information about the places where you enjoy truck camping and hiking?

Ken: Yes.  I’ll send you a list.

Elk bugling in Rocky Mountain National Park

ABOVE: These elk were on the other side of the berm from our camper.  We stood on the top of the berm, and the elk just laid there for their photo opportunity.  Hope you can enjoy the elk bugling season mid September to mid October.

Here’s the list of favorite camp sites and hikes that Ken sent to us.  Most of the camp sites and hikes are in central Colorado, outside of Denver.

Name of Trail/Campground: Rich Creek Trailhead near Fairplay, Colorado
Trail Distance: 12.5 mile loop
Difficulty: Moderate hike with little elevation change
Boondocking: Yes
Cost: Free
Things to See: Beaver ponds, deer, elk

Name of Trail/Campground:
Western Pass Campground
Trail Distance: Varies depending on the hike you take to Rich Creek
Difficulty: Moderate hike with little elevation change
Boondocking: First come; first serve camp sites – no hookups
Cost: $8 a night
Things to See: Beaver ponds, deer, elk

Name of Trail/Campground: Rocky Mountain National Park
Trail Distance: Varies depending on the hike you take
Difficulty: Easy to moderate the further up you go
Boondocking: No boondocking in Rocky Mountain National Park
Cost: National Park Fee, $10 lifetime for Rocky Mountain National Park
Things to See: Miller Lake, Wild Basin, and Bear Lake
Tip: Moraine Park Campground is the best for elk in the B Loop at the end of September.  When we went, the elk were on the hill.

Name of Trail/Campground:
Just after Kenosha Pass
Trail Distance: Colorado Trail
Difficulty: Moderate
Boondocking: Yes, anywhere along FR 127
Cost: Free
Things to See: Hike the Colorado Trail, wildflowers, fall colors
Tip: Take 285 out of Denver.  There is a road that hooks up to the Colorado trail.  You come down a big hill, take the first left onto FR 127.  It goes back in quite a ways.  You can pick up the Colorado trail in a couple different spots.  You can also stop anywhere along the road, pull off to the side, and hike.

Name of Trail/Campground: Rock Creek Trailhead – behind Kenosha pass
Trail Distance: The trails are clearly marked with signs that say, “Colorado trail”, and “Ben Tyler Gulch”
Difficulty: Neither is too strenuous.  It may be moderate for those who aren’t from Colorado and aren’t used to the elevation.
Boondocking: Yes
Cost: Free
Things to See: Hike along a creek, rock formations, old log cabins.
Tip: We’ve had the truck camper at a thirty degree angle going in and out.  It’s not a place you want to take a trailer.  You can camp back there.  When the stars come out, it’s wonderful, and quiet.

Name of Trail/Campground: Homestead Reservoir to Fancy Lake and Missouri Lake
Distance: It’s kind of a loop and goes about 5.5 miles up to Missouri Lake, then goes over a ridge to Fancy Lake and comes down to the same trailhead
Difficulty: This is a more difficult trail as most high mountain lakes are straight up hikes
Boondocking: Yes
Cost: Free
Things to See: Fancy Lake and Missouri Lake

Name of Trail/Campground:
Native Lake trail over by Leadville
Distance: 4.8 miles
Difficulty: Moderate to difficult hike
Boondocking: Yes, at the trailhead parking lot
Cost: Free
Things to See: You go up over the tree line, across the ridge, and back down into the lake, nice trout in the lake.

Wherever you can hook up to the Continental Divide or Colorado trail, there’s great hiking and you can usually stay at the trailheads in your camper.

Truck Camper Rig
Truck: 2005 Chevy Colorado, extended cab, single rear wheel, short bed, 4×4, gas
Camper: 2007 Phoenix 6 foot camper
Tie-downs and Turnbuckles: Coyote’s turnbuckles and tie-downs
Suspension Enhancements: Airbags on the Rear
Gear: N/A

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