We wanted to try out this site, since we passed it 100’s of times and never noticed it. The poor campground has been decimated by pine beetle. Nearly all the trees have been cut and stacked in large piles behind the campground. Only good think about that is all the free fire wood. We did enjoy the sunset near the entrance of the campground. There are no sites, and a nice open field and rock outcroppings around that you can walk up to.
We went hiking in the Indian Peaks Wilderness area the first day. I advise using the shuttle to access the trailhead. Traffic at the trail head is insane, and the likelihood of you denting or scratching your car is high. The shuttle does allow dogs! 😀
We took off on the Devil’s Thumb Loop. There were a lot of meadows, creeks, wildflowers, and mushrooms along the trip. It was so incredibly beautiful. There are so many trails in the area that you don’t have to worry about all the people that you encounter at the trailhead. Just like everywhere else, once you are a mile away from the cars you seldom encounter anyone.
There is an interesting building at the beginning of the trail.
The next day we headed back to Eldora Ski area to hike around the nordic trails. They are, of course, all well marked and named. We hiked for hours and found a big pond at the top of the mountain. Unfortunately it was lined, so there was no swimming for Daisy.
Kelly Dahl is a good place to have a base camp—you can head out to Golden Gate SP, Eldora, Indian Peaks, Rocky Mountain NP, Nederland, and Rollinsville. But the campsite needs a lot of care and time because of the beetle kill.
When: Summer, 2014
Reservation: Kelly Dahl Campground, CO
Misc: not level, no electric