Shalane (the wife :O)
First of all, I need to point out that my favorite free campsites this summer do not necessarily match those of my better half. :O) Those of you that read the comments that she added to yesterday's post probably figured that out on your own. Anyhow, I was only able to do a review on spots 6 through 4 yesterday. Today will will examine the top three in reverse order.
|Campsite in the San Juan National Forest near Durango, Colorado|
3) Cherry Creek Road, a few miles west of Durango, Colorado on Hwy 160 in the San Juan National Forest. Sometimes while looking for a place to camp, you just get lucky. We stopped in at a pleasant little national forest campground near Cherry Creek Road. We talked with the campground host and mentioned that we liked to boondock. They told us about Cherry Creek and just how close we were to getting there. Don't let the initial 100 feet of road scare you on this one. It was in bad shape and at a steep grade. At the top of the little hill there is a sharp turn to the left that opens into a large meadow. We drove to the far corner and set up camp. Although we could still hear the sounds from the highway below, the traffic lessens greatly after 9 pm. No amenities could be found in this area. There was just the beauty of the forest. It was a great isolated spot.
|Campground near the Royal Gorge in Canon City, Colorado|
|Campground near the Royal Gorge near Canon City, CO|
|View from our campsite near the Royal Gorge|
|Navajo Lake is near Deer Valley east of Cedar City, Utah|
|Campsite at Deer Valley near Navajo Lake and Duck Creek, near Cedar City, Utah.|
|Meadow across from our campsite where the deer were grazing at dawn.|
1) Deer Valley, near Navajo Lake in the Dixie National Forest- 20+ miles east of Cedar City, Utah on Hwy 14. What can I say about perfection. This campground had everything I look for in a campground. We got here on an August afternoon and the temperature in the lower elevations in Utah was 90+ degrees F. This campground is at an elevation of about 9500 feet. There was a pleasant chill in the air. There were no restrooms and no metal fire pits. However, there was a large, stone made fire pit and lots & lots of wood for the fire. We started the fire almost as soon as we got there because of the cool air. In fact, it was the first thing I did when I got up in the morning because it was so cold that I could see my breath. Across from the campsite was a large open meadow in which deer came down to graze early in the morning. I really could have stayed here a few more nights. A great fishing spot called Navajo Lake is just down the road from the campground. There are also plenty of places to hike. The only complaint about the time spent here had nothing to do this the campsite. At a neighboring site, there was a travel trailer with a loud gas generator. Evidently he didn't get the memo about NOT running these things into the late night hours. I honestly think that the noise kept the deer from coming into the meadow at dusk. By morning, however, his generator was off, and the deer were basking in the early morning sum. It was a great site! The air was saturated with the smell of pine, aspen, campfires, early morning rain and wildflowers. The whole world should smell like this!
We also spent some time in some campgrounds where we had to pay a fee. We will talk about our favorites in this category in our next blog. Happy Trails!