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View Full Version : Family Camping at Pawnee National Grasslands


MountainGoat
10-21-2013, 06:19 PM
We decided we needed to get in one last family camping trip before winter set in. We also needed to get out in the new camper and see how it works for us. So we planned to leave Conifer around noon on Friday and head out to the Crow Valley Recreation Area at the Pawnee National Grasslands.

Well, in typical family fashion, we didnít get out of town until 2:30pm. Then we arrived at the rec area around 4:40pm only to find the gate closed. The website said it was open, but the gov hadnít made it out yet to open the gates in the aftermath of the shutdown. To top it off it was cold and windy. So we got to camp on the asphalt outside the locked gate, across from somebodyís house. The trailer worked out great. It was a little tight with 4 people and 2 dogs, but we were nice and cozy in there.

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It was all well and fine, except that there are a lot of oil and gas wells in the area. That meant tanker trucks running up and down the highway almost continually. Delightful.

Saturday morning first thing we took a hike down into the rec area to check it out. It is actually really pretty down there. Lots of trees and grass and several vault toilets, picnic areas and campsites.

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There was a pretty cool display of antique farm equipment with a windmill and a walking trail.

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Saturday afternoon we took a drive through the national grasslands. I was hoping to scout some good primitive campsites. It was a bit difficult exploring with the camper behind and the potential for deep mud. We didnít get to cover as much ground as I wanted, and while we found a few nice spots, they were all very exposed. I was hoping to find some canyons or trees but we never did. More exploration will definitely be in order for that.

When we got back to Crow Valley they had opened the gate so we went in and took the best campsite. No one else had arrived to camp yet. We had a great night in a beautiful spot.

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I really like the new camper. It sets up in about 30 seconds, is warm and everything actually works! :)

Shotshell
10-21-2013, 08:17 PM
Cool camping rig, Dan. Looks like a good time.:thumb:

simps80
10-21-2013, 08:43 PM
Cool write up. That camper looks awesome!
Thanks for sharing Dan!

baja1d
10-21-2013, 09:39 PM
I like it. Are you down for one more to the "one more"? The day after Thanksgiving Estes Park puts on a cool "Christmas Parade". The kids love it but it doesn't get started until the sun goes down. The last couple of years we've pulled the camper into RMNP, set up shop, and then hit the parade. It works out really good because everyone else is headed back to Denver and there is only 2-3 other folks camping in the park. If its not snowing, we'll usually have some smores and then hit the sack. At any rate, no reservations for RMNP are neccessary and we'd love to have some company.

MountainGoat
10-22-2013, 10:36 AM
Thanks guys.

Travis, that sounds like a good time. The :Princess: is pretty big into black friday, so we will probably decline. I will run it by her though. Thanks for the invite man! :thumb:

baileyfj40
10-22-2013, 07:10 PM
Had the campground to yourself?

MountainGoat
10-22-2013, 10:37 PM
Had the campground to yourself?

One other camper rolled in about the time we went to bed. I think it was just a single guy in a pickup with a camper on it. We also saw one bow hunter come through on foot early Saturday morning.

Inukshuk
10-23-2013, 11:10 AM
Why have our dogs never met?

MountainGoat
10-23-2013, 05:21 PM
Why have our dogs never met?

:dunno: