A quick look at the Ansel Watrous Campground located along Poudre Canyon outside of Fort Collins Colorado. I hope this helps some of you looking for a beautiful place to camp in Colorado.
Drove in on a Thursday morning without reservations and paid $22.50, using my senior discount based off my America the Beautiful pass I had picked up on a visit to Rocky Mountain National Park. We were pretty lucky to get one of the ten or so sites available without a reservation! Reservations can be made through https://recreation.gov. Camp host Steve was available, outgoing and super helpful. Steve and his wife had the entire campground spotless. When he saw me backing in my GD Reflection he came down and helped get me into the site.
Ansel Waltrous was amazing camping with its level sites and OMG was it incredibly clean. The location by the river is the best part and all the camp sites have river access. Warning: If you need to be connected be aware you won’t be – there are NO SERVICES, This is akin to boondock camping with the exception that water is available. A very minor downside is how close the road is. Lucky it is a road less traveled and in most cases you cannot hear traffic, but there will be an occasional loud motorcycle truck. Once the sun sets and the nearby Mishawaka restaurant closes the traffic is virtually non-existent. What little road noise there is dies down completely at night. Additionally, the river sounds drown out most of the other noises…very relaxing.
Being right on the Poudre (pooder) River was a joy. Sunrise was especially captivating – glad I got out of the sack early. Jan Baby, the DW enjoyed the antics of the blue jays both from inside and outside the rig; Jan Baby, not the blue jays. If your here in the spring/early summer you can wave at the rafters as they float down the river. This place will keep you busy, in the 3 nights and 4 days, we got in a run up to Mishawaka (no bikers?!) – a 2 mile out and back and too logged 5 hiking miles up Young Gulch trail; right across the highway from the campsite.
Only 16 camp sites, three which are tent sites; this small campground provided amazing space and screening between sites. I even ran my generator and nobody noticed. Between the sound of the rushing river, wind in the pines and those raucous jay’s, my Champion 3400 was but a whisper. I keep it in the bed of the truck which helps manage the sound.
My advice to you should you venture this way, come mid week to score a site or get a reservation. Remember, no hookups, though water is available unless your there in late fall, winter or early spring. Fit my 34′ rig (Grand Design Reflection fiver), but wouldn’t fit anything much bigger. Bring a camera and get up early.