travel tuesday: our favorite colorado state park

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It’s okay to play favorites when it comes to travel destinations. We love exploring new areas, which we hope to do soon, but also enjoy going back to a place with more than 20 years of good memories. So heading to Ridgway State Park for a weekend getaway was a much-needed respite from our crazy work schedules.

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travel tuesday: hanging out at rifle mountain park

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Did you know that Rifle Mountain Park offers some of the best limestone climbing in the world? You do now! It’s a quick drive from our house, so we took the Jeep there when we had some free time over the weekend.

On the way to the park, you’ll pass Rifle Gap State Park, which boasts a 350-acre reservoir that’s popular for fishing, paddle boarding and boating. Plus, the Gap is where artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s Valley Curtain was briefly hung in 1972. Past that, it’s a beautiful drive up to Rifle Falls State Park, which features beautiful caves and a breathtaking, cascading triple waterfall. Next up, the Rifle Falls Fish Hatchery that’s linked to the park via hiking trails.

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travel tuesday: weekend in steamboat springs

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Sunrise at Stagecoach Reservoir State Park

Sunrise at Stagecoach State Park

Our first official outing with our new truck camper was at Stagecoach State Park, about half an hour outside of Steamboat Springs, Colorado. We’ve camped there a couple of times over the years, but this campsite was the best yet. We completely lucked into it, too. It was the very last site available, and just so happened to be right on the lake. Score! Continue reading

campground review: Yampa River State Park

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Yampa River

The Yampa River near Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

Why camp here? We camped here because it was the closest we could get to Steamboat Springs on one of the busiest weekends of summer. Our daughter was playing in the Steamboat Doubles volleyball tournament, and the Steamboat Springs Hot Air Balloon Rodeo and Art in the Park were also going on.

Although this wasn’t our first choice since it’s 45 minutes west of town, the Yampa River State Park Headquarters Campground is a nice option. Our experience in Colorado State Parks has been very positive over the years, and that proved to be true for this campground as well. Lots of upsides, but a couple of downsides to point out as well: mosquitoes and a train that runs regularly right next to the park. We got used to the train pretty quickly, but the skeeters were an issue. Our site was located near some ponds, so the sites closer to the river might be a better option. Continue reading

campground review: Rifle Gap State Park

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What a view! Our campsite at Rifle Gap State Park.

What a view! Our campsite at Rifle Gap State Park.

Why camp here? The 350-acre reservoir is a big draw as one of the few options for power boating, sailing, jet skiing, windsurfing and water skiing in the region. Anglers come to catch rainbow and German brown trout, walleye, pike, smallmouth and largemouth bass and yellow perch. There’s also a swimming area with a sandy beach and volleyball court, plus trails for hiking and access to BLM trails. The park is surrounded by undeveloped, green mountainsides and is a great place to watch wildlife on Colorado’s Western Slope. Continue reading