On Friday, July 29, we caravanned with friends up Poudre Canyon to Pingree Park Road (Larimer County, Colorado) for a much-needed weekend in the wilderness. For me, there’s nothing quite like fresh air and wide open spaces – every time the landscape changes from flat to steep rocky cliffs and trees as far as the eye can see, I literally feel my shoulders lift and I can just… breathe. Everyday stresses of work and life are lifted away somehow, and the crisp clean mountain air is cleansing and refreshing.
Pingree Park Road is called a trail but four-wheel drive is not needed. It’s a Level 5 [gravel] road which we drove for several miles, past dispersed camping areas already full of people. When we came to the intersection of a Level 6 road (indicating that it’s less maintained) we decided to take it and off that we found another road (not rated) that had some deep ruts and wash-outs that required four-wheel drive. Perfect! We hit the jackpot as the ruts seemed to deter most traffic and in just a short ways we’d found an awesome dispersed camping area. It was completely quiet, as if we were the only humans left on earth.
With darkness approaching, we quickly went about setting up camp.
The next morning dawned crisp and cold. There’s a fire ban in place currently, due to dry conditions. However, since my husband now has his own Jeep (which functions as our base camp vehicle), we have additional space so we brought along a propane camp stove. (Propane stoves are allowed under the current fire ban; campfires and charcoal cooking are not allowed). We ran the stove for heat in the morning, huddling around it and cradling cups of steaming hot coffee.
Later in the day, a Ranger stopped by the campsite to ensure we were aware of, and observing, the fire ban. And, as is typical when we camp, the second night we all slept better since we and the dogs were all super tired.
Aside from all the dried cow pies (from free range cattle in the area) which the dogs thought to be very tasty snacks, this was an amazing place to camp. A short pre-breakfast hike on the final morning resulted in a breathtaking view before we packed up and headed home.
Thanks for reading, and Happy Camping!