Cheyenne Mountain: The Final Camping Trip of 2018

This was not supposed to be our last outing of the year. I had one more Fall reservation at our beloved Mueller State park, but the Colorado snow had other plans for us. We camped at Cheyenne Mountain State Park in early October. The wind howled at our door all day, and the cooler temperatures kept us from having breakfast outside. As always, this campground and location does not disappoint. I have written about the trails here before, and though this weekend was filled with racers, the park did not disappoint for our hiking adventures.

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I made this reservation later than usual; the Colorado State Parks fill fast and I was lucky to grab this spot on “last minute” (i.e. about five weeks’) notice. However, site 19 turned out to be a great find. The trees on the West side of the site shaded the table from the evening Fall sun and the site seemed private in the back due to a slight slope uphill and thick weeds. The neighboring site to the East was closed, so the hiking trail to the camper services center from that site was completely accessible and made the walk just a couple minutes to hot showers, flush toilets, and fire wood. Of course, Cheyenne Mountain boasts 51 full hook-up sites (site 19 is one of these), so you don’t necessarily need these amenities. But you may want to use their laundry room that is also located at the camper services station. It is important to note that our favorite camper services store, which sells the usual stuffed animals and necessary s’mores items, is closed by this time in the Fall. So don’t forget your marshmallows!

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Cheyenne Mountain State Park is a newer park in the Colorado State Parks system. There was a race happening the weekend we were staying here, so we didn’t enjoy the mountain biking trails we planned to ride. Since we have a young son, our mountain biking is generally limited to relatively flat or easy sloping areas. Instead, we focused on hiking the trails between the campground and visitors center.

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We made our way down various trails from the campground and ended at the visitors center where we found not only extensive information about the park, but also a locked mailbox for geocaching. Intrigued, we discovered that downloading the simple app meant hours of fun finding the items that had been hidden all over the park, predominantly near or in the campground locations. This enjoyable activity brought us entertainment in the afternoon before the wind came up and kept us inside, watching our favorite 1938 version of The Adventures of Robin Hood. There was a lovely, clear night in our stay at Cheyenne Mountain when we enjoyed our last fire pit of the summer.

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Cheyenne Mountain State Park is one of my favorites. It offers visitors an array of activities, from archery to hiking, mountain biking and picnicking areas. The trails range in difficulty and terrain. Staying near the top of the mountain brings dense forest while the lower portion is full of scrub oak and views of Colorado Springs. The full hook up sites are ideal for all camping seasons. A healthy variety of ranger programs and activities make this a park you can visit several times without doing the same thing twice.

 

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