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Post Info TOPIC: Purgatoire River Campground - Colorado

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Purgatoire River Campground - Colorado

For those who like boondocking, I'd like to share a campground that Jo and I have frequented numerous times since about 1976.  The name of the campground is Purgatoire River Campground (and that is spelled right) and it is located in the San Isabel National Forest west and north of Trinidad, Colorado.

Jo and I have had preferences for what our campgrounds were to be like.  We like three things:  lots of trees, at least the sound of running water, and back off of the main roads.  Purgatoire River campground has all three.  As a National Forest campground, it is "developed" in that there are sites developed with picnic tables and fire ring facilities.  THERE ARE NO HOOKUPS!!!

Bathroom facilities are available in the form of outhouses (bring flashlights for nightime visits), and bear-proof trash receptacles are available as well.  (Pay close attention to the reference to "BEAR".)  Also, there is water available in the form of an old-timey hand pump in the lower part of the campground.  (We have refilled the fresh water tank of our 26-foot campers with 5-gallon plastic jugs and a funnel.  It definitely takes a bit of pumping.  But, it's good water.)

As for really large RV's, there are a few places where they will fit, although I only can remember one that would actually be in the trees.  Other sites for large RV's are available in the meadow area that have been designed for those camping with horses and the associated trailers.

Purgatoire River Campground is located about 3 1/2 miles off of Highway 12 (the Highway of Legends) about two miles north of Monument Lake.  I would guess the campground to be about 40 to 50 miles west and north of Trinidad.  There are two entrances, but unless your camper is short, do NOT take the south one.  (It isn't really marked as an entrance, and the nature of the sloping road led us to damage a rear step on a travel trailer.)  The north entrance is marked as Purgatoire River Campground and is the best entrance, although long units may need to veer left in the road before passing through the cattle guards into the area.  Those cattle guards are about 1/4 mile from Highway 12.

South of the campground area is Monument Lake with a lodge, fishing (bank and boat), restaurant and little store.

North of the entrance to Purgatoire River Campground is North Lake (fishing with boats or on the bank), and further north is Cordova Pass.  At the parking area of Cordova Pass campground, there is a trail that takes one up onto West Spanish Peak.  (Hike in the mornings when there is NO danger of lightning.)  On north of the turnoff to Cordova Pass is a road up to two more National Forest campgrounds at Blue Lake and Bear Lake.  (Blue and Bear Lake campgrounds may be more suitable for larger RV's, although there are some fairly sharp turns going up the mountain.)

On north of that area is a ski resort, the little "touristy" town of Cuchara, and then on further is LaVeta, Colorado.  RV parks are available at LaVeta.



Terry and Jo

2010 Mobile Suites 38TKSB3
2008 Ford F450
2014 Ford Expedition 4X4 as Tag-along or Scout

Two minor works in taken over the years and a webblog:

Our photos on Smugmug

Ignoring the Barking Dogs  -  Terry's Blog

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