Colorado River State Park
Island Acres, Colorado

July 12th

Colorado River rafting in Glenwood Canyon

Northside Colorado River Canyon at sunset taken from our fishing hole

Northside Colorado River Canyon at sunset taken from our fishing hole

Our camping buddy with his home in the brush just outside the trailer

John´s camping buddy!

Breaking a record for up-and-at-em, we headed out of Denver at about 0730 getting fuel before tackling the Rockies. Let me tell you, the Virginia sand hills are minor compared to these babies! John was a little hesitant about dragging the trailer up the mountains, but his fears were put to rest once we got started. The truck handled great!!! John disengaged the overdrive and trucked up the miles of 6-7% grades with ease at 55 MPH. He was really amazed at how smooth it drove - and as a plus, the fuel mileage increased - go figure!

Once out of the city and into the mountains, traffic filtered out nicely. Although the speed limit was 65 MPH most of the way and 75 MPH in spots, we took our time at 55 MPH. We were passing folks going uphill as they were bogging down because of the miles and miles of steady grade, and we kept up with folks on the downhill. Drivers in both 4 wheelers and 18 wheelers were very courteous.

John locking the bike before taking a swim in the pond

We stopped at several scenic viewpoints along the way for pics and drove through many ski areas including: Loveland, Dillon, Cooper Mountain and Vail. We ate lunch along the way (ham and cheese sandwiches prepared ahead of time) and even stopped to marvel at some river rafters in Glenwood Canyon. The Colorado River was running pretty good but the rapids were small as compared to some we´ve seen. That didn´t seem to matter to the folks enjoying themselves however, as they were screaming and yelling as if having a good time.

Our ultimate goal this day was to get through the mountains and hopefully make it to Grand Junction, Colorado before setting up camp. We had a pleasant surprise just before Grand Junction however, and that was stumbling across the Colorado River State Park at Island Acres. It was just off the highway adjacent to the river itself. John pulled into the drive and stopped at the park entrance to ask a few questions; Do you have full hookups? Do you have drive-through sites? Can we fish? Can we swim? Do you have any shade (it was 100 degrees outside)? Can we ride our bike inside the park? Getting a positive answer to all of our questions, it was now time to pay for the night and setup camp.

Because of the heat, we decided to get the bike out and take a spin to the swimming hole. The park pond was refreshing because it was spring fed and clean. The rug rats (kids) pretty much left us alone as they probably figured John was a mean dude who hated kids - John said they´re right! After about an hour, it was time to head back and get Sissy´s fishing pole. There were two other ponds near our campsite just waiting for her to try her luck. John opted to stay behind until the sun went down behind the mountains.

North side of the Colorado River Canyon

The State Park sits between two canyon walls and the wind was coming from the east. The breeze, even though a little warm due to the temperature, was very relaxing. And, when the sun went behind the mountain, John joined Sissy at the fishing pond. It didn't matter that we came up empty handed, we had a great time. Sissy even took pics of some trout teasing her near the shoreline. Not a bite or even a nibble we had!

Dillon Reservoir with Gray´s Peak in the background (14,270 feet)

After fishing and laundry, it was time for dinner and socializing with our neighbors; Harvey and Eve from Tucson, Arizona. They were camping for the night enroute back to their home. Harvey, a retired Lieutenant Commander (Aviator type), had had some problems parking his big motor home, but he was finally able to select one that he could get into. We chatted for about an hour and then headed back home.

Southside of the Colorado River Canyon as seen from our campsite

The next morning, it was up bright and early to take some more pics and have a small breakfast. We didn't hit the road too early because checkout time wasn´t until noon. If our site had´t been reserved previously for the next 2 days, we may have stayed longer in this beautiful location. This will be a return trip for sure in the future.

John & Sissy EXCLUSIVE RATINGS: (1 bad - good 10)

  • Campground - 10
  • People - 10
  • Roads - 10
  • Scenery - 10
  • Traffic - 10
  • Things to Do - 10
  • Weather - 10

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