Sunday, February 26, 2012

Our First Winter Trip in an Airstream

Camping in the shadow of Pikes Peak, Colorado
On a whim and with a nice weekend forecast, we packed the camper after work and headed out to Mueller State Park for our first real winter camping experience in an Airstream.   It was about a two and a half hour drive to our destination, so we arrived under starry skies well after dark.   The campground was completely empty.  I began to worry a little about why we were the only people in the entire Denver and Colorado Springs metro areas this weekend that thought camping in the middle of February at 9500 feet was a good idea.

Oh what a beautiful day!
With no competition for campsites, we had our choice of several locations perched on the ridge with stunning views of the west side of Pike's Peak.  With the exception of some overly breezy conditions, we could not have asked for a nicer winter weekend.  The wind howled through the campground at night though, causing our little Bambi to shake and rattle, but it kept us warm and toasty inside when the mountain temperatures outside fell into the teens.

View from the front door
Eventually, a couple other campers rolled in on Saturday and Sunday.  It was good to know, after all, that we were not the only ones crazy enough to brave the cold and windy nights this time of year.

My Top 3 reasons to Winter Camp
  1. You don't have to book 6 months in advance to get a good campsite.
  2. You have the run of the whole campground.
  3. No bugs!
It turned out to be a spectacular weekend.   Daytime temperatures were comfortable and the scenery couldn't have been prettier.   After a late Saturday morning hike under a cloudless sky and then a light lunch, I retired to the Airstream and took a nap in a pool of sunlight  that was pouring through the Airstream windows.  I could not have been happier.   What a great way to start the 2012 camping season!

More Photos Here.

If You Go:

Mueller State Park campsites are paved and have electrical hookups; hydrants are close by.  However, during the winter, water is only available in a heated "Comfort Station" that also has flush toilets and hot water. There are no shower facilities during the winter.  There is a dump station near the park entrance.  

In my opinion, there are no bad campsites/locations here; this is an exceptional park that is forested with well-spaced and private sites.   Please see this campground map.  Note however, only a handful of the sites are available in the winter, but there are plenty to choose from.

Camping Fees:
There is a $7 fee for a daily vehicle pass. RV sites with electric hookups are $22/night. Tent sites are $18/night. Cabins run from $140-$260/night. Winter fees are slightly less. Reservations can be made through ReserveAmerica.