Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Loveland, CO. Boyd Lake Campground Review

Spot #17

We picked Boyd Lake State Park for our stay because it was closest to family.  We knew it was very busy on weekends, so we booked a month in advance for the Labor Day holiday.  The Colorado Parks & Wildlife website has lots of info, but trying to find the "perfect spot" isn't obvious from the map.

Our site was $23/day.  You'll pay $8.50 service fee for booking over the CPW website or $10 through Reserve America ($24 walk-up rate at the gate).  There is also an $8/day fee to bring a "car" into the state park or you can purchase a $70 annual park pass (we were given a "tow tag" for our dinghy.  NOTE:  We left for the weekend and left our car at our family's house.  When we returned without the car, we were told we have to actually TOW the car in to get the tow pass.  Learn something new everyday.)

Mountains to the west.  Lake to the east.

Finding the perfect spot:
1)  The view!  Yes, I'm always in search of the perfect spot with the perfect view...
2)  The sites have electric but not water or sewer.  If you are planning the maximum of 14 days every 45 days, then look for a spot close to a water spigot and bathroom.
3)  Shade!   It was pushing 90F when we were here, and we prefer leaving the windows open to air conditioning

This is an interesting set-up.  Everyone seemed to need more than one attempt to get comfortable.

The sites are all 60 ft pull-thru but are curved with a gravel area--which was new for us.  There is a large, fixed, metal picnic table which is too far away from the awning for shade (locals use a separate awning) and needs a tablecloth because of age (something I hadn't purchased yet).  An outdoor rug would also be nice because of the gravel--another purchase we haven't gotten around to yet.

Spot #130
Some reviews said there wasn't a view of the lake, so I didn't try very hard (OK, that's a fib.  We reserved the only spot we could find!). We started out on spot #17, next to the camphosts:  close enough to run two hoses to the water spigot and a short walk to the bathroom/showers (until the holiday weekend which required walking through other campsites).  We had a small peek of the lake out the windshield and a view of the mountains behind us from under the awning.  We decided the mountains were the best view (I anticipated it would be the lake, but the water was quite low) so our second spot was #130, with a view of the mountains out the windshield (and close to the bathrooms, camphosts & water spigot).  

The best lake view from spot #57/58
There are good lake views if you have windows on the driver's side and choose and end spot (or pull through "backward" if you want an awning-side view):
  • 31 (close to water spigot)
  • 32 (close to bathroom)
  • 57 & 58 (best view of the lake)
  • 83
  • 84 (close to bathroom).  
  • Sites 105, 106, 125, 126 have limited views of the lake through the prairie grass.
The best mountain view from spot #1/2
If you want a view of the mountains, consider spots on the opposite end that will give you a view out the passenger-side awning:  
  • (Generally, not close to water spigots or bathrooms)
  • 34 
  • (59 & 60 is a view of the dump station)
  • (85 & 86 across from boat parking)
  • 107
  • 108 (close to the bathroom)
  • *Site 127 (close to the bathroom) seems like a good site with a view out the side and windshield.  
The even numbers of Loop F have curved around to where the mountain view is out the windshield so:  
*Site 127 (close to the bathroom) seems like a good site with a view out the side and windshield.
130 & 132 (close to bathroom because 131 closed)
134 (view blocked by tree)
136 & 138 (close to water spigot) 
144 (close to water spigot)
146 and 148 (no shade). 
There is a little used parking lot for the bike path off the end of 147/148 if you need extra parking or are expecting visitors.

View from the main bath house

Spots #45, 49, 51(shade) & 53 look like a good spots if you want to be close to the main bathrooms, showers ($0.75 for 3 min and 0.25 for additional minutes) and laundry (surprisingly good condition for a campground.  $1.75 to wash & $1.25 to dry).  There is also a nice outdoor area with covered, picnic tables.

The main entrance
DIRECTIONS:  Our GPS's had two different routes.  The CPW signs will take you from Highway 25 to Hwy 34 West/Eisenhower, then right on Madison.  *However, Boise Road now goes all the way through and this is the route we used the second time we came to the park.  (CPW Directions)

CAUTION:  The first sign you see for the park is the OFFICE with a scary-looking roundabout out front--which we navigated without a problem.  We stopped here on accident, but you can check in here & purchase your state park pass.  The second time, we had a reservation and continued onto the second State Park sign which is the entrance gate.

After the gate, continue to the stop sign and turn right.  The first left is for Cottonwood Campground (WE SEE A LOT OF PEOPLE MISS THIS TURN and have to turn around in the little parking lot at the end)

Entering your Loop:  The Park doesn't give instructions on how to enter your loop.  However, there are three choices (left, straight or right) and the consensus amongst campers is stay left of your campsite.  This will put your power pedestal at the back right.  (ie. If you are assigned spot #95 you stay left.  If you are assigned spot #118, go down the center.)  However, some people pull in "backwards" either for the view of because they are camping next to friends.

The map doesn't show you the roads in a loop

My map for next year

I walked through the campground and marked up a map for next year's visit.  It's still not perfect, and everyone will disagree on the perfect spot.

Colorado State Parks, Boyd Lake website:

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