Friday, September 23, 2016

Lyons, CO Campground Review

Parked along the St. Vrain river with a view of the red cliffs of Lyons
Access to the St. Vrain river
Lyons experienced a devastating flood three years ago when the St. Vrain took out many homes, including one where three of our family members were living (more family still lives here).  They've since voted in new building requirements and received FEMA money to help rebuild.  Meadow Park is a beautiful spot where you can walk along the St. Vrain and enjoy the red rock cliffs that tower above.

Our family set up camp
Campsites are right along the river

When I called the Camp Host to check availability, we learned Friday night was free to locals because it was the grand opening--so our family member booked the first night!  As a result, more family decided to come down and tent camp, so we officially were party central!

Gas fire pit/our s'more pit!
The Colonel made a big pot of chili.  We sat by the river and listened to the grand reopening ceremonies then waved to passersby as the crowd dispersed to walk around the grounds (One group stopped and asked if we set up camp as part of the grand opening.  Lol.  Yep, we're the camping models.)  After sunset there was acoustic guitar and s'mores by the fire pit.  We retired to the heated Winnebago for the evening (which turned out to be the coldest night of the year so far, for our tent campers!)

Meadow Park, now called LaVern Johnson park is also convenient to downtown (we left the car in Loveland) including The Stone Cup (best coffee, best patio), The Barking Dog (gluten-free bagels) or the St. Vrain Market (ice cream & great gluten-free selection).  

Juevos Rancheros and internet at The Stone Cup

Amenities:  The bathrooms closest to the RV section are brand-new and as of our stay, not locked yet.  We were parked on gravel with full-hookups (electric, water and sewer) but there was no picnic table/fire pit or grass between spots (we had left our car behind in Loveland or else it would have been tight.  The other option was to park it behind the RV in the parking lot).  There are recycling bins nearby but no wifi (our T-Mobile allowed us to stream and the coffee shops have wifi).

The missing flip flop
Warning:  During our stay, a flip flop went missing.  Odd, but since the park is popular with kids and dogs, we figured it had been carried off.  The next morning we noticed the tent campers across from us had also lost a tennis shoe.  Apparently, our neighbors overheard and later found both shoes, together, out in the grass.  I blame a kleptomaniac raccoon, but I advise keeping all shoes inside if you stop here!

To make reservations, call ahead to the Campground Host or the Visitor Center (be sure to check the Planet Bluegrass schedule to make sure there isn't a music festival in town--they often book all the campgrounds for events).  The rate is $33 which is a little high in my opinion (but Boyd is $23 + $8 to bring a car in or $70 annual pass).  It's first come, first serve as far as which space you get.  The attentive campground hosts greeted each camper as they arrived and directed them to their spot.

Arriving at the busiest intersection in Lyons--right to go up to Estes Park, left to go to Meadow Park

Directions:  Check Google Earth to get familiar.  Come into town on 36, go left at the T/light and Meadow Park/Lavern will be a quick right (the sign still said Meadow when we arrived).  Follow handmade signs to make the loop and the Campground Host met us as we entered rv parking and helped direct us into our assigned slot.


We had a spectacular stay at Meadow Park.  The combination of family tent camping, more family nearby (and a dog to borrow!), and a short walk into town made it an ideal stop for us.

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