We have been waiting for two years for the campground at Cheyenne Mountain State Park to open. Every year we come by Colorado Springs to visit with members of Eleanor’s family, and we have tried different places to stay each time. They’ve all been fine, but nothing has been super-convenient to their home, and some places we’ve tried have been so far out of Colorado Springs that I can’t make phone calls or get online, which makes work impossible.
Finally this year we got our first chance to try the newest state park in Colorado, right at the granite base of Cheyenne Mountain, and it has been sweet. This place is first-class all the way. The park road winds up 600 feet of elevation (from 6,000 to 6,600) and includes a spectacularly nice Visitor Center (complete with cushy Mission-style furniture and a fireplace), many hiking trails, bathrooms, showers, laundry, camp store, four RV/tent camping areas, and special walk-in “tent only” campsites.
The views are excellent from up here, looking east to the valley of Colorado Springs and backdropped to the west by the imposing sight of Cheyenne Mountain. It’s fall, so some of the low vegetation is changing color, which makes the view even more entrancing.
But best of all are the superb campsites. They are varied in shape and size and distributed around curving roads and cul-de-sacs, so the campground doesn’t have the boring homogenous “parking lot” look. The sites feature the same perfectly level pink concrete that we appreciate so much when we are at Cherry Creek, along with large gravel picnic areas, fire rings with steel covers (first time I’ve seen those in a state park!), two rustic-looking water outlets (one positioned for RVs, the other for tents), a separate gravel tent pad with tie-down rings (because it’s windy here and tent stakes won’t hold in the gravel), and full hookups with 20/30/50-amp power.
The sites are well separated and bordered with plenty of natural local vegetation of the arid high-altitude variety. At $22 per night for full hookup (plus day use fee of $6 or annual state park pass), it’s a pretty good deal. I can’t find anything not to like. I suppose in the winter I might not like it as much, but the campground starts to go through a series of stepped closures starting October 15 anyway.
For business purposes, my Verizon Internet card works well enough up here, but I notice that phone calls often drop despite a strong cellular signal. This may be caused by the multitude of large antennas atop Cheyenne Mountain — a short straight-line distance away. The military is still active inside the mountain, and who knows what sort of RF they’re beaming out. Other than this nuisance, the park combines business and pleasure for me very well.
We’ve spent three days in the park and will be leaving tomorrow. We certainly could stay another day or two to enjoy the company and the blustery fall weather, but we want to get across the Rockies in the next couple of days, before some early winter weather shows up. We’ve been getting days in the 50s and 60s recently, but by Saturday the forecast calls for snow and a high of just 39. Time to move on — but we’ll be back to Cheyenne Mountain State Park again.