Camping at DeWeese Reservoir

So this time around, James and I decided to take the dogs camping with us. We accompanied our friends Les and Jan to Westcliffe, Colorado. Camping at DeWeese Reservoir is actually free of charge. There are two options: the shaded pine tree area up the hill or anywhere around the lake. Les and Jan have their camper, and the lake area is better suited for that; therefore, we joined them by the lake.

No electricity or running water is provided. Several unisex restrooms can be found spread around the lake. Generators are permitted. Someone had their’s on 24/7, and it was somewhat annoying to be honest.

Of course, dogs are allowed. I’m not sure if we were expected to clean after their messes (We didn’t). Pancho (Chihuahua) and Dexter (Goldendoodle) certainly had a lot of fun.

I was the only one who didn’t fish, but the others tried. Overall, Les caught a trout by leaving the pole out overnight. Other than that, I cannot say there was any luck. As for the weather, it was the typical random mess that is Colorado. There was heat and blue skies, sprinkling, overcast, heavy winds, and cold nights–all in one day, each day. Our phones barely had one bar most of the time.

I can’t deny that the camper was convenient with all it’s amenities. We only spent the first night in our tent and the other two nights in the camper with Les and Jan. It was ridiculous considering how we struggled to move and rearrange the tent during a short wind storm. I still enjoyed my time there, but I definitely missed taking a warm shower. It’s just not the same cleaning up with a washcloth. Oh well. The dogs definitely didn’t have that issue.

Gem Lake and Lily Mountain Hikes

Let’s start off by mentioning that the Gem Lake trail from the Lumpy Ridge trailhead is free. There is no national park fee even though it is located in the Rocky Mountain National Park. This hike is considered moderate. It took about 3 hours for us to complete it, though we did spend some time making friends with the local chipmunks and took several snack and water breaks. We are more like amateur hikers in case you wondered. I just happen to be fitter with an addiction to cardio.

The Lily Mountain trail is also free since it is located in the Roosevelt National Park. Yes, you can take a dog with you. I would not deem it rational to drag along any animal other than one that is at least medium size and fit. This particular hike is considered moderate, but it is definitely challenging. I believe it took us 4 hours to complete.

The Gem Lake trail was okay, but I prefer Lily Mountain. Even though there was the small Gem Lake (more like a pond) at the end, Lily Mountain was more strenuous and exciting. I am glad my husband decided to force me to climb the large rocks to the left (the right is higher up). It made the finale of the hike worth it. So, yes, I recommend a bit of mountaineering if you have the courage to do so. I believe it made a difference.