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Comanche National Grassland, Springfield, Colorado

Campground Review from Mary Evelyn

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating

By

I found out about this campground on maps, and I have camped there repeatedly since the 90s.

Describe your camping trip:

One of my all-time favorite areas to camp and walk. You are supposed to check in with the ranger stations in Lamar and La Junta before wandering off too far; at least sign the trail logs. They have all the maps, books etc. you need at the USDA offices.
Pros: You almost always have the place nearly to yourself. The most famous location is a long walk in to some dinosaur trackways. My personal favorites (I'm an aerchaeologist) are the several locations with petroglyphs. Please don't vandalize! Those aren't targets!

I have pictures of some of the locations at www.deltaarchaeology.us. There are also numerous late 19th-early 20th century cabin sites, sheep-pens, springs and seeps and a large acerage of "hoodoo" rocks that are worth seeing. Most of the camping locations are a good ways from the nearest ranch HQ. No excess stuff - just you and the antelope, owls, hawks, rats and coyotes.

Cons: These are dry camps, and fire bans are common. No electic sites, and most of the roads in to the locations aren't suitable for big rigs. They are out on county gravel roads. Most of the national grasslands is lease land, so if you're scared of cows, coyotes, snakes and sticker bushes, this ain't the place for you.

Nearby attractions: Black Mesa OK/NM, Bent's Old Fort NM near La Junta, Ft. Carson's tank maneuvers range, ghost towns, Santa Fe trail.

Further comments:

The grassland was established during the dust-bowl to reclaim blow-out land that folks had tried to farm as irrigation farmsteads, or that was degraded range. The Timpas Creek picnic area off the main highway between La Junta and Walsenburg has the fanciest outhouse I've ever seen. The Iron Springs location has an old spring box used by a ranch station on the Butterfield Stage line.
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