Sunday, August 30, 2009

Cold Springs Campground outside Blackhawk

Cold Springs Campground, July 2009

Cold Springs Campground is located approximately five miles north of the town of Blackhawk on Highway 119 at an elevation of 9,200 feet. The campground has 38 sites which are well spaced among pine and aspen trees offering fair to good amount of privacy between sites, with some offering a lot of seclusion. The sites can accommodate both RV and tent campers; there are even some sites near the back of the campground where the RV can park alongside the road. The campground is located high at the top of a mountain and many of the campsites have incredibly scenic views of the surrounding mountain peaks. The grounds are well maintained with pit toilets, fire rings, picnic tables, trash service and drinking water. It also has a playground, a scenic vista viewpoint a short hike up a mountain, and access to a trail at the back of the campground which continued on for miles and may meet up with the Fairburn Mountain trails.

The friendly camp host mentioned that the scenic viewpoint was worth the short steep hike up to the top of a rocky mountain peak. From there you have 360 degree views of the surrounding mountains and the continental divide. For the avid hiker, there is an old two track trail which starts near the back of the campground by campsites #22-24 and continues on for miles. I was able to hike on the trail for at least an hour which continues east down the mountain and past a very old campground and other old buildings; the trail continued on farther than I had time to hike and probably connects to the Fairburn Mountain Trail.

The only drawback of the campground is that it is located immediately off Highway 119, and the road noise can be heard throughout the campground all night long. Also, due to the proximity to Blackhawk, Central City and Golden Gate Canyon State Park, the campground is very crowded on the weekends. When I camped here on a Sunday night in the summer, well over half of the sites were already reserved for the following weekend, some even two weekends. The camp host said that this is common throughout the summer, but you can practically have your choice of sites during the week.

Price: Campground Cost as of July, 2009. $16 per night

Directions: From Blackhawk go north on highway 119 for approximately 5 miles, the campground is on your left at the top of the mountain before the entrance Golden Gate Canyon State Park. You can also reach 119 from I-70 at exit 244.

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