Have you ever wanted to head to New Zealand to see the places that became the backdrop for the Lord of the Rings films? Well, the bad news is that it’s difficult to take your pup on a plane. The good news is that camping at Lone Rock Campground in Colorado’s Pike National Forest is the next best thing! The rolling hills near the campsite have been described as "hobbit-like", and when it comes to the rest of the scenery, spectacular doesn’t even begin to cover it. You’ll have to do without some mod-cons -- you won’t find any showers, electricity, or RV hookups at Lone Rock.
But with a stunning location like this, who can complain? The campground is perched above the South Platte River, and many of the sites have waterside views. The sites are shaded by mature coniferous trees, and there are some furrific recreation options nearby. Lone Rock has nineteen sites (one of which is usually occupied by campground hosts) and gets pretty busy during the summer, so it’s best to make your reservation early, particularly if you’ll need to stay at one of the campground’s accessible sites. Sites can be a bit cramped, too, so larger RVs might have some trouble.
You and your buddy are sure to sniff out something to do during your stay! If casting a line is your idea of a good time, you’re in luck -- the South Platte River is something of a place of pilgrimage for fly-fishing enthusiasts and is home to a substantial population of brown and rainbow trout. Serious hound-dog hikers and four-pawed fitness freaks might want to try their luck on the Gill Trail. The route is nearly ten miles long in total, but there’s a trailhead at the campground about 3 miles in, and it runs through wooded wonderland along the river on the way to the spectacular Cheesman Lake. Careful, though -- the shale-covered boulders make for some loose terrain! There are some more moderate routes in the area for laid-back lapdogs, and those with accessibility issues may enjoy a walk on the level, paved loop trail around the campground.
WiFi isn’t available at Lone Rock, and cellular coverage varies from network to network. Fires are permitted, and you’ll find drinking water available on-site. One further note -- thunderstorms are common, so take precautions. Remember to bring waste bags for your furry friend, and have a pawesome time!