Shepherds Rim Campground at Trappers Lake, just east of Meeker, Colorado, is an excellent primitive campground for packs looking to get in touch with nature and see some unique species along the way. The area is a haven for wildlife such as bighorn sheep, elk, pika, and ptarmigan who thrive in this protected ecosystem.
Shepherds Rim is on the smaller side, with just 16 sites for tent, motorhome, and trailer camping. RVers should note that while there are no hookups or showers, the grounds do provide vault toilets, potable water, fire pits, and bear-proof food storage lockers. Pets are welcome on the grounds, but owners should never leave them unattended or let them roam the area off-leash. Remember to store Fido's food the same way you would your human snacks: in the food lockers away from the campsite as not to attract unwanted guests. Sites are just $19.26 per night, though there is an additional $2.00 fee for holiday stays.
At 1.5 miles long by a half-mile wide, Trappers Lake has earned the title of second largest natural lake in Colorado and is often referred to as the "cradle of wilderness" since it is where the US Wilderness Preservation System originated. This lake is popular for fishing for the native cutthroat trout, though they must be released upon catch. Fisherman may keep their catches of brook trout, an invasive species that threatens cutthroat populations. Those keen on casting a line will need to do so from the shore or a paddle boat since motorized boats and trailers that carry them are strictly prohibited. Don't care to bait a hook? Set off on one of the nearby hiking trails -- you are in the heart of the Rockies, after all!
This campground is open from mid-May to the end of September, making it a cool vacation from the dog days of summer. Start making your midsummer night's dream a reality!