Note: Our reviews are from the perspective of full timers “glamping” in a 40-45′ big rig. Our review focus is on maneuvering, site attributes, hookup quality, internet access, proximity to services, etc. We are self contained and usually don’t use any campground toilets, showers or laundry so we don’t always report on them. We tend to favor state and federal parks because they tend to be more in tune with nature and usually have more spacious sites.
Website: Lake Pueblo State Park
Easy access. I-25 to exit 101 to US 50 West for 4 miles. Turn south on Pueblo Blvd. (SR45) and go 4 miles to Thatcher Avenue (SR96). Turn west and go 6 miles to the park entrance.
ALTERNATE ROUTE for North Plains Campground and Juniper Breaks Campground only. I-25 to exit 101 to US 50 West to McCulloch Blvd. then south and west on McCulloch to Nichols Rd. Then south to the North entrance.
Note: Do NOT enter the fee station driveway, at all the campgrounds they had less than 12′ overhead clearance. Stay on the main road and bypass the fee station. When we arrived the fee station was closed anyway, but even if it is used during peak times, it is probably not for camper registration. Since we had a reservation we went directly to our site then checked in at the Visitor Center. You may also be able to check-in with the camp host.
Date(s) of Stay: October 19, 2017 arrival, October 22, 2017 departure
Located close to the city of Pueblo, Lake Pueblo State Park has 60 miles of shoreline and 10,000 acres of land. The State Park has three separate campgrounds for a total of 368 campsites – Arkansas Point, Northern Plains and Juniper Breaks. Out of the 368 campsites, 262 have electric (no sewer or water), 104 are basic (no electricity, sewer or water) and there are 2 primitive sites. Each campground has a dump station. In the off season the number of year round campsites are limited, see here for details. During our stay in Arkansas Point, out of 93 sites only sites 1-27 (Loop A) were open.
Both back in and pull thru sites (which run parallel to the road) are available, ranging in length from 35′ in length to 112′ in length, so while the park is big rig friendly not every site is, so choose accordingly. Reserve America provides the length of each site. All sites consist of a paved parking area, covered picnic table, and fire pit. The electrical campgrounds (which include all three loops in Arkansas Point and the Eagle View, Prairie Ridge and Yucca Flats loops in Northern Plains) also feature flush toilets, coin-operated showers, laundry, dump stations, and playgrounds.
Reservations can be made at Reserve America but be aware that the booking window for an online reservation is 72 hours in advance of your arrival. Within the 3 day booking window sites will show as walk up only.
Daily rate was $24 per night for an electric only hookup site ($18 for basic non electric sites), but be forewarned, in addition, there is a $10 flat charge (ouch) for making an online reservation. So while the $24 daily rate may seem at first glance to be a reasonably good deal the reservation fee really drives up the cost of a short stay. To add insult to injury, staying at any of the CO State Parks also incurs an additional daily State Park Entrance Fee ($7 here, but fee varies by specific park). A one night stay here with all fees would set you back a whopping $41! A 10 day stay would amortize the reservation fee and result in a $32 daily rate including the daily entrance fee.
Now maybe the $32 is an acceptable rate for a full hook up site, but it seems a little expensive for just electric. If you are planning on staying more than 8 or 10 nights at Colorado State Parks within the year, the best approach to mitigate that daily vehicle fee is to purchase an Annual Pass. We suggest physically purchasing the pass at the first campground you visit. At St. Vrain, Boyd Lake, and here, the Annual Pass fee was $70, but may vary at other parks (cost at Cherry Creek was $73 for example). Note that the Annual Pass not only covers the entrance fee for your motorhome, but for your towed vehicle as well – as long as it is connected when you arrive at the park.
Knowing that we would be staying at several other Colorado State Parks (5 parks over 21 days to be exact), we purchased the Annual Pass. It turned out that without it, we would have paid $160 in entrance fees, so we saved $90! Good deal! Plus the annual pass is valid for 13 months from date of purchase.
Additional info – for a motorhome towing a car, the Annual Pass will be for the motorhome and attached to the lower right corner of the motorhome windshield. When registering at the park, make sure you arrive with your tow vehicle connected and be sure to get a free Towed Vehicle Pass for the dates of your stay. The Towed Vehicle Pass will also get you into any other Colorado State Parks for the dates of your stay. Note that if even if you do not purchase an Annual Pass, the Daily Vehicle Fee will still apply to the motorhome and the Towed Vehicle Pass will still be free.
Overall Impression – 4.2/5
Another lovely Colorado State Park, set on shores of Lake Pueblo which must be a very popular boating/fishing destination during the peak season. A Visitor Center offers informative displays about the wildlife and birds that can be found in the park. Most sites have views of the reservoir as well as distant views of the Greenhorn and Wet mountain ranges to the southwest and the magnificent Pikes Peak to the north. Our site #6, a 117′ pull thru on the outer perimeter, not only had those views, but there was direct access to the climbing/hiking trails behind our site, perfect for watching incredible sunsets each night. Note that during our stay just one loop in each of the 3 campgrounds were actually open, so we were not able to fully explore.
General – 4/5
A mix of back-in and parallel pull thru sites here ranging in length from 35′ to 117′. All sites had a paved driveway and most had a gravel pad living area. All sites consist of a paved parking area and gravel living area with a covered picnic table and fire pit. Our site was level but the terrain here varies in elevation so that will vary. Most we could see appeared to be close to level.
Size – 4/5
Our parallel pull thru site #16 located on the outer perimeter of Loop A in the Arkansas Point campground was 117′ in length. Despite the curvature of the parallel pull-thru type sites there was still plenty of room for both our rig and toad.
Privacy – 4/5
Sometimes the parallel type pull thru sites lack in privacy compared to a back-in, but here the parallel pull-thrus on the outer perimeter had decent privacy (as did many of the back-ins). A few of the back-in and pull thru sites on the inner part of the loop however, lacked in privacy. For example sites 13, 15, 18 and 20.
Amenities – 4/5
All the campsites throughout the park include a grill, picnic table and most have a shade shelter over the picnic table. Also provided are a marina, Visitor Center, walking trails, dump station and restrooms (which were very clean). Showers are also available (we did not use them).
Convenience – 4/5
Less than 10 miles to the city of Pueblo where Walmart, grocery stores, restaurants and other conveniences and necessities can be found. Close to several attractions in Pueblo, and Colorado Springs (see this post) such as Garden of the Gods which is about an hour away.
Physical Surroundings – 4/5
Lovely natural hilly desert type terrain with elevated views of the lake and surrounding mountains.
Maneuverability and Roads – 4/5
Easy to maneuver in our 45′ rig with tow. Paved roads, somewhat narrow one way roads within the campground but presented no problem. No low branches or other obstructions.
Peace & Quiet – 4/5
Located far enough away from any main road so there was no traffic noise. During the warmer weather it probably gets busy and more congested with campers and boaters.
Utilities – 2/5
- Sewer – None.
- Satellite – Every site here in any of the campgrounds should have a clear view of the sky.
- WiFi – None.
- Cellular signal – Verizon: Good signal, Adequate LTE data performance. AT&T: Good signal, Good LTE data performance.
- Over-the-Air (OTA) TV – We scanned and picked up 25 channels so at least some of the primary networks should be receivable.
- Power – Very Good. 20/30/50A pedestal new looking. Voltage was strong at 122 volts on both legs. No errors or outages during our stay.
- Water Pressure/Quality – None.
What We Liked
– Natural, very scenic environment.
– Excellent privacy on our site.
– Paved site driveway, gravel pad.
– Walking trails.
– Nice Visitor Center.
What We Didn’t Like
– $7 daily entrance fee (charged by all Colorado State parks)
– $10 online reservation fee (charged by all Colorado State parks)
Would We Return?
Most definitely, especially if we had an active annual pass. For a very short stay without the annual pass we might reluctantly seek other options due to cost.