If you're looking to camp about an hour from Denver then I've found the place for you.
We set out Saturday night around 10:30pm. We had a few pit stops before hand which made for a later evening than planned. As usual this was a last minute trip. A friend invited me to go fishing at Georgetown Lake and hiking on Guanella Pass with his family on Sunday. Instead of driving up in the morning we wanted to get an early start so we went up Saturday night. The campsite I had planned on staying at was one I had seen on some random drive through the mountains.. Or so I thought. No campsites could be found. It was dark but I think we looked pretty hard.
After someone being called grumpy... I opened the RootsRated.com app on my iPhone to find the closest site they recommended. Guanella Pass came up so we hit the switchbacks. Guanella Pass is just through Georgetown and then up. Usually when I hear the word pass my blood pressure goes up and I start to consider other routes.This pass is different. No pucker factor here. Try Ridge Rd if that's what you're looking for.
We started seeing cars parked on the side of the road after a few miles and knew we were in the right area. The campsites were positioned between the road and a stream. Just look for a fire ring. After the fire was started and tent set up we enjoyed the sound of the running water and all of the beautiful stars above.
Since we setup camp at midnight we had no idea the beauty we would awake to. Golden aspen all over with clear mountain water just feet from my tent. After soaking up the view we packed up camp then down to meet the others at Georgetown Lake for a morning of fishing.
Later in the day we headed over Guanella Pass to see the aspen change color. This weekend was perfect. They seemed to be at their peak. We joined a never ending line of cars with the same thing on their minds, its Sunday, no Broncos, and the aspen make for a great family photo.