Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Curt Gowdy State Park - camping and wide variety of Mountain Biking

We recently made short trek to Curt Gowdy State Park just outside of Cheyenne, Wyoming. Departing from Boulder Colorado the Friday before Labor Day, the drive proved to be just about 2 hours. While there was a little weekend traffic on Highway 25 north bound it was pretty mild. The actual mileage was just over 115 miles from town and signs marked the route from the highway.

The camping facilities were nice with spacious campsites easy for 2 families and up to 10 persons. We had booked 2 sites and there were other families from Boulder at other camp site locations as well. Everyone enjoyed being away from the city lights in the crisp mountain air and a spectacular sky full of stars and constellations. Always a great stargazing time in front of the roaring fire with smores and roasted marshmallows each evening. It was nice to enjoy the cool evenings given we were on the water at an elevation over 6,000 feet. The days were warm and making sure you have shade trees at your camp site on summer days would be advised. At night everyone bundled up to stay warm.

There is plenty of water in the park as there are three reservoirs - Granite Springs, Crystal and Upper Crow North. Fishing and boating permits are required and available at the park. Park Headquarters can be reached via phone at 307.632.7946.

Activities from hiking, bouldering, fishing, boating and lots of great single track abound. The fishing was good with a variety of trout in the lake/reservoir. A couple of the boys caught several trout that were served up over the fire and thoroughly enjoyed.

One of the highlights was the riding for our group. Our group enjoyed taking a wide range of ages for a mountain bike tour around the Granite Springs Reservoir and over to nearby Crystal Reservoir. It was nice intermediate single track that meandered around the lake. A great plan in theory but after a short while we came to find out a bit too tecnical of a ride in sections for the 7, 8 and 9 years olds in the group. We were seeing tight, rocky switchbacks that were not standard fare intermediate riding. The young ones had fun and were spirited but walked more than they had planned. We ended up shuttling them back in the van on the return. There was a more gentler return option but a strong head wind quickly changed our minds for the sake of avoiding meltdowns and revolts.

Here is a detail of the single track and mountain bike riding available in the area from IMBA. Another source we checked out in advance were the rider reviews from MTB Review as well. I do know we will be back and spend more time here riding and fishing.