The Big Meadows Reservoir Area
Note to readers: This file dates from 2006. The Forest Service Campground at Big Meadow Reservoir is currently CLOSED for removal of dead trees, restoration of the water system, and other modifications, and will remain so until some time in 2012.
Big Meadows Reservoir is a manmade lake located about halfway between South
The campground is located in a sub-alpine area, and gets more rainfall than occurs on the other side of the lake. Because of that, aspens and wildflowers grow right in the campground, and deer feed regularly in there, at least when itís not hunting season. The campground offers pit toilets and water points, but no electrical or sewer hookups. Current price is $14 per day.
The picture above was taken right in the campground in the early morning light.
we were there, we took several dayhikes. The first was out of the parking lot
hike starts at a marked trail head, and only a half-mile down the trail is
The trail goes past the lake, then ascends up to and through a pretty meadow, which looks like this:
The trail ascends up to the Highland Trail. The view below was taken from there, while at nearly 12,000 feet while completing the loop back toward the trailhead.
during our stay at Big Reservoir, we hiked about 4.2 miles up the Archuleta
Creek basin. That 8+ mile roundtrip included 2400 feet of elevation gain and
loss. The creek is lovely. The picture below is of some Columbines, the state
The moss on the right in the picture below really is orange.
Another day, Lisa and I walked along about three and a half miles of the Continental Divide Trail, starting north from the Lobo Overlook about 2.5 miles off the highway from the summit of Wolf Creek Pass. We started and finished early, to avoid the thunderstorms which frequently occur at high altitudes this time of the year. We have sat at thunderstorms before at those altitudes, which firmly implanted in us a desire not to repeat the experience.
last hike in the area was up the
We ate lunch at the top, and took some pictures. Below is a primrose growing by a lovely creek.
This is another scene along the same creek.
We finished the round trip, and extracted cold beers from the cooler in the car, just as the thunderstorms which has been chasing us down the mountain caught up with us. We sat there relishing the cold drinks, and being thankful that we werenít still up on the top of the mountain in the hail which was falling. The hail, although small, covered the ground back at the campground sufficiently that it look like it had snowed in places.
We celebrated Independence Day with a huge steak dinner, and headed back to town the following day to empty our holding tanks and restock the trailer. It was a lovely way to spend the first week in July.
© 2006 by
Email to: Lindy@arcanamavens.com