Moraine Park Campground
Moraine Park Campground in RMNP
Amenities: restrooms, water, firepits, tent pads, food lockers, firewood for sale
Back in late January, I realized that if I wanted to go summer camping in RMNP I would have to book a site right away. With no real knowledge of the site, I booked site 65 because it was on an outer loop and had a food locker right next to it. I had no idea what to expect when I drove up - I had never even been down that road in the park before, and boy was I impressed with what I found.
Right along the outer edge, a respectable distance from the heavy traffic of the campground, and not obtrusively close to site 64. And not to mention this incredible view of Longs Peak and the meadows in Moraine Park. When I got out of my car I just stopped and stared, this was going to be my home for the next three days.
I watched the family next to me struggle and bicker and get agitated as they set up their camp (to their credit, they had two young kids with them, but still) and was so grateful for the opportunity to set camp up alone. Logan had gotten sucked into working Saturday, so it was me and Emilie Friday night; Emilie was still in FoCo, and I wasn't meeting her until 5:30, so I had time to sit and enjoy by myself. There was a herd of elk in the meadow below and my soundtrack for the afternoon was their bugles - it doesn't get much better than that.
I met Emilie at Lucile Erwin Middle School, where three years ago we had spent a week training for one of the best jobs I've had. It was weird and bittersweet and slightly underwhelming being back there, but it put some perspective in place because without those experiences, I would not be in Colorado right now. We had some free Chick-Fil-A, hugged some old friends, and then headed back up the canyon to our home. As we sat around the fire, watching the sun set, and snacking on salt + vinegar chips, we were visited by some elk from the meadow. An absolutely unreal evening.
Emilie and I have been friends for nearly four years now and we realized this weekend that we have never hung out just the two of us (summer staff probs). It was so great to spend a night under the stars (okay, mostly cloudy skies) and talk about life and space and how everything fits together. We fell asleep to the sound of the creek and woke up when the sun heated our tent.
"Emilie. Good news."
"EMILIE. GOOD NEWS."
"Longs Peak is still there."
rolls over and goes back to sleep
Emilie and I spent the day Saturday hiking to Gem Lake and sleeping in hammocks, and Logan joined us that evening. We had an incredible dinner of chicken fajitas and beers and smores and watched a beautiful sunset together. Emilie had to head home, but Logan and I stayed up and walked to the Cub Lake trailhead and took some star photos before heading to bed.
We had a lot planned for Sunday, so we packed camp up by 9:30 and headed on our way. It was such an incredible weekend - it's hard to beat being woken up by the sound of elk bugling too loudly - in such a beautiful place. We just reminded ourselves that RMNP is a mere two hours away, and we can come back anytime we want.