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Estes Park East Portal Campground: If you are just a little outgoing and friendly and love kids, you will love this campground. Although the campsites in this campground are somewhat smallish and close to one another, there are ample trees for shade and with careful placement of our trailer and truck we were able to have a modicum of privacy. The camp hosts are very friendly and helpful. The bathroom facilities are ample and clean, showers are free, and there are community sinks at the bathrooms for doing dishes. The water and electric hookup were a big plus for us because we usually take the basic campsites and dry-camp with our little 13 ft. trailer. This campground also has a dump station which is very handy too with a trailer. We stayed in site #A39. I would recommend A40 because it's a little larger and a little bit more private. Of course, Rocky Mountain National Park is nearby, but the main attraction for us was the free shuttle to Estes Park (a wonderful little Colorado mountain tourist town). We only stayed the weekend, and being tourists for a day in Estes Park was our main reason for coming.

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Olive Ridge is a Forest Service campground. It's nice and quiet and nicely wooded with some huge Ponderosa pines. The hosts are quite friendly and the vault toilets stink like any other vault toilets (hence the 9 rating). There are no electric or water or sewer hookups and there is no dump station. You won't find the "big rigs" here - only tent campers and "dry" trailer campers, pop-ups and truck campers. And kids, of course. Camping is very much about the kids. You will find it on Colorado Highway 7, outside of Lyons, CO, between Allenspark and Meeker Park at mile marker 12. Elevation is 8,350 ft., so the nights are crisp. You can get into Rocky Mountain National Park very nearby at the Wild Basin entrance. The Wild Basin Events Center is right there at the entrance and looks like a nice place for a retreat or a mountain wedding/reception. There is one little store in Meeker Park and a horse stable with trail riding available just up the hill and there are a few quaint places in Allenspark just down the hill. There's a coffee shop, little restaurant and livery there too. This area was ravaged by flooding due to large amounts of rain in September 2013 and the road was closed for many months so the owners of the small businesses in Allenspark are very friendly and appreciative of the tourists stopping by and dropping a buck or two. We stayed in the Sneezewood loop #33 for the weekend and if I go again I will probably choose #34. There are many great campsites in this campground. Wild flowers and wildlife (elk, deer, the ever-present ground squirrel, and many many humming birds) are plentiful. Highly recommended.

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Rifle Gap State Park is built around the reservoir created behind the Rifle Gap Dam about six or seven miles outside of Rifle. It's main purpose seems to be to give the semi-local folks somewhere to take their motor boats. It's relatively small and since motor boats are allowed you will be able to hear them during the day. The noise was not obnoxious when we were there in early season but it probably gets more crowded in July and August and therefore louder. The boat ramp is set up to handle fairly sizeable boats and there were a number of fisherman out also in the early morning and evenings. It's a popular spot. If you want a little more quiet and some trees go up the road to Rifle Falls Campground but make reservations early for that one. It's small and fills up fast. Pinion Loop at Rifle Gap State Park is a small loop and allows only tents and small RVs. The loop is high on a hill overlooking the reservoir. There are two campsites (86 and 87) that directly face the view. I stayed in 87 and I recommend 86. This is also about the only loop in the park to offer any shade. I don't fish or water ski so a couple nights was all I needed to see it, get a few good pictures and make some nice memories of camping. The campfire in the evening overlooking the reservoir and the gap with many stars and a full moon was truly awesome.