Libbys on the Loose:2 Humans. 2 Great Danes. 1 RV.: Cheyenne Mountain State Park Campground Review - Ft. Carson, Colorado

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Cheyenne Mountain State Park Campground Review - Ft. Carson, Colorado

Cheyenne Mountain State Park
410 JL Ranch Heights Road
Colorado Springs, CO 80926
(719) 576-2016
Fees:  $35/night full hookups

We happened upon this state park sort of by accident.  Since we've stayed at a couple of military installations in the past, we saw on our Allstays app that there was a campground in Ft. Carson, Colorado.  Unfortunately, upon our arrival to the "park", we found out that there was no longer a park, or campground, or any other type of camping facilities any longer!  Allstays was still listing it.  After a quick email to the app letting them know the new status, we went to (no app yet, but their reviews include cell service - a MUST for us) and found Cheyenne Mountain State Park.

View of Fort Carson from our campsite
 So apparently Cheyenne Mountain has a bit of an air of mystery surrounding it.  Conspiracy theories, as in any location or installation, abound due to the lack of information provided.  Stack it right up against Area 51 and the HAARP facility in terms of 'ultra top secret'-ness.  Though the official use is as a bunker in the event of nuclear war, there has been speculation about secret weapons development, alien inhabitation, and a flurry of other possibilities.  At the end of the day, we couldn't even get close to the entrance.  The unofficial entrance and security checkpoint is completely outside of the mountain itself and is 1.5 miles from the official entrance - located inside of the massive, nearly solid granite, mountain.

From Wikipedia:
Formerly the center for the United States Space Command and NORAD, the Complex monitored the air space of Canada and the United States through a worldwide system for missiles, space systems, and foreign aircraft through its early-warning system.  Since 2008, NORAD and the United States Space Command have been based at Peterson Air Force Base and the complex, re-designated as an air force station, is used for flight crew training and as a back-up command center if required. 
The military complex has included, in the past, many units of NORAD, U.S. Space Command, Aerospace Defense Command (ADCOM), Air Force Systems Command, Air Weather Service, and Federal Emergency Management (FEMA). The complex's communication center is also used by the nearby U.S. Civil Defense Warning Center.
That's the official overview of what it is and what its used for.   Who knows if the government is using the installation for something else?  Frankly, no matter what its use, we are glad that the state of Colorado put a state park with a great campground right next to it!  The campground itself is not huge - less than 75 sites but, despite the lack of trees, it feels tucked 'away from it all'.  And of course the view from our campsite (pic above) was pretty spectacular and overlooked the valley and  Ft. Carson Army Base.

There was only one section of the campground open since we were there in the off-season.  In addition, the laundry facilities were closed.  It was a little difficult trying to figure out where to go to register, etc because no one was answering the phones and the normal check-in area wasn't open in the off-season either.  But, the campground was pretty new and it was during their off-season, so everything was great for us!

While you're in the area, make sure you check out the Garden of the Gods.  It's not too far from the campground and totally worth the drive if you're into hiking, rock climbing, or just looking at really cool rock formations.  And it's free!

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