Every so often I throw in a travel blog. Today I feel compelled to write about a great little camping spot here in Northern Colorado: Inlet Bay at Horsetooth Reservoir. This is part of Larimer County Parks.

Just before school started I stole my youngest away for a last night of camping. It had to be during the week — the weekends were booked — and it had to be pretty close to our house since I had some work obligations the next day. The Inlet Bay camping sites run side-by-side along a finger extension of Horsetooth Reservoir just South of Inlet Bay Marina. No matter which site you pick, you back to the inlet. During a busy time you’ll have two side neighbors, but this time we only had a neighbor to our north. We got lucky and were able to reserve a site with a shelter. The covered table area came in handy during the one spate of rain around 6:30 p.m.

Being close to home proved expedient when we opened up the tent packet and the tent stakes were no where to be found. The camp store at the South Bay did not have tent stakes for sale, although maybe they do by now since I was more than vocal that tent stakes would be a wise addition to their inventory. So yes, I drove home for the tent stakes and we had camp up by about 7:30 p. m.

In addition to its proximity to Fort Collins, what I like most about Inlet Bay is that so far every time I’ve camped there it has been peaceful and mosquito free. The latter is a complete mystery, as the sites are along the water. I might even ask a ranger about the mosquito breeding cycles up there. But the peacefulness is a welcome change from some campgrounds. I think the inlet “catches” some of the people noise and of course it helps not to have other campers behind you or in front. My daughter and I made a campfire and watched an almost-full moon rise above the ridge that separates the inlet from the reservoir. Aaaaahhhhhhhhh.

Finally, if you like boating or fishing, Horsetooth Reservoir is a handy place to try both. If you don’t prefer motorized craft, the Marina has one canoe that it rents for $20 for two hours, along with kayaks which are a bit more expensive at $40 for two hours. We spent a leisurely two hours kayaking around the inlet and a little bit of the main reservoir. Last year we canoed it — either craft will do the job nicely.

Though camping season will draw to a close soon, put Inlet Bay on your list for a little Indian Summer getaway or for the future. I don’t get a kickback from Larimer County Parks…I just think that you won’t regret it!

Mama J (Diane Fromme) writes about family dynamics and other family-related topics from her bay-window office in Northern Colorado.

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