Thursday, June 13, 2013

Camping Groundhog Park

Teri and I decided to take an overnight camping trip to a place that we'd visited last year, Groundhog Park. There are a couple of issues with that name though.  There are no Groundhogs in the area, and it isn't really a "Park" in the usual sense. In the Rocky Mountains, "Park" usually refers to a large open meadow often caused by a glacier melting.  This particular park is in the Rio Grande National Forest and is up at about 11,000 feet elevation.

We didn't see another soul the entire time we were there, but we did see plenty of birds, squirrels (groundhogs?) and other critters.

We took our backpacking tent and sleeping bags along with a few creature comforts like pillows and lawn chairs. Once we found a good place to pitch the tent we headed off on a nice hike alongside a creek.  Teri mentioned that the creek looked like a good place for moose. More on that later.

Find a level spot for the tent. Learned this the hard way...
Tent is up and ready to go.
After our hike we sat out and read.  At some point I looked over in the direction of the creek and thought that I saw a big brown cow standing there.  Upon closer inspection it was a bull Moose browsing the willows.  Further back we saw two more moose.  Over the course of the evening the moose moved around and fed in the wet area, with the bull getting as close as about 100 yards.
Bull Moose
After a cold (30 degree) night, we got up a saw that our bull Moose was at it again. As he browsed we noticed a pair of Elk enter the area and start feeding. One of the Elk decided to saunter over to where the Moose was feeding and I told Teri that this might get interesting.  Sure enough, the Moose wasn't particularly interested in sharing his spot, and proceeded to "escort" the Elk several hundred yards out of the area.

Hello Elk
Goodbye Elk!!
As we were leaving, a Clark's Nutcracker decided to perch in a tree and see us off.

Clark's Nutcracker


  1. 30* would be a little cold for me in a tent! :)

  2. Looks like a great place.... Teri sure knows how to pick a moose site! Wish I were there!

  3. Wow, looks like a great place to camp. I hope all of the wildfires stay away from where you are at. I still receive text messages from the CO dept of transportation and have been following the road closures.

    1. The fires are far from here and we hope that they stay away!! Hopefully the winds will die and they can get the fires put out.

  4. We actually saw more moose at Arapaho in Colorado than here at Moosehorn!!! I'm ready to go tent camping too.

  5. I am trying to encourage Kurt to buy a tent, but I 'm not sure he would go for 30 degrees.

  6. That looks like fun. Larry's been saying we should do that but I've been reluctant. I may have to rethink this. It sure would be a nice way to get to some more remote areas without the motorhome. Your pictures are great.