With the anticipation of camping season just around the corner, visiting my favorite locations is the focal point during the summer months, here in Colorado. If you’ve never camped in the Rocky Mountains or the desert of Moab, there are so many free locations you can pitch a tent or park your van, if you’re into #Vanlife. So, make sure to pack your favorite pour over roasts, before you head out on a road trip likely to exceed your expectations.
Here is a list of the top five locations in Colorado and Utah you need to visit this summer:
Brides Canyon, Utah
Tucked away in Moab lies a small canyon known as Brides. It got its name from the rock formation at the back of the canyon. As the sun sets, a shadow casts along the walls of the canyon, that depicts a bride with her bouquet, walking down the aisle. With just five campsites, you’ll need to get here early to claim your spot. The days can be pretty hot and the nights can drop 40+ degrees, it’s the desert of course. I always like to warm up in the morning with a fresh cup of pour over coffee to jump start my day!
Buena Vista, Colorado
If camping in a grove of aspens is your thing, you need to check out Buena Vista! While summer is a great time to camp, laying in a hammock and looking up at the blue bird sky, with the contrast of golden yellow in the fall, is unforgettable. Make sure to take route 24, you’ll pass Camp Hale which is part of the US Army 10th Mountain Division. You’ll also pass Twin Lakes and Mount Massive, the second highest summit in the Rocky Mountains. I can guarantee you’ll want to stop for a photo opt and maybe even a coffee break.
Maroon Bells Wilderness, Colorado
I’m sure you’ve seen some iconic shots of Colorado and I would bet Maroon Bells Wilderness was one of them. Known for its lakes with mountain backdrops and endless wildflowers, the Maroon Bells Wilderness is ideal for camping and hiking at all levels. If you’re lucky you can score a permit for Conundrum Hot Springs and camp within walking distance of a natural hot spring. My ideal morning would be waking up at camp and hiking over to the hot spring. I’d boil a cup of water and pour it over my Kuju Coffee, then relax in the hot spring while sipping on a fresh cup of the best quality camping coffee around.
Piney Lake, Colorado
Located in Eagles Nest Wilderness just outside of Vail, is a beautiful alpine lake at the base of a snow-capped mountain range. You can access the trail head just off I-70 on Red Sandstone road. There are pull off’s along the road and at the trail head where you can camp in the early season. Once the gate open’s after Elk Calving season you can then drive right up to Piney Lake, park your car and take a day hike up to the falls! I highly recommend visiting during peak wildflower season (mid-late summer) when the fields are covered in sunflowers, lupine and a vast array of color. Once at the top of Upper Piney Falls Trail, I like to sit on the rock ledge, taking in the mist from the falls, sipping on my favorite Kuju Coffee roast.
The small town of Ouray, located in southern Colorado, is completely surrounded by mountains creating this feeling of being in a canyon. Just to the east is the San Juan Mountain range, with over 200 miles of winding roads that were once used for mining. If you like to hike 14er’s, there is no shortage of mountains to summit. You’ll also find a never-ending supply of alpine lakes and fields of wildflowers. I’d recommend backpacking and finding your basecamp at the edge of an alpine lake. I always pack my favorite pour overs in my backpack since they are so light and compact. Plus, who can really go without coffee after a full day of backpacking?
I’m sure you can’t wait to get out there and wander this summer! Make sure to add these locations to your bucket list for a guaranteed #KujuMoment, they will not disappoint. Don’t forget to pack your favorite Kuju Coffee pour over on your next adventure.