Remote RV Camping: Antero Reservoir & Blue River Colorado

August 2023 – During both summer and winter, Colorado’s popular ski resort towns and other spots with mountain views get very busy. However, you can still find some fairly remote RV camping areas away from those locales. Both Antero Reservoir South Shore Campground and a few places along State Route 9 next to the Blue River offer not only scenic views but quiet nights too.

Remote RV Camping- Antero Reservoir & Blue River Colorado

A summer thunderstorm brings a beautiful double rainbow off the beaten path in Colorado.

Antero Reservoir South Shore Campground

Denver Water, the entity responsible for providing Denver’s city water, has some rustic waterfront dry camping campgrounds at their reservoirs. One of these is Antero Reservoir South Shore Campground where we stayed for a few days.

Antero Reservoir Campground offers remote RV camping in Colorado

Antero Reservoir South Shore Campground in Colorado.

Antero Reservoir is a very beautiful lake that has distant mountain views in every direction.

Even better, Antero Reservoir South Shore Campground is FREE!!! And it’s not the only free campground operated by Denver Water. It turns out that several Denver Water lakeside campgrounds are free!!

Antero Reservoir Campground provides remote RV camping in Colorado

Sunset on the shores of Antero Reservoir in Colorado.

Well, it turns out that the Denver Water campgrounds are free for now.

A ranger informed us that, beginning in 2024, Denver Water will charge $18-$22 per campsite. Because these campgrounds are on Denver Water land rather than Federal land, the popular Federal Interagency Senior Pass discount won’t apply.

So, we felt really fortunate to have found this campground before that change took place!

Sunset near Antero Reservoir in Colorado

We had a ball chasing sunsets with the RZR!

While Antero Reservoir is very beautiful and utterly devoid of crowds, especially on weekdays, what it lacks in quantities of bustling tourists it unfortunately makes up for in quantities of buzzing bugs!

During our stay, the deer flies were really thick. Deer flies bite hard and their bites hurt! So, outdoor pursuits were a challenge. But the lovely surroundings were worth the constant swatting.

Sunset near Antero Reservoir Campground in Colorado

What a colorful sky!

Sunset at Antero Reservoir Colorado

A last glimpse of the sun.

If it weren’t for the bugs, Antero Reservoir South Shore Campground would be a top destination for RVers and daytrippers too. It’s first-come-first-serve now (we’re not sure if that will change too), and every site is just steps from the water. Just take your bug spray!

When I emailed a friend about the bugs accompanying the beauty at this campground, she recommended we try a bug spray by Sawyer Products which she’s found works wonders, smells good, isn’t toxic and lasts for 12 hours. We couldn’t get it ordered fast enough to use during our stay at Antero Reservoir, but it’s on our list to order and keep in our truck so it’s always with us!

Sawyer Bug Spray

Every night we were at Antero Reservoir, we wandered along the shoreline watching the sunset. The patterns of colors were constantly changing.

Sunset near Antero Reservoir Campground in Colorado

Reflections at a small inlet.

Antero Reservoir Campground in Colorado at sunset

A burst of color behind a mountain silhouette.

Antero Reservoir is also a great place for dogs, and Buddy met many during our stay. Big ones, little ones, young ones and old ones–he made friends everywhere.

When we were indoors, his favorite activity was watching the Outdoor Channel at his window. There were lots of chipmunks running around and he knew where they all lived.

Puppy watches the Outdoor Channel from inside his RV

Buddy kept a close eye on the chipmunks.

Way beyond the campground limits, we found a huge open meadow where he ran to his heart’s content, full speed ahead. It’s not often that he has acres and acres of open land to run wherever he wants and show off how fast he is.

Puppy runs free in the Colorado countryside

“This place is FUN!”

After all that running, he cooled his jets for a bit in the water.

Puppy in Antero Reservoir in Colorado

“The best way to get a drink is to wade right into the water bowl!”

There are several dirt roads in this area, and he just loved taking rides in our Polaris RZR side-by-side.

puppy loves riding in his Polaris RZR side-by-side

“Make it go fast!”

At one point we looked up on a ridge, and we saw a stately pronghorn antelope standing there framed by puffy white clouds.

Pronghorn antelope at Antero Reservoir in Colorado

A pronghorn antelope looks down at us.

The antelope watched us closely and then turned away. I loved the way the clouds billowed behind him.

Antero Reservoir in Colorado pronghorn antelope

It is so exciting to see one of these exotic looking creatures.

Then he took off at an elegant trot.

Running pronghorn antelope at Antero Reservoir in Colorado

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Corps of Engineers Campgrounds

The winds built all morning every morning, becoming quite wild and woolly by the afternoon. Wind waves crashed on the shore and we saw some serious whitecaps further out in the lake. By then, the boats and kayaks were long gone!

Waves at Antero Reservoir in Colorado

Wind wave action.

Antero Reservoir is primarily used by fishermen, and many of the people camping in the campground had a boat of some kind with them.

But we loved just walking along the shore, watching the patterns and energy of the waves.

Antero Reservoir Colorado splashing waves

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State Route 9 on the banks of the Blue River

Moving on from Antero Reservoir, we drove up State Route 9 which runs alongside the beautiful Blue River north of Silverthorne. In some places, the water tumbled over rocks on its northward journey to the Green Mountain Reservoir.

Beautiful Blue River in Colorado

The Blue River in Colorado north of Silverthorne.

There are several USFS campgrounds along the river and around Green Mountain Reservoir. Last year, near the end of our summer RV adventure, we camped at the Green Mountain Reservoir and really enjoyed our stay (blog post here…see the second half of the post).

This year we explored the rest of the river between Silverthorne and the reservoir.

The Blue River moves fast, and we had a wonderful time blurring the cascades as they flowed over the rocks using various slow shutter speeds.

It’s always hard to choose — do you go for the striated lines in the water that give a sense of its speed and movement, or do you go for the totally silky look that gives the scene a deep and otherworldly serenity?!

Blue River Colorado-2

Fast moving water.

Blue River Colorado

A serene moonscape of rocks.

Sunset was the best time — and not to be missed!

I lolled around in the camper, though, just not in the mood to run down to the river at that particular moment to take photos. However, Mark was Johnny on the spot, and he got some fabulous photos.

I was totally jealous when he came home and showed me what I’d missed! No more lolling around at sunset!! As Ansel Adams said, “Chance favors the prepared mind,” and mine had been somewhere else!

Blue River Colorado at sunset

The Blue River at sunset.

Sunset at Blue River Colorado

Another view of the Blue River at sunset.

Reese Goosebox

Towns and villages — even small settlements and homesteads — are rare in this neck of the woods, and we felt one with nature. The distant mountain peaks lit up in a deep burnt orange as the sun slipped from the sky.

Rocky Mountains at sunset near Blue River Colorado

The day ends in a blaze of glory.

Colorado sunset at the Blue River

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RV at sunset by Blue River Colorado

Goodnight, Colorado!

This year, the summer monsoons were very active in the Colorado mountains, and we saw quite a few rainstorms late in the day.

One afternoon, we got a doozy of a thunderstorm, complete with enormous black clouds, huge thunderclaps and lightning.

RV under stormy skies at Blue River Colorado

Monsoon storm clouds gather over our RV.

After it was over, the sun came out and a huge double rainbow appeared in the sky.

RV under a double rainbow in Colorado

A reminder of God’s promise.

When we think of Colorado, our first thoughts are always the famous mountain towns like Ouray, Durango, Telluride and Crested Butte. But there are quiet, out-of-the-way places too, and they are just as wonderful!

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6 thoughts on “Remote RV Camping: Antero Reservoir & Blue River Colorado

  1. Buddy watching “the Outdoor Channel” – love it! The product you linked to is Permethrin which is for use on clothing and gear. Sawyer also sells Picaridin, an insect repellant for use on the skin. We keep a supply of Picaridin both at home and in the RV. Always, because bugs love me and sometimes I have immediate and strong reactions to their bites. Like Denver Water, Idaho Power has a number of campgrounds at their facilities. We’ve camped at two, and I’d happily return to either. Gorgeous pics, as always!

    • Thank you very much for the info on Permethrin and Picaridin! I hadn’t had a chance to research the Sawyer sprays in depth, but my friend was so thrilled by how effective it was and how it smelled pleasant and wasn’t toxic, I just posted the link she sent me. We’ll be wanting the skin version for sure but will keep both on hand in the future. Bugs think I’m yummy! I just found the Picaridin repellent here. Thanks also for the tip about Idaho Power — we’ve gotta check into that!! We’ve been to several Corps of Engineers campgrounds near their dams and waterways, and they’re wonderful too.

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