Location: Gunnison County, CO (near Almont, Taylor Reservoir, Crested Butte, and Gunnison)
Dates Stayed: July 18-19, 2017
Scale of 1-10: 9
Type: Forest Service Campground
Cost: $18/Night, $9 Reserve America Fee
Connections/Amenities: Water, Pit toilets, picnic tables, fire rings, river access
Cell service: Verizon 4G 1 bar, Tmobile nothing) – no booster.
TV with antenna: none
When to camp: Summer for wildflowers and to escape the heat, Fall for some of the best foliage in the state
Things to do: hike, photography, mountain biking, world-class fly fishing, off-road driving, hunting, rafting/tubing
Dogs Allowed?: Yes
Temperatures: Higher altitude (8,600′), cooler temperatures
Travel Advisory: Cottonwood Pass from Buena Vista to Taylor Canyon will be closed throughout all of 2017 for a paving project from Taylor Park to the top of the pass. You can take the road from Buena Vista to the top of the pass, but will have to turn around at the Gunnison/Chaffee County line.
Taylor Canyon is one of my favorite places to camp. It has a rugged beauty with towering cliffs and a river with mountain snowmelt running through it. I usually camp at Onemile Campground, which has electric connections and good cell service, but they had no empty sites, so my sister-in-law, Nina and I decided to find a spot at one of the other many campgrounds in Taylor Canyon. Taylor Canyon is a popular area and although there are some walk-up sites, we knew we would have limited options as mid-July is the height of the wildflower season in Crested Butte and the cool mountain air is a refuge for residents of Texas and other states with scorching summer heat. We made on-line reservations and landed at Rosy Lane.
We were traveling from Mt. Evans, having spent the night at Echo Lake Campground, and took a leisurely trip with stops at Walmart in Frisco to replace a broken hitch pin, and stops at scenic locations throughout the Collegiate Peaks as we made our way through Leadville, Twin Lakes, and Buena Vista, stopping at one of my favorite ice cream stands, K’s Dairy Delite, On our way over Cottonwood Pass, we stopped and took brief walks to soak in the views and just before we reached the reservoir in Taylor Park, we came across a moose enjoying the afternoon sun. We reached Rosy Lane in time to set up camp and head out to scout the wildflower in Crested Butte.
Rosy Lane campground is a beauty, nestled right along the Taylor River between Almont and Taylor Reservoir. This is a smaller campground with spacious sites and lots of shade. We stayed in site #12, a back-in site, directly across from the pit toilets on the south end of the campground. At Rosy Lane, you will fall asleep to the sound of the rushing river and have plenty of stars at night. There is a handicap walking path on the east end of the campground that goes down to the river. We dipped our toes into the cold mountain river water on a sunny afternoon as we enjoyed the relaxing sounds of the river.
The campground hosts were among the best I have ever interacted with and the facilities are spotless. The campground hosts were friendly, but didn’t hang around too long.
There was sufficient solar to recharge my battery each day, despite well-shaded sites. (2 – 100w panels, MPPT controller)
I didn’t bother using my cell phone booster during our stay. I think I would have received much better service if I would have connected the booster, but we were gone from before sunrise to well after sunset, so we did not have time. If cell phone service is critical, try Onemile down the road towards Almont, where the service is very strong. Signal is very strong in Gunnison and pretty strong in Crested Butte. Along Taylor Canyon, service goes in and out.
There are no dump facilities at Rosy Lane. Your dump station options are at the campground at the Taylor Reservoir, Crested Butte Sanitation, The Tall Texan (propane available there, too) or Gunnison Sanitation.
Nearby, in Almont, you will find a post office and some fishing resorts that offer dining. I have never stopped at any of those places. Taylor Park has a small general store with limited supplies. Gunnison has a small Walmart, a City Market Grocery Store, McDonalds, and a number of small stores and eateries. A western heritage museum can also be found in Gunnison as well as Western State University. It is well worth your time to take a morning or afternoon and drive down to the Hartman Rocks Recreation Area for some very interesting rock formations with distant mountain views. This area is very popular with mountain bikers.
Crested Butte, is Aspen lite. There is a bit of the artsy flair with a town that seems to be run by millennials. I find food prices higher in Crested Butte than other locations but I have never had a bad meal in town. The scenic locations around CB are far too many to mention, but be sure to stop at the Visitor Center if this is your first visit for a map and advice on which flowers are in bloom or where the foliage has reached peak, if you visit in the fall.