Chambers Lake Camping Overview
Chambers Lake Campground is a great place to go high mountain camping. It is located in Roosevelt National Forest and is listed as one of their campgrounds. Chambers Lake Campground in about an hour and a half west of Fort Collins on State Highway 14. Chambers Lake is at about 9,200 feet in elevation. There are many well groomed campsites here and they are more private than most due to the thick woods. However, with the pine beetle epidemic, much of these trees may have been removed.
Chambers Lake itself is wakeless and quite large for a high mountain lake. It has many branches that fan out, giving fisherman and boaters plenty of room to spread out. Due to the high elevation, the water here is always cold, so you will only find cold water fish such as trout and cutthroat.
Chambers Lake Campground is a nice place to camp if you don’t mind the chilly mountain air and crisp cold nights. However, if you are looking for a nice warm camping experience you may want to try some other campground below 8000 feet. The night temperatures can get below freezing here at just about any time of year.
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Chambers Lake Campsite Details
Chambers Lake Campground is one of the nicer high country campgrounds in Colorado. This makes it quite busy during the summer and it can be difficult to get reservations here.
The roads at Chambers Lake Campground are paved all around the lake which is great as it keeps the dust down during those hot summer days. Since the roads around the campground are more established than many, and the forest here is thick, there is little room for any extra parking at the campsites. Many campgrounds have room for a car or two or an RV of medium size, up to 30 feet or so. However, there are few sites here that have room for an extra car to be parked or an RV or camper that is too long. If you need more than 30 feet, you may want to find another place to camp. If you are going camping with a group of friends or family make sure to car pool as much as you can.
The campsites at Chambers Lake Campground are well groomed and taken care of. The areas of each campsite that you occupy are flat and cleaned up between visits. There are rail road ties that border all of the parking areas, picnic tables, fire rings, and tent pads. Pathways are well marked and sturdy stairs are put in places where they are needed.
The tables at the campsites here are large solid wood and concrete tables that are secured in place. You shouldn’t have to worry about them being moved around or wobbly. They even extend over on the ends to allow for wheelchair access or to act more like a counter top than a table. Make sure that you bring a camping tablecloth though, as you can never be sure who might have abused the campsite before you.
The fire rings at Chambers Lake Campground are a mismatch of the normal kinds you will see around most campgrounds. Some are low to the ground, fixed grate styles, but some are large or tall. It seems like the leftovers from renovating the other campgrounds in the area were used here! Each campsite also has a BBQ stand which is great for cooking. These are nice because you can get a good hot bed of BBQ coals going for grilling while having another fire for the traditional roasting of hot dogs. Or you can just use one or the other depending on your needs for your camping trip. Either way having the choice is very nice.
The tent pads here are a little smaller than in other campgrounds, so large tents are going to overflow some. However, most of the tent camping pads are at least 12×12 which is plenty for your small and medium sized tents. A few of the double campsites have one very large tent camping pad, and several others will have two.
The campsites here at Chambers Lake Campground are nice all around. Generally they are spaced out further than in many campgrounds, which is nice for giving you some space between you and a neighbor. The thick trees help to give you a sense of having your own camping area and help to muffle the noise and keep the wind down. Being so high and near the continental divide it can get quite cold and windy, so the trees really help with that. Let’s just hope that the bark beetle epidemic spares this beautiful camping area.
Chambers Lake Campground Activities
Chambers Lake Campground has a variety of camping activities, but one of the main reasons people camp here is either to enjoy Chambers Lake or to have quick access to the many great and scenic hiking trails in the area.
Chambers Lake has an official boat ramp which is a concrete road. This is nice as it accommodates the larger boats; you just have to hope they obey the wakeless water rules here. The water in Chambers Lake can fluctuate dramatically depending on the irrigation needs. This exposes outcroppings and other hazards. It is a very good idea to obey the wakeless water rule or you may very well find yourself swimming in a cold mountain lake. Most boaters fish for trout here.
The fishing can be sporadic due to the high volume of people who enjoy the lake during the summer and the infrequent stocking of fish. Fishing from the shore can be a challenge depending on the height of the water. If the water has recently dropped, it will leave a wide band of mud around the lake that can be troublesome. Also, the shores of much of the lake are steep, so the large, flat, ideal fishing areas are few and far between. These are often sought out and claimed early in the morning and held all day.
Hiking here is great. The scenery in all directions is gorgeous. You are near the continental divide so you can see timberline not too far away. Depending on where you are looking and how clear the air is you can see for many miles. Many people use campsites in this area to explore this beautiful country and the many trails in the area, such as the Big South Trail, Zimmerman Trail, and the Cameron Pass Connection. If you are going to go out hiking make sure you go prepared!
There are many prime locations for rock climbing in this region too. It is all part of Roosevelt National Forest so you will have great access to many locations around Chambers Lake Campground. Just make sure you let someone know where you are going and when you plan to return.
There are also a few nice picnic areas at Chambers Lake Campground to enjoy. On your way to the boat ramp there is a place for picnicking as well as a playground for kids.
It’s a good idea to be extra vigilant with kids and pets while you are up camping at Chambers Lake Campground. The woods are thick and the shores of the lake are steep. Make sure you set boundaries and keep an eye on them as they will be able to get lost or hurt here much easier than they could at other campgrounds.
Chambers Lake Campground Camping Summary
Chambers Lake Campground in Roosevelt National Forest is a really nice high country campground. The campsites here are well spaced out. The campground is well cared for and you will really get the sense of going out camping in the wilderness and still staying in an official campsite. The weather here can be fickle and it is colder here than many places in Colorado. Even in the middle of the summer it can freeze overnight and even snow. Fishing on a boat and hiking are the prime activities at Chambers Lake Campground besides just hanging out and appreciating nature. The shore fishing can be rough and it is not the best place for kids. However, if you are looking for a good camping experience somewhere in the mountains with lots of trees, and don’t mind being chilly, Chambers Lake Campground should be a place on your list of areas to go camping. However, if you want a warm and cozy camping experience for you and your kids, you may want to try something that is a lower in elevation and not so “far out in” the wilderness.Reserve a Campsite at Chambers Lake Today!
If you have been camping at Chambers Lake Campground please post your likes, dislikes, and suggestions. Your fellow campers would love to hear from you!