Sunday, September 14, 2008

San Luis State Park

Location: San Luis State Park, Colorado

Click for Larger Image of the Sangre De Cristo MountainsAs we have been traveling throughout Colorado, we have had the pleasure of staying in several state parks, and found them all to be wonderful. The only negative is their pricing policy -- in addition to the campsite fee, each vehicle must either have a yearly pass or pay a daily fee of $6-7, depending on the park and season. The daily fee is assessed, in our case, on both the motorhome and the toad (the car in tow). It applies for non-motorized RVs, too -- so a pickup pulling a trailer or fifth wheel would also get charged twice. They don't state this policy very clearly on their literature or website, so a lot of RVers get upset when the check in only to find their daily fee is $14 more than they expected.

We stayed last night in the San Luis State Park in southern Colorado, and the picture above shows the view from the RV window. The mountains are the Sangre de Cristo Range, meaning "Blood of Christ," a name given to them because they sometimes turn reddish at sunrise or sunset. We can also see two of Colorado's "fourteeners" from here (mountain peaks that exceed 14,000 feet), and the Great Sand Dunes on Pinyon Flats at the foot of the mountains across the lake (visible in this photo).

If you look at brochures for RVs, you will often see beautiful vistas out each window -- canyons, rivers, or forests are popular. In reality, the usual view one has is the RV next door! This park gives you the real thing, however -- a beautiful view along with quiet, spacious sites.


Wandrin said...

There was a thread about this issue on the SKP forum. I sent an email (pointing to that thread) to the Colorado State Parks board suggesting a more equitable and similar to other states' pricing. I received a return email saying that they had forwarded my concerns to the fee setting board.

The pricing structure makes it very competitive with private parks. In the end, I use the state parks with their much larger spaces and scenery. It is much better than being parked in a parking lot of concrete and neighbors less than 12 feet away.

It's great that you are continuing to explore in spite of the handicap of a gimpy foot. Go for it.

Richard said...

Interesting. The cost on my morgage is much higher daily than your rig (including a car in tow)is for the Park. And the view through your window is much nicer. Hard to be too sympathetic.

Tom Warfield said...

$14 a day for RV & car? And on top of the $15-20 or whatever the campground fee is. What a ripoff.

I was thinking of spending a couple months in SW Colorado next summer and may have to rethink it.

What does the annual pass cost?

O. B. Sirius said...

Hi, Tom --
The yearly pass for the first vehicle is $65, the second is $20. So for $85 you get yearly passes for both. If you plan on spending a lot of time here, the added cost per night would be low. The parks we've stayed in have been very nice, and we decided the extra cost was worth it as we'd be in Colorado for a while. My main objection is that they don't make this clear up front so RVers can decide before they drive up. SW Colorado is beautiful -- you will like it if you decide to make the trip. Check the park's website for State parks with campgrounds -- not all of them have them.