Photo By: Rick Price.

Ansel Watrous Campground

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The Area

The popular Ansel Watrous Campground is a wonderful place to camp beside the Cache la Poudre River near Fort Collins. The campground is located 23 miles northwest of Fort Collins, just off of CO 14 in Poudre Canyon. The sites scatter along the river bank among shady stands of ponderosa pine trees. The campground has 16 sites divided into two loops. The upper loop is accessible to all recreational vehicles (no hookups; parking spurs range from 25 to 45 feet long) and is open year-round, while the lower loop is limited to vehicles under 30 feet (no trailers due to a tight turn) and open May through October (exact dates vary by year). Running water and vault toilets are provided, and firewood may be purchased from the camp host or by collecting deadfall in the forest. 

Pro Tips

  • Due to its proximity to Fort Collins, Ansel Watrous Campground is heavily used. Reservations are accepted and may be made between four and 180 days in advance.
  • Poudre Canyon offers many excellent recreational opportunities. Whitewater rafting, kayaking, and angling for a variety of trout and other species are available on the river, and trailheads are accessible for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding.
  • Each site accommodates up to eight people, and features a tent pad, fire pit and grill, and picnic table. Be advised that drinking water is only available through late September; the camping fee is reduced by 25% when water is unavailable.

Recommended season(s): Year-round.

Brett Green & Stewart M. Green


Area Arapaho & Roosevelt National Forests, Pawnee National Grassland
Number of Camping Sites 16
Amenities Vault Toilets
Fees Check official website for fees.
Dates of Operation May - October
Phone Number Reservations: 1-877-444-6777
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