Cove Campground is a secluded four-site campground along the South Platte River in Elevenmile Canyon. This Pike National Forest campground, located at 8,850 feet, is open from May to early October. Each site has a picnic table and fire ring. Three sites accommodate small RVs with back-in spurs up to 34 feet long. The other site is a walk-in campsite on the river bank. The campground has a vault toilet, water pump, and dumpster. Reservations are accepted. Cove Campground is a good camping spot since it’s easy to access the river for fishing and surrounding cliffs for climbing. Up the road from Cove is a picnic area with tables and a vault toilet and 23-site Spillway Campground.
- Cove Campground, 48 miles west of Colorado Springs, is southwest of Lake George and U.S. 24. Reach the campground by driving west from Colorado Springs on U.S. 24 for 39 miles to Lake George. Turn left or south on Park County Road 96 and drive a mile to a junction with County Road 244. Keep right on gravel road 96 and drive 10 miles up Elevenmile Canyon to the campground. Turn right onto a gravel road and drive 0.1 miles to the campsites.
- The campground is popular on summer weekends and holidays so reserve a site from four to 180 days in advance. An additional fee is charged for advance bookings. There is a two-night minimum stay on weekends and three-night minimum stay on holidays if you reserve. A day-use fee is charged at the Elevenmile Canyon entrance.
- Up to eight campers can stay at each site. All vehicles must be parked on designated parking spurs, with a maximum of two vehicles per site. No off-road parking is allowed. Fires are allowed unless restrictions are in place. Dead and downed wood can be picked up for fuel, otherwise purchase firewood at Lake George.
- Upper Elevenmile Canyon is a stunning place to visit with the clear South Platte River riffling over boulders and forming deep pools filled with trout. This river section is a gold medal catch-and-release area for fly fishermen. Pine Cone Dome, looming above the campground, is a popular cliff for rock climbing with numerous routes of various grades, while Icebox Wall across the canyon offers hard climbs.
Recommended season(s): Mid-May to mid-October.
—Stewart M. Green