Good Morning from Rocky Ridge

11 06 2011
Eleven Mile, Rocky Ridge, Site #142

Eleven Mile, Rocky Ridge, Site #142

We’re about 2 hours south of home at Eleven Mile State Park and parked at site #142 in the Rocky Ridge campground. There are 9 different campgrounds with over 300 sites scattered along the north and south shore of this 3400 surface acre reservoir. Rocky Ridge campsites are arranged around 5 loops (A, B, C, D, E), 3 with electrical ($20/night) and 2 without ($16/night). Appropriately named, these campsites are just on the edge of the thick pine forest that descends from nearby foothills and are surrounded by rocky outcroppings and scattered ponderosa pines. All of the other campgrounds around the lake are much more barren, with just scrub brush for privacy and wind screening.

Once named Granite Canyon, Eleven Mile Canyon was an important route between the prosperous front range cities of Denver and Colorado Springs and the mines of South Park. Numerous mining camps were established along the route, with the largest being Howbert, consisting of a telegraph office, post office, grocery store, drugstore, butcher shop, hotel, two saloons, sawmill, depot, schoolhouse, cemetery, 25 houses and a 42-car capacity passing track. In 1926, the rapidly growing city of Denver, seeking backup water resources, began survey work that would eventually lead to the construction of a dam across the Eleven Mile Canyon. This dam created the Eleven Mile Reservoir, and inundated several small mining towns including Howbert. Today, one of the small campgrounds on the south shore is named Howbert Point.

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