We departed Glendo State Park and headed south on I-25 past Chugwater and Cheyenne and on west to Curt Gowy State Park.
Curt Gowdy State Park sits about 25 miles west of Cheyenne and 25 miles east of Laramie. It is named after sportscaster Curt Gowdy who hosted the long running TV show called “The American Sportsman” on ABC and who was also the longtime voice of the Boston Red Sox. He is a native of Wyoming and was awarded the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame and the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame.
The State Park is in the foothills of the Laramie Mountains with elevations around 6,500 to 7,500 feet. It has an extensive trail system for hikers, bikers, and horse back riders totaling around 45 miles.
There are 3 reservoirs (Granite Springs, Crystal, and North Crow) with 16 campgrounds scattered around the shoreline with a total of about 160 campsites most of which are dry camping but there are a few electric sites too. North Crow reservoir is about 5 miles away and is day-use only. There is no dump station on site but there are potable water spigots located throughout the park.
Twin Bays Campground is a small campground located on the south side of Granite Springs Reservoir. It is a semi circle design which you enter and head down a hill and then back up the hill to the main road. There are a total of 7 campsites with 4 at the bottom of the hill by the lake and the other 2 very unlevel campsites on the way up the hill as you exit the campground and the last one on the top of the hill.
Campground: Curt Gowdy State Park – Twin Bays Campground along Granite Springs Reservoir
Location: Cheyenne, Wyoming (24 miles west of town)
Site: TB-124 (back-in)
Services: dry camp
Comments: A beautiful area with a variety of shoreline campgrounds and campsites to meet everyone’s needs. Our campsite was very unique in that we were tucked up into the hillside with lots of privacy. We did not see any other campsite like this one. Our campground only had 7 sites which made it charming and peaceful. We loved this place and actually loved our campsite.
COVID Awareness: 10 out of 10. We had to go into the Visitor’s Center to check-in even though we had paid for reservations online. They had social distancing circles outside, masks required, and only one customer was allowed in at a time. The employee wore a mask and was behind plexiglass. Check-in went smoothly and efficiently.
We were here over Norm’s birthday so we wanted to celebrate in style and eat all those things we would not normally eat. And red meat and s’mores fall into those categories. We enjoyed breakfast over the campground with bacon! Yes, Bacon!!!
In the late afternoon, we had a lovely happy hour enjoying a bottle of bubbly followed by a steak dinner and then a campfire. We roasted a few marshmallows over the campfire and enjoyed some s’mores. A perfect birthday gift for me! Norm doesn’t get too excited with s’mores. Early birthday for Lisa? I DID have a special treat for him for desert but not telling.
One day while we were our exploring the area in our Subaru we got a low tire alert. AND at almost the same time we received an email from Subaru Starlink (Big Brother) telling us we had a low tire pressure. OK, now what. Norm checked the tire pressure and it seemed a bit low but nothing bad. BUT the nearest gas station was at least 30 minutes away. We figured we would have to tow it (via the RV) to Cheyenne and fill it with air there. OR put the spare tire on and tow it, just in case. This is where having a smaller RV is not ideal. Our 40′ diesel pusher had an air compressor and we would have just filled the tire right there.
That evening when the park volunteer came to strap down the trash containers to bear proof them I ran over and asked him where the closest gas station was (or anywhere for an air compressor). He confirmed it was Cheyenne but he had a little portable one. He brought it over the next day and Norm pumped up the tires. We love volunteers!! Thank you!!
Then we went for a wonderful hike. This turned out to be one of my favorite hikes ever (I feel like I say that a lot these days – old age?). There is a nice shoreline trail, aptly named Shoreline Trail, which runs along the shoreline right by our campground. It is an easy trail and goes for almost 5 miles.
There are a number of other trails that intersect Shoreline Trail and we took the Crow Creek Trail up to Pinball and over to the Horse Corrals and back along the shoreline. Great scenery, a terrific hike, a terrific day…until….
Along the way as we hiked Pinball Trail Norm alerted me to a biker coming down the hill fast. I quickly jumped to the side of the trail (edge) and tumbled over and fell into a bunch of cacti. There are hardly any cacti in Wyoming but I managed to find the one bunch. I fell backwards on a hill and hit my right hand, arm, elbow, shoulder, hip, and leg. I was FULL of cacti spines and a few scrapes. The biker apologized but it wasn’t his fault. We continued on back to the RV, which was still a few miles away, while pulling spines out while hiking. There might have been a bit of whining along the way back, not sure.
Once back at the RV Norm spent quite awhile with tweezers and double readers on trying to get the hundreds and hundreds of spines out of Lisa’s body. AND then his body. He picked up quite a few when he had to rescue me (upside down) from the trail. I ended up with a few bruises including my ego but none the worse for wear.
After picking away all the spines we both showered and cleaned all the wounds. The day was beautiful and sunny and warm and then a hail storm hit that afternoon!! A day in the life of being in Wyoming!
One day we took a drive around to all the campgrounds along the shores of Granite Springs Reservoir. With 12 campgrounds that was a lot so I didn’t take pictures of all of them. Most were nicely situated with great views of the lake, some had direct access to the lake and some only had views and no direct access, but all of them looked beautiful and would have suited us just fine!
We also took a drive down to Crystal Reservoir to check out the other 4 campgrounds. There are all lakefront and since Crystal Reservoir is further from the entrance to the park than Granite Springs Reservoir they seemed more peaceful and less crowded. By the way, Crystal Reservoir is smaller than Granite Springs Reservoir.
The Visitors Center is fairly new and had nice interpretive signs outside along with some trails. The center was closed due to COVID except for the check-in area but from what I could see it looked like it could be quite an interesting center to visit with a number of displays set up.
Another hike we took one day was up along Granite Ridge with lots of rocks, boulders, and pine trees. We had nice views of the lake along the way.
We did not stay long enough to explore all the trails that we wanted to and we both agree that we needed much more time here. We were here 4 or 5 days and it was a perfect place to hike, enjoy the warm weather, and celebrate a birthday! This is definitely on our return list!