Hike over fourteeners and enjoy world class fishing on a camping excursion near Monument.
Monument, CO is a gateway to outdoor adventures. Sitting about 50 miles south of Denver and 20 miles north of Colorado Springs, Monument offers easy access to some of the best urban amenities as well as forests and mountains in the state. Year-round options for camping in tents, cabins, and RVs surround the area. And natural attractions like San Isabel and Pike National Forests offer extensive hiking trails along some of the most iconic fourteeners (mountain peaks that have an elevation of at least 14,000 feet), as well. Anglers may want to try Lake Pueblo State Park, which delivers the perfect spot for fishing and water sports.
West of Monument sits San Isabel National Forest. Encompassing over 1,750 square miles and containing 19 of the state’s fourteeners, it’s a dream for hikers and mountain climbers. The forest features nearly 800 miles of hiking trails through meadows, forest passes, and six designated wilderness areas. Turquoise Lake Recreation Area is the most popular developed camping area, with seven campgrounds that feature flush toilets and a centrally located dump station. Twin Lakes Recreation Area is also popular among anglers and boaters, thanks to a convenient boat ramp and campsites right along the shoreline.
Just west of Monument, Pike National Forest covers about 1,730-square-miles and contains natural gems like Pikes Peak, Kenosha Pass, and the Continental Divide. Devil’s Head Lookout is also a must-see spot that includes a 2.8-mile trail through a forest of pine and aspen trees. It culminates in 143 steps up to a U.S. Forest Service fire lookout tower for a 360-degree view. Hipcampers can choose from dozens of serviced campgrounds for tent and RV camping in the forest as well as rustic log and modern two-story cabins.
About an hour south of Monument sits Lake Pueblo State Park, which encompasses about 10,000 acres of land, including 60 miles of shoreline around Lake Pueblo. Lake Pueblo is a hot spot for fishing, bringing anglers from all over to catch bass, catfish, rainbow trout, carp, and a dozen other fish species. The lake is also perfect for swimming, kayaking, and tubing. On land, find miles of hiking trails that wind through 200-year-old juniper trees to the Arkansas River. The park also has 393 campsites with picnic tables, paved parking, and fire pits. Arkansas Point and Northern Plains Campgrounds have electricity, along with showers, flush toilets, playgrounds, and dump stations. These sites fill up on weekends between Labor Day and Memorial Day, so reserve spots early.
Monument is most popular during warmer months, particularly from Labor Day to Memorial Day. July is the warmest month with average highs around 86°F. However, anglers should head to Lake Pueblo during spawning season in March and April for prime fishing. Snowsporters should check out the area in winter, when parks open designated snowmobile routes and cross-country skiing trails along with downhill skiing and snowboarding slopes. December can get frigid, with an average high of 40°F, but cold-weather campsites are available.