Dowdy Lake Campground Camping Review 10

Rating: 4.9/10. From 87 votes.
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Dowdy Lake Campground Overview

Dowdy Lake Campground is located near Red Feathers Colorado on County Road 74e also knows as Red Feather Lakes Road. Dowdy Lake is a medium sized lake of about 110 acres of water. The campground is fairly large and surrounds about half of the lake. Many of the campsites are near the water. However, if you want to stay away from the bugs and wind, there are campsites up in the trees. This is a very popular spot to go camping. You will want to make sure to get camping reservations early as possible . Many people use this as a day trip destination. It can get quite busy during the peak season and on the weekends. So be prepared for larger crowds of outdoor enthusiasts here at Dowdy Lake Campground.Dowdy Lake Campground Camping Review

Reserve a Campsite at Dowdy Lake Today!
Driving Directions:
From Fort Collins, take Highway 287 north for approximately 24 miles to Livermore. Turn west on County Road 74 and continue about 23 miles to Dowdy Lake Road. Turn right, then another right onto Dowdy Drive and continue to the campground.
8,120 Feet
Total (62): Standard Electric (52), Tent Only Nonelectric (10)
Peak season is June through August. Walk in camping available year round.
Activities and Amenities:
Accessible Sites, Accessible Trails, Biking, Birding, Boat Ramp, Boating, Campfire Rings, Canoeing, Drinking Water, Electric Hookups, Fee Station, Firewood, Fishing, Grills, Hiking, Horseback Riding Trails, Host, Kayaking, Lake Access, Mountain Biking, Picnic Area, Self Pay Station, Tent Pads, Trailheads, Trash Collection, Vault Toilets, Wildlife Viewing, General Store, Off-Road Vehicle Trails, Restaurant, Visitor Center
Reserve a Campsite at Dowdy Lake Today!

Dowdy Lake Campground Campsites

The campsites here at Dowdy Lake Campground are well maintained and looked after. Each campsite is well marked. Most are spaced out well to give each campsite a little room. The bark beetle problem has effected the area but not as bad as others. There are still a good number of trees in the campground. They are also working hard to plant and maintain new trees that are bark beetle resistant. Please make sure to watch out where you step. Stay out of the tree nursery’s they have set up.

Each campsite is bordered by thick rail road ties filled compacted and leveled dirt and gravel. Each campsite has relatively flat parking. This is quite nice if you have a camper or RV. The area around the lake is hilly and it is nice to have flat areas for these vehicles. Each campsite also has a 14×14 large size tent pad. There are few extra areas to pitch a tent. If you have a second tent it will need to be pitched in the driveway.

Most campsites offer some shade but the trees here are thinning. It is a good idea to bring extra canopies for shade. Don’t tie tarps to the trees that are in your campsite. The camp host will have you remove them. They are very protective of the trees they have. Make sure to help preserve trees that remain in the campground by not tying rope to them or putting nails and screws in them.

Campsite Amenities at Dowdy Lake Campground

Each campsite in the Dowdy Lake Campground has wooden picnic table that are cemented in place. Remember to bring a tablecloth.  They are ADA tables though some of the sites are not ADA accessible. Double check your reservations for the sites that are accessible.

The fire rings at Dowdy Lake Campground are large and tall. These are good to help contain the fire. However, they are not great to allow the heat of the fire to get to campers nearby. This shouldn’t be problem with the area’s mild and warm temperatures. The fire pits have a grate that can be swung out of the way which is nice. Just be careful that it is not too hot to move.

The camp hosts and locals are very aware of the fire danger in this area. You should be too. An accidental fire here will quickly get out of control. Never leave your fire unattended. Please make sure any fires are dead out when you go to bed or leave the campsite. Completely dousing them to make ash soup is the best way to be sure they are out.

Remember to use local wood to help stop the spread of bark beetles. Never burn green wood or chop down living trees! Wood bundles can be picked up at the camp host. Since they are combating bark beetle kill-off in the area they usually have a good supply of wood here. Make sure to never take this wood anywhere. If you don’t burn it, leave it for the next camper. They will thank you! Plus, you will not contribute to the spread of bark beetles.

All the campsites that you can pull into with a vehicle have electricity. There are some walk-in campsites that do not. Be sure to double check your reservations when you make them.

If you have stayed at the Dowdy Lake Campground, please leave a comment below. Remember to mention the exact campsite. This will really help other campers that are thinking about going to Dowdy Lake Campground.

Amenities at Dowdy Lake Campground

Dowdy Lake Campground Camping Review - Nice CampsitesThere is not a lot of roughing it at Dowdy Lake Campground. There are a lot of campground amenities at Dowdy Lake Campground. It is a popular destination and they want to make sure their visitors needs are taken care of.

There is well water within walking distance of most campsites. Make sure that you do not clean dishes at a spigot. This can attract bears. Get your water and then clean your dishes in camp.

There are plenty of updated outhouses around the campground. These are also well maintained which is great. The outhouses are also equipped with lights. This is a great bonus to camping in a campground with electricity!

The biggest draw to this specific campground is the lake itself. Good fishing can be found all around the lake on the shore. Many also enjoy trolling or paddling around the lake. This is a wakeless water lake. It is wakeless water for good reason. The lake is full of many submerged boulders all around it. There are near the shore and out in the middle of the lake. Keep this in mind when you take a boat out onto Dowdy Lake. It is quite possible to run into a boulder out in the middle of the lake.

Dowdy Lake is a beautiful glacial lake with a nice groomed trail around it. It is an easy walk of a little over two miles. There are a handful of hikes and trail both in and around the campground. Just be sure you are on a public trail. There is a lot of private land in the area and it can be easy to stumble into an area you shouldn’t be in.

There is a café and general store at near the entrance to Dowdy Campground. These are great if you need some extra supplies or want to get out of the bad weather.

The cell service here is good. In fact, I get better cell service in the campground than I do in my house. Maybe that is a sign I should be camping more!

One last note, this is bear country. They often see bears in and around this campground. Please be bear aware and camp accordingly. Never leave food out. Always hide coolers and containers of food in your car. Do not take food or smelly things into tents or campers. If we can all keep these things in mind, the bears will learn to find food elsewhere. Unfortunately bears that learn to forage around humans and in campgrounds are often killed. So help out the camp and the wildlife in the area, be bear aware!

Activities Around Dowdy Lake Campground

There are a few other lakes nearby that can easily be enjoyed from Dowdy Lake Campground. Both West Lake and Parven can offer good fishing. Bellaire is a little further into the mountains. It can be a decent alternative if you strike out at the others.

A few miles down the canyon there are a couple popular hiking trails. Look for the signs for Lady Moon Trail and Mt. Margaret Trail. Many people like to take their horses up the Mt. Margaret trail.

If a more substantial store is needed besides the general store Red Feather Lakes is nearby with a handful of stores to fit most needs.

Further up the canyon is Beaver Meadows. Or you can head back down the mountain as Fort Collins is only 30 minutes away.

The Red Feather area has become a very popular destination in recent years and I am sure there are many more things to do outside of Dowdy Campground. However, if that is more your thing. You might be better off finding a cabin in Red Feathers or Beaver Meadows instead!

Dowdy Lake Campground Camping Review - Walk In Tent Camping

Final Thoughts on Dowdy Lake Campground

Dowdy Lake Campground is a nice family friendly campground close to the front range. It is a beautiful area with mild weather through most of the camping season. The campsites are taken care of. Campsites are well spaced which gives a feeling of having a little piece of the mountains to yourself. Having power, water, cell service, trash, and decent outhouses, Dowdy Lake Campground is a good place to go “camping-lite”.

This is a well-known campground. Expect it to fill up fast and early during peak times and the weekend. The campground stays full through most of the camping season. Be sure to plan ahead and reserve early if you want to camp here. When you arrive expect to have a full and bustling campground. It may be full and a little cramped at times but the trees and interesting geology help to break up the crowds and give each group a little wilderness of their own.

If you have stayed at the Dowdy Lake Campground, please leave a comment below. Remember to mention the exact campsite. This will really help other campers that are thinking about going to Dowdy Lake Campground.

Reserve a Campsite at Dowdy Lake Today!
Rating: 4.9/10. From 87 votes.
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10 thoughts on “Dowdy Lake Campground Camping Review

    • Camper T

      Dowdy has water spigots in the campground. These will be on through September. If you are looking for more RV style hookups you might search around Fort Collins or maybe in Red Feathers itself.

  • Linda

    What a beautiful camp ground!!! The sites are ridiculously large, with plenty of room between sites. Often even treed areas between sites. Amazing views. Great places to walk, had so much fun on our inflatable canoe! So quiet and peaceful. We are coming back and staying longer. We had site 61. We loved it. Next time we will get a site right along the lake so we can put the canoe in for short rides anytime. Although it wasnt hard carrying it down from 61. Plenty of wood there, too. It really was so nice.

  • wayne dowdy

    I live in Mt. I would like to visit next year. I’m a wild life artist and landscape painter. I would love to visit. Hope to see you soon

  • sylvia

    We visited a friend who owns a house at Dowdy over the weekend and we were highly impressed!! The lake is wonderful and the trail around the lake is fun just casual walk. There are a few areas where you have to go through water to get to the other side, it would be nice if there would be a board over it for people who have a hard time navigating. We planing on camping there soon but I see reservations are difficult to reserve this time of year, fortunately we have a friend by the lake so we can still use the amenities. Thanks for this wonderful get away.

    • Camper T

      Glad you had fun. We went camping up there recently as well. The water is higher than it has been in a long time. That is the cause of the some of the issues on the trails. Normally the water level is well below those.

  • Camper T

    Just got back from a great trip up to Dowdy and wanted to say that the water is high and the fish have no signs of anchor worm this year. That is good news!

    Other then that the place is nice. The frog croaking was fantastic to go to sleep to at night.

  • Camper T

    There have been spots on the stocker fish in Dowdy this summer. After talking to the ranger there on 9/22 it was confirmed that these fish have anchor worm. It is a parasite that is common with “bad batches” of stocker fish. It also only presents itself when the waters are abnormally warm. They verified that it is OK to eat the fish with anchor worm.

    After hearing a couple dozen different reasons and excuses why these fish (among others around the state) have had these spots I figured it would be useful to get the verified cause out where others would find it.

    The ranger said that the anchor worms can tend to make the fish feel sick and not terribly active. Places with these anchor worm outbreaks tend to have worse fishing than there norm.