Lessons Learned: Camping at Mueller State Park


We went camping at Mueller State Park for the first time and it blew us away! I had heard it was a super family-friendly spot, but I really had no idea until we got there, so here are our lessons learned!

First things first!

Be sure to read Colorado Camping Tips for Families, where you can learn the best tips for general camping in Colorado. Then, you can come back here to plan your Mueller camping trip!

Although many of the campgrounds are closing for the winter season, it is never too early to start planning a spring trip, especially since the best campsites can and should be booked six months out. (Unless, of course, you are braver than my family and like to camp in the winter, then by all means, don’t wait!)

Mueller’s “hike-in” tent sites aren’t what they sound!

At first, we were slightly intimidated by “hike-in.” In fact, so much so, we picked a campsite close to the parking spaces and the bathroom because we were nervous about having to truly “hike-in.” The website said they weren’t more than .5 miles, but without seeing with our own eyes, it was difficult to trust the terrain. We couldn’t be sure how uphill it would be and how private the sites were for going to the bathroom if you were too far from the outhouse.

Now that we have been, I would have picked a site at the end of the loop! They provide wheelbarrows to help you get your stuff to your site. (Many families also brought their own carts!) AND a bear locker, which we lovingly called our pantry! The thought of having to walk a cooler back and forth to the car was also a reason we stayed close to the lot. Surprisingly, our cooler fit inside the bear locker so we didn’t have to worry about that at all!

Mueller has a ton of family activities!

We always camp with books, pocket knives for whittling and lots of cards and other games. I hope my kids will entertain themselves in the woods, but I also equally like to be prepared if that falls to the wayside. But we didn’t use any of it! (Well, obviously they whittled, because who doesn’t love to use a pocket knife?!) Just in the weekend we were there, we did so much! We took a salamander-hunting hike. We checked out the awesome nature center. My boys took a fly-fishing class. And our very favorite, we got to see Saturn (among other celestial objects) with the Colorado Springs Astronomical Society! We had to pick and choose because we couldn’t do everything!

Mueller is close to town.

I apparently left the delicious breakfast burritos I made ahead in our freezer at home. So, our first breakfast wasn’t in the cooler like I thought. Gratefully, Woodland Park is super close. My husband was able to run to the store for a last-minute save. Obviously not ideal, but as a mom of three, it gave me a lot of peace the rest of the weekend that if an emergency did happen, or we realized we forgot something, it could be easily remedied.

Library Backpacks are worth it!

Our local library (High Prairie Branch of Pikes Peak Library District) had these fancy backpacks on display behind the counter. Weeks before, my kids were curious so we took a look. They are actually part of their State Parks program and 100 percent worth the check-out! We picked one up the day before our trip and had a blast! There were wildlife guides, pond nets and bug magnifying boxes, and binoculars among so much more. Our favorite was the water testing strips so we could test the water we brought from home against the water from the pond. 10/10 recommend checking one out!

So, there you have it! My tips for camping at Mueller State park. We hope you love it as much as we do! Do you have another favorite family camping spot? Share it in the comments!


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