Our new hometown of Prescott, Arizona is lovely – but nothing beats the Colorado high country in the summer! And by high, I mean a place to camp, bike, hike, and boat – all above 11,000 feet, with the surrounding mountains all towering another two to four thousand feet higher. Yes, we were in 14’er country!

I should have taken a picture of how much stuff we transported over 8 hours to our favorite Colorado camping destination. Paddleboards, bikes, fishing gear, food for a week, my son’s remote control Traxxas car, and more stuffed animals for my daughter to camp with than some kids own in their entire lifetime.

But when you pull up to a site like this, you’re glad to have brought all those toys to enjoy out on the trail and in the water.

This little 3-mile section of singletrack is where my kids experienced their first singletrack mountain bike riding 5 years ago.  A post from that earlier trip shows my daughter charging through the forest in her Pink Strider. She is now quite proud to be on a 20″ Liv (women’s brand) bike with disc brakes, a setup she had to earn by logging a certain number of miles and vertical ascent with her old bike.

Since I’m usually the one behind the camera, my wife volunteered to snap a quick pic of the rest of us after we reached a saddle summit.

Just as I had talked 5 years ago about how proud I was of my then 2-year old and her Strider abilities, my 9-year old son really impressed me on this trip after climbing 850 feet in just two miles on a trail that started just above 11,000 feet! For a family who has adjusted to lower elevation Arizona living, the oxygen was a bit thin – but he kept climbing!

Here’s the valley view from atop a high perch at 11,850′. It was so good to see green grass, running water, jagged peaks, and wildflowers all around.

The boats came in handy too! Our pair of Isle Standup Paddleboards were put to good use throughout the week. I recently discovered how convenient Scotty Mount accessories like a fly rod holder are for kayaks and paddleboards, especially with the Isle Sportsman’s pre-installed mounts, but even with the Stick-On Mount that will adhere to any inflatable SUP like our Isle Explorer.

My son was quite proud to be the only person on the lake (our family or otherwise) to catch a fish that weekend. I was just happy to see trout again!

Biking and boating in the Colorado high country from a lake-side campsite. Does it get any better than this?