Camping Turquoise Lake. Our weekend camping trip at Turquoise Lake in Colorado. Read all about Camping Turquoise Lake and the food that went along.
Sunset over Turquoise Lake. One of Colorado’s premier camping destinations. And our menu for camping food ideas.
Thursday, June 25: We’ve been looking forward to and planning for our first camping trip for weeks. Our plans were to head to Turquoise Lake early Friday morning with the car packed with camping food so we could eat well.
Where Is Turquoise Lake?
Picturesque Turquoise Lake is about 2 1/2 hours west of Denver, near Leadville. An every summer destination for us.
Where to Camp At Turquoise Lake
We’ve been camping at Turquoise Lake for 20 + years. Even though there are several camp ground available, we’ve always chosen Molly Brown. All campground choices are located in pristine Colorado forest settings. Molly Brown includes sites directly on the lake. We have camped at those sites, but it can be breezy and the cool air coming off Turquoise Lake can be chilling. Also the lake sites are very near the trail that leads around the lake. It can get busy at times. We like the upper loop sites, that are closest to the lower loop.
Campgrounds at Turquoise Lake include
- Molly Brown
- May Queen
- Baby Doe
- Printer Boy
If you’re interesting in camping food ideas, you’ll find some great ideas in this post.
Hiking Turquoise Lake
We love the trails for hiking, and the area is unique to add a couple of birds to our year list. Most years we find a Fox Sparrow in a marshy area on the North side of the lake and regular campground flyovers of Red Crossbills are always a treat. This photo is taken from the May Queen Campground, a great spot for bird watching at Turquoise Lake.
A short drive from Turquoise Lake, on Half Moon Road, you’ll find an extremely popular trail heads for Mt. Massive and Mt. Elbert.
Camping Food Ideas for 2 Days, 2 People
A carefully planned menu, a couple of hours of pre-cooking at home, makes camping meals a breeze. Let’s take a look:
Easy hiking trails around Turquoise Lake bring beautiful views of our Rocky Mountains.
Friday: June 26: Frolicking in our beautiful majestic Rocky Mountains means building big appetites. The tent is up, a long hike under our belts and settling into our camp chairs looking at the view over the lake with Mt. Massive as a back drop. (pictured above) It’s time for a glass of wine and dinner.
Friday evening’s plans were for this easy recipe for Sirloin Steak Kabobs. I purchased a good quality sirloin steak at Whole Foods, cubed the steak and prepared the killer marinade.
EASY to transport to the camping site. Just pack the steak cubes in a large zip lock baggie and let it steep in the wonderful flavors until ready to cook. I also pre-cubed some orange bell pepper and cut some green onions. Those can travel together in a smaller baggie. Save some of the pieces of vegetables for a side salad to go with the kabobs. When you’re ready to cook, just skewer and cook over the open fire or grill.
Prepackaged salads are wonderful for camping. I packed a bottle of purchased Italian Dressing, packed a tomato and used some of the bell pepper and onion chunks. Voila a delicious and easy salad for a side dish.
A can of Black Beans with Jalapenos makes a very easy side dish. Just make sure you’ve packed a can opener.
I know, I know, none of it really goes together; curried beef kabobs, Italian style-salad and Mexican beans, but hey we’re camping and it was delicious. We enjoyed a bottle of Snoqualmie Merlot. Serves 2 🙂
Tent Camping Breakfast
Saturday, June 27: Plans for Saturday breakfast are Biscuits and Gravy. Again, preparation at home makes this an easy meal at the campsite. I purchased slices of smoked bacon at the meat counter at Whole Foods, one breakfast sausage patty, one chicken cutlet and a package of cream biscuits.
I fried the bacon at home and placed in a plastic bag to transport in the cooler. With a tablespoon of the bacon drippings, I made a creamy gravy. I like to use canning jars to transport food in the cooler. I fried the sausage in a separate pan to crumble into the gravy. Whole Foods sausage just doesn’t produce enough fat to make a gravy, but sure does add flavor when tossed in. At the campsite flour and cut the chicken in half. Sautee the chicken cutlets in olive oil. Heat the gravy. Half the biscuits and layer with a chicken cutlet, a couple slices of bacon, plenty of gravy and serve open faced with a nice helping of colorful organic berries also purchased at Whole Foods. Not to worry, a long hike will ease the guilt. 🙂
Picnic Camping Lunch
Since we devoured such a large and heavy breakfast, I planned for a light lunch. We shared a Club Sandwich. From the deli counter at Whole Foods, I packed some shaved ham and turkey, an avocado and tomato to slice and had already pre-cooked a few slices of bacon. On your favorite whole grain bread spread some mayonnaise add slices of ham and turkey, top with some sliced avocado and tomato. At this point pepper the avocado and tomato and then sprinkle with some Italian Dressing. Top with bacon and place the top piece of bread. Slice sandwich in half and serve with an assortment of Whole Foods olives from the olive bar. We never leave home without them. Quick, easy and healthy.
Whole Foods had some great looking apricots, so I halved one and served it on the side.
Tent Camping Dinner, Night 2
Saturday Night Dinner is Spaghetti, a camping food tradition for us. I always make my own Marinara Sauce in advance at home. If you don’t make your own sauce, grab a jar of your favorite at the store. Serve with the remaining salad that you tossed together for last night’s meal and you’ve got an easy camping dinner.
We usually break down camp on Sunday morning to get a head start back to Denver. I-70 traffic becomes quite heavy in the afternoon. Breakfast was granola, yogart and berries.
Grocery List, camping for two. 2 days:
- 1 pound sirloin steak
- 6 slices bacon (half for breakfast sandwich and half for lunch sandwich)
- 1 round breakfast sausage patty
- 1/4 pound shaved deli ham
- 1/4 pound shaved deli turkey
- 1 chicken cutlet
- 1 large orange bell pepper (half for kabobs and half for salad)
- 1 bunch green onions (half for kabobs and half for salad)
- several button mushrooms
- 2 tomatoes (1 for salad and 1 for lunch sandwich)
- 2 avocado (1 for salad, 1 for sandwich)
- package of mixed berries
- 1 package salad greens
- A loaf of whole wheat bread
- A package of pre-made biscuits. Or a tube of biscuits to bake before you leave
- 1 package spaghetti
- 1 jar spaghetti sauce
- 1 jar Italian dressing (for salad and for lunch sandwich)
- Parmesan cheese
- Container of mixed olives
- Oil for frying
Why Trust These Recipes? Lea Ann Brown has lived, worked and played in Colorado for 45 years. She has immersed herself in the Colorado Culinary space, is a Culinary School Graduate and publishes her Colorado food Blog, Cooking On The Ranch.