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The Pleasant Valley Camping and Cabins are located in Cimarron, Colorado, and offer a total of 21 accommodations for guest reservations. Among the options offered, there are ten RV sites, four designated tent camping sites, and seven cabins, all located on the banks of the Little Cimarron River. Each campsite and RV site provides a fire ring and picnic table, and all of the RV sites are back-in spaces. A café is located on the premises serving a variety of foods, including eleven flavors of pies that the café is well known for, according to Tito, one of the owners of the campground. There are a number of national parks and reservoirs nearby that offer guests the chance to hike, bike, ride ATVs, or engage in various water activities, namely at Black Canyon of Gunnison National Park, Blue Mesa Reservoir, Crystal Reservoir, and a considerable expanse of BLM land next to the campground.
Situated next to the Little Cimarron River is the Pleasant Valley Camping and Cabins. The 28-acre property has a total of 21 guest accommodations, with ten of those being RV sites, four dedicated to tent camping, and seven being cabins. Regardless of what type of reservation a guest makes, all of the units are on the banks of the river. Some common amenities at the RV and tent camping sites include a fire ring and a picnic table. Eight of the ten RV sites offer full hookups with 30-amp capabilities, while the other two offer water and electric capabilities, and all of the spaces are back-in spots.
Tito, one of the owners of the property, explains that each of the cabins offers different amenities depending on which option visitors choose to stay in. For example, five of the cabins offer kitchenettes while the other two provide guests with a microwave and refrigerator. Additionally, each cabin has a different number of people that can be accommodated. Should patrons need an additional bed, some houses can have an extra one added to the cabin for a fee.
There are some activities that guests can engage in during their stay. For those who have the equipment to do so, there is a catch and release pond on the premises that is geared towards youth. Tito also owns a number of sheep that patrons can watch and even feed, should they wish to do so. Next to the campground is a relatively large amount of BLM (Bureau of Land Management) land that guests are free to explore at their leisure. The Pleasant Valley Camping and Cabins is also close to a number of state and national parks that offer a variety of recreational activities, such as Blue Mesa Reservoir, where people can engage in a number of watersports, or Black Canyon of Gunnison National Park, which has a number of hiking and biking trails.
One of the most notable aspects of Pleasant Valley Camping and Cabins is the café that is located on the property. The menu features a number of wild game meats, including elk, buffalo, venison, and wild boar, as well as other more traditional offerings such as cold sandwiches, melts, burgers, and so on. The cafe's most well-known menu item is its pies, which Tito says are popular with patrons. Eleven flavors of pies are offered, with Tito’s favorite pie being the Fruits of the Forrest, a pie baked with a filling of apples, strawberries, rhubarb, raspberries, and blackberries.
When describing the atmosphere of the Pleasant Valley Camping and Cabins, Tito, one of the owners of the property, says that the park has “a cool atmosphere and a cool setting.” While the park itself doesn’t host any activities, guests are informed by the staff about other events that are taking place nearby that they can attend. They may also recommend things to do in the region surrounding the park, should patrons ask for them. The typical demographic of the campground tends to change throughout the year, as Tito says that “every month has its own group of people” who will stay at the campground. June and July are often the busiest times for the property, which is open from May through November. Hunting season, from September to November, also reportedly draws a lot of guests to the cabins and campground.
For those who stay at the park, there are a few important policies that Tito and Cydney ask that guests follow during their time there. One that they emphasize is that quiet time occurs each night at 10:00 PM. With regards to pets, Tito describes the park as pet-friendly; however, pets must be well-behaved and kept on a leash at all times while on the premises for the safety of both other people and the property’s sheep. Finally, smoking is not permitted in any of the cabins.
One of the hopes Tito has for the guests of the Pleasant Valley Camping and Cabins is that they will “feel like family.” Tito goes on to say that the property has a large number of repeat guests and that many of those guests feel like they are a part of his family. Tito and Cydney interact with their patrons often and will even invite some of them to dinner on occasion to learn more about them and share a meal. Being able to meet new people and hear about their experiences is one of Tito’s favorite parts of his job, whether those people are from around the United States or from other countries throughout the world.
The first building that was constructed on the property of the Pleasant Valley Camping and Cabins was the café, which is still being run on the property today. The property’s cabins and campground developed in the 1960s following the completion of Blue Mesa and Crystal Reservoirs' respective completions. In the years that followed, the park continued to operate as a campground, with RV sites being added at a later date. Cydney, one of the current owners of the property, started running the campground 16 years ago in 2006, with Tito joining her in 2012. Tito was originally a fishing guide in Missouri who moved to Colorado in part to be closer to nature.
Cimarron was established in 1882 and was a railroad town that had a large export of sheep and wool. The railroad ran through the canyon in what is now a number of reservoirs, including Blue Mesa Reservoir and Crystal Reservoir. When trains would stop in the town, they would be loaded with sheep, who would then travel to Denver to be sold. Visitors of the town today can visit the Cimarron Visitor Center to learn more about what life was like for the early settlers of the town and inspect a train that was used during that time period to transport sheep and other merchandise.