Colorado BHA Annual Chapter Rendezvous (May 31 – June 2, 2019)

The Colorado Backcountry Hunters & Anglers 11th annual Rendezvous is scheduled for May 31 – June 2, 2019 (nights of Friday, May 31 & Saturday, June 1). We will be setting up camp at the Lakeview campground in the Pike-San Isabel National Forest (between Leadville and Buena Vista) near the Twin Lakes Reservoir. Mount Elbert (14,433 ft.), Colorado’s highest peak, is in the vicinity along with plenty of fishing and other hiking options, including the Colorado Trail.

Visiting Camp Hale (17 miles north of Leadville) is also an option. This is the high-altitude camp where the Army’s 10th Mountain Division trained for combat during World War II. During January, Colorado’s U.S. Senator Michael Bennet and U.S. Congressman Joe Neguse introduced the Colorado Outdoor Recreation & Economy (CORE) Act, which would designate Camp Hale as our nation’s first-ever National Historic Landscape.1

With access to multitudes of fishing, hiking and other outdoor recreation opportunities, this is a family-friendly weekend you won’t want to miss. As explained by Colorado BHA Front Range Sponsor-Events Coordinator, Russell Bassett: “It’s a beautiful area with dispersed camping … you can cast out a bait gear rod for lakers and very large trout as well as catch nice-sized holdover bows, cutbows and the very occasional brown on the fly. They stock in late May … The catch rates trolling after that happens are ridiculous.”

2Travel-CO-Camp-NFs-Leadville_Area-Lakeview_Campground.jpgWe have reserved campsites C1-C8 (an entire loop of the campground), which can accommodate some 64 people and 16 cars (maximum capacity, but tight, so consider carpooling if possible). We’ll likely run out of space in Loop C by early afternoon on Friday, so also consider reserving a site in Loop A or B (all these sites are reservable). Loops H and G are non-reservable/first-come, first-served. There’s also dispersed camping in the vicinity.

Directions to camp from Leadville: drive south 15 miles on Highway 24, turn right on Highway 82 and travel 4 miles to Lake County Road 24. Turn right on Lake County Road 24, and go 1 mile north to the Lakeview campground (on the left).

Overall, this will be a relaxed, mostly unstructured “get acquainted” weekend. The event will begin as folks drift in Friday (June 1) afternoon and evening, with an extended social hour and, weather permitting, a group campfire. On Saturday we’ll disperse to hike and fish during the morning and early afternoon before reconvening for presentations/speakers (tentative/TBD), starting at 2:00 pm. 

At 4:00 pm, we’ll start a general membership meeting, where we can exchange ideas, congrats, frustrations, etc. The membership meeting will be followed by a group wild game cookout, with Colorado BHA supplying sides (i.e., chips/dip) and you (members), hopefully, sharing some of your hard-earned wild game. We’ll begin breaking camp Sunday morning and afternoon.

If you are planning to attend, please let chapter co-chair, David Lien, know a couple weeks in advance. In addition, if you are willing/able to contribute any of the following, also let David know:

  1. A few loads firewood will be useful.
  2. Extra water jugs to assist with extinguishing campfires.
  3. We always seem to come up short on propane stoves (Coleman, two-burners, will do), along with tables, for group cooking.
  4. Again, any wild game you can contribute will be greatly appreciated.

Again, email David (dlien2@yahoo.com) a couple weeks in advance if you think you’ll join us so we know how many to plan for, and let him know if you can contribute some wild game, water jugs, a propane stove/tables or firewood. We will send out reminders as the Rendezvous weekend nears, and we’ll post announcements/notices on the BHA Events webpage, CO BHA Facebook page and on Instagram. We look forward to seeing you in camp!

See the links below for information/photos from the Colorado BHA 2018 Rendezvous:

-“Colorado Backcountry Hunters & Anglers 10th Annual State Gathering Recap.” Backcountry Hunters & Anglers: 7/9/18.

-Photos from the 10th Annual Colorado BHA Rendezvous in the Pike-San Isabel National Forest:https://photos.app.goo.gl/oX5ytyeyZYbuJdRV9

-Photos from the Camp Hale National Historic Site (north of Leadville), where the 10th Mountain Division trained for World War II:https://photos.app.goo.gl/3Z8c31TCZ2juRFA87

Founded by Mike Beagle, a former U.S. Army field artillery officer, and formed around an Oregon campfire, in 2004, BHA is the sportsmen’s voice for our nation’s wild public lands, waters and wildlife. With over 30,000 members spread out across all 50 states and 13 Canadian provinces and territories, including chapters in 39 states and two international chapters—in Alberta and British Columbia—BHA brings an authentic, informed, boots-on-the-ground voice to the conservation of public lands. Since the Colorado BHA chapter was founded by David Petersen (a former U.S. Marine Corps helicopter pilot) in 2005 (the first official BHA chapter), they’ve grown their boots-on-the-ground presence to over 2,500 dedicated hunters and anglers.[1]


[1] Katie McKalip. “BHA Membership Is Young, Active, Nonpartisan, Demographic Survey Shows: Two-thirds of members are 45 or younger, identify as Republican or Independent.” Backcountry Hunters & Anglers: 8/7/18.

About David Lien

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