The prospect of rafting the Colorado River is becoming more accessible for those deterred by permit challenges and intimidation of multi day boating. A newly approved boat-in campground, Kampa Lampa, is set to open in De Beque this August.
By early fall, visitors can start at the Parachute boat ramp off Interstate 70, paddle along the Colorado River for 10 miles, and find a primitive campground where they can spend the night. The cost ranges from $40-$50 per campsite or $10 per person.
However, Kampa Lampa guests will need to provide their own sleeping gear, food, fire pan, portable toilet, and other rafting necessities.
By next summer, the campground plans to offer more amenities, such as picnic tables and designated tent sites.
Kampa Lampa’s development took a year, with real estate agent Kathy Haas discovering the 7.5-acre parcel on the Colorado River while browsing Zillow in 2021.
The site’s primitive camping style was a deliberate choice to accommodate the surrounding ranchers and meet Mesa County’s requirements.
Mesa County Commissioner for District 2, Bobbie Daniel, expressed excitement for the ways Kampa Lampa will encourage outdoor exploration and support the local economy.
To prepare the site, Haas and her family have been working on clearing invasive trees and replacing them with native species, using a grant from the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
The campground aims to offer an alternative to the Ruby-Horsethief section of the Colorado River, which requires a permit and can be challenging due to its remote nature and history of lengthy rescues.
Kampa Lampa’s location provides a gentle 10-mile float between the Parachute boat ramp and the DeBeque takeout.
Curtis Englehart, executive director of the Grand Junction Economic Partnership, believes De Beque could benefit from more outdoor recreation offerings like Kampa Lampa. However, he cautions visitors to be mindful of overusing Mesa County’s recreational spots.
As private campground owners and operators, Kampa Lampa’s development represents a growing trend in the outdoor hospitality industry.
With increasing demand for outdoor experiences, private campgrounds have the opportunity to create niche offerings and cater to specific interests.
This trend allows for the diversification of available options for campers and encourages sustainable and responsible use of natural resources.
In conclusion, Kampa Lampa’s establishment provides an alternative option for those interested in rafting the Colorado River, addressing the growing demand for accessible outdoor experiences.
By offering unique accommodations and promoting responsible use of resources, private campground owners and operators like Kampa Lampa contribute to the sustainable development of the outdoor hospitality industry.