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Old 05-07-2012, 02:48 PM   #1
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East through Durango and also Leadville, CO Camping

Anyone know the best place to stay in Durango CO. We are making our way east this summer and want to spend a few days in Durango on our way. Has anyone found a really good campground in that area or in Silverton and Leadville continuing east?
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Old 05-07-2012, 04:58 PM   #2
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We enjoyed our stay at Bayfield Riverside RV Park. About 13 miles out of Durango but a nice park.
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Old 05-07-2012, 05:13 PM   #3
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Alpen rose was a great campground. It has big sites and plenty of room. At the edge of town and on the road to Silverado.
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Old 05-07-2012, 06:48 PM   #4
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We are going through Durango this summer in June and staying for four days. After a lot of research and advice on this site we decided to make on reservations at Alpen Rose RV. Good luck and safe travels.
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Old 05-07-2012, 08:10 PM   #5
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We were in Alpen Rose two weeks ago and found it to be nice. Helpful staff, too. Just don't step in the Elk Duds.

There is a small campground in Silverton but it looked kind rough.

We just drove to Silverton and Ourey from Durango in the toad and were glad we did.

Enjoy the trip. It is beautiful country.
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Old 05-08-2012, 12:04 PM   #6
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We will be traveling from Durango to Aspen during our trip would like any information on the best way to get there in a 40' motor home and tow car. I have been exploring US 550 and US 50 and they seem to be narrow and steep. Has anyone used these highways and is there a better way even if a little longer to get to Aspen from Durango?
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Old 05-08-2012, 01:19 PM   #7
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Jim,

550 between Durango and Ouray is a fantastic drive but is a narrow with steep passes with extreme grades and high elevation, it is "doable" with the rig but best done in the toad. My recommendation would be to avoid it although, big trucks do travel it at times. Some great Jeep trails along the way too. (The photo is in one of the less extreme areas.)



The best way with the rig from Durango to Aspen, in my opinion, would be west to Cortez and then 145 and 62 to Ridgeway and then north on 550 and 50. There is still some mountain country but not nearly as difficult as 550. Form your avatar it looks like you may be familiar with mountain country driving. Honestly there isn't a real good way from Durango to Aspen without going the long way around.

I have not experienced a good RV park in Silverton or Leadville, doesn't mean they aren't there. There is dispersed camping available in both areas. The KOA in Ouray used to be just OK and there is a couple of decent parks in Montrose. If you like resort type parks Tiger Run between Frisco and Breckenridge is very nice and a relatively short drive to the Leadville area.

You are in for an awesome adventure! I love Colorado.
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Old 05-08-2012, 01:30 PM   #8
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Oh yeah, one of our favorite places to spend a few days is at McPhee reservoir just north of Delores (which is north of Cortez). It is COE? NFS? (don't remember) dry camping but a wonderful spot!
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Old 05-08-2012, 01:34 PM   #9
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We drove northeast out of Durango through Dolores and then up and over to Telluride. Stayed at Dolores River RV park. Very nice folks there. On the way to Telluride stayed at Matterhorn NF campground. Fantastic newly renovated. All of the NF CGs in that area were very nice. So if instead of coming along HI 160 you come HI 50 you can duck down at Montrose to reach Durango.

The park at Mesa Verde NP is also nicer but usually crowded so make reservations. If you don't reach all the way to Durango on that day consider Blanco River RV resort south of Pagosa Springs. A young couple purchased this park a couple of years ago and are making it a very nice place to stay.
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Old 05-08-2012, 01:45 PM   #10
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For RustyBear - I'm with Dale C on the route. We did that exact drive last year. Wouldn't (personally) want to do the 550 from Durango to Ouray in the rig. It's a beautiful drive, but way too many drop-offs and turns for us. We took it in the toad (which I DO recommend), but for our rig the route along 145 was much more relaxed. Some GORGEOUS country along 145 too. We actually spent several weeks camped in the mountains at Cayton NF and exploring the Lizard Head Wilderness. I've got pics of the campground we stayed at HERE and pics of the Wilderness area HERE. Man, I LOVE that area!! Would go back in a heartbeat.

After 145 we headed over to Ridgeway and stayed at the State Park there. Very nice!
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Old 05-08-2012, 01:51 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dale C View Post
Oh yeah, one of our favorite places to spend a few days is at McPhee reservoir just north of Delores (which is north of Cortez). It is COE? NFS? (don't remember) dry camping but a wonderful spot!
NFS. We stayed there too and loved it (pics HERE). They do offer some electric hook-ups (even a few FHU), but it's mostly dry-camping. Lots to explore around Dolores area incl. the Galloping Goose, the Anasazi Hertitage Center & Trail of the Ancients.
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Old 05-08-2012, 02:10 PM   #12
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550 is a great drive but can be a nail biter in the higer elevations. VERY steep drop offs and few guard rails. The day we drove it, it was raining in the lower elevation and began icing at the top which made it a bit interesting. Had to pull off at the top and take a few deep breaths. Beautiful country and am looking forward to visiting it again. Hope you enjoy your time there.
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Old 05-08-2012, 02:11 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Rusty Bear View Post
Anyone know the best place to stay in Durango CO. We are making our way east this summer and want to spend a few days in Durango on our way. Has anyone found a really good campground in that area or in Silverton and Leadville continuing east?
We live in Pagosa Springs, 55 miles east of Durango, and have traveled those roads many times.

Highway 550 from Durango through Silverton/Ouray to Montrose is beautiful, but it is a very steep climb out of Durango through Molas Pass and Red Mountain pass. As others have pointed out, the "Million Dollar Highway" section is relatively narrow and has a steep drop off to the west. But it's beautiful! We see 18 wheelers, Greyhound buses and RVs on the road frequently. BUT - it's steep, twisty - and did I mention beautiful?

This link may be of assistance for CGs in Colorado:

Colorado RV parks & campgrounds, camping information, camping Buena Vista, Salida, Leadville, Creede, South Park

In Durango, there is also a KOA campground on the east side of town. Don't think you can go wrong with any of the CGs around Durango.

Silverton is a rustic mining town and fun to see - it's the northern terminus of the narrow gauge railroad from Durango. It's at 9300 feet elevation. The only RV park I'm aware of there is:

Silver Summit RV Park and Jeep Rentals, Silverton Colorado

Be sure to check out the Handlebars Restaurant and Saloon, and sit at John Wayne's table - he went there when filming movies in the area.

If you plan on going from Ouray ("The Switzerland of America", and the northern end of the Million Dollar Highway) to Montrose on highway 550, it's an easy drive. Turn east on Highway 50, and it will take you to Poncha Springs/Salida, then turn north on Highway 285 through Buena Vista (pronounced byoon-uh vista locally) and on to Leadville. Also a relatively easy drive.

Leadville is way up there (10,152 feet), and it too is a fun mining town to visit. There are several RV CGs I'm aware of:

Leadville, Colorado Camping at the Leadville RV Corral - Reservations

camping camp grounds Leadville, Colorado Sugar Loafin Campground

As others have pointed out, just be aware that some of the passes are very steep, some narrow and some very twisty, and all of them are beautiful! The attached picture is of the narrow, twisty section of the million dollar highway, northbound. You'll be on the inside of the road headed north, which is the "best" side - the drop offs are on the west side of the highway. As you can see, there are no guard rails in this view.

Not sure how you plan to get to Aspen, but from Leadville, it's a relatively easy drive, except for some twisty sections.

Enjoy!
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Old 05-10-2012, 09:59 PM   #14
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Durango and Leadville

Below is a couple of links that will take you over to RV.NET. They are reviews of our Colorado trip from a few years ago. They are a bit long and may include more then you want. Hope they help. Would go back to both parks any time.

RV.Net Open Roads Forum: Leadville to Durango, CO Part 4 of Our Colorado Odyssey

RV.Net Open Roads Forum: RMNP to Leadville, Part 3 of Our Colorado Odyssey

Happy Camping!
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