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Old 05-13-2010, 01:14 PM   #15
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Hi JimM68,
For me, there is no nice place to stay in the Estes Park area. The last three times I've been there have been very disappointed. I heard several of the CGs are owned by the same family. This explains the same shabby maintenance, poor staff training and rude staff. The CGs have tight poorly maintained roads. It is the only place I had to back out of a pull through site because one could not pull through due to the tight turn. Lastly, they are overpriced dirt sites.

Stay on the West side of RMNP. I will not stay in the Estes Park area again until I see several years of positive comments about the CGs.
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Old 05-13-2010, 03:34 PM   #16
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I've spent alot time in this area and will offer my suggestions. Traveling to Granby/Grand Lake will require you going over Berthoud Pass on Hwy 40 which is just as difficult as 34 thru RMNP. If you camp on the west side of RMNP you will be very discouraged with the scenery because of the recent damage done by the pine bark beetle. Completely forested areas have been cut down or are full of dead trees. Estes Park is starting to see the problem but is a few years off from noticeable damage. Most of the neat side trips and hikes in RMNP orginate from the Estes Park/Bear Lake area. Make sure you take your jeep up Fall River Road and I'd recommend the Mills Lake or Loch Vale hike. If the Rodeo is in town, your kids will enjoy it.
Leaving Granby, Route 125 north-bound is a good road with only an easy grade at Willow Pass. When you get to Wy I'd suggest a side trip with the Jeep up to Snowy Range Pass (hwy 130), it wouldn't take long and is beautiful. Have fun.
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Old 05-13-2010, 04:22 PM   #17
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Stay in RMNP at the Morraine CG...no hookups, but lots of water available....
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Old 05-13-2010, 10:33 PM   #18
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ok, how 'bout this one Riverview RV Park & Campground Rocky Mountains Big Thompson River
It's not owned by those same people who own 4 of the other estes park CG's. The pics look nice, except the few that show MH's seem to show them pretty darned close together...

I am leaning heavily toward keeping the bus on the east side of the park, the roads are just so much easier there... did enough crazy stuff last year... running the rogue river byway... climbing the old columbia river gorge highway, so narrow the trees were tuoughing the roof on BOTH sides!!!
Gimme a wide four lane and no more than a 6% grade
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Old 05-17-2010, 09:54 AM   #19
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As a CO resident who enjoys RMNP dozens of times each year, I can not endorse ANY of the CG's in estes or on hwy 34 east of RMNP.

They are primarily parking lots with a view "in my opinion". (and depending on where they put you that view might just be of the RV next to you)

There are literally 1000's of NPS and UFS camping areas that offer the "best" that the RM's have to offer...
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Old 05-18-2010, 02:07 PM   #20
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Hi Jim,

From all the posts, the available options seem to be well covered: Stay in the park itself, one of the Estes Park nearby campgrounds, or one further away and resign yourself to driving a little bit longer to get to the Park on a day basis.

With the crew you'll have with you, staying in the park would most likely require a daily trip or every other day trip to the dump/fresh water station. However, staying inside the park is special and worth some consideration.

To help out with showers, Dad's Laundry & Public Showers, (Estes Park Laundromats - Laundry Services in Estes Park, Colorado) in Estes is a combination laundry and public shower. But at about $5/shower, that can get a little pricey for 5 people; best to call and confirm prices.

The YMCA Of The Rockies (YMCA of the Rockies-Estes Park Center) in Estes Park may sell day use of their swimming pool which (I think) includes use of the shower room, at $5/day/person also; maybe there's a family plan. Again, best to give them a call and understand available services.

The one thing that the CG's in or near Estes Park have going for them is location - location - location. It always annoys me when a CG relies on that alone for their customer attraction; but when I want location over other considerations, that's what I'll do. Generally, for several days, especially if I'm going to be out during the day a lot, I can get by okay ... with an acceptable amount of grumbling on my part ...

There's also a Jellystone campground (Family Camping at Estes Park in Colorado - A Quality Camping Experience | Camp Jellystone) about 8 miles from the Park entrance. Some mixed reviews are at RV Park Reviews (RV Park Reviews :: Estes Park, Colorado ( CO ) - RV Parks and Campground Reviews).

Whatever you decide, have a great trip!

Wayne
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Old 05-18-2010, 10:16 PM   #21
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Sunday I made my reservation at Riverview in Loveland. It's only maybe 30 minutes to RMNP, and from the web at least, looks like a pretty nice place.

If the campgrounds in the park at least had shower buildings, I'd have stayed inside. Without them, for 3 days... just not possible. DW likes her shower everyday, and it's a proven fact that my crew will have an inch of standing water in the shower by noon on the second day if we don't have either remote showers or a sewer hookup.

The water and black tank aren't a problem, but my gray needs to be twice it's size.

I'll do a review on that rv park after the trip. Which is in mid July, too far off for my taste.

In the meantime... we'll arrive the afternoon of the thirteenth, a Tuesday, and leave by noon on the sixteenth, a Friday. We'll have 2 full days and a real Jeep to explore the area.
What should we see?
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Old 05-19-2010, 09:23 AM   #22
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Stillwater Campgrounds inside the park has showers:

"Description: ...

Located in north central Colorado, 6 miles southwest of Grand Lake. Campground is adjacent to Lake Granby. Facilities include restrooms, showers."
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Old 05-19-2010, 10:19 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimM68 View Post
Sunday I made my reservation at Riverview in Loveland. It's only maybe 30 minutes to RMNP, and from the web at least, looks like a pretty nice place.

In the meantime... we'll arrive the afternoon of the thirteenth, a Tuesday, and leave by noon on the sixteenth, a Friday. We'll have 2 full days and a real Jeep to explore the area.

What should we see?
At Riverview you will be almost an hour out from the park proper, so plan accordingly....

Things to do in RMNP

Rocky Mountain National Park - Things To Do (U.S. National Park Service)
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Old 07-14-2010, 10:56 PM   #24
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I thought I'd pull this bacl up because it is happening right now. I write you today from my rig, camped at Riverview RV, Loveland, CO.

I'll do a regular review also, and pictures are on my blog, here Denver is a State of Mind But... This is easily the best commercial campground I've ever had the pleasure to stay at. The ambiance is that of the best state park campgrounds, but with full hookups and great amenities.

Sites are huge, all with full hookups. 40 are right along the big thompson river.
There are multiple shower / restroom / laundry buldings, one is close wherever your site is. Same with garbage / recycle bins.
Overall all the facilities are as good as it gets.

But that's not the best part. Trees, big big trees. Grass, open space, big playgound, hiking trail around the property, even a large off-lease pet excercise area.

It's 22 miles to estes, through the big thompson canyon on a road that is a lot of fun in my wrangler but would be no fun at all in the bus.
I highly recommend Riverview RV to anyone visiting Rocky Mountain National Park.
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Old 07-17-2010, 09:39 PM   #25
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Hey JimM

Glad you found a good CG in Riverview RV and that you had a good time there. We're winding up a visit in Glacier NP headed to YS and then to RMNP and we were getting discouraged by the negative reports on the CGs near the park. Now, as soon as we know the dates of our visit to the area, we'll be making reservations at Riverview...TREES would be a nice departure from what we seen in the last two parks we've stayed at. Thanks for your post. Bob
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Old 07-17-2010, 10:05 PM   #26
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Great review, thanks for posting

Were new RVers and I was hoping to find a great park close to home. I'm going to try Riverview!

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Old 07-19-2010, 09:03 AM   #27
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I stayed at Riverview at the end of June. It is a nice spot but unless you get lucky to get a spot at the end of the row or don't have anyone staying in the site next to you, 95% the spots are very cramped along the river. This spacing in the picture below is typical.

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Old 07-19-2010, 09:38 AM   #28
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No disrespect intended,

It just seems that most city folks, or flatlanders, don't fully understand what the Colorado Rocky Mountains are really about....

Now THIS is a camping site


or this



or this



or this




ALL of these are within 25 miles of the "commercial" campgrounds..On the natural creation that is funded by our tax $$$$

I will say, to each his own....Commercial campgrounds have their benefits...(pool, laundrymat) for me, I don't go to the "mountains" to look at RV's, or swim in a pool, I prefer to swim in a crisp mountain lake, or even wash my clothes in that same lake (no soap though) And I don't mind when the elk bugling wake me up in the morning.
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