Go Back   iRV2 Forums > CAMPING, TRAVEL and TRIP PLANNING > Camping Locations, Plans & Trip Reports
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 01-22-2015, 01:02 PM   #15
Senior Member
 
aauummm's Avatar


 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Altoona, Iowa
Posts: 1,588
Quote:
Originally Posted by sknight View Post
Usually I'm perfectly happy resting in the Appalachian mountains, my local national forest, or headed to specific events usually with my telescope.

But for some reason I simply can't get Colorado out of my mind. I've not done any planning or research beyond how many miles here to there (1500 each way) because the way it's stuck in my mind if I start planning too much I'll do the damn the torpedoes bit and just do it.

But, at the risk of said torpedoes, I'd like a bit of personal experience.

I live in Georgia, so I'll be on the east side of the Rockies. Looking at Google there are the cities of Denver,Fort Collins, Loveland, Colorado Springs and Pueblo popping up, and I'm sure there's many more along the way.

Here's what I'm thinking, I don't have a desire to see Denver, per se. I want to be at the foot of the Rockies, at a state park type of CG, the city doesn't really matter to me, at least, not yet. I'm interested in seeing the beauty of the Rockies. I would be going in the fall, I'd love to time it when there's color in the trees.

Unfortunately, it will take two days each way, at very best. Realistically, three days. What I would do it hobo it on the way out, drive till I'm tired, hit a Walmart or similar, up early and go. I'm good in the car for 800+ mile days (I travel for a living) so I'm conditioned, but reality is I will quite possibly pull 700 the first day, 500 the next, 200 the final. Maybe more.

My vacation time and my job will allow me to leave on a Friday, take two weeks off and return by Sunday. Thus, I would have about a week and a half to explore the area.

So, here's what I'd like to know. What areas are best, in your opinion and why. If you know of particular campgrounds that would give great views and decent access into the mountains, etc.

Or if you know of a particularly good plan your Rockies trip guide that would be great as well.

Thanks for your help! Lord help me, but I'm getting excited about this trip and I've barely put pen to paper, as it were!
I would recommend Twin Lakes or Durango, Ouray area, etc. Twin Lakes will be about 1500 mi. and Durango about 1600 mi.

Twin Lakes has a lot of camping areas right at the foot of the Rockies. Great area to explore and to telescope. Easy to get away from ambient light at night. Fourteen thousand feet high mountains laid out right in front of you. Twin Lakes, Colorado - A Special Town In The Rocky Mountains State park campgrounds and Federal campgrounds right at Twin Lakes. The town of Twin Lakes is very small and quaint but essentials are there. Wildernet.com - Twin Lakes Recreation Area, Colorado

Twin Lakes Vacations, Activities & Things To Do | Colorado.com

Durango-Ouray is fantastic also, although a bit further from you. Ouray is sometimes called "The Little Switzerland of America" because it's surrounded by mountains. I was there just last summer and got the opportunity to take the Rubicon off-road for some beautiful photography and sightseeing. Getting away from ambient light would be easy for telescope viewing of the stars, etc.

Twin Lakes is just around the corner in the first pic. Looking down on Ouray in the second picture.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	100_2908.jpg
Views:	127
Size:	287.3 KB
ID:	83956   Click image for larger version

Name:	100_7204.jpg
Views:	126
Size:	524.6 KB
ID:	83957  

__________________

__________________
2010 Itasca Sunova 33C, mucho mods
2011 Honda CRV, 2004 Rubicon (mucho mods)
aauummm is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 01-22-2015, 05:04 PM   #16
Senior Member
 
Firebug5's Avatar
 
National RV Owners Club
Workhorse Chassis Owner
Retired Fire Service RVer's
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Salida, Colorado
Posts: 656
We moved to the Colorado Springs area in 1985, and after retiring several years ago moved west of there to the Salida area. We agree with all the good advice you have received so far, and can only repeat what others have already said. You have 2 choices with such little time, either go north of Denver to the Rocky Mountain NP area, or go south to the Colorado Springs area and then move west from there. I will give you my favorite places from the Colorado Springs area and westward, although you cannot go wrong if you choose to go to Rocky Mountain NP. Heck, you could simply follow I-70 westward and have an amazing adventure!

We have family near Athens, GA. When they visit by car, they either take I-70 to Limon, CO and then follow Hwy 24 into Colorado Springs, or they take I-40 to Amarillo, then up thru New Mexico to I-25 and into Colorado Springs. We have only driven the I-40 route, and it took 3 1/2 days in the moho. You can decide which way works for you.

Just SW of Colorado Springs is a new state park named Cheyenne Mountain SP. It is located at the base of Cheyenne Mountain, which is NORAD. It is a great home base for the area, and I would recommend the following places to visit: USAF Academy, Garden of the Gods park, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo (one of the highest in elevation in the US), Old Colorado City, Manitou Springs, and Pikes Peak. These are all touristy things to do, so if you prefer hanging out in a more mountainous, less citified area, just go west on Hwy 24 to Woodland Park, then continue west to Divide, and go S on Hwy 67 to Mueller State Park, which is located on the western edge of Pikes Peak. This is still one of our favorite SP's, just beautiful. And it is a great place to see the aspen leaves change color. Most folks will go from the park to Cripple Creek and enjoy the autumn colors along the way. There is so much history in Cripple Creek and Victor, just google them. There is a narrow gauge train in Cripple Creek, too.

Continuing W on Hwy 24 will take you to the Florissant Fossil Beds, then on to Lake George and Wilkerson Pass, all beautiful areas with NF CG's. About an hour further W is Buena Vista, just N of there is Leadville and Twin Lakes, S of Buena Vista is my area (Salida) and the Hwy 50 canyon. When we discovered this area, we knew we would live here eventually. The Arkansas river runs from Leadville to Salida, then follows Hwy 50 E to Pueblo. Great rafting and fishing, and most of the river is considered a State Park with small CG's all along the way. The mountains in this area are amazing, and there are NF CG's in most places.

W of Salida along Hwy 50 is Monarch Pass. Then an hour further W is Gunnison, and the Blue Mesa reservoir. A bit further is the Black Canyon of Gunnison NP, which is fascinating. Google it and see what you think. Montrose is about an hour further W, then S on Hwy 550 to Ouray or Telluride. Silverton and Durango are further S along the Million Dollar Hwy, which is simply amazing all in itself. Oh, if you like sand dunes, S of Salida about 1-2 hours is the Great Sand Dunes NP along the Sangre de Cristo mountains, another gem of a place to visit.

This is a very quick outline for you, feel free to contact me when you know what you are actually looking forward to. You will find that most of us Colorado folks will help out with your requests, but there is so much to see and do, you really need to decide what type of activities suit your needs, then let us help point you in that direction. Obviously, it would be impossible to visit all the places I have mentioned in the amount of time you have. Look at a map, visit the Colorado SP website, and check out some of the places I listed and review some pictures. If you prefer to stay further S, there is nothing wrong with simply following Hwy 160 from Walsenburg W towards Wolf Creek Pass and the Pagosa Springs area. Pagosa Joe can give you all the info for that area.

Good luck, planning the trip is an adventure all by itself! Holler when you have questions.

Bruce
__________________

__________________
Bruce & Judy, living the dream in Salida, CO!
2005 Nat'l Dolphin W22 Chassis, 2004 Jeep Liberty
"Let's Roll 'em, Let's Roll 'em!"
Firebug5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2015, 08:13 PM   #17
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 314
Colorado is worth the drive. I have been several times, most recently for my "retirement" trip. You need to be conscious of the altitude when you pick your spot for camping. Too high and you may have some altitude induced "comfort" issues. Durango or Cortez are good places to start from. The Durango- Silverton Scenic Railroad is one the the best things I have seen/done anywhere. In the same area, Mesa Verde National Park is magical. Here is a report from my 2014 trip.

BTW, I am from South Carolina. I have traveled to Colorado via I-40 and I-70. Normally, there is not enough difference to recommend one route over the other. Last year, road construction on I-40, especially in Arkansas where they were replacing bridges, caused long delays.

6 weeks on the road - Visiting Colorado
__________________
andy29847 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2015, 11:38 PM   #18
Senior Member
 
Firebug5's Avatar
 
National RV Owners Club
Workhorse Chassis Owner
Retired Fire Service RVer's
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Salida, Colorado
Posts: 656
Andy29847 makes a good point concerning the high altitude sickness. This is why we recommend stopping in the Colorado Springs or Denver areas for a few days to acclimate before heading into the "real" mountains. Denver is about 5,200'. Colorado Springs is about 6,200'. Salida is about 7,200'. You will get above 10,000' crossing most of the passes along the Continental Divide.

Bruce
__________________
Bruce & Judy, living the dream in Salida, CO!
2005 Nat'l Dolphin W22 Chassis, 2004 Jeep Liberty
"Let's Roll 'em, Let's Roll 'em!"
Firebug5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-2015, 12:21 AM   #19
Senior Member
 
sknight's Avatar
 
Appalachian Campers
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 908
Wow, lots of awesome advice everyone! While I'm familiar with altitude sickness, it hadn't crossed my mind yet. Good call, I know I'm unchanged at 5,500 feet, so I'll stick to that rough range.

Like I said, lots of great advice. I've got to admit, I'm getting really excited even with this in the planning stage, I even cleared the two weeks off with the boss today. He agreed, begrudgingly.

It will be fun, including the drive to and from. I was thinking 75-24-64-70 for the drive out, then 70-35-40-SR78-20-75 for the return trip. Mix it up a bit and all.

Time to do a little more planning!
__________________
2001 HO Cummins powered Dodge 2500
2014 Sierra 346RETS
Nights camped in 2014-28
sknight is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2015, 01:30 AM   #20
Senior Member
 
RussOnTheRoad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 481
Quote:
Originally Posted by sknight View Post
Usually I'm perfectly happy resting in the Appalachian mountains, my local national forest, or headed to specific events usually with my telescope.

But for some reason I simply can't get Colorado out of my mind. I've not done any planning or research beyond how many miles here to there (1500 each way) because the way it's stuck in my mind if I start planning too much I'll do the damn the torpedoes bit and just do it.

But, at the risk of said torpedoes, I'd like a bit of personal experience.

I live in Georgia, so I'll be on the east side of the Rockies. Looking at Google there are the cities of Denver,Fort Collins, Loveland, Colorado Springs and Pueblo popping up, and I'm sure there's many more along the way.

Here's what I'm thinking, I don't have a desire to see Denver, per se. I want to be at the foot of the Rockies, at a state park type of CG, the city doesn't really matter to me, at least, not yet. I'm interested in seeing the beauty of the Rockies. I would be going in the fall, I'd love to time it when there's color in the trees.

Unfortunately, it will take two days each way, at very best. Realistically, three days. What I would do it hobo it on the way out, drive till I'm tired, hit a Walmart or similar, up early and go. I'm good in the car for 800+ mile days (I travel for a living) so I'm conditioned, but reality is I will quite possibly pull 700 the first day, 500 the next, 200 the final. Maybe more.

My vacation time and my job will allow me to leave on a Friday, take two weeks off and return by Sunday. Thus, I would have about a week and a half to explore the area.

So, here's what I'd like to know. What areas are best, in your opinion and why. If you know of particular campgrounds that would give great views and decent access into the mountains, etc.

Or if you know of a particularly good plan your Rockies trip guide that would be great as well.

Thanks for your help! Lord help me, but I'm getting excited about this trip and I've barely put pen to paper, as it were!
I can't believe nobody mentioned it... maybe they did and I missed it: the drive along the Million Dollar Highway ( I hope I'm not mixing that up with someplace else--I've been so many in the last 10 months) between Ouray and Silverton is spectacular. There is a free Forest Service Campground up at Little Molas Lake just outside of Silverton which I've written about on my blog. I'm not sure that's the kind of experience you're looking for. People I know from Denver regard this part of the state as the most beautiful and they return to it every summer. I was up in those parts most of last July and August.

Another way to see some of the Rockies up there is to ride the steam powered Durango-Silverton RR which I've also written about here.

__________________
RussOnTheRoad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2015, 07:17 PM   #21
Senior Member
 
Dave1956's Avatar
 
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 421
It's all good here in Colorado! If you are going to stay a while buy a state park pass. There are so many National Forest and BLM to go with the state and Nat. Park CGs. Our big problem is where to go next.
__________________
Dave1956 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2015, 07:27 PM   #22
Senior Member
 
sam60's Avatar
 
Monaco Owners Club
Vintage RV Owners Club
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 846
Do a day trip on the Cumbres & Toltec Line, you'll be glad that you did.

Click image for larger version

Name:	COLORADO 094.jpg
Views:	148
Size:	641.3 KB
ID:	84276
__________________
RVM 123
sam60 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2015, 07:32 PM   #23
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Enjoying the Western States!
Posts: 5,552
That's a gorgeous picture of Molas Lake - been there; however, it's owned by the town of Silverton.


There is also a nice forest service campground - Haviland Lake - just north of Durango before Molas.


It is definitely one of our favorite areas and have been there often, boondocking on South Mineral Creek in Silverton. However, the OP only has 1-1/2 weeks to explore from Georgia and going that far west might be too much unless he skips the Denver/Colorado Springs areas.
__________________
Full-timed for 16 Years . . . Back in S&B Again
Traveled 8 yr in a 2004 Newmar Dutch Star 40' Diesel
& 8 yr in a 33' Travel Supreme 5th wheel
twogypsies is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2015, 07:48 PM   #24
Senior Member
 
Bumps's Avatar
 
Winnebago Owners Club
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: FTer Class of 2015 Origin: Evergreen, Colorado
Posts: 1,536
This is a funny thread to me -- it's hard to respond; there is soooooo much to see and do in Colorado. To identify the single "best area" or to create a list of the "top attractions" to see would be a daunting challenge. We have lived in a pretty central part of the state (side of Mt Evans west of Denver) since early 1979. From this base camp we thought we would be able to explore every nook-and-cranny, or at least every paved road, in the state. Thirty-six years and hundreds of trips later, we still have a whole quarter-section of the state unexplored.

People come to Colorado for many reasons. Some come for the the history. Some for the scenic beauty. Some for the mountain-biking. Some for the fishing. Some for the culture, food, and wine. Some for the spectacular Fall colors. Some for the kayaking. Some for the healthy life-style. Some for the many period [steam] railroads. Some for the photography. Some for the hiking. Some for the agriculture. Some for the ice sports. Some for the wildlife. Some for the skiing. Some for the off-roading. Some for the paleontology. Some for the western heritage. Some for the beer. Some for the geology. Some for the white-water rafting. Some for the funny oregano. And some just come because there are so many fun places to drive to and through!

We love visitors. And the more visits the better. Maybe you could divide the state into sections and/or themes and make a series of trips over a number of years? The lure of Colorado's "Rocky Mountain High" will catch you!

\ken
Attached Images
 
__________________
Ken & Deb (WIT Club, FMCA, SKP, Harvest Hosts, and grateful volunteers with SOWERs)
2005 Winnebago Vectra 40FD w/400ISL and Allison 3000MH on Freightliner's Evolution chassis, Onan QD7500, 1000w Renogy solar, BlueOx tow gear, and 2015 Cherokee TrailHawk toad.
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
Bumps is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2015, 08:36 PM   #25
NRF
Senior Member
 
NRF's Avatar
 
Monaco Owners Club
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Friendswood, Texas
Posts: 165
Silverton/Durango/Ouray/Telluride area (SW Colorado) is the most fantastic area. We rent jeeps and 4-wheel from town to town with Silverton as our base. The million-dollar highway is stunning. Eastern Colorado doesn't compare with the possible exception of Estes Park, but the western slope still has so much more to offer. Been going there for years and the scenery is fantastic. For those of you with who love the challenging RV drive, Hwy 82 south of Aspen is for vehicles no longer than 35' long. At some points, the road is one lane with shear cliffs on the passenger side. Along the route near the continental divide is Lost Man Campground at 10,500 ft elevation (one of the highest campgrounds I know of!). Anyone else try this route? I did in 1999. Can't go back with my 36' (legally, anyway!)
__________________
NRF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2015, 09:16 PM   #26
Senior Member
 
Firebug5's Avatar
 
National RV Owners Club
Workhorse Chassis Owner
Retired Fire Service RVer's
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Salida, Colorado
Posts: 656
Quote:
Originally Posted by NRF View Post
Silverton/Durango/Ouray/Telluride area (SW Colorado) is the most fantastic area. We rent jeeps and 4-wheel from town to town with Silverton as our base. The million-dollar highway is stunning. Eastern Colorado doesn't compare with the possible exception of Estes Park, but the western slope still has so much more to offer. Been going there for years and the scenery is fantastic. For those of you with who love the challenging RV drive, Hwy 82 south of Aspen is for vehicles no longer than 35' long. At some points, the road is one lane with shear cliffs on the passenger side. Along the route near the continental divide is Lost Man Campground at 10,500 ft elevation (one of the highest campgrounds I know of!). Anyone else try this route? I did in 1999. Can't go back with my 36' (legally, anyway!)
You are talking about Independence Pass that follows Hwy 82 between Aspen and Hwy 24 just S of Leadville. There is good info and great pics on wikipedia! There is also the Independence Pass Foundation website with lots of history and a list of events each year. You are correct about the 35' restriction, but not everybody follows the rules. We have taken RV's over the pass numerous times, and prefer the NF campgrounds on the E side near Twin Lakes. Another beautiful area here in Colorado!

Bruce
__________________
Bruce & Judy, living the dream in Salida, CO!
2005 Nat'l Dolphin W22 Chassis, 2004 Jeep Liberty
"Let's Roll 'em, Let's Roll 'em!"
Firebug5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2015, 11:09 PM   #27
Senior Member
 
sknight's Avatar
 
Appalachian Campers
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 908
Wow everyone, this info is great!

Odds are I'll end up west of the divide exploring. My primary interests will be wandering around, seeing sights and taking photos. And in allowing a little free thinking on the subject I would probably spend a few evenings in town to check out the local scene.

I'm going through RVParkreviews.com and guided by your suggestions, it's a good thing I'm starting now! Lol!
__________________
2001 HO Cummins powered Dodge 2500
2014 Sierra 346RETS
Nights camped in 2014-28
sknight is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2015, 11:49 PM   #28
Senior Member
 
RussOnTheRoad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 481
Here is another pic from my time in Colorado last summer. More on my blog.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	image.jpg
Views:	76
Size:	299.4 KB
ID:	84295  
__________________

__________________
RussOnTheRoad is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
colorado, guide



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Colorado for Offroading cucotx Camping Locations, Plans & Trip Reports 34 08-31-2015 10:10 PM
Busted for driving while from Colorado? (Wash) pumper9x9 iRV2.com General Discussion 85 10-14-2014 09:30 AM
Antonito, Colorado to Chama, New Mexico on road 17 over Cumdres Pass. Jayco1 Navigation, Routes & Roads 8 04-24-2014 10:34 PM
I-70 through Colorado and Utah jlabit Navigation, Routes & Roads 25 02-16-2014 02:06 PM

» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:27 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.