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Old 10-19-2011, 04:51 PM   #1
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Where to go with RV in Colorado to ski this winter

Hello everyone.

I live in Denver with DW and three kids and we like to go skiing as much as possible. The I-70 traffic in the winter keeps getting worse and worse so driving up and back on a Saturday or Sunday is a huge hassle.

I'm wondering if there is anyplace in or near Summit County to park an RV overnight. I know about Tiger Run but for $50 per night it gets expensive. We're hoping to drive up Friday evening, spend the night in the RV, ski Saturday then spend Saturday night in the RV driving home Sunday morning before all the traffic.

I know the Wal Mart in Frisco has a no overnight policy and most resorts won't allow it because they want you to rent a unit. Is there any free or inexpensive option?
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Old 10-19-2011, 06:02 PM   #2
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You do, sort of, have some options. But nothing beats Tiger Run. Especially with the bus service right there too.

Your very best option is to try to meet an owner of a lot in Tiger Run (TR) and work out an off-the-books deal with them. Most winter season campers here have done that in one fashion or another. You can also check the bulletin board in the club house for some advertised owner names/deals. BTW TR is getting to be a very popular option for (mandatory locals inserted expletive, deleted) front-rangers. The TR people traffic on weekends to visit their parked and dry rigs on the weekends is picking up dramatically over the past few years.

Not cheap, it is a resort town after all, is to rent from TR directly at the season rates ($~700-900/mo+elec). Rentals direct from an owner are way less than that.

You can get a parking permit (~$5/nite) from Town of Breck to park in the Airport Rd. overflow lot (the Breck free skier parking lot) BUT you can NOT stay in the rig overnight and Summit's finest do patrol this.

You can park at the top of Vail pass, the Winter Recreation Area (where the snowmobile parking is), and do whatever you want up there.

Some people try to poach Wal-Mart but they can get pretty tough there and tow, and rightly so. Small lot. No other retail lot in Summit will even tolerate a rig. Keystone, Copper, CMC, and the CDOT lot above A-Basin (Loveland Pass snow plow station) won't tolerate it at all, though I have seen what appeared to be poachers in the CDOT lot on rare occasion.

Vail has free RV parking at the Lionshead lot for 3-4 rigs for up to 72hrs, no reservations, but again, you can NOT stay in the rig and it is right by the parking attendant shack making stealth camping tough. Probably the only thing in Vail that is actually free - a true miracle.

Depending on your rig size the small section of "boater" parking in Dillon on Lodgepole St. (GPS 39.626557 -106.048376) allowed something like 72hrs with no apparent occupancy restrictions, at least they did before the marina renovation this past summer.

Make friends with one of the businesses along Airport Rd. in Breck and they may allow you do it. Get to know someone in Montezuma (behind Keystone).

Have a break-down at the exit at Officer's Gulch off I70. I always wondered how well patrolled this exit is, it is a nothing exit, and exists only for rec use in the immediate vicinity.

Looks like CDOT will start "traffic pacing" a.k.a. traffic harmonization tactics in 2012 on peak Sunday afternoons east bound. Might help your return if all else fails.

Leadville and Minturn don't have any real options either. Do you know anyone in Gerogetown/Idaho Springs?

Or, meet a TR owner and solve your dilemma. It's a blast up here all winter, especially in an RV.

Good luck!
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Old 10-19-2011, 11:20 PM   #3
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Great post ottffss. Makes me want to trade my pop-up for a 4-season TT now. I look forward to the day when I can. $50/nt. for a TR spot vs. $200 for a hotel room sounds like a bargain.
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Old 10-22-2011, 11:05 PM   #4
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Even finding a weekend hotel room for under $200 is getting hard to find. I wonder how early in the morning you could arrive at a parking lot and they (police) would just think you are arriving early for the day. At Vail the parking lot at the golf course lot that is on the bus route. I just wonder if you went around to a few of the outer laying non-chain hotels and asked what it would cost to park in there back lot. You have a smaller class-C so that would be easier to park....
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Old 12-03-2011, 06:28 PM   #5
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Wow ! I didn't realize parking a motorhome in a Colorado ski area had deteriorated to this extent. We skied the Colorado ski areas in the 1970s and you could stay overnight in all areas except Aspen. Keystone was a favorite as you could stay a few yards away from one of their chairlifts. It was all free, even at Vail. Now my wife and I are in our late 70s and various ailments have ended our skiing days--but have great memories of the Colorado ski areas.
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Old 12-05-2011, 08:19 PM   #6
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I remember the days where you could park your RV at Vail, it the golf course parking lot which was on the shuttle route. All that is gone now. In our ski club I have been trip leader the last 5 of 6 years. On a trip to Vail a few years back I had a member who was 94 years old and was the first in line for the lift....My wife and me love Vail, been there 14 times..See if any of these pictures brings back memories Vail 06'
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Old 12-05-2011, 10:15 PM   #7
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Come to Steamboat at stay at Stagecoach State Park. Here is a quote from the state parks web page:

"Winter is especially quiet, offering trails for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing to those seeking a less commercial experience. In summer, water sports enthusiasts enjoy the many ways to recreate at the lake.

Off-season and weekday visits are wonderfully serene, providing great opportunities to take pleasure in the land, water and nature without the crowds. Cabin fever in the winter can be relieved by camping in one of the four electrical sites maintained just for winter camping."

The park is about 20 minutes from the slopes.
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Old 12-06-2011, 11:07 PM   #8
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I ran a trip to Steamboat back in Feb 09' with 32 members and our club is going there again this Jan.

Back in 09' I just happened to book the week of the Winter Carnival. How far is Stagecoach SP. from the resort?
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Old 12-07-2011, 01:16 AM   #9
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My vote would be Tiger Run. Stayed there two years ago and the family loved it.
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Old 12-07-2011, 10:32 AM   #10
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Stagecoach State Park is 13.6 miles from the resort. (20min.) Good roads, well plowed and RV friendly.

Camping at Stagecoach | Colorado State Parks

There is another campground in town that is open all year and would have more sites available than the state park. Full service in the summer, no water at site in winter, large pull through sites. Free bus service from the campground to the resort.

http://www.steamboatcampground.com/
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Old 12-20-2011, 05:40 PM   #11
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Crystal Mountain in Washington has an RV parking lot, 30amp power for reserved spots with a shuttle to the lift area and I inquired at Mammoth Mountain, Ca. last year....they don't allow any RV's but there is apparently an RV park back down the mountain and a shuttle.
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Old 12-20-2011, 05:51 PM   #12
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Also, Steamboat Springs Campground had several obviously winterized RV (full-timers) when we were there in October and a City Bus that pulls into the campground on a regular route.
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Old 02-28-2012, 10:59 PM   #13
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we are heading up to tiger run next week ,will report back how it goes
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Old 02-28-2012, 11:04 PM   #14
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we are heading up to tiger run next week ,will report back how it goes
You'll be just in time for the snow - FINALLY.....

Summit county snowpack is still only 72% average, but March is the snowiest month. It's been pounding all night....
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