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Camping input sought - Moab->Durango-ish CO->Denver
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SoonerDave
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 6:42 pm    Post subject: Camping input sought - Moab->Durango-ish CO->Denver Reply with quote

Getting hitched in Moab late May, then the newly-minted Mrs. SoonerDave and I are meandering back to Denver via SW Colorado in my Westy. Durango, Telluride, Ouray, Ridgway, etc. Nothing in stone.

If you have any thoughts on must-do Vanagon camping down in that area, please share!
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Mathew Zelezen
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congrats!
There is still bound to be some snow on the mountains around Telluride/Ridgeway/Ouray in late May, BUT you can always check out the Ouray hotsprings and I believe you can still rent a cabin or camp in the back lot.
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jimmy79/88
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 8:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.molaslakecampground.com/Molas-campground-profile.html

It is about 8 miles south of Silverton, CO on 550. South kinda sounds like downhill but this is straight up. My 88 is a auto and I just put it in 2nd and enjoy the passing beauty at about 20mph. This is a great campground and every spot has postcard views.... I just sit in awe (with a beer) and enjoy.

Jimmy
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msewalson
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 9:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Buy a Gazetter and get lost.

If you end up near the Grand Junction area check out either the Grand Mesa or Glade Park.
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davevickery
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd be interested other specific suggestions for that part of the state too. I have been around there but not explored enough.

If you come in on 160 and had north on 550 and East on 50 to 285 back to Denver you will pass through a lot of great areas as you probably know.

Gunnison has Hartman Rocks BLM land for good free camping with toilets that you can google. I have camped in a couple place in the Curricante Rec Area that were cool. Blue Mesa Reservoir is pretty as is a drive through Black Gunnison National Park or even a high down into it. Coming back on 285 there is a lot of cool stuff near Buena Vista and closer to Denver you can free camp off the Guenella Pass road..

I think there are supposed to be some cool ruins in the Cortez area too and all pretty open free camping type of country.
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Saguache
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jimmy79/88 wrote:
http://www.molaslakecampground.com/Molas-campground-profile.html

It is about 8 miles south of Silverton, CO on 550. South kinda sounds like downhill but this is straight up. My 88 is a auto and I just put it in 2nd and enjoy the passing beauty at about 20mph. This is a great campground and every spot has postcard views.... I just sit in awe (with a beer) and enjoy.

Jimmy


In late May Molas will probably be really cold if not very snowy. Its a beautiful place, but you have to wait until the melt is really underway to enjoy it.
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Saguache
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That said, depending on weather and melt if you can get up high at that point consider rolling over part if not all of the Alpine Loop Biway.
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Vanamal
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 10:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I STRONGLY recommend getting a copy of 'Colorado Campgrounds - The 100 Best and all the Rest' by Gil Folsom. An invaluable resource and a great way to start planning adventures.

Like others have said, the challenge will be finding an exceptional place that is open before Memorial Day - but the book will help. Our favorites all open later (Teal Campground for one). Definitely hit up the San Juan Skyway for a beautiful drive.

Congrats!
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ZimZam
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great Sand Dunes NP if you've never been there.
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ranchero
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 12:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are bikes involved?

If so, some short must rides that will be open in late May:
Phil's World west of Durango between Cortez and Mancos.
Telegraph trails on the east edge of Durango.

On your way back to reality, you can stop in Gunny or Salida.
Hartman Rocks should all be open. All of the lower trails in Chaffee county should be open (Salida has a fantasic and growing trail system) Plenty of free camping around. PM for details.

Simple Hostel in Salida if you need a cheap room and shower. Complementary townie bikes included.

Camping:
Hermosa Creek (behind Purgatory) has great camping. Doubt Hermosa Creek trail would be open by then though. Couple good camp spots up Cascade Creek just north of Purgatory to the west of 550. Public campground on top of Molas Pass as well.

As ZimZam mention, Great Sand Dunes is really cool and in late May Medano creek should be running - bring your boogie board!

Penitente Canyon is good mellow camping in the San Luis Valley

Hot Springs : Ouray and Orivis (nudie) between Ouray and Ridgway. You can camp at Orvis.
Joyful Journey near Villa Grove, Valley View near Villa Grove (nudie). MtPrinceton and Cottonwood in Chaffee County
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msewalson
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2011 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was wondering if anyone was going to mention/ recommend Orivis.
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