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Old 02-19-2019, 01:56 PM   #1
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Colorado north of I70

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We are planning a week long trip to the west this summer from Chicago. Needless to say we really don't want to drive that far and end up with a bad experience. We are looking for something in northern Colorado or southern Wyoming that has great scenery. We have a 26RLSS trailer with a Ram1500 TV. Top choices for service (in order) is: electricity, water, sewer (very optional), internet (very optional). We can do boondocking but electricity is nice.



Not a fan of crowds and campgrounds where everyone is top of each other and cater to families with tons of kids. Don't need swimming pools, go-cart tracks, etc. Fishing nearby would be nice.



We have also heard good things about The Bad Lands.


If anyone has specific recommendations that would be awesome.


Thanks.
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Old 02-19-2019, 03:15 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Bianchina3 View Post
All

We are planning a week long trip to the west this summer from Chicago. Needless to say we really don't want to drive that far and end up with a bad experience. We are looking for something in northern Colorado or southern Wyoming that has great scenery. We have a 26RLSS trailer with a Ram1500 TV. Top choices for service (in order) is: electricity, water, sewer (very optional), internet (very optional). We can do boondocking but electricity is nice.

Not a fan of crowds and campgrounds where everyone is top of each other and cater to families with tons of kids. Don't need swimming pools, go-cart tracks, etc. Fishing nearby would be nice.

We have also heard good things about The Bad Lands.

If anyone has specific recommendations that would be awesome.

Thanks.
Northern Colorado is pretty mountainous (actually anywhere west of Denver is mountainous ) and southern Wyoming is fairly wide open and windswept, and somewhat mountainous but not as much as Colorado. You mentioned The Badlands, which are in South Dakota. Check for camping at Interior on the east side of The Badlands (there is the White River KOA on the White River southeast of Interior on State Highway 44) or at Wall on the west side. The Campground on the White River is out of the way and looks like it might fit your criteria (swimming pool alert, though). Rapid City and the Black Hills are 100 miles west of the Badlands with lots of campgrounds and RV parks. Devils Tower is about a 2 hour drive to the west in NE Wyoming. There is an RV Park there as well.

Pulling your rig through northern Colorado is doable but it will struggle on the climbs west out of Denver, which can be fairly steep (6% to 8% grades going up and down). Take it easy, don't push hard and you should be fine.

Get on Google Earth and "drive through" southern Wyoming to see if it is what you feel like doing. You might consider Casper Wyoming. It is fairly nice and there is fishing to the west and southwest going down toward Rawlins on State Highway 220. It is very scenic going that way as well.

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Old 02-19-2019, 03:21 PM   #3
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Steamboat Lake State Park, Colorado. Lots of spread out camping and monster trout!
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Old 02-19-2019, 04:04 PM   #4
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I live in Northern Colorado. There are some great places to stay around here, but what do you want to do while you're here? If you want to stay in the mountains, then I recommend Estes Park of better yet, to avoid the crazy crowds, you might stay up the Poudre Canyon near Rustic. Cool nights even after hot days are typical for Colorado. You don't have to camp in the mountains to experience the cool evenings. Another option would be Boyd Lake outside of Loveland or Horsetooth, or Carter Lake. All have hookups and are close to some good fishing. If you stay at any of these or some of the others in the area you can still day trip up to Estes Park or drive up the Poudre or any of the other great places in the area and not have to pull your trailer up into the mountains.
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Old 02-19-2019, 04:23 PM   #5
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Northern Colorado, even west if I-25, is really spotty. There are some beautiful forested mountains in the Arapaho/Roosevelt National Forest ... then there is barren wasteland in the Walden area. Then, there's some nice forests in Medicine Bow/Routt National Forest that abuts Steamboat Springs ... then there is barren wasteland until you get to Utah. Really, all of CO is like this -- high plains desert mixed in with Rocky Mountain Forests.

Camping around the Red Feather Lakes area is an option. Beautiful country, proximity to Fort Collins, and a few campgrounds have electricity (Dowdy Lake, Westlake, and Bellaire to name a few). You can go farther west to camp at State Forest State Park (yes, the name of a State Park is literally "State Forest"). There are a few sites with electricity, but the prettiest ones (at least before the beetle kill) were near Michigan Reservoir without power.

Camping near Steamboat Springs is a little more wide open. Stagecoach, Steamboat Lake, and Pearl Lake are all State Parks, though the latter one has no power (I believe). Steamboat Springs is a nice, rich mountain town worth visiting. Has a great river-front area, though many of those businesses are seasonal (about half the restaurants on that strip don't open until Memorial Day).

If by "Badlands" you mean the Badlands National Park in SD, then I can't help much ... except to say that a stay in Custer State Park in SD is a great experience. I cannot recommend this enough. Every bit as pretty as any campground in Colorado. You can easily spend a week in Custer SP -- so many things to do around the Keystone area.

Good luck.
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Old 02-19-2019, 04:57 PM   #6
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I've attached a screen grab of No CO, because I'm bored and I like this kind of stuff. I've circle the few areas I mentioned and that were mentioned by others (e.g., Rocky Mtn Natl Park).

The other item I highlighted with an arrow is what is called the Peak-to-Peak Highway. I labeled it a "Peak HWY," because I hate writing with a mouse.

Along that highway are great John Denver style Colorado camping. Thick pine forests, mountains, streams, etc. Camp Dick is amazing. Golden Gate Canyon State Park has electricity and dump station. Some real gems along that road. And, it's close to lots of mountain towns and such: Nederland, Idaho Springs, Georgetown, Boulder, etc.

Anyway, you can sort of see what I'm talking about, regarding the mix of forests and plains/desert.

Good luck.
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Old 02-19-2019, 05:16 PM   #7
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Poudre Canyon west of Ft. Collins is awesome.

Most of the forest campgrounds and campsites are first-come-first-served, so going up there and snagging a spot during the middle of the week is your best bet!

Wait till the weekends and you'll be searching for a long time to find a place to park.

My favorite campground (1/2 of the sites have electric only) is called Jack's Gulch...

It is off Highway 14 and about eight miles up Pingree Park Road!

Spent a lot of time there before I left Colorado last year...
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Old 02-19-2019, 05:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 67L48 View Post

If by "Badlands" you mean the Badlands National Park in SD, then I can't help much ... except to say that a stay in Custer State Park in SD is a great experience. I cannot recommend this enough. Every bit as pretty as any campground in Colorado. You can easily spend a week in Custer SP -- so many things to do around the Keystone area.

Good luck.
I can't speak to CO parks, but agree with this observation regards Custer State park and the Keystone area. If you go there, make sure you take in Mt. Rushmore's evening program.
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Old 02-20-2019, 01:55 PM   #9
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Rocky Mtn Nat Park is a major attraction in Colorado, even if you've been there before. Trail Ridge Road is at or above 12000 ft in spots. Estes Park private campgrounds will have you close packed but you have many places to eat, things to do. The west side of the park has some private campgrounds right near the NP gate. The area is less crowded and if you want activities you can go to Grand Lake and Lake Granby areas. The west side of the park is also key viewing area for Elk and Moose. Elk Creek campground has a little bigger sites than normal and is conveniently located. Winding River Resort is for people taking horses into nat forest and you can rent ATVs also, Spots can be very spread out. I have no horses but liked this place anyway.
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Old 02-20-2019, 02:00 PM   #10
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I live in Fort Collins, Colorado, (60 miles north of Denver, 40 miles south of Wyoming).

x2 on going up the Poudre canyon. Lots of first come, first serve campgrounds.

Check out Mountain Park campground. It takes reservations. Being right on the river, there is plenty of fishing in the river.

Too many other things to do to list, so check it out.

No Wifi. No store. Electric sites to 45'.

The scenery? You are nestled in a river valley amonst the trees. Vista viewing is out.

You could also check out campgrounds at Grand Lake, Colorado.

For an all-nature experience I prefer Mountain Park.

For an RV resort experience I prefer campgrounds at Grand Lake, some of which are close to Rocky Mountain National Park trails.

For the distance you are traveling, I'd recommend doing both a Grand Lake RV resort and the Mountain Park campground. They are about 4 hours apart.
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