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Old 03-13-2016, 02:51 PM   #1
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Southwest Colorado Camping

Thinking ahead to an early spring and camping. Considering a week in Southwestern Colorado, and am looking for any member's recommendations on campgrounds or areas to camp near Durango, Montrose or Gunnison. I have driven though those areas but have never camped.

Let me know who has been there, and what your recommendations are on places to camp and things to do.

Greatly appreciated,

High Country
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Old 03-13-2016, 03:20 PM   #2
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Stayed at UTE Mountian casino, nice FHU campground, takes passport america so half off. Took UTE mountian indian tour, was nicer then mesa verde tour. It's just south of Courtez CO. Drove up to Durango, took train ride that was also nice day trip. One thing nice about casino, you can also use the indoor pool at hotel.
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Old 03-13-2016, 06:29 PM   #3
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Private or forest service/blm campgrounds?
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Old 03-13-2016, 08:20 PM   #4
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Usually just camp in the forest but would like to find some nice NF/BLM sites and would consider private campgrounds. Went through the area on a motorcycle ride last year and saw some nice country and a lake between Montrose and Gunnison. And some great NF areas on the way back into Durango. Looking for something to accommodate a hybrid trailer.
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Old 03-14-2016, 10:02 PM   #5
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When you say "an early spring" what's your time frame? Most BLM/NF campgrounds don't open before Memorial Day. Some commercial places are open year round.
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Old 03-15-2016, 08:23 PM   #6
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Thinking mid-May to Mid June, which I guess in some places is early summer. It is the same here the campgrounds and Nat Forests are closed until late May.

I saw a couple of campgrounds in the Durango area that you may be familiar with, Haviland Lake and Vallecito Reservoir? Both look pretty nice, any suggestions?

Thanks for the imput
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Old 03-15-2016, 11:34 PM   #7
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Haviland Lake vs Vallecito. That's a tough choice as both are very nice. Haviland is on Hwy 550 about 20 minutes north of Durango. Great location to check out Durango or go north on the Million Dollar Hwy to Silverton & Ouray. Vallecito is NE of Durango, about 30 min from town. There are several camping locations on the east and north side of the lake.

If you opt for Haviland you'll need reservations because it a popular location. Vallecito likewise can fill up but not as fast. Between the two I'd go with Haviland due to it's access to Hwy 550.
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Old 03-16-2016, 03:29 PM   #8
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Thanks for the advice. The rec.gov web site says they are starting online reservations this weekend so I wanted to get a jump on this.

Both seem really nice and have good reviews and I am sure they are very popular and will book up quick once the warmer weather gets here.

Turkey and Camping season are almost upon us.

Thanks again!
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Old 03-16-2016, 09:02 PM   #9
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Glad I could help. You mentioned you passed through the area on a motorcycle ride. If you're ever up this way again give me a shout as we could do the "San Juan Skyway" Scenic Byway.
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Old 03-17-2016, 08:58 PM   #10
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I took some friends from back east for a 8 day ride through CO last year. Some amazing roads and scenery. We did the million dollar highway twice, unfortunately once in the dark and in a driving rain, then came back to see it in the daylight. It was worth it. Had two bears run in front of my bike as we were coming into the outskirts of Durango.


I do want to ride the area again but maybe this time on an adventure bike on the dirt roads. Check out Backcountry Discovery Routes web site, and the route through CO. What kind of scooter are you on?
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