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Old 04-13-2018, 11:35 AM   #1
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Boondocking in Colorado this summer?

If you are planning a summer trip to the Colorado Rockies in 2018 and like to boondock or camp at free or inexpensive campgrounds, check out my blog HERE. The blog discusses US highway routes through the mountains, campsites, and not-to-miss sights along the way. And, if you have questions or need more info about some of my suggestions, PM me on this forum.

in Colorado this summer!
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Old 04-13-2018, 12:24 PM   #2
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Thanks fanrgs! I previously found a link to your blog in another thread and was very impressed with it, and have the link on my desk top as one of my master trip planning references. I love the west, and I already have this year's trips planned as extreme northwest and extreme southwest routes. I am generally familiar with Colorado, but will probably use your detailed descriptions of routes and campsites as the basis for a central west trip next year. We always prefer isolated national forest type campgrounds rather than the RV parking lots with hookups and amenities and neighbors closer to us than at home. Again, your Colorado blog is very well organized and detailed, and we really appreciate having it out there. Ever consider doing that with another state?
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Old 04-13-2018, 02:21 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Underdog View Post
Ever consider doing that with another state?
Nope, because I have lived in Colorado for 55 years and see Forest River owners getting too much advice on Colorado camping from people who live in Texas, California, etc., and who have never spent more than two weeks in Colorado.

My work and my wife's work took us to every corner of Colorado and, since she is a Colorado native, we have driven nearly every road and visited nearly every tourist attraction in the state at one time or another. In fact, as a couple we have usually visited those attractions multiple times--before kids, with kids, and as empty nester's--because we are celebrating our 50th anniversary this summer.

Just as one example, my wife remembers picnicking on early 1950's weekends near the construction site of Tunnel #1 in Clear Creek Canyon when they were first replacing the narrow-gauge railroad from Golden to Idaho Springs with US 6. And my first trip to Telluride was in 1960's, when the Idarado Mine and Pandora Mill were still going strong and before a ski area there was even someone's dream.

So, I'll stick to Colorado for blogging, but I might eventually add a Colorado State highways section or blog just to fill in the gaps between US highways. Some of my favorite roads and campgrounds are along CO 145, 133, 149, 135, 125, 14, and the Kebler and Cottonwood Pass county roads. However, the current blog does have some suggestions for camping 10-20 miles off some of those US highways (see suggestions for campsites around Great Sand Dunes NP, Antonito-Chama, Cripple Creek, Gunnison, Mesa Verde, etc.), which obviously requires traveling on a State highway, or even county roads, to get to them.
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Old 05-18-2018, 06:41 PM   #4
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For those itching to get on the road to Colorado, the northern mountains are going to get up to 12" inches of new snow tonight and tomorrow. This includes Rocky Mountain National Park. So, be patient and remember that most of the Forest Service campgrounds in the mountains just opened this week and Trail Ridge Road through RMNP and Independence Pass from Leadville to Aspen won't open until next weekend . . . maybe!
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Old 05-25-2018, 11:31 AM   #5
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Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain NP and CO 82 over Independence Pass between Aspen and Leadville have had their avalanches shot and been cleared of snow. So, both roads opened yesterday, just in time for the holiday weekend crowds. US 34 up Big Thompson Canyon from Loveland to Estes Park and the road to the top of Mt. Evans are opening today.

So, for those who just can't wait to get to the sunny, cool Colorado mountains, come on up!
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Old 06-11-2018, 09:45 PM   #6
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Well, our favorite area for camping in SW Colorado is now closed to all recreational use until further notice. San Juan National Forest, which includes everything from Durango to Ouray and Wolf Creek Pass to Dolores and Telluride will be closed June 12 according to the notice found HERE.
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Old 06-11-2018, 10:01 PM   #7
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18,000 acres burned as of today.... terrible.
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Old 06-11-2018, 10:03 PM   #8
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We were in that area memorial weekend. I've lived here my entire life and have never seen it so dry. The rafting companies have already shut down for the year. I'm afraid most of the state could burn up this year.
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Old 06-11-2018, 10:26 PM   #9
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What a bummer. I go to South Mineral doesn't look like that will be open for some time.
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Old 06-20-2018, 04:24 PM   #10
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Overpopulation in CO and overzealous forestry service has really put a damper on boondock camping in our beautiful state.

FS shut down a large number of spots that folks parked their campers on the Otto Mears Toll Road near Marshal Pass. Bonanza boondock sites were packed last weekend and it wasn't even a Holiday weekend. Never seen so many boondock sites full at one time in Bonanza.

Crazy! Everywhere I go sites closed down to dry camping and/or motorized vehicles and OHV. Last year it was Taylor Park to Tincup and Badger Flats that had lots of areas shut down.....its like a cancer that keeps spreading. Enjoy it while you can, dry camping days are numbered.
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