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Old 09-24-2019, 05:18 AM   #1
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Hi,

First time post here. Was wondering if anyone could give me some good information on Cheyenne Mountain State Park, Golden Gate Canyon and the Moab area. Taking our 2280BHESP out there next year for about 3 weeks. Any information would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 09-24-2019, 07:18 AM   #2
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We were in Moab earlier this month. Stayed here. Sites and roads are a little tight but they are pull through and itís located within walking distance of restaurants, a great brewery, shopping and only a mile or two from Arches NP.

Canyonlands RV Resort & Campground
555 S Main St, Moab, UT 84532
(435) 259-6848
https://goo.gl/maps/bXTHAsTZZw2BRXxa8
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Old 09-24-2019, 07:41 AM   #3
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If you search "Moab" in this forum, you will find several earlier threads with great recommendations for things to see and do.

We camped in Moab for 6 days two years ago in the falll, and then moved on to Cedar City to catch all the Utah National Parks. It can be very hot and dusty, with lots of off road vehicles that explore the trails.

We camped at the KOA, but were a little disappointed. They were making improvements though. Make your reservations early.
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Old 09-25-2019, 01:00 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsandlin View Post
Hi,

First time post here. Was wondering if anyone could give me some good information on Cheyenne Mountain State Park, Golden Gate Canyon and the Moab area. Taking our 2280BHESP out there next year for about 3 weeks. Any information would be greatly appreciated.
Cheyenne Mountain State Park is beautiful. Has cell service with Verizon, I think. It's on the south end of Colorado Springs and can feel like it's a bit of distance from many tourist attractions. We didn't stay there, we stayed at Mountain Dale down the road another few miles - also beautiful, but no cell service when we stayed (back in Oct 2015).

Here's a Colorado Springs album from when we were there:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/dougse...57656821896984

For Moab, we have stayed at Archview RV Resort and OK RV Park. Archview was quite a bit more expensive but also nicer. OK RV Park had some grass and trees, though. I liked the location of Archview better as it was on the north side of town and I felt like we drove through Moab a few less times. Sunset Grill is great for a romantic dinner with the spouse! Arches, Canyonland, and Dead Horse Point SP are all beautiful. Hole in the Rock is worth the $5 to get in; it's a unique roadside attraction.

And here are 2 Moab albums from 2015 and 2017 when we were there:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/dougse...57659175452449
https://www.flickr.com/photos/dougse...57684380611616
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Old 09-25-2019, 01:48 PM   #5
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Welcome from SoCal! Was last there in '05 so can't contribute much (anything) to the conversation except to say the parks are visually awesome.
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Old 09-25-2019, 03:28 PM   #6
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Cheyenne Mt. State Park

It's a beautiful new park overlooking the town below, large sites far from your neighbors. If you're not a Colorado resident you will have to purchase a State Park Permit. $60 if I remember correctly.
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Old 09-25-2019, 03:29 PM   #7
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We have stayed at Cheyenne Mountain State Park. Beautiful view of the city at night. It's located just above Ft. Carson Army Base and is just below the entrance into NORAD. In my opinion, the best sites are 7, 9 & 10.

Golden Gate State Park is nice. Very quiet & sites are nicely spaced. But unless you are wanting to go into town to gamble, there's not a lot nearby to do.

Another park you might want to consider is Mueller State Park. It's not terribly far from Cheyenne Mtn. It's very nice - in fact we will be going back there next week. Our favorite sites include 93-96, 82, 88, 114, 123, 126, 127, 129. Sites 93-96 give you a great view across the valley to Pikes Peak.

Have fun planning!
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Old 09-25-2019, 06:04 PM   #8
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Camped at Arches NP, Devils Garden CG earlier this month. Amazing views 360 degrees. No electrical or showers but flush toilets. Cell service depends on your site. Would love to go back some day.
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Old 09-25-2019, 07:15 PM   #9
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CO state parks fill up quickly. If you haven't already made reservations, do your homework on when you can reserve, and be online the moment reservations open - not two hours later, but the minute reservations open. June will be busy. Camping in CO has exploded in recent years.

I've stayed at Golden Gate Canyon, and it's gorgeous. If you like to gamble (I don't) Blackhawk and Central City are just down the road. Don't miss Garden of the Gods when you're in CO Springs.

As for Moab in June, you'll be hot...about mid 90's. Be prepared for heat. If possible, find places that have at least 30 amp hookups, or bring a 3500 watt generator. https://www.accuweather.com/en/us/mo...weather/336126 You'll very likely need your AC.

As ependydad said, its dusty and dry in the west...more than you can imagine.

I can't tell where you live, but altitude can be an issue for some. Time in CO Springs will allow for acclimation, but going from 5280 to 9500 is a dramatic change.

Drink LOTS of water, because it will not only help oxygenate you and help stave off altitude sickness, it will also help you cope with dehydration...a real problem in the mountains and the desert. It's dry up here. If all of you adapt well, great. If not, don't dilly-dally at altitude. It takes hours to get over a mountain pass, and many are at least 11,500 feet.

The top of Loveland Pass (I-70) has several tunnels. If you run propane to keep your fridge cool, you must stop and shut off the propane to go through the tunnels. There are places to pull over, but be prepared.

Watch out for rock falls. They are rare, but every year a number of drivers get crushed by rocks the size of houses. https://www.codot.gov/news/images/i7...ll-012813/view More importantly, rocks the size of chairs and basketballs fall regularly and line the shoulders of roads.

It's unlikely you'll encounter this, but many roads in CO have no guardrails protecting from 800 foot drops. Again rare, but much different from roads elsewhere. This one's famous. https://www.dangerousroads.org/north...ghway-usa.html
and see the photo of Million Dollar Highway below. These are the exception, not the rule, but lack of guardrails IS the rule...you may be shocked if you're accustomed to driving in the East (I moved here from NY).

Many sites in CO State Parks do not have water hookups. They have hydrants where you can fill jugs to tote water to your fresh tank...and some have spigots where you can fill the fresh tank on your way in. If you can't reserve sites with city water, be sure your fresh tank and pump are sanitized and in good working order. Bring one or several 5 to 7 gallon potable water jugs to fill your tank from the hydrant. Be sure you have a good system for transferring water from the jugs to the fresh tank. A funnel just won't cut it.

And be sure you have a gravity fill fresh tank. The ones that require pressurized "city" water through a diverter valve are a problem to fill from a jug. You may need a transfer pump to pump water from the jug into the city water connection and then switch the diverter valve to the fresh tank. But this requires pressurized water...not just dumping from a jug. Gravity fill is much easier.

If you travel with a full fresh tank, consider reinforcing the mounts. Many won't hold up to traveling full. Other threads cover this. Pulling into Moab with an empty fresh tank might be a mistake. It depends on your final destination. Don't count on water on site unless you know for sure it's there.

It may be worthwhile to ensure that you can empty your grey tank into a bucket without contaminating it by flushing thru the black tank dump. Long stints tend to fill the grey tank quickly, and it's good to be able to dump a few gallons into a bucket and tote it to a vault toilet or bathroom to dump (don't even think about watering the trees in a CO state park). There's no point having to go to a dump station just because the grey tank is full. A three-week trip will tax many of your "systems." This is one of them.

Towing in the mountains is no joke. Whatever you have, your tow vehicle will be taxed and so will your brakes. Vehicles lose a lot of power at 12,000 feet unless they are turbos. Learn to shift manually and use lower gears on both ascents and descents. When climbing, shifting down saves wear and tear on your transmission by avoiding full-power downshifts. It's likely your TV can hold 65 mph in 2nd gear without over-revving. And using a lower gear on the 20+ mile downhills will save your bacon...and brakes. Tow/haul ain't gonna cut it out here. And, if you have a diesel, be sure you have an exhaust brake, because your diesel won't make adequate back-pressure for engine braking as you descend 5000 to 6000 feet in one continuous run. By the way, don't be surprised when some guy with a diesel dually towing a 5th wheel toy hauler blows by you like you're standing still. And the same goes for semis. There are many out here that can hold 75 MPH climbing a mountain. They ain't drivin' your father's Buick.

Finally, don't "import" firewood from "elsewhere." Pine Beetle destruction has led many campgrounds to prohibit anything other than locally sourced firewood. And be prepared for fire bans--common out here. We gave up on firewood and bought a propane fire pit. They are actually vastly superior to a wood fire in every way. You can even run it under an awning or canopy, and you can use them in any but the most extreme fire bans.

That's my 2 cents. If you haven't been out here before, you'll love it. But it's different from "sea level" locations and camping.

P.S. If you are into a diversion for a bit of boondocking, I can point you to some spots in "South Park" (yes THAT South Park) where you can roll into the Pike National Forest and setup wherever you like...best to do mid-week. They call this "Lost Park," and the views from many sites are 360 degrees. The photo shows our spot a couple years ago in March...it was 70 degrees during the day!! Instead of I-70 as you depart Golden Gate, you'd take 70 to Evergreen, cut over to 285 in Conifer, then head southwest on 285 over Kenosha pass, then into South Park. On departure, you take 285 to 9 North through Breckenridge and back to 70.

You're gonna love it. Just be prepared.
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Old 09-26-2019, 01:29 PM   #10
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Thank you so much for this long and informative post. I really appreciate it and we live in Florida. So we are used to flat lands......We will be ready and will have plenty of water.
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Old 09-26-2019, 02:37 PM   #11
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Just a head's up- Moab in June can hit 100 degrees. Prepare accordingly.
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Old 09-27-2019, 02:37 PM   #12
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P.S.
LOTS of embedded hyperlinks.

If you're at Golden Gate Canyon State Park, you'd enjoy the drive on Peak-to-Peak highway into Estes Park (gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park). Estes Park is a destination in its own right. A quaint mountain town with lots of shops, dining, and so on. Home to the Stanley Hotel featured in the Jack Nicholson movie, The Shining.

By the way, as you drive through Nederland, bear in mind that the "Frozen Dead Guy" is there, and they have an annual celebration for him.

https://www.coloradodirectory.com/maps/peak.html

If you want the full experience, grab a bite in Estes Park and take the drive through RMNP on Trail Ridge Road into Grand Lake. Trail Ridge Road is, I believe, the highest paved continuous road (not an up/down like Pikes Peak).
Along the way, you'll see amazing wildlife, and because you'll venture above the tree line, the vistas are stunning.
https://www.nps.gov/romo/planyourvis...ridge_road.htm
Watch for moose in the wetlands near the roads as you descend into Grand Lake from RMNP. You'll know they are there, because a big bunch of cars will be parked all along the shoulder of the road and people will be gawking. Don't get dumb around a moose...they are the size of cars and they don't tolerate humans all that well. By the way, the same goes for bull elk. 1500 pounds with a rack bigger than your couch is nothing to mess with. But the lady elk are cool unless they have babies.

In Grand Lake, grab another bite. This lake is the headwaters for the Colorado River and the largest natural lake in CO. As lakes go, it ain't much, but it is stunningly beautiful, and the community is a great host to visitors.

Sadly, along the way you'll witness the extensive damage from the pine beetle and vast swaths of forest decimated by the bug and drought. but it is what it is, and the views are breathtaking nonetheless.

You could do a U-turn, but you can also get back to the campground by taking the road through Fraser Valley, past Winter Park ski area, over Berthoud Pass.
https://www.colorado.com/cities-and-towns/fraser
https://www.visitgrandcounty.com/exp.../berthoud-pass

This will deposit you back on I-70, and you just head East a bit to exit for your return to Golden Gate Canyon State Park. There is a very good road off 70 to get to the casinos, so that part is very easy. This will make for a very long day, or you could arrange for a hotel in Grand Lake or Grandby...or in the Fraser valley and take your time. Grandby and the Faser valley aren't resorts, but you can find a place to lay your head. Winter Park has lots of nice accommodations that go relatively cheap in the summer. Your endurance and tendency to rubberneck and photo shoot will determine your range.

Now....in Colorado Springs...in addition to Garden of the Gods, must-sees include:

Take the drive up Pike's Peak.
Visit the funky, hippy arts community, Manitou Springs.
Get a little taste of native cliff dwellings at the Manitou Cliff Dwellings. These are nothing like the real deal at Mesa Verde in SW CO, but you aren't going there.
If military stuff turns you on, drive by Norad and the AF Academy...maybe visit.

Bring a real camera. Phones are OK, but you'll want some quality pix of what you see, and phones, even iPhone 11-pros or whatever, just don't cut it. You need at least a decent point and shoot with a zoom lens. And bring several SD cards for the camera. You'll fill up several on this trip.

Most of the really fun stuff is way up high. Since you're true sea-level flatlanders, you might consider investing in some portable oxygen. Some info on altitude sickness and O2.
You can buy canned O2 in many places, and it's cheap enough that you won't regret not using it. Private pilots sometimes use it. Stash a couple in your TOW VEHICLE so you have them when you need them. You probably WON'T need them at the campgrounds.
Other treatments.

Lastly, bring chin straps for everyone, because your jaws will be on the ground if you don't have them.
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