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Old 12-08-2022, 09:32 PM   #1
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Rocky Mtn National Park

Looking for a mid/late June trip coming from Huntsville, AL. Will be pulling a 34' TT. This will be our first "real" trip as we are newbies. That said, I looked here, but didn't find much updated information about the area. Really looking for full hook-ups vs boondocking somewhere (although that is not out of the question).

Thanks,
Kevin
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Old 12-08-2022, 09:53 PM   #2
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I’m not familiar with the area, but I like to plan my approximate location for each day, and check Campendium and RVParky for places to stay. They include sites with amenities or without.
You may want to check those out for possibilities.
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Old 12-08-2022, 10:26 PM   #3
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Sun Resorts in Granby is a good place to stay. It's on the west side, but still a nice area to explore Rocky Mtn national park from. It's also a nice area to explore.
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Old 12-08-2022, 11:07 PM   #4
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make reservations now or you wont get in. hope you like crowds, traffic etc.
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Old 12-09-2022, 01:04 AM   #5
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That’s a pretty good haul. 1300+ miles. 3 to 4 days depending on your driving speed. The problem with rvparky or allstays is you need to know where you will be at day day 1 or 2 or 3, etc. I recommend you check out rvtripwizard.com. It is a trip planner. It also has a gps router thru rvlife.com. It is not free so if you have a sailboat mentality it is not for you. It cost $40/yr. Just check it out. It has a free trial.

I use it exclusively and love it, some don’t want to spend the money but it’s the most comprehensive program available. There is a learning curve but it’s not difficult if you’re a little tech savvy…
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Old 12-09-2022, 08:36 AM   #6
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There are a few full service campgrounds in and around Estes Park. We have used the KOA there a few times. It is very cramped but then we spend little time actually in the campground.
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Old 12-09-2022, 09:16 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smirak View Post
Looking for a mid/late June trip coming from Huntsville, AL. Will be pulling a 34' TT. This will be our first "real" trip as we are newbies. That said, I looked here, but didn't find much updated information about the area. Really looking for full hook-ups vs boondocking somewhere (although that is not out of the question).

Thanks,
Kevin

We stayed at River Run RV resort this year, it is a beautiful resort but it is def a resort not a campground. LOTS of amenities and things to do but also just down the road from the entrance to the park. We really enjoyed our time out there, get ready for he climb out of Denver it was all my Duramax wanted with our 42ft toy hauler behind her,she did it but 40mph was about it.
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Old 12-09-2022, 01:02 PM   #8
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We stayed at Spruce Lake RV Resort in Estes Park last summer. It is a reasonable campground, sites were not huge but big enough, you won’t be there for the camping experience as much as the sightseeing anyway, we spent little time at the campsite during the days we were there. The road up to Estes Park does climb pretty good, it was no problem for us though, semi trucks make it up there all the time.
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Old 12-10-2022, 10:47 AM   #9
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We stayed at Elk Meadows about 3 years ago. Decent enough place. Road to the south entrance was just outside the campground. Lots to see and do in that area. When we lived in Colo Springs (mid '80s), we went up there a lot. Always like to go back. Don't know if you still have to get reservations just to enter the park during the day. This was started with covid.
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Old 12-14-2022, 11:43 AM   #10
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You have chosen one of the most crowded places in the West to visit. Get a reservation where you can find one. Consider spending some time in a National Forest camp ground nearby. It will be a lot more quiet.
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Old 12-14-2022, 12:59 PM   #11
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Crowded for sure. Have stayed at the KOA/Elk Meadows/Spruce Lake campgrounds and Spruce Lake RV Resort is our choice for the past 10 years. The use of the word "resort" is loosely used as there are no campgrounds in Estes Park that resemble what one should expect from a resort setting (my opinion). Spruce Lake may be the most expensive and of course over priced in Estes Park. One thing for sure is that early reservations are a must no matter which commercial campground you choose. Additionally, heading north on I-25 the hwy 66 (exit 243) up through Lyons and hwy 36 to Estes is the better RV route to take. I will add that we really enjoy our time in Estes. If you play golf the Estes Park 18 hole course is a must (Elk have the right of way). There is also an executive 9-hole course (no penalty relief from Elk scat). The Big Thompson River fishing is fair below Estes Lake dam. Estes Lake shore fishing is sometimes pretty good. Shopping is good and the abundance of traffic is a downer but hey, it's a resort town. You'll enjoy it. We did have to have reservations this year to enter RMNP. Have a good trip.
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Old 12-19-2022, 07:13 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by smirak View Post
Looking for a mid/late June trip coming from Huntsville, AL. Will be pulling a 34' TT. This will be our first "real" trip as we are newbies. That said, I looked here, but didn't find much updated information about the area. Really looking for full hook-ups vs boondocking somewhere (although that is not out of the question).

Thanks,
Kevin
Try Winding River in Grand Lake. Nice to watch the horses run in every morning around 7am while enjoying a cup of coffee. Less busy side of RMNP and close to plenty of hikes.
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Old 12-19-2022, 07:26 PM   #13
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There are a number of full hookup parks in Estes Park city. These are all 10-15 minutes from the eastern border of RMNP. We stayed at Spruce Lake RV Park and thoroughly enjoyed our stay last June. It’s clean, friendly, and very convenient. The city of Estes Park is only 5 minutes away. There were wild elk that walked through the campground. Make your reservations early. If one campground is full ask for an alternate location. I did and the person was very accommodating. That’s how e ended up at Spruce Lake. Have fun and enjoy the area. It’s a blast.
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Old 12-19-2022, 07:53 PM   #14
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Wow, what a first big adventure for a newbie. You didn't mention your rig nor your tow vehicle. I do recommend RV Trip Wizard for your trip planning and have a backup plan in case of problems along the way. Traveling in the summer months can be very challenging. The Rockies can be very challenging and exciting to travel. I follow the 330 rule when driving. Either travel no more than 330 miles or make sure I stop before 3:30pm to ensure I can park my rig before it gets dark. Remember you are driving two large vehicles and your average speed is going to be around 60 mph--don't push it. I hope you have great tires too and a TPMS on both vehicles. Stop often and check those tires temperatures. The biggest mistakes newbies make is speeding and not resting along the way! Don't arrived too tired that you can't enjoy the adventure. Stay on the major highways and remember mountain roads are not fun with a large trailer!
I traveled from California to Colorado last summer (1630 miles one-way and took 3 days to get there). Remember to fill up your tank between 3/8 to 1/2 tank! You never know what type of filling station can support your rig and tow vehicle. If you have a diesel, then definitely use the Truck Stops (T/A, Pilot, and Flying J). You might have to wait in line for a few more minutes, but egress in/out is much more easier than a normal filling station.
Hopefully you are watching RV Life and/or other RV Couples on You Tube to get a better perspective on long distance driving and what to pack and what not to pack.
Remember this is an adventure for fun, not a exercise on survival.
Have fun too!
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Old 12-19-2022, 09:28 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smirak View Post
Looking for a mid/late June trip coming from Huntsville, AL. Will be pulling a 34' TT. This will be our first "real" trip as we are newbies. That said, I looked here, but didn't find much updated information about the area. Really looking for full hook-ups vs boondocking somewhere (although that is not out of the question).

Thanks,
Kevin
Estes park campground at Mary's lake is a good one. Reservation window (6 months) will be opening soon. Park opens just before memorial day. Full hookups first 2 rows and book pretty quick.
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Old 12-19-2022, 10:00 PM   #16
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X2


We've stayed there many times. (Private, County now City.) Be prepared for daily high winds and depending on the time of year a brief daily thundershower.

Did their water/electric sites in the trees with our pop-ups and the full hookups with our hybrids.

Reserve yesterday.
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Old 12-20-2022, 05:18 AM   #17
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[QUOTE=S.Edington;2810294]I follow the 330 rule when driving. Either travel no more than 330 miles or make sure I stop before 3:30pm to ensure I can park my rig before it gets dark. I traveled from California to Colorado last summer (1630 miles one-way and took 3 days to get there).QUOTE]

So much for rules, eh. Couldn't resist.
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Old 12-20-2022, 03:25 PM   #18
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Sounds like a nice adventure for the Newbies. Many folks heading to RM NP do stay in Estes Park area as recommended in several posts. However, my wife and I stayed at St. Vrains State Park in Longmont Colorado, only 3-4 miles off of I25 with full hookups and $34 a night. The campsites are all pull-throughs, huge with great spacing between them.

We were 32 miles from RM NP, twenty-some miles to Boulder, Co, and 24 miles to downtown Denver. Grocery stores, Walmart, and many gas stations with good fuel prices, very centrally located. When we visited the park going through Estes we both said we were glad we camped where we did.

Depending on what route the OP is taking they should be prepared to encounter the possibility of strong crosswinds in the 40 to 60 mph range. We took I70 across Kansas and Eastern Colorado (where the CO section of the road is maybe some of the worst highways in the country). We pulled into a Harvest Host in Kansas early to get away from the wind. The next day the winds and roads were even worse going across Colorado. A 34' TT will sway like the Mayflower in those conditions.
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Old 12-20-2022, 05:50 PM   #19
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Estes Park is the place to stay. Last year (August) we also stayed at Spruce Lake as others have mentioned. It was easy to get into town and to RM Nat Park. We didn't spend a lot of time in the campground, but it was clean and we walked around to get our steps in, lol. We did have to keep an eye out for the Elk that were around, it just added to the atmosphere. If we were to go back to this area someday we would stay here. Make sure you get your daily pass to visit some of the better parts of the park. You can get them early and not worry, or there are some released the day before. Such a beautiful area in the park and a lot of good hiking paths.
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