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smslavin
05-30-2012, 10:42 AM
Planning our first weekend camp trip towards the end of June and I need some recommendations. Bec likes to be at campgrounds with toilets but I think I may have her talked into a PETT toilet. Have not mentioned that small fact to the other :Princess:s yet...

Looking for something within a 2-3 hr drive. Could be on or off the beaten path but it can't be totally remote (Bec would shoot me). Trees would be nice. Water would be an added bonus. Kid/toddler friendly (girls are 9, 6 and 3).

We'll be in Telluride for a long weekend in July visiting with family at their "cabin" but I'd like to camp the other 3 weekends that month. Then we've only got 1 weekend in Aug before the kiddos go back to school. Ridiculously early.

Red_Chili
05-30-2012, 11:08 AM
Nice places around Breck. Be sure to include shopping for the :Princess: s.

Warn them well ahead of time about the shower and toilet facilities... but make it a fun adventure... give them time to adjust. A toilet tent/enclosure can double as a shower tent, and be sure to put some kind of floor in it, such as the plastic snap-together anti-fatigue flooring at Alco etc.

Oh... and bedside coffee in the morning goes a long way... :lmao:
You want them to have a great first taste of Colorado camping if you ever want to do it again!

wesintl
05-30-2012, 11:34 AM
Turquoise lake or lake irwin

smslavin
05-30-2012, 11:49 AM
Nice places around Breck. Be sure to include shopping for the :Princess: s.

Warn them well ahead of time about the shower and toilet facilities... but make it a fun adventure... give them time to adjust. A toilet tent/enclosure can double as a shower tent, and be sure to put some kind of floor in it, such as the plastic snap-together anti-fatigue flooring at Alco etc.

Oh... and bedside coffee in the morning goes a long way... :lmao:
You want them to have a great first taste of Colorado camping if you ever want to do it again!

The girls are already pretty good campers. Bec and I have a little bag of tricks for them and so far we haven't had a complete Chernobyl event. As much as I want to go longer, we've been keeping it to two nights so far.

I learned the coffee trick awhile ago. My wife without morning coffee is completely unsuitable to live with. :lmao: The Bialetti stovetop espresso maker is a life saver for sure.

Turquoise lake or lake irwin

Thanks. Quick pic search makes Turquoise look like a winner.

baja1d
05-30-2012, 11:51 AM
11 mile Canyon... (Not the reservoir) is a favorite for camping, hiking, fishing, and tubing
Lake Irwin....Crested Butte
Chamber Lake Area.... Pouder Canyon- beetle kill but tons of Moose
Jefferson Lake... Fairplay Area (Specifically Jefferson). Nice camping and stocked lake
Turquoise Lake... Buena Vista
Rocky Mountain National Park... Estes Park

Unfortunately with the new craze of "Stay Vacations" and the recent "fire bans" reservations are a must for almost every campground in the state unless you arrive mid week. If you don't care about a camp fire then there is a ton of National Forest- you can camp anywhere unless marked with a "no camping sign". Here's a couple of sites for reservations: http://www.recreation.gov/welcome.do?topTabIndex=Home & http://www.reserveamerica.com/. It's a bummer but you can only have a camp fire in a designated campground now and most of them are booked solid. The two companies above only allow you to make a reservation 6 months in advance. My experience this year has proved that people are making their reservations 6 months out but they're booking the trip for a Wednesday through Sunday just to secure the weekend. Once they have their reservation, they cancel the Wednesday and Thursday. It was frustrating this year to learn the game but apparently that is how it is played!!! Good luck

smslavin
05-30-2012, 12:16 PM
11 mile Canyon... (Not the reservoir) is a favorite for camping, hiking, fishing, and tubing
Lake Irwin....Crested Butte
Chamber Lake Area.... Pouder Canyon- beetle kill but tons of Moose
Jefferson Lake... Fairplay Area (Specifically Jefferson). Nice camping and stocked lake
Turquoise Lake... Buena Vista
Rocky Mountain National Park... Estes Park

Unfortunately with the new craze of "Stay Vacations" and the recent "fire bans" reservations are a must for almost every campground in the state unless you arrive mid week. If you don't care about a camp fire then there is a ton of National Forest- you can camp anywhere unless marked with a "no camping sign". Here's a couple of sites for reservations: http://www.recreation.gov/welcome.do?topTabIndex=Home & http://www.reserveamerica.com/. It's a bummer but you can only have a camp fire in a designated campground now and most of them are booked solid. The two companies above only allow you to make a reservation 6 months in advance. My experience this year has proved that people are making their reservations 6 months out but they're booking the trip for a Wednesday through Sunday just to secure the weekend. Once they have their reservation, they cancel the Wednesday and Thursday. It was frustrating this year to learn the game but apparently that is how it is played!!! Good luck

Thanks for the recommendation. Been cruising both those sites as well as recreation.gov. Looks like the Father Dyer campground is available at Turquoise for our weekend in June.

I'll check some of the other spots for later in the summer.

pmccumber
05-30-2012, 12:31 PM
Crested Butte is absolutely awesome but at least 4 hrs away from the metro. I really like Huerfano and South Colony Lakes areas. Google those areas. Stunningly pretty but no water, no toilets. But I get to South Colony in 3.5 from Longmont.

Caribou Sandstorm
05-30-2012, 02:16 PM
Yep if you want to see what the mountain towns looked like in the 70s go to Crested Butte. No stop lights, no fast food! Great camping.. Cool stores. Beautiful Valley and the 285/50 route is pretty stress free vs. I70 travel. 3.5 hours in the summer, you can also cross over Cottonwood pass to cut another 30 minutes off the commute. This route takes you past several 14ers (CO has 54 14k+ peaks).

Great family biking on the county dirt roads in CB also.

With any Mountain camping in Colorado, make sure to bring your warmest jacket you own..We have camped in Crested Butte in late June and have been snowed on. Cement Creek has non reservation campsites along the river, can be noisy.

Also try to plan your family hikes for morning to early afternoon for high altitude stuff. All mountain areas will get scattered rain almost every afternoon and lightning strikes are common place at the higher elevations.

Corbet
05-30-2012, 03:10 PM
Buena Vista area or up and over cottonwood pass to Gunnison or Crested Butte would be a good spot. You could raft the Arkansas for a day. Brown's Canyon is always a good time with a couple big holes in the river but nothing too scary. I always go with Kodi Rafting up there.

Otherwise the west side of Rocky Mountain National Park is a good spot to get away from most of the tourist base on the other side. You can always run into Grandy, Winter Park or Hot Sulphur Springs for town activities or such.

There really are not a lot of good camping spots in Summit County. Few NFS campgrounds on the lake but that's really all. Reservations a must. But your always in ear shot of I-70. That ruins camping for me.

wesintl
05-30-2012, 04:24 PM
Unfortunately with the new craze of "Stay Vacations" and the recent "fire bans" reservations are a must for almost every campground in the state unless you arrive mid week. If you don't care about a camp fire then there is a ton of National Forest-


That's why you gotta get the camp chef fire pit. We've used them in the maze 2 years now.
http://www.campchef.com/gas-fire-ring.html

also i've found if you leave friday morning and get to your by noon you can usually get the non reserved spots of which every camground has about 1/4 of for non res use.

corsair23
05-30-2012, 06:41 PM
Steamboat area? On the 3hr side of your time range but there is a lot to do up there...

wesintl
05-30-2012, 07:08 PM
steamboat is fun. I usually stay at the rv park in right outside town. But steamboat lake is nice stagecoach is too. The hot springs in town is awesome for kids. you can tube the yampa and the wifey can shop in da boat.

there is camping up buffalo pass too

http://www.sshra.org/

baja1d
05-30-2012, 08:23 PM
steamboat is fun. I usually stay at the rv park in right outside town. But steamboat lake is nice stagecoach is too. The hot springs in town is awesome for kids. you can tube the yampa and the wifey can shop in da boat.

there is camping up buffalo pass too

http://www.sshra.org/


Strawberry hot springs are great for kids during the day, however, they can get wild at night.

smslavin
05-30-2012, 08:37 PM
Thanks for all the ideas. Going to be a fun summer. :thumb:

pmccumber
05-31-2012, 09:01 AM
Just as a thought, when we head over to The Dunes, Crested Butte, or the San Juans, we almost always spend the night in Salida. If I take off Thursday and Friday let's say, we head out Wednesday night at the tail end of rush hour and stay at a hotel, get some Amica's pizza and double IPA, have a good breakfast in the AM, and head down to the destination. Busts up the trip. Kids might swim. And I love Salida. Fun town to walk around; the wife loves all the little art shops.

Jacket
05-31-2012, 09:12 AM
Lots of good suggestions in here. What you'll basically find is that within the 2 hour "bubble" of the front range, the camps are pretty much full on weekends. You need to be at the FCFS spots Friday morning before noon if you hope to get one of those.

If you are willing to drive 3-4 hours, then the opportunities grow. But unfortunately the traffic all still flows through I70 and US285 back to the front range, so that Sunday traffic will get you no matter where you leave from.

bh4rnnr
05-31-2012, 11:38 AM
What about Argentine Pass? 45minutes away. The light snow fall might mean more of the area will be open early. And you could add the Georgetown Loop for a fun filled weekend:)
:beer: