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Old 05-30-2012, 11:42 AM
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smslavin smslavin is offline
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Default Camping recommendations needed

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 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.
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Old 05-30-2012, 12:08 PM
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Nice places around Breck. Be sure to include shopping for the 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...
You want them to have a great first taste of Colorado camping if you ever want to do it again!
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Old 05-30-2012, 12:34 PM
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Turquoise lake or lake irwin
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Old 05-30-2012, 12:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red_Chili View Post
Nice places around Breck. Be sure to include shopping for the 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...
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. The Bialetti stovetop espresso maker is a life saver for sure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wesintl
Turquoise lake or lake irwin
Thanks. Quick pic search makes Turquoise look like a winner.
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Old 05-30-2012, 12:51 PM
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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
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Old 05-30-2012, 01:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baja1d View Post
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.
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Old 05-30-2012, 01:31 PM
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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.
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Old 05-30-2012, 03:16 PM
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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.
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Old 05-30-2012, 04:10 PM
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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.
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Old 05-30-2012, 05:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baja1d View Post
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.
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