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May/June South half of Colorado tips


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#1 Smitty

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Posted 09 December 2016 - 10:26 AM

We'll be spending two-three months in Colorado in 2017. We have two weeks at Cheyenne Mountain State Park (Colorado Springs area) and ten days in Cherry Creek State Park just South of Denver. This gets us thru the month of May. 

 

We have previously spent many months North of I70, Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, Etc. 

 

So we're looking for tips on places to visit for 6-7 weeks to the South of I70. So far, the DW has picked out Durango as an area to visit. But after that, looking for input on:

 

-National Parks and or Forests

-State Parks

-Private Parks

 

We're in a 40' RV, and do not mind mixing up between say National Park/Forrest Boon Docking, or electric only. And we're open to independent RV parks too. We usually do not get too far off paved paths, but good graded dirt roads of a few miles to access a location, would be just fine. 

 

(And yes, I will continue using searches with key world Colorado, as I find that is a great way to get a few years of history on an area...)

 

TIA for any tips:)! And best to all,

Smitty


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#2 DuneElliot

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Posted 09 December 2016 - 11:39 AM

Silverton (north of Durango) and the Million Dollar Highway are recommended...but with your toad. I don't recommend doing that road in a 40ft Class A, or with any big trailer. Durango to Silverton via the narrow-gauge is pretty awesome but I believe you have to book tickets well in advance.

 

Ouray, Ridgeway and the hot springs are awesome. Telluride and the surrounding mountains is one of my favorite places in SW Colorado.


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#3 Bill Baxter

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Posted 09 December 2016 - 12:34 PM

Black Canyon of the Gunnison, NP. Low visitor population in a spectacular enviorment. That's on US50. 

 

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#4 homelesshartshorns

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Posted 09 December 2016 - 01:52 PM

Silverton (north of Durango) and the Million Dollar Highway are recommended...but with your toad. I don't recommend doing that road in a 40ft Class A, or with any big trailer. Durango to Silverton via the narrow-gauge is pretty awesome but I believe you have to book tickets well in advance.

 

Ouray, Ridgeway and the hot springs are awesome. Telluride and the surrounding mountains is one of my favorite places in SW Colorado.

If you don't take the house over the Million Dollar Highway, how do you get to Ridgeway when coming from the south?



#5 DuneElliot

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Posted 09 December 2016 - 02:05 PM

If you don't take the house over the Million Dollar Highway, how do you get to Ridgeway when coming from the south?

 

I would go via Cortez and up 145 personally. Each to their own, and everyone's risk assessment is different but I just wouldn't do it whereas others would...and have.


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#6 homelesshartshorns

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Posted 09 December 2016 - 02:41 PM

I appetite opinion and caution, thank you



#7 Pat & Pete

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Posted 09 December 2016 - 03:48 PM

I appetite opinion and caution, thank you

 Appetite ??? Must be auto correct . But , maybe not ... ;)


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#8 Smitty

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Posted 09 December 2016 - 04:10 PM

We have these on the list, as they all seem very cool (Well, especially right now:)! Perhaps a bit warmer in June...). 

 

Keep them coming please!

 

Best to all,

Smitty


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Smitty
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#9 LEGENDRE1

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Posted 09 December 2016 - 05:43 PM

Pagoda Springs is a nice place to visit and relax in the hot springs.


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#10 Dennis M

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Posted 09 December 2016 - 06:30 PM

Mesa Verde is worth a few days; Canyons of the Ancients is out in the middle of  nowhere, but a really cool place and well worth the drive; Anasazi Heritage Center Museum is really cool, you could spend a whole day here. All of these are close to Cortez, CO. We stayed at Sundance RV this summer, nice park right in town.

 

Don't bother with San Luis State Park! Same cost as Cherry Creek, electric only, no amenities and a seriously ugly place with really bad access roads and no staff on duty. We spent one night of our three night reservation and hit the road. We had a reserved specific site and when we got there (after dark in the rain!) the site had a tent on it with a newly issued permit for that date on the post! Fortunately hardly anyone there so we just took another site. 


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#11 2gypsies

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Posted 09 December 2016 - 08:24 PM

Definitely Pagosa Springs. There are very clean concrete small pool of varying temperatures. Bring a small cooler for drinks and snacks or you can purchase there. We spend a whole morning soaking when in the area.  It's sure to relax you. The pools overlook the river and you can watch kayakers come down the rapids.

 

We've driven the Million Dollar Hwy (550) many times in both directions. We love it but it's not for everyone.  The alternative 145 is also a very nice drive.

 

Mesa Verde Nat'l Park has a campground and about 10 hookup sites which need reserving. They're popular.  Take a ranger-led tour into the ruins.

 

You can't go wrong with any area of SW Colorado. It's one of our favorite places and we've spent all summer there often.  Silverton is a premier Jeeping area. To be there the July 4 weekend is a real treat - fun parade and awesome fireworks.  Rent a Jeep if you don't have one.

 

Hwy 50 from Montrose to the east is a nice drive. Drive up to Crested Butte in your toad.  No camping right in Crested Butte but many national forest campgrounds in all directions.

 

Sourth Fork, Creede and Lake City are are very small towns but fun to explore.  Hwy 24 to Buena Vista/Leadville is nice.

 

You need a lot more time!!!  Enjoy.


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#12 Newt

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Posted 09 December 2016 - 08:57 PM

Mesa Verde is worth a few days; Canyons of the Ancients is out in the middle of  nowhere, but a really cool place and well worth the drive; Anasazi Heritage Center Museum is really cool, you could spend a whole day here. All of these are close to Cortez, CO. We stayed at Sundance RV this summer, nice park right in town.

 

Don't bother with San Luis State Park! Same cost as Cherry Creek, electric only, no amenities and a seriously ugly place with really bad access roads and no staff on duty. We spent one night of our three night reservation and hit the road. We had a reserved specific site and when we got there (after dark in the rain!) the site had a tent on it with a newly issued permit for that date on the post! Fortunately hardly anyone there so we just took another site. 

 

At Sundance RV Park, you can look out the door and see Mesa Verde.  I always laugh at the sign that says 10 miles to Mesa Verde.  That's to where you get off of Hwy 160.  After that, it's ~30 miles to get any where in the park on very curvy roads.

 

Canyon Lands of the Ancients is right on County RD G.  I like to hike/mountain bike Sand Canyon.  When you go into Utah on County RD G, the headquarters for the Canyon Lands of the Ancients is nearby.

 

Cortez is centrally located for day trips to Telluride, Durango and Silverton/Ouray.

 

The Anasazi Heritage Center is just outside of Dolores.  If you go there, The Dolores Food Market has very good meat.  And a lot of stuff you wont find at Wally World.

 

We stayed at Sundance for several summers while full timing.  There is a huge city park across the street.  Very good for a walk.

 

Newt


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#13 Dennis M

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Posted 10 December 2016 - 05:52 PM

In my post above I noted Canyons of the Ancients. I actually meant Hovenweep. The road to Canyon of the Ancients was terrible washboard, too much of a beating for either the truck or the smart!


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#14 Newt

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Posted 10 December 2016 - 07:34 PM

There is more than one road in/around the Canyon Lands of the Ancients, some paved, some gravel some, get a jeep.

 

Newt


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#15 homelesshartshorns

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Posted 10 December 2016 - 09:05 PM

 

I would go via Cortez and up 145 personally. Each Onto their own, and everyone's risk assessment is different but I just wouldn't do it whereas others would...and have.

On my google earth it looks like 145 doesn't connect to million dollar drive?



#16 2gypsies

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Posted 10 December 2016 - 10:26 PM

On my google earth it looks like 145 doesn't connect to million dollar drive?


You'd take 145 north to 62 at Placerville to Ridgway at 550 (Million Dollar Hwy) then south on 550 through Ouray, Silverton to Durango. It's a beautiful drive.

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#17 Dennis M

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Posted 11 December 2016 - 03:12 PM

There is more than one road in/around the Canyon Lands of the Ancients, some paved, some gravel some, get a jeep.

 

Newt

 

 

Have a Wrangler now! But when we were there in July only the Volvo and the smart were with us.


Dennis & Nancy
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1999 Volvo 610 "Bud" 425 HP Volvo, Super 10 spd.
2005 Mountain Aire 35 BLKS
2013 smart fortwo CityFlame riding on Bud
(Replaced '05 smart first loaded in '06

and '11 smart that gave it's life to save me!)
Our Travel Blog


#18 Bruce T

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Posted 12 December 2016 - 02:33 AM

Alamosa, Antonito. Jump on the narrow gauge train down to Chama. Fantastic trip. Great scenery. Don't forget the Great Sand Dune NP.

Then over to La Veta there is a very nice small park, (Elk Valley RV park). From La Veta there are some brilliant drives up into and around Spanish Peaks.



#19 Al Florida

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Posted 12 December 2016 - 08:03 AM

In 2009 we toured Colorado for about 3 months in our 40' diesel pusher and kept a blog of the trip.

 

There is the section of the blog from Grand Junction to Denver from August 18 to October 1st. 

 

This is the first entry where we go from Grand Junction to Silverton.

 

When you reach the bottom of the blog entry, click on "newer post"  to continue. 

 

Or you can go to the last blog entry of our Colorado trip and work your way through older posts until you get to Grand Junction.


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#20 geodog

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Posted 14 December 2016 - 10:31 AM

Blue Spruce RV Resort north of Bayfield, CO is a beautiful park. They will rent for one week at a time only.
The parks in and close to Durango are rather expensive. We stay at Sundance in Cortez each year on our loop thru southern CO to Chama, NM.
Parking in Alamosa is limited.
Magote, CO has 3 rv parks. Chama, NM has 3 rv parks.

ShortyO