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Old 06-04-2008, 07:37 PM   #43
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Within 60 miles I'd agree that Tiger Run is probably your only option with hook ups. It is expensive, but if you want to do it I'd reserve now. Summit county only has 1 of it's 4 forest service campgrounds open right now due to pine beetle kill removal so I'm sure Tiger Run is getting more calls then normal.

Charlie
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Old 06-06-2008, 07:40 PM   #44
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We stopped at the Shrine Pass road today and about 100 yards up there was a pile of snow about 1 foot or more high. We didn't look any further. There sure is a lot of snow up there at 11,000' and I think even if it melts by June 20, the ground will be soggy as mud season will have gotten a late start.

While we were dodging tornados in Kansas yesterday (beat one by 10 minutes) we heard it was snowing at Copper Mountain, though when we went through this morning, I-70 was dry and where it fell on the grass it melted right away. It was 28˚ this morning at Copper and 46˚ late this morning at Vail Pass.

I know the Shrine Pass Rd should be dry and the wildflowers should be coming out on June 20, but this year has been quite different from recent ones. Nobody can be sure what's going to happen by June 20, but this last winter is more like the ones in the '80's than more recently. I'm not sure it's over.

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Old 06-07-2008, 05:44 PM   #45
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I just came back from the pass myself. I was in my Audi so I also decided not to try it. I may have gone up if I were in my Durango, I drove up to the gate where the snow pile was and saw a few similar piles of snow on the road ahead, but it was mostly clear. We had snow on both Wed. and Thursday at the higher altitudes. If we don't get another snow between now and the 20th. I still think we'll be o.k. (2 weeks can make a lot of difference with temps like we've had today), but I think we might want to consider a plan b just in case. I'm camping today at 9200', but will take a little time to check out the Guanella Pass tomorrow. It's still over 11,000' at the summit, but offers areas that are lower and is a paved road. I'll update everyone in the next day or 2 on this.
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We stopped at the Shrine Pass road today and about 100 yards up there was a pile of snow about 1 foot or more high. We didn't look any further. There sure is a lot of snow up there at 11,000' and I think even if it melts by June 20, the ground will be soggy as mud season will have gotten a late start.

While we were dodging tornados in Kansas yesterday (beat one by 10 minutes) we heard it was snowing at Copper Mountain, though when we went through this morning, I-70 was dry and where it fell on the grass it melted right away. It was 28˚ this morning at Copper and 46˚ late this morning at Vail Pass.

I know the Shrine Pass Rd should be dry and the wildflowers should be coming out on June 20, but this year has been quite different from recent ones. Nobody can be sure what's going to happen by June 20, but this last winter is more like the ones in the '80's than more recently. I'm not sure it's over.

Gene
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Old 06-07-2008, 05:48 PM   #46
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... I'll update everyone in the next day or 2 on this.
Charlie
please do!

i'll be passing through (and over) with the pig in tow,

in 5-6 days and wanna come back on the 19th or 20th...

cheers
2air'
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Old 06-07-2008, 07:19 PM   #47
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My wife and I were just discussing options for a plan B. We have a lot of options in the area near the Shrine Pass. The Ute pass is a much lower altitude and I know it's fine right now. The Gore Pass may offer a few areas as well as the Guanella Pass. A couple of others may come to mind. I still want to hold the Shrine Pass as a first option, but I'll try to make a day tomorrow of checking out a couple of the others.

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Old 06-07-2008, 07:48 PM   #48
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Charlie,

How about the old 10th Mountain Division (Camp Hale) site below Tennessee Pass? It's pretty flat and quite large. There's a campground there, and I don't know whether there are other areas that could be used. They were cleaning out munitions left over from WWII several years ago, so if they missed some, that could be exciting.

Or, the lower end of the Shrine Pass Rd near Red Cliff?

Cottonwood Pass is still closed, though it should open soon, so Taylor Park is probably out, but it's a beautiful place for future possibilities.

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Old 06-08-2008, 08:47 PM   #49
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Gene:

I could check out the Tennessee pass late this week, that sounds like a good idea.
I had to time to Drive the Guanella pass today as well as the Shrine (what a grueling way to spend a day off). The Guanella offers perfect conditions to camp in right now and actually had a few people boondocking today. I found 2 great spots which are both BLM land and are o.k. for boondocking. The one I favor is 6.9 miles in from Granite Colorado, and 17.1 miles in from Georgetown. I'll estimate this area is around 10,000' in altitude, but if we decide on it I'll take the Gamin next time to get the exact coordinates for those who may have a gps. It offered both large open areas as well as treed areas next to the river. I took a couple of pics of some nice bighorn just at the entrance to this area which is off the main pass road by about 1 mile. Coming in from Granite would be much easier but about 4 miles of that drive is gravel. Coming in from Georgetown would be much closer for anyone along I-70. The 17.1 mile road is paved with the exception of about 2 miles which is gravel. It has a lot of switchbacks coming up though which the other way does not. I took the Durango into the Shrine pass as well today. It snowed a little last night but even with that the snow you saw yesterday had melted down a lot. The road is wet, and muddy with similar areas of snow throughout. I only drove to the area I was interested in for camping and came back so it may be better toward RedCliff. From what I saw I can't say for certain that the area will, or wont' be suitable for camping by the 20th. I can say that the Guanella is fine right now so it should be great by the 20th. I'll be out of town from Tues. - Friday morning so I won't be able to look at any other locations until after Friday.
I'm up for anything that works. We could wait until a few days prior to decide if the Shrine is o.k., or we could confirm a good plan B.
I'll send everyone that's confirmed a P.M. with my cell phone # if you want to discuss this.
Charlie
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Old 06-08-2008, 09:26 PM   #50
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Charlie,

Tried to call, got a message, hung up. My thoughts are that Guanella Pass has many beautiful places and is farther away for us. Since we won't get there until Sat. morning, that's a personal consideration. I haven't been over Guanella Pass for many years, but I recall those very tight switchbacks on the Georgetown side. I recall some pretty steep grades there too. The gravel on the other side was always a bad washboard on the level area alongside a creek. I would probably come via US 285 from Grant, but it seems like a long, long trip.

Camp Hale has some sort of historic status and the FS may not allow boondocking around there. I couldn't tell from the website. Turquoise Lake, just south of Leadville, is a beautiful area, but I don't know whether there's anyplace to camp. I guess you'd have to ask the FS on those. The Gore Range has a lot of areas on the road from US 40 to Toponas, but I can't think of anywhere specific. Gore Pass is less than 10,000 feet, so it may be pretty clear up there. It is a very nice area and I've always enjoyed driving over that range. It's probably closer to our home than any other site.

I'd rather wait a little longer so we have a good site than make a decision too fast.

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Old 06-08-2008, 10:23 PM   #51
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Sorry, I had to run out and left my phone in the car. Give me a call Mon. if you'd like. My wife said that she's looked at the Camp Hale area in the past and thought it looked like a nice location to camp. I'll call the Ranger district to see if they know about it. They'll most likely have to refer me to the district that's over that area. I agree that the Guanella would be more difficult to get to unless you were coming in from the south. If I can squeeze it in, I'll check out the Gore Pass tomorrow after work. If everyone is o.k. on waiting until next weekend to decide I should have a better feel for the Shrine by then.
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Charlie,

Tried to call, got a message, hung up. My thoughts are that Guanella Pass has many beautiful places and is farther away for us. Since we won't get there until Sat. morning, that's a personal consideration. I haven't been over Guanella Pass for many years, but I recall those very tight switchbacks on the Georgetown side. I recall some pretty steep grades there too. The gravel on the other side was always a bad washboard on the level area alongside a creek. I would probably come via US 285 from Grant, but it seems like a long, long trip.

Camp Hale has some sort of historic status and the FS may not allow boondocking around there. I couldn't tell from the website. Turquoise Lake, just south of Leadville, is a beautiful area, but I don't know whether there's anyplace to camp. I guess you'd have to ask the FS on those. The Gore Range has a lot of areas on the road from US 40 to Toponas, but I can't think of anywhere specific. Gore Pass is less than 10,000 feet, so it may be pretty clear up there. It is a very nice area and I've always enjoyed driving over that range. It's probably closer to our home than any other site.

I'd rather wait a little longer so we have a good site than make a decision too fast.

Gene
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Old 06-09-2008, 12:09 AM   #52
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I have boondocked at Camp Hale fairly recently (two years ago) and they do allow camping, not to mention that I have seen a few SOB rallies there with several MoHo's in a field. The problem with Camp Hale at this point is the shear number of ATV's buzzing around on the roads get tiresome after a while.

Also, is the road construction complete on Guanella? If not, that would preclude any access from the Georgetown side.
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Old 06-09-2008, 10:10 AM   #53
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Charlie,

Thanks for your work on this. With winter not letting go, more like winter used to be, this has become what seemed to be a good time and place at Shrine Pass, maybe not so good an idea. Colorado weather is always full of surprises.

As for ATV's and trail bikes, aren't they everywhere? Every time I go to Grand Mesa I am shocked by the sheer number of destructive trails they have cut through the forest.

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Old 06-10-2008, 07:43 AM   #54
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I'm off to my 3 day meeting this morning. Sorry, but I didn't have time to get the Gore pass in yesterday. My wife is going to try to check out the Camp Hale area while I'm gone, and I'll evaluate the Shrine again Friday evening on my way home.
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Old 06-10-2008, 12:20 PM   #55
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Pacerized, I have a few suggestions as where to camp at Camp Hale. IM me and I'll send a Google Earth file your way with the locations.
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Old 06-14-2008, 10:06 AM   #56
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I'm off to scout things this morning. I came in late last night from my business trip and hit the Shrine pass at 8:40 pm which was right at sunset. I was in my car and got off I 70 to see how it looked. The road was dry so I drove up a slight distance, then decided it would be best to wait until morning, but I can say the pass was much better. I'll be driving the length of the Shrine pass first then heading toward the Tennessee Pass to Camp Hale. I may also take a look at the base of the Independence pass near twin lakes, but I don't know if there's a good boon docking area there. I'll have a full report this evening, and maybe we can all come to a final decision based on that.
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