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Old 02-14-2009, 08:41 AM   #1
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Question Colorado Information Requested: Durango - Silverton - Ouray

We are planning a Colorado trip for next summer to the Durango, Silverton and Ouray area. We can spend 2-3 weeks beginning in late June. I am seeking information on campgrounds and any other suggestions for things to do. We like both commercial and forest service campgrounds. Don't mind boondocking for a few days at a time but prefer hookups most of the time (no generator or solar). We enjoy having a campfire at our site. Love spots on a river or stream.

We have been to this area in the past but it was prior to owing a camper. We are familiar with the main "touristy" attractions but not familiar with the area from an RVing perspective. In our previous trips we rode the train, drove half of the Alpine Loop (LOVED IT!), and tent camped in the South Mineral Campground (I believe that is the name). A few years ago, we spent three nights in a Telluride hotel which we did not enjoy very much--prefer sitting by a beautiful stream to overpriced shops and restaurants--but we loved the scenic surroundings. We really enjoy driving to back country destinations to see sites off the beaten path. Restaurant recommendations are welcome if you know of some place that's "not to miss".

We have read this recent thread: Durango - Silverton It recommended Lightner Creek and Durango Riverside campgrounds so those are under consideration. We need some recommendations in the Ouray area.

One specific question: have any of you ever camped at Haviland Lake Campground? It looks like a great place from the Internet. Is it hard to get a spot in late June? (It does not take reservations.) Are the campsites assessable with a 27' trailer?

Thanks in advance for taking time to contribute to this thread!
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Old 02-14-2009, 08:48 AM   #2
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Do the whole loop! One particularly great sight is seen traveling north toward Telluride just about 20 minutes before getting there. As you straighten out after a right hand bend, exploding in front of you is the massive grey (I'd like to monolith, even though it isn't) face of just a small portion of the mountain, spikey and spired. Beautiful, awe inspiring.
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Old 02-14-2009, 10:27 AM   #3
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Pagosa Springs is a beautiful area, too- mountains, lakes, hot springs, the river, and it is a laid-back, inexpensive area. Great Nat. Forest camping is to be found towards the end of the Piedra Road, north of town, by Williams Reservoir. There are also hook-up type campgrounds in town. Have fun!
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Old 02-14-2009, 12:43 PM   #4
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Lizardhead Pass area

emdubyadee,

You might enjoy couple of places along Hwy 145 about 10 miles S. of Telluride;

Matterhorn FS campground - some sites have hookups, some views, small creek, restrooms/showers.
and/or
Boondocking at the top of Lizardhead Pass on the E. side of Hwy 145. Great views, wide open spaces, green meadow, lots of elbow room, campfires OK.

The Galloping Goose bike trail starts at the top of Lizardhead Pass and meanders past a lake and abandoned railroad trestle all gently downhill ending at the Matterhorn FS campground. Wonderful gentle ride with terrific views.

Regarding Lightner Creek; The campground is along a small creek in a narrow valley that is shaded part of the day. No great views. It is only so-so in my opinion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by emdubyadee View Post
We are planning a Colorado trip for next summer to the Durango, Silverton and Ouray area. We can spend 2-3 weeks beginning in late June. I am seeking information on campgrounds and any other suggestions for things to do. We like both commercial and forest service campgrounds. Don't mind boondocking for a few days at a time but prefer hookups most of the time (no generator or solar). We enjoy having a campfire at our site. Love spots on a river or stream.

We have read this recent thread: Durango - Silverton It recommended Lightner Creek and Durango Riverside campgrounds so those are under consideration. We need some recommendations in the Ouray area.
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Old 02-14-2009, 02:49 PM   #5
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my cousin and i stayed in Mesa Verde National Park last summer it was really nice i would have liked to stayed an extra day.

If you get a chance stop and eat and have a drink at Steamworks in durango. Its a really good micro brewery, food and beer was really good i suggest the Conductor

the cliff dwelling in the park are really cool it looks like a pain but if you can climb up and down a lot of steps i would highly suggest going down in to the dwellings. its worth the hike.

Steamworks Brewery | Steamworks Brewing Co. - Brewpubs in Durango & Bayfield Colorado, Craft Brewery here's there website
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Old 02-14-2009, 05:14 PM   #6
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Great Sand Dunes

I strongly suggest you check out the Great Sand Dunes national monument. Its not too far out of your way, coming from Plano.

Here's a link from a write-up I did: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f42/...tml#post619736

I suspect the Dunes park will be quite crowded in late June, so try to get there early, as there are no reservations.

At the San Luis Lakes state park, you can reserve your spot ahead of time, and not worry about arrival time, but its a bit further away (although it allows great views of the dunes).

One of the best stays we've ever had.

By the way, you'll love Silverton. We used to own a bit of land there - colorful people, beautiful town!

PM me if you want more info.
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Old 02-14-2009, 08:27 PM   #7
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I camped at Haviland last year & I live in the Durango area. Big rigs can fit in there with full hookups! Peaceful and wooded...you should love it. Downtown DGO has tons of great restaurants and coffee houses.. too many favorites but I really like the Cosmopolitan and The Palace both downtown on Main Be sure & go to Ouray Hot Sprs for a real Colorado experience!!
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Old 02-16-2009, 06:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loretta View Post
I camped at Haviland last year & I live in the Durango area. Big rigs can fit in there with full hookups! Peaceful and wooded...you should love it. Downtown DGO has tons of great restaurants and coffee houses.. too many favorites but I really like the Cosmopolitan and The Palace both downtown on Main Be sure & go to Ouray Hot Sprs for a real Colorado experience!!
Haviland sounds like a great possibility to me. Thanks for the information.

Are you (or anyone else) familiar with Durango Riverside Campground?
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Old 02-16-2009, 07:39 PM   #9
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Great Sand Dunes is

With a 27 footer campsites at GSD will be limited. Try to get there mid week early in the day. Do not despair if you don't get a spot. South of GSD a few miles is a private campground, but the sites are not nearly as nice. There are also outfitters for horsey back and 4x4 rides. Between GSD and US 160 there is a side trip to a waterfall well worth, but don't pull your trailer.

GSD isn't what I'd call near Ouray and Silverton though. What is nearer is Black Canyon of the Gunnison. Must see. Another great spot if you like big is Colorado National Monument near Grand Junction. There is a nice NPS campground on top of the mesa.
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Old 02-16-2009, 08:04 PM   #10
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Great thread about one of my favorite areas.
I'm bookmarking this so keep the ideas coming...
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Old 02-16-2009, 09:38 PM   #11
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In Ouray there is The Amphitheater campground which is a great place for the 4th of July since that is where they set of the fireworks. Also great fireworks in Silverton, but book now if you want a space. Check out Colorado Camping by Moon from your library, it gives great descriptions of what is available in the area.

I don't care for commercial campgrounds and in SW CO, you may be limited by length for some Nat/State parks and many don't have all the hook-ups. Here's a couple of sites that may be of help

USDA Forest Service, San Juan National Forest - Campground Status

Bureau of Land Management: Colorado

Also there is the Telluride Bluegrass Festival in late June which is a great event!
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Old 02-17-2009, 10:32 AM   #12
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What about Alpine Rose RV Park, Alpen Rose RV Park Durango. I not stayed there but hear it very nice.

Don
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Old 02-25-2009, 09:04 AM   #13
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Been a while, but the KOA in Ouray is nice and on the river. Couple of good FS campgrounds in La Plata Canyon, about 10 miles west of town. The old KOA North is now the Durango River Resort on the Animas River. Completely redone last year. Haviland Lake is a first come, first served and fills up very fast in the summer. Echo Canyon resort is in Mancos and a good base of operations for day tripping to Mesa Verde, Tellurde and Durango.

Don't have the info at hand, but there are some great state park campgrounds at Ridgeway north of Ouray and Navajo Lake SE of Durango. If you call the San Juan National Forest office (website listed in previous post), ask for a campground guide (free).
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Old 02-25-2009, 11:49 AM   #14
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Campground in Ouray that we love is the 4J+1+1. It's on the river with hiking trails in walking distance, and the hot spring pool a short distance for the evenings. Family owned since it started, you will get a friendly welcome! We have been going there for years (Doing the tent thing) and it has always been clean and well run. See 4J+1+1 RV Park (Ouray, CO) - Campground Reviews - TripAdvisor
We will be there this summer!
The Amphitheater campground is great also and a bit more private away from town. RV'rs can utilize sites 3 through 15. Total RV length should not exceed 35 feet.
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