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Old 09-15-2010, 11:02 PM   #1
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Montana to Gunnison in the Spring

Thinking about a spring break (late March or early April) road trip (with the kids) from Columbia Falls, MT to Gunnison, CO.

Favorite campgrounds in or around Gunnison you can recommend?

Weather in CO that time of year?

Suggested routes and not-to-miss stops along the way?

Thanks!
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Old 09-16-2010, 11:35 AM   #2
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Most likly going to be cold with snow that time of year in the National Forests around Gunnison. March is the biggest snow month in Colorado. Most campgroungs will most likely still be snowned in. I don't know about any campgroungs at the lower elevations around town.
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Old 09-16-2010, 01:42 PM   #3
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Yep, the high country up there is still going to be pretty ugly for camping. And a lot of stuff will still be closed unless it's set up for ski season.

I'd suggest that you try someplace at a bit lower elevation. Southern Utah would be great during that part of the year, I think. Sure, a few storms here and there, but overall decent weather. And you might even find some campgrounds waking up after the winter slumber.


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Old 09-16-2010, 01:57 PM   #4
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Yup, Gunnison is going to be cold and probably still have a lot of snow left at that time. Gunnison is the ice-box of Colorado, with winter low temperatures well below zero at night. My vote would also be for the deserts of Utah at that time of the year, that is where we head in April and May. Just avoid the Moab area during Easter, that is when the annual Jeep Safari is with thousands of four-wheelers showing up. It is very difficult to find camping at that time. However, if you are into Jeeps of all kinds, it might be a place to stop.
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Old 09-17-2010, 07:47 AM   #5
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Thanks very much for the input.... we're used to camping in the cold and snow, but don't know that we want to do it over spring break. Here in Montana it's always a gamble to know if it will be cold and snowy over spring break or warm and sunny.

I think we'll consider an alternate trip....

48Bob, we havent camped in the deserts of Utah... where (other than Moab) would you recommend?
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Old 09-22-2010, 10:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTsafari View Post
Thanks very much for the input.... we're used to camping in the cold and snow, but don't know that we want to do it over spring break. Here in Montana it's always a gamble to know if it will be cold and snowy over spring break or warm and sunny.

I think we'll consider an alternate trip....

48Bob, we havent camped in the deserts of Utah... where (other than Moab) would you recommend?
Hi there - we just got back from an AS trip to Dead Horse Point State Park campground which is about 25 miles from Moab overlooking Canyonlands National Park. It was a great campsite - very quiet, a limited number of spots and electric hookups with a dump station. You must provide your own water as nearest water is in Moab but we really enjoyed this campsite. Easy access to Canyonlands and Arches parks.

By the way, I lived in Bozeman for quite a while. Nice to meet another Montanan on the forums!
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Old 09-23-2010, 01:53 PM   #7
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Hello MTsafari. As bonginator says, Dead Horse Point State Park is a nice place. Arches NP also has a nice campground. It is just that during the week of Easter the whole Moab area can be very crowded due to the Easter Jeep Safari. Outside of that week, I would highly recommend a visit to the Moab area. And Canyonlands NP to the south, there is a campground there at Squaw Flats. I don't know what type of camping you prefer, commercial, state and NP, or off the grid boondocking. My wife and I prefer to camp in primitative locations on BLM and USFS lands. No campgrounds for us, just a flat spot off of a dirt road and well away from traffic whenever possible. With that being said, I don't have a lot of advice concerning campgrounds, just beautiful areas to visit. Keep in mind that most National Parks have developed campgrounds and there are usually commercial campgrounds close to most National Parks. Some other areas that I would recommend for a visit are Mesa Verde NP in southeast Colorado, Hovenweep NP in SE Utah, and of course Bryce and Zion NPs in SW Utah. We always travel with a supply of maps and state Gazateers (sp) and look for dirt roads leading into public lands for our camp sites. Much of southern Utah is public land of some type and the scenery is quite spectacular. Hope this is of some help.
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Old 04-02-2011, 08:20 PM   #8
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Thanks to all your advice. We ended up going to Zion and had a wonderful time. Blue sky and sunshine every day (Just got back to rain/snow and cold in Montana).
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Old 04-02-2011, 08:47 PM   #9
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Looks great! Were you camped at Watchman?

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Old 04-03-2011, 11:02 AM   #10
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Looks beautiful. Good choice! Hope you post more pictures....

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Old 04-03-2011, 02:23 PM   #11
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Yes, we stayed at Watchman. It was a great location... we could ride our bikes into the town of Springdale and to the bike trail in the park. We were in walking distance of the Watchman hike, and could drive to the other hikes, since the shuttle hadn't started yet. The weather was GORGEOUS!! Sunny and in seventies every day. (Considering we still have snow on the ground here in Montana, we were desperate for some warm weather). I attached some more photos below.
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Old 04-03-2011, 03:03 PM   #12
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Our favorite camping spot is the south rim campground in Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park - Black Canyon - Camping (U.S. National Park Service)
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