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Old 01-08-2015, 06:49 AM   #1
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Planning trip to NW Colo and Flaming Gorge

Looking at heading out west again this summer. I've ridden motorcycles through NW Colo, Wyoming, and around the Flaming Gorge area in UT, but it was a quick trip.
Looking at spending a week in the area.
Anyone have experience in that part of the country?
We rode down Grey's River Road, and I want to drive it pulling the AS. There were some great looking fishing spots along the river, and some FS campgrounds that looked pretty nice.
I'd much rather be in a FS campground than one of those big RV parking lots, the more scenic and wooded, the better.
Any suggestions appreciated.
Thx
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Old 01-08-2015, 08:54 AM   #2
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We like to travel on U.S. 40 through western Colorado and eastern Utah.
It is very lightly settled west of Craig, Colorado. There the BLM is the land manager. There are few formal campground but free dispersed camping nearly everywhere. Check in at the BLM office in Craig for information and maps.
Be sure to visit Dinosaur National Monument. It is in three parts, two scenic roads in Colorado and a dinosaur bone quarry in Utah. There is one monument campground in Colorado suitable for small airstreams and dispersed camping off the monument in BLM lands just off the scenic roads.
To find suitable camping, we disconnect the trailer and scout ahead for a scenic level place with suitable access.
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Old 01-08-2015, 03:23 PM   #3
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Irish Canyon in Northwest Colorado has some excellent areas to camp your trailer and check out Indian petroglyphs in the area. Have a DeLorme Atlas to spot the public lands. As you go north through the canyon and exiting the canyon... look to your west and east. Follow either of the two ruts for excellent isolated camping near the gravel county road. N40 55.8' W108 54.6' 8048 feet elevation This will put you in the area we camp when coming through. All north of Brown's Park where there is a RV Park, general store and a gasoline pump on Hwy 318 & 182.

Almost all BLM and State public lands.

You would then be able to head towards Rock Springs and ready to explore the Oregon Buttes, Wyoming and Red Desert which is wide open for camping... if you like hiking.

You probably followed the Wyoming Thread with Greys River. Bring inner tubes for the kids. A few flies in the Summer so have a swatter and make a count of kills. Great people, wonderful country. Cut over to Pinedale/Big Piney for Moose and pullout somewhere.

You are not around St. Louis anymore! Get the Atlas, look for the established campsites marked on the map. Then figure five times as many pullouts in that area to chose from...
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Old 01-11-2015, 05:53 PM   #4
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Thanks for the info. I've been looking on line some also. Looks like some decent campgrounds around flaming gorge, also.
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Old 01-11-2015, 11:33 PM   #5
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Dinosaur National Monument. Years ago I camped at the Split Mountain CG in Dinosaur and went rafting with a commercial outfit-- very scenic. It has probably gotten a lot more visitors since then, with Vernal, UT having mushroomed as a boom town: I see they take reservations Split Mountain Campground - Dinosaur National Monument (U.S. National Park Service)

Rafting through this area is popular: Split Mountain Rafting | Utah.com

We've driven past Flaming Gorge several times, but were always too rushed to stop! Services such as major grocery stores seemed a long ways away, though. I'd stock up at the last biggish town you go through (depending on your direction) prior to heading to the back of beyond.

The Uinta Mountains are full of beautiful scenery and Forest Service campgrounds.
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Old 01-12-2015, 12:01 AM   #6
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Steamboat lake colorado state park would be a great stop coming or going...
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Old 01-12-2015, 11:30 AM   #7
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I second the recommendation for Dinosaur National Monument. You could easily spend a full day here or more. The Utah Field House of Natural History in Vernal UT is great, and if you are in that area be sure to spend a couple of hours at McKonkie ranch.
Utah Field House of Natural History State Park Museum | Utah State Parks
Utah Field House of Natural History State Park - DesertUSA
Dry Fork Canyon - McConkie Ranch
mcconkie ranch
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Old 01-13-2015, 05:46 AM   #8
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Actually, you all have me rethinking this plan. It seems more like a stop on the way to somewhere else, than a full one week camping destination. When I went through before it was on a small motorcycle and we were riding a loop that followed the pony express, Oregon trail, and continental divide trails. (Roughly)
Hmmm, maybe I should have titled this, where's a great place to take a kayak for a week? Ha. Thanks all for the info.
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Old 01-14-2015, 01:11 PM   #9
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Oh! Well. We have a canoe (not a kayak) and one of our favourite activities is to camp on the west side of Glacier NP in Montana, and drop the Bambi in a nice site. We don't take our AS up the rough roads to Bowman and Kintla Lakes, but the scenery in those places is just breath-taking, and thankfully away from the congested "front country" areas. We generally do them as day trips, but once did a memorable two-night canoe trip at the backpack- or paddle-in campground at the head of Kintla Lake, and then hiked to Upper Kintla Lake on the in-between day. The lakes can get rough, but then hey, that's the backcountry for you!

There are river-running options nearby, as well.

Portions of the Green River in eastern Utah can be paddled, as well, without running into the big rapids. (But then maybe that's what you'd look for!)
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Old 01-14-2015, 01:59 PM   #10
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We too are going to Colorado this year by way of Utah taking I70 from Arches NP to Denver. I aplogize if I high jacked your thread.
Has anyone driven this route with your trailer? I'm concerned about the tunnels, especially just north east of Vail.
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Old 01-14-2015, 02:30 PM   #11
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Timely thread for me too. As I'm starting to plan for a trip thru that area in May/ June after the classic Motorhome get together in Co in late April.
I may have to hang in the area till June as both of my boys are big into Dinosaures and may be interested in joining me there.

Thanks for all the good tips for enjoying the area, I'll stay tuned for more.

Cheers Richard
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Old 01-14-2015, 11:26 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by subfan1 View Post
We too are going to Colorado this year by way of Utah taking I70 from Arches NP to Denver. I aplogize if I high jacked your thread.
Has anyone driven this route with your trailer? I'm concerned about the tunnels, especially just north east of Vail.
No problem once the snow melts. It could be pretty sketchy this time of year. During the camping season, there will be many monster RVs on this stretch of highway.

Denver rush hour traffic would scare me a lot more.

Richard, there is more dinosaur country to get to in eastern Utah/western Colorado if you want to focus a trip around dinosaurs. If your kids are mad-keen into dinosaurs, they might also enjoy the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry BLM PFO Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry

or the Dinosaur Journey Museum in Fruita, Colorado, just west of Grand Junction.
https://www.museumofwesternco.com/vi...osaur-journey/
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Old 01-15-2015, 12:20 AM   #13
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Thanks Len N Jeanne, our trip will be first part of July so hopefully no snow. So no issues with propane tanks in the tunnels? Is there a fee to travel through the Eisenhower tunnel? I think that's the long one? Are there Campgrounds in Vail that you'd recommend?


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Old 01-15-2015, 02:12 AM   #14
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See answers to your questions, below, in blue text:
  • So no issues with propane tanks in the tunnels? -- While there may be restrictions on commercial vehicles transporting propane in large quantities (which must display "hazardous material" placards), there does not appear to be any restrictions on RVs with small propane tanks. We have towed our 19' Bambi numerous times through the Eisenhower and Johnson Tunnels on I-70 (Eisenhower tunnel is westbound, and Johnson is eastbound) without any problems.

  • Is there a fee to travel through the Eisenhower tunnel? I think that's the long one? -- No; I-70 is not a toll road, and there are no fees to use the Eisenhower and Johnson tunnels.

  • Are there Campgrounds in Vail that you'd recommend? -- There are numerous campgrounds in the area, especially near Dillon Reservoir and Frisco, CO. However, many trees in this area were severely affected by bark beetles in recent years; and some campgrounds had their large trees cut down to prevent injury to campers. Consequently, many campsites have no trees at all; or the ones that are there are young and provide little to no shade. However, this is still beautiful country and one can still enjoy the cool mountain air, lakes and streams.

    To locate area campgrounds, use Google Earth and SEARCH for "campgrounds near XXX, Colorado" (where "XXX" is "Vail", "Dillon", "Frisco" or any other local town.
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