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Old 05-17-2013, 11:11 AM   #15
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Also, I have taken 550 and 50 with my pop up many times. Nice routes and remember passing a number of heavier tt. Plan on pulling the streamline through there too. 550 is beautiful with a bunch of switchbacks and slower speed limits and 50's monarch pass is a long climb.
Thank you! That helps a great deal. We can do most anything with the Interstate, emphasis on "most". There are a lot of NF campgrounds near those roads, too. .

We are going to poke around Colorado south to north starting in Durango mid-June, leaving RMNP for last and planning on being in Deadwood, South Dakota by the 3rd of July for the long holiday weekend. We'll be very ready for hot showers, laundry, etc., by then.

Will look for y'all out there.

Maggie
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Old 05-17-2013, 09:29 PM   #16
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Some signs you'll see on 550...

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Old 05-17-2013, 10:35 PM   #17
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If you are going to Durango from SE Colorado. Take a look a Hwy 160. It goes over La Veta and Wolf Creek passes.
From Durango going north. You have a couple of choices. North out of Durango to Silverton, then on to Ouray. Or go west out of Durango to Dolores, then north over Lizard Head pass thru Rico to Telluride. Both routes will take you thru incredible scenery to the Town of Ridgway, which is just south of Montrose. From there are a number of choices to go to RMNP.
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Old 05-18-2013, 01:00 AM   #18
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I was there today, a perfect 10 weather day. I came in from Estes Park. We could not get to the top, as the road is still closed. We saw plenty of Elk and a Moose. The campground was nice, most spots not too big, but some had power and water which surprised me. The Ranger who referred to us as the "Joisey" girls was really nice. He suggested if we wanted to come back camping to get a reservation right away it was filling up. So I guess they must tAke some reservations. The Park was a huge treat for me, since last week I was at the Blue Ridge National Park in VA, where I thought I was at the top of the world at 3400'! Today was just a little different. ( lastbweek with husband on vacation, got home left next day to drive with daughter to Denver for job relocation), next Friday I'll be in Catskills of NY. I love camping.
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Old 05-18-2013, 05:42 AM   #19
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Great info folks, keep it coming.

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Old 05-18-2013, 05:51 AM   #20
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If you are going to Durango from SE Colorado. Take a look a Hwy 160. It goes over La Veta and Wolf Creek passes.
From Durango going north. You have a couple of choices. North out of Durango to Silverton, then on to Ouray. Or go west out of Durango to Dolores, then north over Lizard Head pass thru Rico to Telluride. Both routes will take you thru incredible scenery to the Town of Ridgway, which is just south of Montrose. From there are a number of choices to go to RMNP.
160 was our planned route in from Kansas. Looks to be a beautiful drive.

Thanks for the info.

Maggie
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Old 05-18-2013, 08:32 AM   #21
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If you plan to stay in a commercial RV park in Durango. I recommend the Alpen Rose, just north of town on Hwy 550. Friendly staff and clean facility.
Another is the Mesa Verde RV resort just east of the entrance to Mesa Verde National Park. Another clean, well managed place. 1-800-776-7421.
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Old 05-18-2013, 01:34 PM   #22
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KOA on east side of Durango is nice. A couple of years ago, it had a horse-drawn wagon for a shuttle that ran continuously around the park during the daylight hours -- a fun way to get from the back-40 to the office and swimming pool. Lots of family activities and outdoor movies at night (we visited later in the summer, so you should check when these start up, if interested). Modern, family-friendly shower building, too.

KOA on east side of Cortez is also nice and adjoins a city lake and dog park. However, lots of lake-associated insects at dawn and dusk, in late summer. Not bad, but should be noted. Dog park is city owned/managed and huge. There are both grassy and desert areas. Nice place to walk and let the dog(s) run loose. This KOA is right on the edge of town, so campground close to hotels, restaurants, shopping, etc.

Mancos State Park is about 15 miles east of Cortez on Hwy-160 and has a large (but not huge) lake. Secluded campsites in the pines offer some privacy and lots of shade; and this park appears to have very few visitors, at least, when we were there. It's a few miles north of the highway, but worth the drive.

Mesa Verde National Park is about halfway between Mancos and Cortez (about 7-8 miles from either one). We have camped here. However, it was crowded, check-in was lengthy due to everyone arriving at the same time in the late afternoon, and don't count on getting a campsite if you arrive without reservations. The few sites that are left go fast. Personally, we stay outside the park at Mancos or Cortez when visiting Mesa Verde or stopping in this area overnight.
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Old 06-17-2013, 01:23 PM   #23
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Well, we are here in Colorado, poking around and seeing some areas here we have not yet been to.

We stayed two nights at LaMesa RV in Cortez, which gives 2 nights Passport America, and found it to be a very nice, neat and well-cared for campground. Owners are friendly and helpful, restrooms and showers are immaculate, sites are level and gravel. Not fancy, but more than adequate....and, inexpensive.

Went to the Anasazi Heritage Center and Mesa Verde NP, which were fascinating.

Drove Montrose to Ouray and back today. A beautiful drive and charming old town. Had a delicious lunch at "Maggie's" restaurant .

Saw a small-ish AS come thru Ouray heading north, as we were walking around. Hey there!

Heading for the Curecanti National Recreation area for a couple of nights, before resuming our wanderings toward RMNP.

Travel safe,


Maggie
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Old 06-17-2013, 03:04 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doug&maggie View Post
Well, we are here in Colorado, poking around and seeing some areas here we have not yet been to.

We stayed two nights at LaMesa RV in Cortez, which gives 2 nights Passport America, and found it to be a very nice, neat and well-cared for campground. Owners are friendly and helpful, restrooms and showers are immaculate, sites are level and gravel. Not fancy, but more than adequate....and, inexpensive.

Went to the Anasazi Heritage Center and Mesa Verde NP, which were fascinating.

Drove Montrose to Ouray and back today. A beautiful drive and charming old town. Had a delicious lunch at "Maggie's" restaurant .

Saw a small-ish AS come thru Ouray heading north, as we were walking around. Hey there!

Heading for the Curecanti National Recreation area for a couple of nights, before resuming our wanderings toward RMNP.

Travel safe,


Maggie
That has been our exact route for the last month and a half. Including LaMesa, Ouray and Curecanti.

And we are also headed up to RMNP.. but I'm pretty sure you'll pass us by before we get up there. We move slow. Current plan is last week in July. Home base this week is Crested Butte.
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:20 PM   #25
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About a month ago, I posted on this thread and stated that RMNP was one of my favorite national parks and I've wanted to post some pictures ever since. However, I've been very busy working on my trailer and doing a bunch of other stuff so I haven't gotten around to the pictures until now. This afternoon I scanned several of my older prints and also located a couple of more recent digital panoramas (multiple images stitched together in Photoshop), so here they are.

For starters, Moraine Park Campground is our favorite campground within the park (we always prefer to stay in the park because of proximity to the things that we're really there to see: nature, presentations by park staff, hiking, etc. The first two shots were taken in about 1993 when we had a 28 foot Holiday Rambler Alumalite and we were towing with our blue 1992 Suburban.






This is a picture of some big horn sheep who were crossing the road as they moved from a mineral/salt lick toward higher ground. The rangers had every one stop and so we got out of the Suburban and were able to walk within about 200 feet of the sheep.



This picture is of a fire service road in nearby Roosevelt National Forest. This particular road leads to a fire tower where you can climb steps to the observation deck that's about 150 feet tall as I remember. From that vantage point we could see the reflection off the glass in the upper stories of a couple of skyscrapers in Denver on a clear day (they're tiny as Denver is probably 50 miles away).

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Old 06-17-2013, 10:30 PM   #26
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The next few shots (again scanned prints) were taken in 2001 or 2002. Then we were driving our 3/4 ton Yukon XL and had our first Airstream (1990 34' Limited).





Here is a shot looking back toward Estes Park from one of the hiking trails.



The next three shots were taken on Old River Road, a one way gravel road that leads to the Alpine Visitor's Center (can be seen in last photo). This road depicts how the park looked before there were paved roads and it is routed away from modern contrivances like power lines in a similar fashion to the Blue Ridge Parkway.





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Old 06-17-2013, 10:35 PM   #27
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Here are the panoramas of one of the lakes (Bear Lake I think).



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Old 06-17-2013, 10:59 PM   #28
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Hello everyone,
We live in Grand Lake in the summer. There are two nice commercial campgrounds in town plus two nice forest service ones on Lakes Shadow Mountain and Granby with electricity. There are three more nice ones in the area without hookups. There is also free dispersed camping up the Stillwater Pass road, County Rd 4. The free camping is crowded only on the weekends but you should be able to find a space. These are forest service roads so it is best to leave your trailer and explore ahead in the tow vehicle.
There is a fire burning on the west side of the Park, Big Meadowns which is 75 % contained. Everything is open in the Park except a few trails. It looks like the fire will be out soon and will not be a problem.
The campground in the Park on the west side Timber Creek is very popular and fills up fast. There is limited space for long trailers there. The park campgrounds on the East side are even more popular.
Estes Park has lots of commercial campground spaces and is a nice tourist town.
Trail Ridge Road between Estes Park and Grand Lake through the park goes up over 12,000 feet. Despite the elevation, most rigs will have no trouble making it. Traffic moves slowly and despite the elevation, grades are moderate. There is limited pull out space for big rigs so your best bet is driving directly through, finding a camp site in Grand Lake or Estes and going back and exploring with your car.
There is lots of wildlife to watch including lots of elk and moose and Grand Lake and Estes Park are interesting tourist towns. Above all it is cool so enjoy your stay!
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