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Old 07-12-2006, 12:17 PM   #1
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Where do YOU suggest. . .and why?

Hello, all. This is wordy, so please bear with me. Max and I just discovered that we have to change our plans and cancel our reservations at Stanley Lake, ID, the last week of August and early September. We snapped up that beautiful site (#4) early in the summer, and while it kills me to cancel it, some other lucky camper is going to get to enjoy it now. Which brings me to my question: knowing that we can travel after the first week of September (2-3 weeks on the road) and we want to stay somewhere in the New Mexico, Colo, Mont, Wyo, Idaho region, where should we plan to go and what are the attractions? Here's your chance to sell your favorite western/Rockies experience! Our parameters: we are limited on site size with a 30'er, which stops us from most FS sites. IF we stay at a resort, it needs to be a friendly, non-hectic environment. Max has some lung problems which limits our camping at HIGH altitudes. We day trip there, but overnighting is stressful. We'd prefer the drive to a camping area (while pulling our AS) that is easy, free of that precipice edge, hairpin turn, STEEP ascent-descent, hair-raising pass kind of experience. That is however fine when we are in the truck day tripping without the AS! We love to fish, sightsee, light hiking (again, health issues prevent high country hiking). We like to camp in a central area where we can daytrip out to great scenic, historical, nature world activities. So,. . .please fill our thread with your best suggestions. We need to make a decision so we can make our reservations, and I told Max that the best ideas might come from YOU! PS-we've never been in this area for fall color or cooler weather, so please comment on that as well. Thanks, G (Some of the places we've been and enjoyed are: Yellowstone/Tetons, Glacier, Rky Mtn NP, SantaFe/Taos, and the Sawtooth region of ID. We are open to returning to any of those for new activities you may describe.)
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Old 07-12-2006, 12:37 PM   #2
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Go North...

Georgia-

If you liked Glacier NP and Tetons, and were willing to drive to Idaho, in about the same time or another day, you could be camped at Lake Louise or Banff in Canadian Rockies NP.. Crossing border relatively painless (several threads with tips on papers, weapons and pets..) and I don't think campgrounds there are high altitude, as most of peaks you look at from bases, rather than climb. Highest pass between west and east side of Rockies there is 6200'.. Arriving from south via Bozeman and east side of Glacier National Park up to Calgary will avoid high altitudes. Camping at Lake Louise or Banff accommodates big motorhomes and large trailers, with at least water and electric hookups, and real heavy tourist season ends Labor Day. Neither Canadian National Park takes RV reservations, but spaces will be available if you arrive early in afternoons...

Activities include run along Glacier Parkway to Jasper, where trans-Canada train stops daily, trip in all-terrain bus out onto the Glacier, and visits, meals etc at two fabulous Fairmont hotels in Banff and Lake Louise.. Fishing is good, short or medium hikes are everywhere, and you can also visit Calgary and Olympic sites on way out...

Downside is you risk chance of snow in late September, but it usually melts rather quickly and warms up again... We've been snowed on in Colorade and Wyoming and Utah in mid September, but never delayed more than a day..

John McG
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Old 07-12-2006, 01:56 PM   #3
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John, thanks! We hadn't considered the Canadian Rockies, but I'm off to read up on them. You gave great info for us. Thanks again, and we hope to hear lots of other ideas to compare, but yes, now we'll consider "north!" ~G
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Old 07-12-2006, 02:12 PM   #4
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Don't let it be "the one that got away"

I'd second the Banff/Lk Louise suggestion. I'd have to say it's even more beautiful than the Tetons. If you like to fish then you might want to make a loop down through the Kootenay region:

http://www.discovernelson.com/htdocs/fishing.html

If you like that sort of thing that is

-Bernie
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Old 07-12-2006, 03:25 PM   #5
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Pictures...

Here are two pictures taken on our trip in July of 2004...

One shows light blue waters of Lake Louise looking towards glacier above it.. Hotel is out of picture to the right, on shores of the Lake... The other shows view south from Glacier Parkway below Jasper near PaintPots hiking trail...

John McG
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Old 07-12-2006, 04:39 PM   #6
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Great photos, John! They are tempting us into that lo-o-ong drive to get there. Now, the rest of you, what about great trips in NM, Colo, Mont, Wyo, ID? We really do hope to hear about possibilities in all these (or other) areas. We are wide open to possibilities. We haven't traveled since we slipped away to Traverse Bay last August, and we are getting CRAZY to hit the road! Help, please. Send us your ideas Thanks, ~G
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Old 07-12-2006, 04:54 PM   #7
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If you're headed to Banff you've also got all of Idaho that's "on the way". Lake Coeur d'Alene, Priest Lake and Lake Pend O’Reille all come to mind. Sun Valley/Ketchum has something for everyone at all times of the year. There's some lava beds in northern Idaho, forget the name, that are not only amazing landscape but the nuclear history going back to WWII is also quite interesting.

If you wanted to "take the long way home" then the Cascade range in Washington and Oregon have half a dozen "real mountains" and the St. Helens visitor center is, well, something you don't see everyday. They just opened up limited permits for hiking to the crater so I guess they don't expect it to explode between now and then... but ya never know

-Bernie

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Old 07-13-2006, 11:20 AM   #8
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One last bump and plea for advice on where in the near West you would recommend for a central location for a 2-3 week camping trip. I'm busily reading travel books and searching on the web, but real personal experience is more persuasive. Since "just camping" seems to be a major theme of forum members, I think everyone would love reading your suggestions! We value your ideas! Thanks for sharing your favorite camping areas ASAP ~G
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Old 07-13-2006, 02:09 PM   #9
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Have you checked these out in the Forum's "Campgrounds" section? There are several listings with forum member comments.

What elevation is "too high" for you to overnight at? I may have a couple of other Colorado suggestions...

Shari
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Old 07-13-2006, 02:11 PM   #10
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New Mexico suggestions

Quote:
Originally Posted by maxandgeorgia
One last bump and plea for advice on where in the near West you would recommend for a central location for a 2-3 week camping trip. I'm busily reading travel books and searching on the web, but real personal experience is more persuasive. Since "just camping" seems to be a major theme of forum members, I think everyone would love reading your suggestions! We value your ideas! Thanks for sharing your favorite camping areas ASAP ~G
The Aspens should be in full color in the New Mexico mountains in Sept.

Santa Fe campgrounds make a good base of operations at only about 6000' elevation. Day trips can be up the Santa Fe ski mtn. road, hwy 475 to see the Aspens or just around the Santa Fe galleries, museums and restaurants.

If you would rather base in Taos, there are a series of roads that make a nice loop including hwy 64 to Angel Fire, Eagle Nest, Red River and back to Taos. When in Eagle Nest, be sure to take the short side trip on hwy 64 through Cimmaron Canyon to the town of Cimmaron. Have lunch in the St. James hotel & view the hotel historical video and see all the bullet holes in the ceiling.
Just west of Taos on hwy 64 is the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge that is fun to walk out on and gaze at the Rio Grande far below.

If you like Indain ruins, check out Bandelier near Los Alamos. The Bandelier campground is likely too small for your 30 footer.

Campground suggestions might be;
Taos Valley RV Park & Campground in Taos,
Trailer Ranch RV Park in Santa Fe,
Little Creel RV Park in Chama right on the Chama River,
etc.
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Old 07-13-2006, 02:36 PM   #11
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Come to Arizona

Noticed you still need Arizona and Utah filled in on the map. You may want to consider a trip to Monument Valley (on AZ-UT border) and or The Grand Canyon its a MUST SEE.

I'm taking the family the last weekend in Sept. This is the only RV park with full hook-ups in or near Monument Valley. My in-laws are coming on this trip so there is no way I'm boondocking with my mother-in-law.. love her to death but she's not a camper

http://rvparkreviews.com/regions/Utah/Monument_Valley.html


If you like day trips Monument Valley is a good location to explore the four corners region (Utah, CO, NM, AZ). NOTE: Arizona like many other Western States is a huge state so "day trip" may be well over 200 Miles.

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Old 07-15-2006, 09:37 AM   #12
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I agree, but I suggest the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. The view is better then the South Rim, it has far fewer visitors and none of the hit and run bus tours. The campground is open untill mid October.
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Old 07-15-2006, 02:38 PM   #13
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Gosh Georgia, this is a hard one.. Been to Banff, loved it, want to go back especially after seeing the pictures of Lake Louise and the mountains.

As for New Mexico, Airstream25 mentioned the Taos area. Did you know we have a forum member with a rv park in Angel Fire? Very laid back and beautiful. Not a real high altitude and easy to get to from here in the midwest. 13 hour drive from my driveway. You can follow the Santa Fe Trail through Kansas. There is much to see along it, especially if you have a Santa Fe Trail guidebook with you. Besides that, you could stop overnight and see us!!!!
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Old 07-15-2006, 03:53 PM   #14
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Hi Beth! Thanks for responding here. Yes, I'm aware of Eubank and have read some of those posts while doing some of my web search. I think BC is too much for this fall trip, though we've got to break away some day and get to the far Northwest and coast. I'm leaning toward the NM trip, but that's pretty far too, but we've always wanted to go back to the SantaFe/Taos region. And, it would be nice to meet person to person some of our Forum friends. More to think about! (We leave our diabetic disabled son here at home when we travel and while another son lives only a mile away and is super about checking in daily, we still have lots of concern when we are gone. Long, multiweek trips may never be in our future, and that's okay too) ~G
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