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Author Topic: Colorado in the summer  (Read 1393 times)

jackiemac

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Colorado in the summer
« on: January 28, 2018, 05:39:36 PM »
We are thinking of spending a month or two in Colorado this year, probably July/August. I know that this is a busy time anywhere but chatting to several people last year who live in Colorado, it sounded as though it was overly busy (they had all left the state to get away from tourists).

I'd appreciate the experiences some of you may have had whilst visiting during this time period.  We don't like to book too much in advance either..... 

Here are the places we are thinking of visiting:

Dinosaur
Steamboat Springs
Grand Lake
Boulder
Garden of the Gods
Canon City
Gunnison
Ouray
Cortez
Durango

Thanks!
Jackie n Steve - Happy Scottish Travellers

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Back home in Scotland awaiting May 2019

SeilerBird

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Re: Colorado in the summer
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2018, 05:43:39 PM »
It may be crowded in the summertime, but at least the weather will be tolerable. Colorado does not have the best weather for most of the rest of the year.  It snows a lot there.
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jackiemac

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Re: Colorado in the summer
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2018, 05:46:41 PM »
It may be crowded in the summertime, but at least the weather will be tolerable. Colorado does not have the best weather for most of the rest of the year.  It snows a lot there.
Yes that's why we were choosing those times.  Been to a few places before but want to do more but I hate when places are overcrowded, it's just not enjoyable.
Jackie n Steve - Happy Scottish Travellers

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SeilerBird

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Re: Colorado in the summer
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2018, 06:22:55 PM »
Yes that's why we were choosing those times.  Been to a few places before but want to do more but I hate when places are overcrowded, it's just not enjoyable.
I have lived in Florida, Las Vegas and California. Colorado has no clue as what overcrowded looks like. :)
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
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jackiemac

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Re: Colorado in the summer
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2018, 06:23:53 PM »
I have lived in Florida, Las Vegas and California. Colorado has no clue as what overcrowded looks like. :)
Lol Tom! Thanks...
Jackie n Steve - Happy Scottish Travellers

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Lou Schneider

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Re: Colorado in the summer
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2018, 07:08:27 PM »
I was in Colorado from August through September last year and plan to do the same this summer.  Wonderful country.

Keep in mind the difference in elevation between places like Denver, Boulder and Canon City at 5000-6000 ft.and places west of the Front Range like Apsen, Ouray, Grand Lake, etc. at 7000-9000 ft.  The weather will vary accordingly.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2018, 07:12:03 PM by Lou Schneider »

UTTransplant

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Re: Colorado in the summer
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2018, 07:22:35 PM »
A lot depends on where you go. For example, the town of Steamboat Springs is very crowded in the summer. I donít like going there unless I have to. However the country nearby is lovely and doesnít feel crowded to me. The rest of your list shouldnít be bad at all. Dinosaur Monument though will be HOT as will Mesa Verde National Park. You donít have MVNP on your list, but it would be criminal to stay near Durango and not visit it. Donít be fooled by those who say all of Colorado is cool in the summer.
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Denver Transplant

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Re: Colorado in the summer
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2018, 09:08:53 PM »

We live in the Denver Area and do have to compete with a lot of people coming from elsewhere. You will find that many campgrounds get reserved up as soon as the reservation windows open - usually 6 months in advance. National Parks fill up especially fast and State Parks on the weekends. So you do have to plan ahead.

Dinosaur - Can be very hot in July and August. Several commercial campgrounds are in Vernal. The only one we have stayed at is the KOA, which was OK. There are a couple of

Steamboat Springs - Tends to fill up. Steamboat Lake is a popular campground but needs reservations. There are a couple of commercial parks. KOA west of town is tight. Eagle Soaring RV Park, a bit further west looks like its nice but we have never stayed there.

Grand Lake - Good entrance to RMNP West Side. West Side tends to be less crazy than the east side, but you do have to drive over Trail Ridge Road to get to east side hiking. Timber Creek campground on the west side is first come first served. They lost their trees due to beetle kill, so not much shade unless you bring your own. A couple of commercial RV parks in the area. Elk Meadows is just outside Grand Lake. Also quite a few campgrounds around Lake Grandby

Boulder - Busy, Busy, Busy. I don't know of any RV Parks right there. Stop at Avery Brewery

Garden of the Gods - A couple of commercial RV parks around, but they aren't too highly rated. I recommend MountainDale which is about 20 miles south of Colorado Springs. Its about half way between Colorado Springs and Canon City. Makes a really good base camp to go to either place. We've been to MountainDale several times and you need to reserve ahead to get spots in the trees.

Canon City - Several commercial parks in the area, but I'd recommend stating at Mountaindale. Its about 30 minutes to Canon City

Gunnison - Not real familiar with the area. There are a couple of campgrounds on the reservoir east of town. Black Canyon of the Gunnison NP is an hour or so drive. There are campgrounds at Black Canyon, but they don't allow generators. Camping in Montrose is available also, which is a shorter drive to Black Canyon.

Ouray - Wonderful little town. There are a KOA and I think an RV Park at the hot springs. Ridgway State Park has a nice campground about 20 miles from Ouray. Day trips to Silverton, Teluride and similar spots.

Cortez - Cortez can be very hot in the summer. There is a campground in Mesa Verde that generally has availability. Also Mancos State Park is nearby. Also consider a day trip from Durango to MVNP.

Durango - If you are taking the train up to Silverton make your reservations well ahead if you want one of the more comfortable ($$) cars. Good idea to reserve ahead for anything. There are a couple of RV Parks in Durango, one of which sits right off the Durango and Silverton tracks so you can watch a dozen steam trains a day. If you are in Mancos its an easy day trip. If you take the train, I recommend taking the train up to Silverton and the bus back. We got stuck with the train both directions and its a very long slow trip back.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2018, 09:25:03 PM by Denver Transplant »
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Wendy

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Re: Colorado in the summer
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2018, 10:46:31 PM »
We have lived in the Cortez area for over 20 years. We leave in winter because we arenít fond of cold weather. But April through September is quite lovely. We may hit daytime highs in the 90s in July and early August but it cools off at night. And remember, if itís too hot where you are, you can always try a higher elevation and find cooler temperatures. And weíve never found western Colorado to be overly crowded. Most campgrounds in the area have available spaces. Be sure to include Mesa Verde National Park on you To Di lust and Hovenweep National Monument is a hidden treasure 45 miles west of Cortez.


Enjoy
Wendy

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jackiemac

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Re: Colorado in the summer
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2018, 03:05:16 AM »
Thanks for the information guys, especially Denver Transplant, that's good stuff.  We have visited Mesa Verde before and will most likely do it again.  Lots to think about.  Thank you for your responses 😁
Jackie n Steve - Happy Scottish Travellers

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Back home in Scotland awaiting May 2019

OBX

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Re: Colorado in the summer
« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2018, 08:50:46 AM »
Follow on questions, we have only toured the Front Range from RMNP out through Breckenridge and down through Pikes Peak. We have NOT been to central or Western Colorado or Southeastern Utah.

If you only had time for central/Western Colorado or Arches/Canyonlands NP in early July, which would you do first?

LarsMac

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Re: Colorado in the summer
« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2018, 09:37:47 AM »
...


Boulder - Busy, Busy, Busy. I don't know of any RV Parks right there. Stop at Avery Brewery



The Boulder County Fairgrounds in Longmont has a small RV park. It is First come/ first served, no reservations. It is about 12 miles to Downtown Boulder. It is a good location for touring the Boulder/North Denver area. They have a 14 day limit per year for staying there.

It is a nice little park with about 70 spots, and accommodates all sizes.

There is state run park near I-25 in Longmont. It sits on land used for flood control. A nice fishing area. Bring Mosquito repellent.

 
 
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SeilerBird

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Re: Colorado in the summer
« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2018, 09:49:51 AM »
Follow on questions, we have only toured the Front Range from RMNP out through Breckenridge and down through Pikes Peak. We have NOT been to central or Western Colorado or Southeastern Utah.

If you only had time for central/Western Colorado or Arches/Canyonlands NP in early July, which would you do first?
That is not even a contest for me. Arches/Canyonlands wins by a landslide (see what I did there?). IHMO I feel that everything in southeastern Utah that is south of I-70 and east of I-15 should just be one giant National Park. There are five National Parks in this area and they are some of the most beautiful parks in the system. Not to take anything away from Colorado, which is very beautiful. It is just not fair to compare it to SE Utah.

BTW you should post this question to a separate thread to get a wider range of opinions.
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
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OBX

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Re: Colorado in the summer
« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2018, 10:21:49 AM »
Thank you

jagnweiner

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Re: Colorado in the summer
« Reply #14 on: January 29, 2018, 10:31:48 AM »
I don't have a whole lot of input on most of the places you mentioned, but have spent some time in Glenwood Springs, both summer and winter.  We spend a couple days there on our way to UT a few years ago in June.  The two main things we did were hike up to Hanging Lake (google it; it's beautiful) and rafting through Glenwood Canyon.  I've been to the hot springs pool in winter, but we didn't go on that trip. 

We stayed at Rifle Gap SP in Rifle, about 30 minutes west of Glenwood.  It is excellent, particularly the newer full hookup section of the park.  There is a commercial RV park outside Glenwood Springs, but it gets mixed reviews due to high price and train noise.

Not sure, but I suspect areas on the western slope tend to be a little less crowded in the summer, compared to RMNP, Pikes Peak, etc.
-Scott
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AStravelers

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Re: Colorado in the summer
« Reply #15 on: January 29, 2018, 10:32:39 AM »
We are thinking of spending a month or two in Colorado this year, probably July/August. I know that this is a busy time anywhere but chatting to several people last year who live in Colorado, it sounded as though it was overly busy (they had all left the state to get away from tourists).

I'd appreciate the experiences some of you may have had whilst visiting during this time period.  We don't like to book too much in advance either..... 

Here are the places we are thinking of visiting:

Dinosaur
Steamboat Springs
Grand Lake
Boulder
Garden of the Gods
Canon City
Gunnison
Ouray
Cortez
Durango

Thanks!

If you will dry camp and/or boondock, there are lots of places, such as National Forest CG's and some NP campgrounds which are first come first serve where you have quite a few campsites open in mid week and can stay through the weekend.  Rocky Mountain NP us usually full all summer long. Try to make reservations today if you want to visit. Your trailer is short enough you will be able to stay in most CG's. 

For NF CG's:  https://www.forestcamping.com/

We spent 3 months touring Colorado in 2008 in our 40' diesel pusher.  Here is a link to our blog of our tour of Colorado in 2008:  http://downtheroadaroundthebend.blogspot.com/2009/07/colorado-week-1-pike-nf-pikes-peak.html   Also a summary of our summer travels:  http://downtheroadaroundthebend.blogspot.com/2009/10/colorado-october-7-2009-summary-of-our.html
Al & Sharon
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clockdrfla

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Re: Colorado in the summer
« Reply #16 on: February 04, 2018, 06:40:41 AM »
Follow on questions, we have only toured the Front Range from RMNP out through Breckenridge and down through Pikes Peak. We have NOT been to central or Western Colorado or Southeastern Utah.

If you only had time for central/Western Colorado or Arches/Canyonlands NP in early July, which would you do first?
Arrived Moab, Utah in July 2017 to see both parks.  Temperature was 108*, so you might keep that in mind.

jackiemac

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Re: Colorado in the summer
« Reply #17 on: February 04, 2018, 06:55:27 AM »
Arrived Moab, Utah in July 2017 to see both parks.  Temperature was 108*, so you might keep that in mind.
We were in Moab in August and it was roasting. We spent most of out6 time in the pool or the car. Too hot for hiking for us!
Jackie n Steve - Happy Scottish Travellers

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Back home in Scotland awaiting May 2019

AStravelers

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Re: Colorado in the summer
« Reply #18 on: February 05, 2018, 04:38:51 PM »
Here is the actual daily weather history for Moab for July 2017:  https://www.wunderground.com/history/airport/KCNY/2017/7/5/MonthlyCalendar.html?req_city=&req_state=&req_statename=&reqdb.zip=&reqdb.magic=&reqdb.wmo=

A little on the warm side. 

NOTE:  On the history calendar, with just a click of the mouse you can change to August or any month, and also change the year and go back for around 20 years.

You can get this type of info from many cities around the country from Weather Underground.  Just put in the city name and click on "calendar".
Al & Sharon
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DanKearney

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Re: Colorado in the summer
« Reply #19 on: February 05, 2018, 06:31:41 PM »
Best time, IMHO, to visit Colorado/SW Utah/Northern NM is last week of August through third week of October.  The weather is most stable during this period (Fewer afternoon gully-washers, but there is always the chance of early season snow about 8,000'--but it melts the next day).  Families are back into school mode, so there are fewer folks clogging the camping areas.  The leaf peeping is at it's peak third and fourth week of Sept. and the vistas are hard to beat. Lots of boondocking opportunities available too.

Cheers,

Dan K.
Black Hawk, CO
« Last Edit: February 05, 2018, 06:33:22 PM by DanKearney »
Black Hawk, Colorado

Back2PA

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Re: Colorado in the summer
« Reply #20 on: February 05, 2018, 07:15:53 PM »
I had a Colorado trip planned which unfortunately I had to cancel. For Ouray I settled on the 4J+1+1 RV Park (it must mean something to someone! ??? )
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jackiemac

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Re: Colorado in the summer
« Reply #21 on: February 06, 2018, 03:43:31 AM »
Best time, IMHO, to visit Colorado/SW Utah/Northern NM is last week of August through third week of October.  The weather is most stable during this period (Fewer afternoon gully-washers, but there is always the chance of early season snow about 8,000'--but it melts the next day).  Families are back into school mode, so there are fewer folks clogging the camping areas.  The leaf peeping is at it's peak third and fourth week of Sept. and the vistas are hard to beat. Lots of boondocking opportunities available too.

Cheers,
N
Dan K.
Black Hawk, CO
Still planning, so this might work, thanks!
Jackie n Steve - Happy Scottish Travellers

2017 Heartland Sundance 288rls
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Back home in Scotland awaiting May 2019

jackiemac

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Re: Colorado in the summer
« Reply #22 on: February 06, 2018, 03:43:51 AM »
I had a Colorado trip planned which unfortunately I had to cancel. For Ouray I settled on the 4J+1+1 RV Park (it must mean something to someone! ??? )
Looks nice, thanks Scott...
Jackie n Steve - Happy Scottish Travellers

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Dragginourbedaround

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