Colorado State Park Camping- Looking for Ideas

The friendliest place on the web for anyone with an RV or an interest in RVing!
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.

Ken & Sheila

Site Team
Joined
Mar 5, 2005
Posts
3,809
Location
S Dakota
You can't go wrong with Colorado.

JD
We spent last June in Colorado at the beginning of our summer trip. We spend a week at each of 4 locations. Quray, Fruita, Silt (Glenwood Springs), and Steamboat Springs. All were fun. In past years we have stayed in Ridgway, Montrose, Durango and Pagosa Springs.

You're right, you can't go wrong in Colorado
 

X-Roughneck Strike 3

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 15, 2021
Posts
145
Location
Bad Water Texas
Called the lady at Winding RV, she stated she could plug me in to the calendar for almost 2 weeks, but the space was in the burned area of the park, so I passed.

I have my Grand Son for such a small time I don't want the memories of soot and charcoal coming into the memory bank equation when he is my age.

I am kind of kicking myself in the behind for being asleep at the wheel trying to book a slot so late for a large block of time in the middle of vacation season.

I am not actually sure there is a vacation season anymore with the school flux in the news going on?

I was initially thinking Smoky Mtns, but thought about the potential heat, and humidity. I have dogs so I have kind of talked myself out of it. My dogs are family, and are always on my mind.

I Could end up 500 miles deep into Mexico know my track record. Not really. :)

I live too close to the border. I don't want to get too close to what is going on down there.

Going to zero in and lock in some USA place soon, Still Spinning the wheel of, .. Vacation Wheel of Fortune. Hoping to land on Colorado.

JD
 

prnebs

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 17, 2015
Posts
309
Location
FOCO CO
I'm sorry that didn't work out. There are 4 state parks in the Steamboat Springs area (Yampa Valley) that may interest you. And you'd be about 6,600 elevation.
If a place I want to go to if full, I get on the reservations site a couple times a day, early in a.m. for sure, to try & catch any cancellations. If something opens up that will work I snatch it. If it isn't the exact time of length of stay we wanted, we can adjust our trip if we need to.
 

Larry N.

Well-known member
Joined
May 26, 2010
Posts
7,547
Location
Westminster, Colorado
but the space was in the burned area of the park, so I passed.

Be aware that most of the "full hookup" sites are at the far west end of the park, where there wasn't much anyway. It's easy to spot on Google Earth. That said, I don't know how much of their property was in the fire, but apparently not all of it, since they still have all but a building or two. Here's their resort map: https://media.mobilerving.com/mobilerving/uploads/9479/1542832275_uploads.jpg -- apparently the top is west.

Sorry it didn't work for you. Luck...
 

X-Roughneck Strike 3

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 15, 2021
Posts
145
Location
Bad Water Texas
I booked Ouray for 11 Nights. Having to shift the target vacation window to the right a bit, but will be able to get it during the non school season with a bit of time in between before he returns to classes.

I booked KOA Ouray, I was not gung Ho about it as I read some not so glowing reviews of the KOA, but I am not going to complain at this point. I fell out of Love last year with KOA when I KOA-d the entire Grand Daughter COVID Get away. We looped out of Texas to Bryce Canyon Utah and back to Texas, so I got to see alot of them.

Ouray Looks like it is a great jumping off point for alot of potential Day Adventures. I am sure there has to be some great trips and hikes in that Area. I waited way too late to book a State park. Lesson learned. I am thrilled I got the Area. Going to have a Great Time for sure!

I am expecting alot from Ouray area. I have been to Interlaken Switzerland twice, so I expect to be WOW-d, by the USA Equivalent. I am sure I will not be disappointed. I notice has some spectacular Falls that comes from the snow melt. They had a similar one called Trummelbach Falls (Roaring Scary Power) near Interlaken. I got lucky to vacation in Switzerland back when I was stationed in Mannheim, Germany in 2001-2004. We took the Train from Interlaken to the Jung Frau Mountain Observatory. They had a observatory at the top. On a Clear Day you could see the Matterhorn. The Observatory was featured on the opening of the TV show "The Amazing Race". Beautiful Area. Top 5 for me for sure.
 

prnebs

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 17, 2015
Posts
309
Location
FOCO CO
Sounds like a great trip, good job. We have been in CO for 40+ years & not made it that way. Hope to do it this summer though, so let us know how it goes. Our grandkids mean so much to us also. I know this will be a life time memory.
 

X-Roughneck Strike 3

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 15, 2021
Posts
145
Location
Bad Water Texas
Sounds like a great trip, good job. We have been in CO for 40+ years & not made it that way. Hope to do it this summer though, so let us know how it goes. Our grandkids mean so much to us also. I know this will be a life time memory.
P,

The lifetime memory aspect, made me opt out of that Grand Lake Winding River RV area with the 27 square miles of burned char near that place. I just do not want to open the door to a burned out view. That may be harsh sounding, but bombed out looking Apocalypse looking view is not what I wanted to burn into his 10 year old memory.

As Larry N. Stated the entire park was not burned, but the places to rent out this late in the season are burned. I almost attempted to Re-Book Spruce Lake RV right there in Estes Park (Great park!) Great Location to the Beaver Meadow entrance and close to the Bear Lake Region of the park. The Bear Lake is where the iconic Pics you have seen all your life in Magazines. The ones that make you say to yourself, WOW, Where is that at? Rocky Mountain National Park is where they are at. Stunning Beauty.

I have been to Durango & Silverton Area last year but went up only to Silverton on Highway 550 on a day excursion. I will probably take the Cortez (Lower) route, but I may take Million $ highway as I will be closest to the Rocks not the Edge if I route North From Durango.

I still remember well the Trip we took to Washington DC and being a part of the Watergate Hearings when I was around 11 yrs old at the time. We went the summer that President Nixon resigned and flew off into the sunset. I want to create a memory so Great he will look back with smiles forever. I am going to do just that I might add!

JD
 
Last edited:

X-Roughneck Strike 3

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 15, 2021
Posts
145
Location
Bad Water Texas
The hot springs is super. Think 3 Olympic sized pools connected by short canals. Hot flows in one end a cooler out the other. Pick your temperature. I sure enjoyed it.
Lynx,

Sounds real similar to the Island of Ischia island, west of Naples, Italy via boat out of the Bay to the West (Stationed in Napoli -1994-1997). We would take the hydrofoil power boat from the Bay of Naples to the Island which was a bit of a ride, 30 min or so.

Ischia has Thermal Spa too. We enjoyed those very much. Ischia, is near the Island of Capri, Blue Grotto, etc., lots of iconic, lifestyles of the Rich and Famous type places for sure. The thermal waters were tied to Mount Vesuvius. Volcano in South Naples.

Me and my buddy ran the 10K British Forces Vesuvius Fun run for the T-Shirt you got for participating in the "fun" run. 6.5 miles of switch backs straight up, killer run. The Run started at the Torre Del Greco Exit on the Level highway and switch back vertical to up to the cloud that always hung over the volcano. Took all the skin off my toes with the cobble stone Brick on the roadway. Killer run. I could run two miles at 13:30 at the time. Took me 1 hr 18 Min to get to the top of that run.

I lived in Castle Volturno and when I opened my door, I was looking direct at Vesuvius 30 miles or so to the south.

JD
 

X-Roughneck Strike 3

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 15, 2021
Posts
145
Location
Bad Water Texas
I am wondering if anybody has any first hand experience traveling to Ouray using this route thru the Gunnision area.


Trinidad to Walsenberg IH 25 North then taking what looks like 69 thru Gardener, Salida, Gunnison, Cimmeron, Montrose. That looks like pretty good stretch of Million Dollar Highway coming South out of Montrose. That southbound trek would put me on the outside lane with a view of the cliffs, but how intense is that stretch of road and the Gunnision area with that Vertical landscapes has me wondering also.

I am thinking going back thru Pagosa Springs on 160 to Durango then North on 550 might be the best way to go.

Not sure which way I want to come into to Ouray this time and looking to the board for first hand experiences with the roads leading to that area.

That Gunnison Area I would not know what to expect or that drive south out of Montrose. Not wanting to do anything crazy as I will be around 51 ft with the Jeep attached to the tow bar. Coming from Texas I have options. I want to avoid long stretches of Interstate travel, but be on roads that are decent and don't require any real craziness with a Motor Home towing a jeep either.

June 2020 we traveled a bit of Colorado Highways as we came out of Arches NP on Highway 191 South thru Monticello thru Dolores, Mancos on to Durango. That was the lower elevation easy drive. My only concern in June of 2020 was the Fires that were burning at that time throughout the state, but we were never effected by any of them at that time.

In June 2020 when we departed Durango North KOA for TX we traveled 160 East thru Pagosa Springs and then south thru New Mexico on 84 then east on 380 near Roswell NM into Texas, Down south on 87 thru Big Spring TX. That road is nice, the area immediately out of Pagosa Springs has vegetation right next to the road so you are just hoping that nothing jumps out.

June 2020 I had saw a Lexus with Utah Plates that had collided with a huge elk between Durango and Pagosa Springs. The collision put both the Lexus and the Elk out of operation. The Elk permanently. The Lexus had radiator and other major problems and it wasn't going any further under its own power I might add.

Is the route thru Gunnison Not RV able?
W
hat about that Stretch of 550 coming out of Montrose down South to Ouray?

I realize that 550 travel will be required at some point. I am not freaked out by the prospect as I am thinking 550 North out of Durango might be the option I want to take into Ouray. I have the mountain to my right hand side, seems pretty safe that direction to me.

Right Now I have myself in Vernon Texas planning my route into Ouray, Colorado
 

Larry N.

Well-known member
Joined
May 26, 2010
Posts
7,547
Location
Westminster, Colorado
What about that Stretch of 550 coming out of Montrose down South to Ouray?
It's decent -- in fact from Grand Junction to Ouray is nice road for an RV, mostly just set the cruise control and go, except for when in towns. I'm not sure about through Gunnison, but Walsenburg to Alamosa is decent road, comfortable in an RV.
 

X-Roughneck Strike 3

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 15, 2021
Posts
145
Location
Bad Water Texas
We are going to pick up our Grand Son near Gladewater TX, so planning the way from that location I have decided to stop in three places on the way to Ouray, Currently waiting on a 3rd confirmation from Chama, Sky Mountain RV

1. Vernon TX, Rocking A RV
2. Sumner Lake NM, State Park
3. Chama, NM - Pending
Then day 4 into KOA Ouray, Colorado for 11 nights.

This keeps me comfortably in my Target 300 mile per day leg max target window. I have done 400 miles plus only once and that was pushing it for my daily limits.

Day 4, Chama to Ouray will leave me 179 miles that final leg into Ouray. I think that will be plenty miles for that final push on up Highway 550 North into Ouray.

Not going to lock anything in for the return, and will probably just wing it.

Marty/Sarge did a nice write up on Sky Mountain Park in Chama, when they stayed last summer. 7700 ft elevations sounds good and potentially cool, so hoping to get a confirmation via email soon.

I think this is my best route to get to Ouray coming out of TX. Highway 84 is a Nice Road. I am still eyeballing how I want to get across DFW area coming out of the Gladewater area east of Dallas. I am not sure I want to traverse the DFW Metroplex and risk getting jammed up in potential traffic.

I despise the constant Parade of 18 Wheelers on the Interstate and too. I am a definite fan of the roads less traveled.

I am going to take the Million Dollar Highway up North Out of Durango. Hopefully I don't encounter any runaway 18 wheelers as Marty did.
 

Larry N.

Well-known member
Joined
May 26, 2010
Posts
7,547
Location
Westminster, Colorado
If you stop in Chama, check out the Cumbres & Toltec RR, IMO it's even better than the Durango and Silverton. Back in the 1890s and a while later it was part of the Denver and Rio Grande route for passengers and mining ore, etc., before part of the route was torn out and they became two separate RRs. It's a full day experience, and your grandson would love it.
 

Rob&Deryl

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 27, 2017
Posts
1,089
Location
Eastern Massachusetts
We rode from poncha springs to Ouray via US50 (we came south from Denver on hyway 285) and the road was good. The black canyon of the gunnison is awesome. Worth the side trip or a day adventure. Monarch pass was nice and not a big challenge. Blue Mesa resevoir was pretty.
 

X-Roughneck Strike 3

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 15, 2021
Posts
145
Location
Bad Water Texas
I got a reply from Sky Mountain in Chama and had to pass. A three Night Weekend Min stay required, so passed on that RV park. I will make adjustments to that leg of the journey. I am looking to push it on in to Pagosa Springs as that distance will get me back to my 300 mile max goal for daily distances. Currently inquiring at Pagosa Springs RV for a overnight on our Final Push up into Ouray.

For anybody thinking about traveling Highway 84 in our out of Colorado. Do it. Nice slower pace road. Vegetation is right next to the roadway for a stretch near Pagosa Springs is the only real concern I have.

Question: Any day Trips, must see excursions, that board members care to share on the Ouray area?

Hikes, Jeep Trails, Kid stuff, etc.

JD
 

Old_Crow

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 20, 2016
Posts
2,300
Location
Mammoth Lakes, California
Haven't been there, but I've watched enough Youtube videos to know that there is a very active off road scene in Ouray. I'll bet it's like Moab or Sedona and every 3rd vehicle you see is a Jeep.
Here's a video about a couple of trails in the area:

 

X-Roughneck Strike 3

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 15, 2021
Posts
145
Location
Bad Water Texas
Haven't been there, but I've watched enough Youtube videos to know that there is a very active off road scene in Ouray. I'll bet it's like Moab or Sedona and every 3rd vehicle you see is a Jeep.
Here's a video about a couple of trails in the area:
Wally,

Just my Luck. I have a Jeep! I don't have a Rubicon with more capable suspension and gearing. I have OEM 2013 Wrangler unlimited OEM everything but tires and wheels, so we won't be out there doing the extra crazy routes. We will get out there and explore the off road scene Ouray some for sure. Appreciate the tip for sure!

I think you mentioned you are a mechanic...

Out of Curiosity, what Replacement shocks absorbers "Brand/Model" would you recommend me putting on my 2013 Jeep 4 Door Wrangler? I was thinking about using Firestone Dealer as he is close and they will rotate the tires I just got from them awhile back. I was Guessing I could find some Good Monroe Shocks? Opinion?

I know nothing but a few brand names, but not sure of what is a better brand over the other. I have a independent mechanic close to the house too if Firestone does not carry a Superior Brand, if out there.

I am going to do it next month so I got a little bit of time to look and price shocks and labor pricing. I am approaching 60K shared miles tow and drive on the Jeep's OEM 2013 suspension.

I bought some Highway 70K Tires for the jeep recently. I couldn't help myself as it was the Poor Old Man in me looking for best value for the money spent. The "Tank Like" sound of tires with the Aggressive Grip Treads make too much constant noise for me anyway. The Jeep is our one and only Daily Driver too when we are not RVn with it in Tow.
 

Lou Schneider

Site Team
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Posts
10,767
If you stop in Chama, check out the Cumbres & Toltec RR, IMO it's even better than the Durango and Silverton. Back in the 1890s and a while later it was part of the Denver and Rio Grande route for passengers and mining ore, etc., before part of the route was torn out and they became two separate RRs. It's a full day experience, and your grandson would love it.
X2 on riding the Cumbres and Toltec. Now that New Mexico has re-opened there are several RV parks at the Chama, NM end including one right next to the railroad tracks (don't worry, it's a narrow gauge RR so the only traffic is the steam powered passenger trains). The best part of the trip is from Chama to the midpoint at Osier where you are served lunch before returning to Chama. If you travel the full length you return via bus.
 

Larry N.

Well-known member
Joined
May 26, 2010
Posts
7,547
Location
Westminster, Colorado
Our last trip on the Toltec was the turn around at Osier (2013 --
), and we noticed the food had taken a big improvement. Our previous trips had gotten us a box lunch, but the last time was a nice cafeteria with a decent selection of food -- fairly tasty, too.
If you travel the full length you return via bus

Or you can stay in the motel at Antonito (right next to the depot, if it's still open) and return the next day on the train. We did that a few years back, and it was a tad different, both because we saw the remaining part of the route past Osier, and because the view is somewhat different on the way back (they used to say, "Always watch your back trail"). But it's a great trip either way.
 

prnebs

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 17, 2015
Posts
309
Location
FOCO CO
Larry & Lou, thanks for sharing this info. This is the kind of adventure we want to do. It looks like it would be nice in the fall when the trees are turning. I'm so excited!
 
Top Bottom