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  1. #1
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    Camping in Salida

    Heading to Salida in a couple of weeks for a quick weekend. Going to ride the Monarch Crest trial on Saturday and ride in Salida on Sunday. Any recommdations on where to camp?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Two places:

    1. CoRd 201 just below the Rainbow Trail.
    2. CoRd 250 (I think it turns into 252 by the camping) at the intersection with the CO Trail.

    Both places will get you to higher elevation so you'll stay cool. You definitely do not want to be by the river this time of year.
    Last edited by Guyechka; 07-02-2012 at 09:38 AM. Reason: dyslexia of numbers

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    Thanks! Do you think it will be easy to get a spot on a Friday afternoon?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pink Lady View Post
    Thanks! Do you think it will be easy to get a spot on a Friday afternoon?
    They are both completely rustic. You just have to drive up and find a spot. I should have mentioned this before, but I don't even think about it when I go out there.

    The first place, up by Rainbow Trail, is actually about twenty little spots all along the dirt road. You will see some actual camp grounds as you drive down the road, but what I'm talking about is up higher. You can tell when you're getting close when you leave the little valley and start into the trees. I have been there a couple of times and never come across anyone else.

    The second location is similar, but I believe there is a bathroom in the parking lot of the CO Trail. Basically, there is free camping all along the road (there are a number of little side roads as well), but the best is up higher.

    Both places see some traffic during the day, but you'd be pretty much alone at night.

    My reasoning behind these two spots is that they are both up high enough to be cool and they are both west of Salida on the way to Monarch. There will be some back tracking, but it should actually be closer than if you got a motel in Salida. Also, the first spot is excellent for riding the Rainbow Trail. If you ride off Monarch Crest, you will come out at the top of the trail, right by the camping.

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    Thank you so much for the info!

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    Didja mean 201?

    Quote Originally Posted by Guyechka View Post
    Two places:

    1. CoRd 210 just below the Rainbow Trail...
    Are you talking about 201? 210 is not at the end of the classic crest ride. It goes up a drainage called Little Cochetopa Creek. It's west of Salida, but I don't know of any camping up there.

    What you are describing sounds like CR201. It's important to note that 201 never intersects Hwy 285. To get to it you have to start by driving about 3 miles up the Marshall Pass Road (CR200). If you do that, stay left, you'll pass a formal parking lot with vault toilet after the 3 miles, that's where 201 branches off. To the left.

    That said, 201 would be my recommendation. I was up there yesterday morning and there were exactly zero people camped up in the more primitive part up closer to the Rainbow. But be aware, the road up there has a couple pretty rough spots. You can get most any vehicle up there, but it would take some careful line selection to get a low-clearance vehicle up, especially the first short section right after the graded-gravel stops.
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by TomP View Post
    Are you talking about 201? 210 is not at the end of the classic crest ride. It goes up a drainage called Little Cochetopa Creek. It's west of Salida, but I don't know of any camping up there.

    What you are describing sounds like CR201. It's important to note that 201 never intersects Hwy 285. To get to it you have to start by driving about 3 miles up the Marshall Pass Road (CR200). If you do that, stay left, you'll pass a formal parking lot with vault toilet after the 3 miles, that's where 201 branches off. To the left.

    That said, 201 would be my recommendation. I was up there yesterday morning and there were exactly zero people camped up in the more primitive part up closer to the Rainbow. But be aware, the road up there has a couple pretty rough spots. You can get most any vehicle up there, but it would take some careful line selection to get a low-clearance vehicle up, especially the first short section right after the graded-gravel stops.
    You're right, Tom. I always get it mixed up. 201 it is. Probably need to go ride it again to refresh my memory.

    The rough section you're talking about, I believe, is where they block off the road during the spring run off when it gets washed out. If I remember correctly, there are a couple of places immediately below that section you could camp.

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    Another option...

    Quote Originally Posted by Guyechka View Post
    You're right, Tom. I always get it mixed up. 201 it is. Probably need to go ride it again to refresh my memory.

    The rough section you're talking about, I believe, is where they block off the road during the spring run off when it gets washed out. If I remember correctly, there are a couple of places immediately below that section you could camp.
    There are lots and lots of places to car camp up there. Even the ones that are harder to get to aren't very hard, but there are plenty that are on the smooth graded gravel.

    One area up that way that I will utilize if I ever move away and come back to visit:

    If you drive over to the south side of Poncha Pass and take the first right on the San Luis Valley side, you can make your way to a couple spots in an aspen grove that are super nice and often vacant. They are on the little doubletrack that crosses the Rainbow about 2 miles from the highway.

    The thing to do would be to get up in the morning and ride that last two mile section of Rainbow out to the highway (which is a particularly dusty and hot segment to need to deal with at the end, with the gnarly loose-rock climb in the middle of it). Roll down 285 to Poncha and pick up the shuttle.

    Then at the end of the classic Crest ride, you just roll into camp. You've already ridden that hot dusty bit. You ride the nice part of the Rainbow then find your camp chair and malt beverage.

    The only downside is that you would not have any graceful way to skip the Rainbow Trail if you were cooked.
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

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    I think I've camped at that exact spot that tomp mentioned. It's really great. Usually do it towards the end of the season w a big group and we shuttle from that spot and just make the left turn and roll back into camp. Actually just did the whole ride from monarch pass back to poncha springs for the first time yesterday. I kind of like the shortened version w the tents, camp chairs and beer at the end better. That's a great idea to do that last section of rainbow before 285 and 285 to the shuttle in the morning.

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    I'm coming up next week with my 9 year old daughter and will be looking for a place to camp. I've been looking at the forest service campgrounds so my daughter has a bathroom available and found the Angel of Shivano campground. Can anyone provide some feedback on this site or others in the area? We would like to avoid the atv crowd if possible.

    Thanks
    Dave

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fly2Hi96 View Post
    I'm coming up next week with my 9 year old daughter and will be looking for a place to camp. I've been looking at the forest service campgrounds so my daughter has a bathroom available and found the Angel of Shivano campground. Can anyone provide some feedback on this site or others in the area? We would like to avoid the atv crowd if possible.

    Thanks
    Dave
    I stayed in the angel of shivano campground last year when I was in Salida. I liked it. Pretty quiet campground for the most part, don't remember seeing any ATV's in the campground but they seem to be everywhere anymore. Their is another campground in the poncha springs area, O'haver lake, or something like that. I liked Shivano better, nice little creek that runs in the campground also.

  12. #12
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    Also Monarch Park

    Quote Originally Posted by MTBOASIS View Post
    I stayed in the angel of shivano campground last year when I was in Salida. I liked it. Pretty quiet campground for the most part, don't remember seeing any ATV's in the campground but they seem to be everywhere anymore. Their is another campground in the poncha springs area, O'haver lake, or something like that. I liked Shivano better, nice little creek that runs in the campground also.
    Angel of Shavano is pretty good. Another nice one is Monarch Park, up toward Monarch (not far from the Ski Area, other side of Hwy 50.

    O'Haver is closed for all of 2012. They are doing huge renovations.

    There are also a bunch of campgrounds up past the Princeton Hot Springs. I don't like those as much.
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by TomP View Post
    Angel of Shavano is pretty good. Another nice one is Monarch Park, up toward Monarch (not far from the Ski Area, other side of Hwy 50.

    O'Haver is closed for all of 2012. They are doing huge renovations.

    There are also a bunch of campgrounds up past the Princeton Hot Springs. I don't like those as much.
    Never been to the Monarch one, but I have heard it is nice.

    I have also been to one of the campgrounds in the Princeton Hot Springs area. I agree avoid this area if you can. Can't remember the campground I stayed in but was not impressed.

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    I camped at Chalk Lake CG near the Mt Princeton hot springs in June. My kids are aged 3 and 6 and its one of our favorite CGs. There is a shallow creek (Chalk Cr) flowing through camp - the kids can play and stay cool. There is a short hike to a waterfall right across from the CG (forget the name), a lake to fish on (Chalk Lake), and a ghosttown a short drive away. The CT is just 1-2 miles from the CG as well. I'm not a big fan of hot springs, but looks like they have waterslides and such. Needless to say....tons for kids to do.

    I believe ATVs are not allowed on the FS road that the CG is on. But, you will find them up towards Tincup pass and the ghosttown. And, I think it fills up pretty fast - we got one of the last two sites on a Fri morning.


    Quote Originally Posted by Fly2Hi96 View Post
    I'm coming up next week with my 9 year old daughter and will be looking for a place to camp. I've been looking at the forest service campgrounds so my daughter has a bathroom available and found the Angel of Shivano campground. Can anyone provide some feedback on this site or others in the area? We would like to avoid the atv crowd if possible.

    Thanks
    Dave
    "Serves you right to suffer." -The Wife (after being 2 hours late)

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by slcdawg View Post
    I camped at Chalk Lake CG near the Mt Princeton hot springs in June. My kids are aged 3 and 6 and its one of our favorite CGs. There is a shallow creek (Chalk Cr) flowing through camp - the kids can play and stay cool. There is a short hike to a waterfall right across from the CG (forget the name), a lake to fish on (Chalk Lake), and a ghosttown a short drive away. The CT is just 1-2 miles from the CG as well. I'm not a big fan of hot springs, but looks like they have waterslides and such. Needless to say....tons for kids to do.

    I believe ATVs are not allowed on the FS road that the CG is on. But, you will find them up towards Tincup pass and the ghosttown. And, I think it fills up pretty fast - we got one of the last two sites on a Fri morning.
    Yeah, I've never stayed at or really checked out that one. I guess for families it does have lots of amenities. It's a little too close to the road for my tastes, that's what I like about Angel of Shavano. Agnes Vail Falls is probably what you're thinking of. The ghost town is St Elmo. The ATV ban is lifted up there near St Elmo, and the lawn tractors rule, but at least for now, they can't come down as far as the paved part.
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

    "I like my wimmen like I like my beer--cold and bitter!"

  16. #16
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    Some of the sites are close to the road. I think ours was #9 and it was a short walk down to the site which was on the river. The sites aren't the most private, but worked out for us since all the kids play in the river all day anyway. Definitely a family friendly CG - not sure I'd camp there without kids.

    The other CGs near Mt Princeton hot springs didn't look so hot. They seemed close together and close to the road. I'll have to check out Angel of Shavano next time. I love that whole area! (Plus I could ride from Angel to Chalk Cr and have the wife pick me up. )

    Quote Originally Posted by TomP View Post
    Yeah, I've never stayed at or really checked out that one. I guess for families it does have lots of amenities. It's a little too close to the road for my tastes, that's what I like about Angel of Shavano. Agnes Vail Falls is probably what you're thinking of. The ghost town is St Elmo. The ATV ban is lifted up there near St Elmo, and the lawn tractors rule, but at least for now, they can't come down as far as the paved part.
    "Serves you right to suffer." -The Wife (after being 2 hours late)

  17. #17
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    Thanks for all of the replies. I think we'll give Angel of Shivano a try.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TomP View Post
    There are lots and lots of places to car camp up there. Even the ones that are harder to get to aren't very hard, but there are plenty that are on the smooth graded gravel.

    One area up that way that I will utilize if I ever move away and come back to visit:

    If you drive over to the south side of Poncha Pass and take the first right on the San Luis Valley side, you can make your way to a couple spots in an aspen grove that are super nice and often vacant. They are on the little doubletrack that crosses the Rainbow about 2 miles from the highway.

    The thing to do would be to get up in the morning and ride that last two mile section of Rainbow out to the highway (which is a particularly dusty and hot segment to need to deal with at the end, with the gnarly loose-rock climb in the middle of it). Roll down 285 to Poncha and pick up the shuttle.

    Then at the end of the classic Crest ride, you just roll into camp. You've already ridden that hot dusty bit. You ride the nice part of the Rainbow then find your camp chair and malt beverage.

    The only downside is that you would not have any graceful way to skip the Rainbow Trail if you were cooked.
    This.

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