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  1. #1
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    A little OT but - Camping

    It seems that season is arriving, although Colorado really seems to be holding onto it's winter weather as much as possible.

    The family and I are relatively new to the front range, we got here November last year and are excited about all of the outdoor opportunities here in CO but with that comes the difficult part....deciding where to go! There are so many options that all sound great, I guess we couldn't go wrong by just choosing any random spot but I come here humbly asking for advice.

    Can anyone recommend a tent site that has access to great hiking and biking trails? Something that has modern enough amenities yet still gives us privacy and the "rugged" tent camp feel? I'm currently in COS and would like to head more west if possible to drive through the mountains since we haven't yet.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    a dad
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    Gunnison/Crested Butte/Salida area? Lots of great options for biking, hiking and camping..
    BBZ

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  3. #3
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    Fruita is great although the only "amenities" are toilets but for mtn biking it is amazing. I am not sure about hiking but since there are a ton of trails around there and Grand Junction it shouldn't be hard to find any. Plus the weather is always ready for biking/being outdoors there.

  4. #4
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    Depends on what you call amenities while camping. Typically camping is broken down as : primitive = camping off some Forest Service Road either a rugged 4X4 or something a Subaru can access just you and your gear no amenities (bathroom/showers/tables etc). Forest Service campgrounds typically have a pit toilet, picnic tables & fire pits (but fires may be banned depending on wildfire risk) and can cost from $10-$20 per night. Popular campgrounds may require reservations and be full by Fridays. If you want to sleep in a tent but have full amenities (toilets/showers) look for State Parks or private camping "resorts" but expect $20-$30 per night fees and again reservations.

    Close by Forest Service option to get started: Round Mountain Campground- not top notch biking & hiking but lots of forest service roads to explore & toilets if you want or primitive camping. Good place to do a first trip since it is close by - gets a lot of ATV traffic later in the year & weekends though. Once the snow melts out the previous suggestions Gunnison/Crested Butte, Salida up to Leadville all will provide great bike & hike options within a 2-5 hour drive from COS. Most of the time you'll camp in one area and have to drive or ride to various trails, not many places will give you ride from camp options on a multi day trip.

    Too many to choose just start picking some of the popular ones and search the forum IE: "crested butte camping" there have been numerous threads posted every year.

  5. #5
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    Not so far west but one of my favorite places to tent camp with the family.

    Camp In Colorado: Green Mountain Campground
    Without rules, we all might as well be up in a tree flinging our crap at each other. Red Foreman - That 70's show.

  6. #6
    MK_
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    I think you're after the impossible, amenities and privacy/rugged feel.

    A spot which comes to mind is Brainard lake; off of Peak to Peak highway, between Nederland and Estes Park.
    Another would be up by Salida, called Angel of Shavano.

    Still, privacy is debatable on any developed camp ground with amenities.

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  7. #7
    Team Velveeta™
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK_ View Post
    I think you're after the impossible, amenities and privacy/rugged feel.

    ... up by Salida, called Angel of Shavano.

    Still, privacy is debatable on any developed camp ground with amenities.

    _MK
    Yeah, as MK_ and others say, they tend to be conflicting priorities. Around here Angel of Shavano is a good balance, the Colorado Trail goes right through it. Fairly rugged section of the CT, fair amount of hike-a-bike in either direction. Pit toilets (read: smelly). The campground at O'Haver Lake is nice too. Little stocked lake, Rainbow Trail and Starvation Creek not far away--rideable certainly.

    There are some things you can do to bring your amenities. You can make or buy a poop box of some kind. Squatting over a hole you just dug can be kind of an adjustment, especially people for whom modesty is a weakness (read: wives and girlfriends). So you can rig up a little shelter made out of blue tarps with a poop box inside. In the absense of showers, a little bottle of rubbing alcohol can be your friend.

    But yeah, Forest Service campgrounds can be a little thin on the amenities and a little thin on the privacy. Colorado State Parks campgrounds can be a little nicer in my experience (there are showers at James M. Robb state park in Fruita, but you can hear the interstate from your tent site). Then there are a myriad of KOAs and other commercial campgrounds. They have usually removed the ruggedness almost completely. The one in Gunnison is nice. Not rugged, but close to Hartman Rocks. And KOA Dave the owner is one of the coolest people you'll ever meet.
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

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  8. #8
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    a favourite of ours when we briefly lived in cos [and even coming from highlands ranch] was eleven mile canyon. its located about 45-60 minutes due west of cos on rt 24. there are multiple areas to camp in, each with a slightly different flavour [wooded, over looking the reservoir, open with views of the surrounding forest/mountains etc], great hiking trails and world class fishing. the website says there are a couple of trails to bike on but unfortunately it looks a little limited and i've never personally taken a bike there so have no first hand knowledge. however, we've taken all four of our kids there [all under the age of 7!] and found plenty to do. its not exactly private but as mentioned above, privacy and amenities don't really go hand in hand and it does get busy at weekends, so be prepared to book in advance. Find Campgrounds - ReserveAmerica. we've stayed at springer gulch [38.926009,-105.425825] and riverside [38.960481,-105.375351] with good experiences at both.
    You only live once but if you do it right, once is enough.

  9. #9
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    Five hours away in Utah.

    Not crowded, at times. Actual camp sites down to the right. Got your pit toilet, got your views.



    Great sunrises.



    That's Porcupine Rim over to the left in the distance.

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  10. #10
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    Camp at Sylvan Lake State Park right outside of Eagle and go ride their trails. Some trails will be dry by this weekend!

    You can even camp at Buffalo Creek if you play your cards right....

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