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  1. #1
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    Buffalo Creek Camping WTF?

    I'm out here in Buff Creek right now and hoping to spend a night or two (I can do that being semi-retired). Looks like the forest dudes shut down all the car pull-off spots for camping. WTF?!?! If they were going to do that, they should keep the pay sites open.

    Anyone know if it's a problem to spend the night in the parking lots? I was planning on sleeping in the vehicle.

  2. #2
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    I thought you ignore closures.

  3. #3
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    Tell me this is not true.

  4. #4
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    Uhhh... drive down to the Ranger Station and ask?

  5. #5
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    This changes things...

  6. #6
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    restrictions from NFS

    not sure if the camping areas along the road fall under this order or not, but it seems that they could. I don't think they qualify as designated camping areas. if this is true it definitely sucks. but, the place was used pretty hard. I can see them wanted to restore certain areas.


    Pike and San Isabel National Forests Cimarron and Comanche National Grasslands - Alerts & Notices

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by powXer View Post
    not sure if the camping areas along the road fall under this order or not, but it seems that they could. I don't think they qualify as designated camping areas. if this is true it definitely sucks. but, the place was used pretty hard. I can see them wanted to restore certain areas.


    Pike and San Isabel National Forests Cimarron and Comanche National Grasslands - Alerts & Notices
    Thats pretty lame.

  8. #8
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    Excerpt from the "Orders"

    3. Camping except in designated campgrounds and designated
    dispersed campsites. 36 CFR 261.58(e) Backpacking allowed.

    I interprete this to mean (Vehicle) Camping allowed in designated campgrounds and designated dispersed campsites, but backpackers (and hopefully this includes bikepackers) can camp anywhere.

    Am I off base on this interpretation?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by calzonical View Post
    Excerpt from the "Orders"

    3. Camping except in designated campgrounds and designated
    dispersed campsites. 36 CFR 261.58(e) Backpacking allowed.

    I interprete this to mean (Vehicle) Camping allowed in designated campgrounds and designated dispersed campsites, but backpackers (and hopefully this includes bikepackers) can camp anywhere.

    Am I off base on this interpretation?
    not sure. I've got a call into the South Platte office to get some additional info...

  10. #10
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    Don't know all specifics but I'm pretty sure Calzonical hit the nail on the head. Instead of signing "No Camping" areas, the USFS changed their policy last summer and posted signs where designated dispersed camping is allowed. This holds true along 550 Road as well as other areas. So if you don't see a "camping" sign, assume there is no camping.

    This was done in an attempt to control the overuse and resource abuse along 550 Road. The place turns into an absolute zoo during the summer. While a few of the dispersed campsites have been eliminated, most remain in place, assuming nothing has changed since last summer. So I'm not sure drunkenbikesnob is talking about. There should be plenty of options available.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by casey View Post
    While a few of the dispersed campsites have been eliminated, most remain in place, assuming nothing has changed since last summer.
    The order was executed in September, so the restrictions very well may have changed since last Summer.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2wheelsnotfour View Post
    I thought you ignore closures.
    It is very hard to drive your SUV over metal posts and strategically placed boulders.

    By the way, back from a four hour ride in Buffalo Creek. I will say that condition are stellar! A few streams in the trails here and there, but ice was minimal. The trail streams were a lot of fun!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by casey View Post
    Don't know all specifics but I'm pretty sure Calzonical hit the nail on the head. Instead of signing "No Camping" areas, the USFS changed their policy last summer and posted signs where designated dispersed camping is allowed. This holds true along 550 Road as well as other areas. So if you don't see a "camping" sign, assume there is no camping.

    This was done in an attempt to control the overuse and resource abuse along 550 Road. The place turns into an absolute zoo during the summer. While a few of the dispersed campsites have been eliminated, most remain in place, assuming nothing has changed since last summer. So I'm not sure drunkenbikesnob is talking about. There should be plenty of options available.
    Yeah, I see those little brown camp signs all over the place. The problem is, I said CAR camping. I did not bring a tent. My intention was to pull my jeep into one of those little spots and sleep in the car. However, all but two of the old locations are sealed up with just a tiny pull off on the road. If I wanted to sleep on the road, I might as well park in the parking lot. If you want to park on the side of the road, walk your gear in, and set up the tent, then it there would not be any changes from previous years. But, if you wanted to park your car in those spots, you cannot do that anymore. So, I do know what I am talking about. Thank you.

    Anyway, since the only two areas you could drive into were occupied, I will have to come up with another solution. Right now, this parking lot is looking like the obvious choise but there is no fire ring.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by powXer View Post
    not sure if the camping areas along the road fall under this order or not, but it seems that they could. I don't think they qualify as designated camping areas. if this is true it definitely sucks. but, the place was used pretty hard. I can see them wanted to restore certain areas.


    Pike and San Isabel National Forests Cimarron and Comanche National Grasslands - Alerts & Notices
    Wow, that map sucks. Drawn in crayon and scanned at 12dpi? If you don't know the area it isn't much help.

    Anyone know what's up with that little block of restricted area along the Platte?

  15. #15
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    this thread is bringin tha lulz

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    I just spoke with someone from the south platte ranger station. Dispersed camping is allowed on hwy 550. Designated camp sites are closed for the winter. Nothing has changed.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbrock450 View Post
    I just spoke with someone from the south platte ranger station. Dispersed camping is allowed on hwy 550. Designated camp sites are closed for the winter. Nothing has changed.
    Booooooh! Get outta here with that rational approach...

    we needs moar drunken speculation
    the drugs made me realize it's not about the drugs

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    Quote Originally Posted by WKD-RDR View Post
    Booooooh! Get outta here with that rational approach...

    we needs moar drunken speculation
    Have you been there recently?

    I am not speculating, having spent the night in the parking lot.

    Like I said, there are still camping spots, but what you used to be able to drive into, you cannot do that anymore. You have to park on the side of the road by big boulders and metal posts, then walk your gear into the camping spot. So if you sleep in your car, had a camper, or had a truck with a popup, you are sh*t out of luck. You will be sleeping on the side of the road.

    The forest dudes are only going to comment on what you ask them. If you didn't ask specifically that a car can be pulled into the dispersed camp site, they are not going to tell you that. Come on down ad see for yourself.

    I plan on another ride here today, then packing up and heading back to the house. Next time I guess I'll have to bring a tent.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by drunkenbikesnob View Post
    You will be sleeping on the side of the road.
    I would rather be sleeping in a van down by the river.

  20. #20
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    There are still some, more than the two previously mentioned, dispersed camping areas along 550 Road where you can drive in and set up your trailer, pop-up or sleep in your car. You may have to drive a couple of miles down the road but they are there.

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    I will be camping in my truck this friday and saturday. I will let everyone know. How far did you drive down 550? Did you make as far back as the ct shinglemill intersection

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    Quote Originally Posted by cbrock450 View Post
    I will be camping in my truck this friday and saturday. I will let everyone know. How far did you drive down 550? Did you make as far back as the ct shinglemill intersection
    Yes, I did. I saw two of the old spots on the north side that were still open but were occupied. Everything else was inaccessible to a vehicle. It stinks.

    I have a lift kit on my jeep but still would be hard to get over the metal posts.

  23. #23
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    I drove 550 late last October and I believe I remember seeing more quite few more than two places you could pull a vehicle into to camp. I did see a lot of sites that you had to walk in from a pull out on the road which incidentally I support. Way too many people showing no respect for the area with their rigs.

  24. #24
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    Drunken,
    When were you there last?

    There was an issue with an "a" hole fire a cannon near a trail head (Shinglemill). He was arrested and did go to court. But if they have shut down everything, this sucks.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by drunkenbikesnob View Post
    ... Next time I guess I'll have to bring a Cutting Torch.

    fixed it 4 ya.

  26. #26
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    This thread is interesting. I was out there this winter a few times and saw nothing changed, but will go out this weekend to see. Major bummer if they closed all the road side camp spots on 550. Where would they expect folks to go? I know BC see's tons of campers all over, but have they allocated any new camp spots to make up for it? If not it's only going to promote lots of illegal camping and more ranger intervention/staffing.
    A man must have enemies and places he is not welcome. In the end we are not only defined by our friends but those against us.

  27. #27
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    There's some good dispersed camping a little farther south along 126...obviously not as perfectly convenient as 550, but still good locations.

    I saw some stupid stuff along 550 last year...unattended smoldering logs, more garbage than in the past...probably good to give the area a chance to recover for a year or so. It'd be great to get more trail development on the south side of the area...maybe this will nudge that into happening?

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by plaidvillain View Post
    It'd be great to get more trail development on the south side of the area...maybe this will nudge that into happening?
    In progress.
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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by plaidvillain View Post

    I saw some stupid stuff along 550 last year...
    The heavy winter kept people from camping up in the mountains until very late. I was bummed to see how busy and messy the area got as well. Just a reminder how many people live on the front range that enjoy the outdoors. I lost count of the times that I picked up empty Bud Light cans.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by DWF View Post
    This thread is interesting. I was out there this winter a few times and saw nothing changed, but will go out this weekend to see. Major bummer if they closed all the road side camp spots on 550. Where would they expect folks to go? I know BC see's tons of campers all over, but have they allocated any new camp spots to make up for it? If not it's only going to promote lots of illegal camping and more ranger intervention/staffing.

    If you've read the thread you'll see that "all" of the dispersed camping spots have not been closed and "all" of the drive in spots have not been closed. The FS is trying to get a handle on what was a free for all that many people had been abusing.

  31. #31
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    Yup. Leave it up to the d00shbags to ruin it for everybody else.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by 69erSycip View Post
    Just a reminder how many people live on the front range that enjoy the outdoors. I lost count of the times that I picked up empty Bud Light cans.
    Too bad that so many people confuse "enjoying" with "trashing". I try to avoid Buffalo Creek during summer weekends these days
    I drank the 29er koolaid- turns out it was POWERade

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkaredShtles View Post
    Yup. Leave it up to the d00shbags to ruin it for everybody else.
    The problem is it's always "the dirtbags" and "those other guys" and "them". It's never me or my crew.

    I consider myself a pretty respectful and conscientious camper. I'm fairly anal about trash, I don't build new fire rings and have been know to tear redundant ones apart. I try to be careful about where I drive and park my car when I pull into a camp site. I use toilets provided or bring my river groover or a wag bag. As careful as I think I am though, I'm sure I've driven in places I probably shouldn't, and have left a piece of trash or two behind.

    Even if most people are thoughtful, they are going to have impacts. Add in the if not majority, then at least significant minority of people who act as though they are entitled to do whatever they want you have a major issue that needs to be addressed.

    .

  34. #34
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    campfires

    Quote Originally Posted by MtbRN View Post
    Too bad that so many people confuse "enjoying" with "trashing"...
    Bud Light cans and even broken glass aren't the worst--in my summer travels around here I can't tell you how many times I've encountered the deserted camp with smoldering campfire. Unlike last summer following a huge snow year, we're likely to have one with dangerously dry forests this year.

    I doubt I'm preaching to anyone here (or at least I hope!)

    I rarely have a fire when I camp nowadays. It is kind of nice once in a while, but it's often just used for an hour or two before hitting the sack. I'm usually up and going with no real time to enjoy it in the morning. But that's just me.

    I'm sure all of the campfire-lovers reading this are responsible about getting them out and cold before leaving.
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  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by MtbRN View Post
    Too bad that so many people confuse "enjoying" with "trashing". I try to avoid Buffalo Creek during summer weekends these days
    That would be the "d00shbags" baconboi was referring to, the confused. Staying away from there on weekends sounds wise to me. Confused people are unpredictable when put on blast for being as such.

    Quote Originally Posted by TomP View Post
    Bud Light cans and even broken glass aren't the worst--in my summer travels around here I can't tell you how many times I've encountered the deserted camp with smoldering campfire.
    One or two people around here may wonder why I'm so vehemently against camping in the forested areas of the Fruita Bookcliffs. Tom hit the nail on the head. I had to put unattended smoldering fires out there countless times. Burning up the Pinyon Juniper forest that has been there for hundreds of years is just not worth granting even one idiot the ability to have that kind of access.

  36. #36
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    Did anyone ever get out there and see if anything has changed?

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    The only things that have changed on the 550 rd. is that you have to camp and park where there are signs indicating parking and camping. It is still free and you can still have campfires (when there is not a fire ban). Yes, the Forest Service closed some spots but they also opened some new ones. The Forest Service is also shutting down the shooting in the area. Do you think that Moab has always had regulations on camping? When an area gets a lot of use and it gets trashed something needs to be done to control it. About 15 No Shooting signs were installed last week and I'm sure at least 5 will be shot by the time I get back there after my vacation to Moab next week. It will take a little bit of time before everyone is used to these changes but I'm sure it will be worth it.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by fireclimber View Post
    The only things that have changed on the 550 rd. is that you have to camp and park where there are signs indicating parking and camping. It is still free and you can still have campfires (when there is not a fire ban). Yes, the Forest Service closed some spots but they also opened some new ones.
    WTF?



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  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Josie7 View Post
    Did anyone ever get out there and see if anything has changed?
    Stayed overnight twice in two weeks. As I said before, there are one or two places you can pull your car far enough off the road to not hear yahoos gunning their sh!t over the washboard. All others are park on the side and haul your stuff in.

    I did see the no shooting signs. I wonder it that means no shooting in the entire space or just in the direction that the sign is pointing. Does it include shooting your mouth off? Because, the group in the site next to me didn't shut up all night and they had a no shooting sign too.

  40. #40
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    Yaaay for no shooting..always scares $hit out of me. Very unnerving.

  41. #41
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    there was plenty of shooting going on saturday....

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    Feedback received: nice job speculating!

    Really? I never said I speculate or had reason to believe. Go look for yourself.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by fastfroggy View Post
    there was plenty of shooting going on saturday....
    Dang it...so much for that hope. Note to self - wear orange.

  44. #44
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    There used to be about 8-10 pull in sites, for those that have driven on 550 rd recently, how many pull-in sites are left?
    Thanks!

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