Need help in Colorado

Discussion in 'Campground / Trip Planning & Suggestions ?' started by pink_rheat, Jun 14, 2011.

  1. pink_rheat

    pink_rheat New Member

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    So mid-July we will be making our way through Colorado. We'll be coming from Nebraska and head down through Colorado. I'm kind of nervous about staying in "bear country" or anything relative to that. I prefer where we can have the fire 20 feet away from our PU and be able to keep food in the camper and cook some in the camper as well . Now, maybe I'm just dreaming and that's not possible, but would love to hear suggestions if you have any like that.

    We are looking at staying somewhere around Rocky Mountain or Estes or Boulder or for a few nights and then we'll be heading to the Colorado Springs area as well for a few days.

    I would love to hear any suggestions, I know it's easy to google campgrounds and look at other sites, but I'd love to use the wealth of knowledge offered on this page.

    Look forward to my fellow campers words of wisdom!!!
     
  2. eporter81

    eporter81 New Member

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    Just a suggestion. Do not keep food in your PU. If you are in bear country the best thing is to hang the food from a tree. If there are bears but not a huge problem with them in the area you can leave it in the TV. But, I've seen what a bear can do to a truck and it's not pretty. On the CG I have no clue. Have fun camping.
     
  3. Erwin

    Erwin New Member

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    I don't think NY bears are much different than bears in other states. You don't want to do either thing you mentioned, cook or store food in the pup.
    From NYS web site:
    Rules to Prevent Problems with Bears

    Do not leave coolers or food out at any time. Store them securely in either the trunk of your car or in the passenger area of your truck. Keep windows shut and food and coolers out of sight. Where food lockers are provided, food and coolers must be stored and locked inside.
    Clean up after all meals immediately. Keep grills, pots, pans, cooking utensils, and wash basins clean when not in use. Do not wash dishes under the water faucets.
    Do not put grease, garbage, plastic diapers, cans, bottles or other refuse into the fireplace.
    Keep your campsite as clean as possible. Take all garbage and recyclables to the recycling center each day by 8:00 pm
    Do not keep food or coolers in your tent. Do not wear clothing to bed that was worn while preparing or eating meals.

    I would include not cooking in the PUP.
     
  4. Travelhoveler

    Travelhoveler New Member

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    All the campgrounds in Rocky Mountain National Park and the surrounding national forests will have fire rings within 20' or so of your camper, so no worries there.

    If you've been cooking all the time in your camper, chances are there are food smells pretty well set in. I worked in Rocky Mountain NP (I wasn't a ranger then but working for another division) and while bears would sometimes come by or through campgrounds, I don't remember any incidents of them attacking anyone in a campground. Still, I'd advise cooking outside while there and leaving your food in the food lockers if your site has one, and in the TV if not, hidden by a blanket or towel from site. You shouldn't worry but you should take some common sense precautions to avoid any problems.

    If it makes you feel better, there are only black bears, no grizzly, and not that many of them.
     
  5. Mosbyranger

    Mosbyranger Onward, thru the fog...

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    There are several nice campgrounds in Woodland Park, just west of Colorado Springs. Just about any type of hook up you would want, from full service to full boondocking. I really do not think that you will have much of a bear problem if you follow basic camp cleanliness and common sense. It's been a wet spring and forage is good in the high country, so da bears aren't rampaging too much through unlucky puppers. Maybe Kim Ciara will chime in here, she's a Woodland park resident and can get you lined right out. Really- you needn't stress about bears, traffic will be more of a problem than Bruins.
    MR
     
  6. pink_rheat

    pink_rheat New Member

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    Thank you all so much, this will be our first camping trip around anywhere that might have bears. Parks near our home, we worry about mosquito's [:D] I'll check out the Woodland park for sure. And I will of course follow all campground rules, just didn't know if there was anywhere that we could camp where bears weren't a problem at all. Is what it is, I'll take what precautions necessary just to be in the beautiful mountains. Thanks for all your advice and I'll continue watching the thread for campground suggestions!
     
  7. wolfcat1

    wolfcat1 New Member

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    Pink, it 's further south than you mentioned, but check out Durango Riverside Resort. We make a trip to Colorado every year, and this is hands down our favorite. They are pet friendly, very clean CG as well as bath houses, with built in Infra Red heaters as you come out of the showers. You are right on the Animas river...and they pick up your garbage if you set it out in the morning...
    thanks, Vern
    Happy camping !!!!
     
  8. pink_rheat

    pink_rheat New Member

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    I'll check that out for sure, we don't have to be anywhere specifically, just want a fun road-trip and make our way through Colorado. That sounds awesome though Vern, thank you!
     
  9. Hussfamily

    Hussfamily New Member

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    We camped in Rocky Mtn NP last year and had no problems with bears. We did keep all food and supplies in TV and the picnic table was a nice distance from pup. Can't wait to go back! We've been dry here in the Springs but agree with other posts...just be smart about it! Our favorite camping is out near Deckers...enjoy your trip.
     
  10. CarNutCass

    CarNutCass Put a little gravel in your travel

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    We dragged our pup out to Cheyenne Mountain State Park in Colorado Springs last July. The park is only a couple of years old and is very tidy with a nice view (altitude roughly 6000 ft). It's not far off I-25 which is the main drag North to South along the front range. The cg was a great home base for us as there's so much to do locally.

    Didn't see any bears while there but loved the Mule Deer and wild Turkeys that would just wander through the sites. We kept all food secured in the TV while there.

    Here's a few pics.

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  11. Travelhoveler

    Travelhoveler New Member

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    I would not worry at all about bears in Rocky Mountain NP. If you just exercise some common sense precautions as we've outlined, you shouldn't have any issues. The park campgrounds are very nice; Moraine Park and Glacier Park are in the midst of open meadows with the mountains soaring above, amazing country. And you're away from the bustle and contrived "attractions" of Estes Park, but close enough in case you need supplies. The Forest Service campgrounds surrounding the park like Meeker Park are also very nice and not as crowded.

    Have a great trip and don't let a fear of bears deter you from spending time in the "Switzerland of America." This has been a very heavy late snow year and the park should be amazing.
     
  12. CarNutCass

    CarNutCass Put a little gravel in your travel

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    Forgot to mention, 4th of July fireworks are spectacular when view from above. But you said mid July so you may miss that. [:)C]
     
  13. KathyB

    KathyB New Member

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    I'm embarrassed to have this question, living in Colorado for 30 years now, but ... why hang your food from a tree? I understand not leaving food or garbage near the campsite and certainly out of the PUP. But hanging it from the tree seems like you are just asking the bear to come by for a visit.

    Also - I've just got back from NF Thunder Ridge campground outside of Woodland Park and it was wonderful - great camp hosts and the most beautiful setting you could want. No hookups, no water, and washboard roads but if that doesn't bother you, you will love it up there. Another more "civilized" place is Diamond RV park - full services, still beautiful! This picture is from my site at Thunder Ridge.

    [​IMG]

    http://www.forestcamping.com/dow/rockymtn/pikecmp.htm#thunder%20ridge
    http://www.diamondcampground.com/index.html
     
  14. Travelhoveler

    Travelhoveler New Member

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    That's really more of a backcountry practice if you are hiking. Hang it ten feet above the ground, and ten feet away from a tree trunk, so a bear can't get to it. That way you don't have a bear in your tent in the backcountry, and you don't starve because a bear has eaten all your food. I've never seen people do this in campgrounds. Store the food in a food locker if provided there, or in the TV out of sight.
     
  15. wardco

    wardco New Member

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    I didn't pick up on what type of campground you are looking for. Where would you put yourself on the scale of full hookups + swimming pool to boondocking?

    I was born here in CO, and have lived here most of my life. I live just east of Boulder. I have spent a fair amount of time in the mountains of Colorado, backpacking, skiing, hunting, fishing.... I have seen a bear exactly once that I can remember.

    I am more than willing to let people tell me I am a fool (this is not uncommon). In the area of CO that you are talking about (Boulder to Estes Park) I would not worry about bears. I would feel free to cook in my PUP and to keep some food in my PUP. Just my opinion.

    Estes Park and RMNP are beautiful. The town of Estes gets pretty busy in the summer, but it is a cute little mountain town. Moving south toward Allenspark there is a National Forest campground called Olive Ridge. No hookups, just water and vault toilets. This gets you a bit further from the business of Estes. If this campground is full, there is a little known overflow area just a bit further up the road to the north with nothing but vault toilets. Moving further south is Camp Dick another NF campground without any hookups, but nice.
     
  16. pink_rheat

    pink_rheat New Member

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    Great question Wardco (and by the way I am LOVING all of the suggestions here, thank you guys so much)!

    We do not have a shower/toilet in the PU so will be looking for something with shower facilities. We'll also want to hook up electric for sure. Something fairly close to some great scenery or some hiking would be nice, but not necessary by any means. And we don't want to be too outrageously far away from the touristy stuff since my DS has never been there so we'll be going to Garden of the Gods (which is by far one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen in my life), doing the cog up to Pike's Peak, those types of things. I might be asking too much though, we're willing to drive, just prefer when we're near Colorado Springs to not stay somewhere that is more than an hour away.

    Good to know about Estes and Colorado Springs, I've been there vacation before but always stayed in a bed and breakfast or hotel *gasp*, but the PU is new to us and we absolutely love Colorado and figure we'll make that our first real big vacation in the PU.

    And with you talking about campgrounds being full, I take it we should make our reservations now if we want to be there in mid-July?
     
  17. Kim Ciara

    Kim Ciara Trout Tickler

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    heheh HIYA'S MR!

    So okay, pink_rheat... you've already gotten lots of advice about where to camp near Colorado Springs. Take HWY 24 West out of Colorado Springs and drive the 24 miles to Woodland Park, then go North on HWY 67. Within about 10 miles you'll find LOTS of campgrounds, most of which are "no hookups" kinda' places (but lovely!) and if you keep going to Deckers (about 24 miles North of Woodland Park), you'll come to the tiny place (not a city, town, or community... just a place on the South Platte River) that has a fly fishing shop (Flies & Lies), a cute little cafe', and a liquor store (all things important to fly-fishers), and there are dozens of more campgrounds in that area, too! Just ask the people at Flies & Lies, and they'll tell you where to go (campgrounds) and what to do when you get there (fish Gold Medal waters. heheh)

    There are a few campgrounds with showers and such... not many, though, in the Woodland Park area.

    Colorado Springs, being "high desert" gets really, REALLY hot in July. (July is also, oddly enough, the wettest month of the year for the area, as well as most of Colorado. It will rain for an a short while most afternoons and frequently at night.) But if you drive to the Woodland Park area (including the Rampart Range area), the temps are 15-degrees cooler than the Springs. Same rain info applies in the mountains, too. But there are rarely torrential down-pours... just brief showers.

    If it was I traveling from MO to CO (Mo/Co! ha!) I would NOT stay in the Springs, but rather in the Woodland Park area. You'll still be 30 minutes to one hour from the Springs, and avoid the heat, the bustling tourism of the Springs, and be able to see more stars at night than you thought imaginable!

    Whatever you decide to do, pink_rheat, DO enjoy your visit to Colorado! AND, should you be into fly fishing, and want to spend a day or two or more doing that, send me a PM, and I'd be happy to take you to some of the greatest fishing on Earth, within one hour from the Springs/30 minutes from WP! The Colorado Rally is in July (see the rally thread!) and even consider joining us for that! MosbyRanger and NittyGritty are the rally hosts/organizers, and they can tell you more about that, too!

    Anyway, today is day one of my vacation... having a lazy day, doing laundry, packing things for what is now to be ten days of wandering/camping/fly fishing in Taylor Park, the Weston Pass area, and wherever else this mindless wandering takes me! WOO HOO! Gotta' love Colorado!

    Oh... and by the way, pink_rheat, the bears in this part of Colorado are more of a nuisance than anything else. They WILL visit your campsite if you're not on your toes (they pilfer my garbage at home in broad daylight!), but can't imagine them being a personal threat, unless you wear pork chops around your neck, or something. There, officially, are no grizzlies in Colorado, but they DO exist in the Northern parts of the state. Bears in this part of the state are black bears, much smaller and definitely more wary of humans than grizzlies. Should you see a bear with cubs, BE VERY CAREFUL!!! They'll protect their young VERY aggressively! But you shouldn't have problems with them breaking into your camper or vehicle, unless you downright invite them in. *smile*

    {*HINT* Carry an air-horn (they cost about $4.00 or so at Wallyworld). Those work better than pepper spray. Use one at my house all the time!}

    Happy Camping, everyone!

    Kim
     
  18. Rodger D.

    Rodger D. New Member

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    Hello There

    I think I saw A Live Bear once at the Zoo here in Colo Spgs. It had
    grown up in another part of the world before coming to here.

    The Air Force Academy which is between Monument and Colo Spgs
    has camping if you are connected with the Dept of Defense ( or
    retired from ).

    As shown Cheyenne Mtn ( with great photos ) on the SW of Colo Spgs.

    West of Pueblo ( about 8-10 miles ) on U.S. Hwy 50 is a State Park. It
    looks down on a Lake ( Dam ) made from the Arkansas River.

    Five miles West of Walsenburg on U.S. Hwy 160 is Lathrop ( the first State
    Park in Colo ). The sites #48 - 53 in Loop B and Loop C's #72, or #82, 83 and
    86 in Loop D are the more shady location's.

    All of the above locations have Park Ranger's out and about incase things bother
    you ( their biggest complaint is drunks from other campers ).

    I hope this helps not only you, but any others who are still planning.



    Rodger & Gabby
    FltSgtmsn.com
     
  19. CarNutCass

    CarNutCass Put a little gravel in your travel

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    Having a 6 year old tends to shape your itinerary a bit, doesn't it? lol You have to find that balance between not too much scenery and plenty of kid type activities. They aren't as impressed by the majesty of the mountains as adults.

    Things to do in the Springs area, regardless of where you decide to stay, include:

    *Santa's North Pole (Theme park at the entrance to the Pikes Peak highway geared specifically toward little kids. My kids favorite stop)
    *Garden of the Gods (Beautiful, my kids were not terribly interested)
    *Seven Falls (Touristy but very pretty. Lit up at night)
    *Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
    *Manitou Cliff Dwellings (See pic below)
    *Dinasaur Museum in Woodland Park (I-24)
    *Narrow gauge train ride in Cripple Creek
    *Molly Kathleen Gold Mine in Cripple Creek
    *Pikes Peak (Highway, cog railway, or hike the Barr Trail)
    *Royal Gorge (Canon City. Crazy amount of fun stuff to do)

    I have the hours and last year's admission prices for many of these places in a document if you want it for activity planning purposes. Let me know.

    Pic is of my five year old son and 2 year old daughter at Manitou Cliff Dwellings. My 12 year old son and 9 year old daughter were in Hawaii at time so they did not go with us on this trip.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. pink_rheat

    pink_rheat New Member

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    Oh CarNutCass, you sound just like me with lists and documents, I love it!! Please send it to me, I've been to a few of the places listed, but it was just adults so I need to be looking at more kid friendly types of things. I saw the mountains as a child and didn't see them again until in my 30's and can tell you that I don't even remember seeing them as a child, or being impressed. I sure hope my boy appreciates them more than I did, but I won't hold out for it [:!]

    Thank you guys so much for all the campground suggestions and things to do [:D]

    I should note that we'll be driving from Missouri, to Nebraska (Lake McCoughnahey, near Ogalala) and then down through Colorado and coming back home through Kansas. We're planning quite the adventure and I can't wait!!!

    And thank you Kim, I will check out what you mentioned below, and of course enjoy your vacation. And didn't realize that about the horn, will be purchasing one for sure!
     

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