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Luc
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PostThu Apr 30, 2020 4:14 pm 
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Law-permitting, I'm heading out again this summer on a 2mo road trip with my young daughter. We've hit so many spots in the west, that we're now venturing farther east this year, trying to avoid the busier spots and of course visitor centers. We will be equip to spend weeks off-grid if needed.

Our two main ideas are the Bighorns WY, and less touristy spots in CO.

Anyone have some location suggestions or logistics tips? I've never really been through CO.

I'm still researching (a little late, because virus distractions....) but I'm thinking the Medicine Bow-Routt, Grand Mesa, and San Juan areas. Specifically campgrounds that don't party too hard, have access to water (lk/riv) for recreation, and are within a reasonable distance to other destinations with similar activities (hike, fish, explore). Hopefully we'll spend about a week in each spot.

Any locations or tips appreciated. Fingers crossed it can happen!

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Malachai Constant
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PostThu Apr 30, 2020 5:02 pm 
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Check out the Overlander App. It specializes in boondock camping but also lists regular campgrounds. We used it a lot this spring check the reviews to see if things have changed. We usually avoid organized camps. We got a 4 wheel camper last year. In general we avoid 70 in Colorado but a lot of the high country is deep under snow.

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Randito
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PostThu Apr 30, 2020 5:14 pm 
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2nd the rec for the iOverlander app.  I used it with good results living in my RV for 8 months.
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Luc
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PostFri May 01, 2020 12:32 pm 
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I will check out that app today, thank you!

I usually stuck to established camps because my daughter is only 7.5yo

She can totally crap in the woods, no problem. It's mostly about whom I could encounter out there, while parenting. Now, I may have it totally backwards and dispersed might actually have a more reliably respectable patronage than established camps. Y/N?

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Randito
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PostFri May 01, 2020 1:43 pm 
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From my full time RV experience where I did a mix of free camping, state park camping and a little bit RV park camping (RV parks only in Baja)  I've joined a number of #VanLife  forums.    #VanLife currently has a number of additional challenges:

1) Day use areas or at least their public restrooms are closed.
2) public camp grounds are closed.
3) Nationwide gym memberships (e.g. Planet Fitness) that #ValLife people use for showers and such are closed.
4) Dine-in restaurants and their bathrooms are closed.
5) A significant increase in hostility and vandalism toward #VanLife people, particularly vehicles with out of state plates.

Hopefully issues 1-4 will have been reduced by summer by an easing of the severity of the pandemic and restrictions deemed necessary.   However, I think it will take longer for issue #5 to reduce -- especially if continued high unemployment results in newly homeless people living in their vehicles out of desperation rather than choice.
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Luc
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PostFri May 01, 2020 1:59 pm 
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I'm not really concerned about #1 - sun shower works for me, rubbermaid tub works for the youngster.

#2 - I'm booking sites anyway, in hopes that things are open. Actually double-booking some, and will release the overlaps with many weeks for others to snatch them up.

#3 - same as #1. Although the Pinedale public pool complex sure did come in handy last summer.

#4 - fine with that. I'm confident that some will be open here and there, if I'm up for the skeeve-factor. Restaurants we usually frequent on our trips are taco trucks, makes for an easy burrito dinner later in the day. Cold burrito, no problem.

#5 - now that's my main concern with dispersed. Good points there regarding the current state of personal economics and what inspires people to break into camps. And good to know there's a yokal vibe - that's kind of what I had suspected. Maybe I could just put a bunch of regional bumper stickers all over my truck. JK, I like to keep my truck's value up on the higher end  tongue.gif

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Randito
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PostFri May 01, 2020 2:19 pm 
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FWIW:  One of the reports of vandalism occurred while someone's van was parked in a motel parking lot where they were renting a room for the night enroute back to mom and dad's house.   The vandals unscrewed the valves from their tires.    They were grateful that the vandals did that rather than slash the tires -- but the message from the locals was clear -- move on.
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Luc
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PostFri May 01, 2020 2:28 pm 
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Well this definitely compels me to stay in established camps - if open.

Typical vandalism/theft, while likely on the rise, is a risk I'm used to considering. Even in a motel or grocery store parking lot.

I wonder how wide spread the "don't come here" crimes really are, and if they will decrease if/when the data and policies around the pandemic let up some.

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80skeys
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PostSat May 23, 2020 3:46 pm 
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Luc wrote:
Anyone have some location suggestions or logistics tips? I've never really been through CO.

Once you get a few hours outside Denver things get much sparser with a couple exceptions. The main exceptions that come to mind are the campgrounds in and around South Fork. Those have been crowded the times I've gone through them. Obviously the main ski resorts, Vail, Aspen, Breckenridge.

I used to live in Grand Junction. Grand Mesa is a good choice for you. Medicine bow is pretty sparse. As are the Sangre de Cristos in the southern part of the state. Also the Conejos area and in general the south San Juans near New Mexico. Any of those would be good choices for you.
The San Juans are a vast wildneress, it's easy to find solitude the farther you get into them.
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Luc
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PostSat May 23, 2020 3:54 pm 
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Excellent.

We have a week at shepherds rim, and then another week in grand mesa, then yet another week in San juans, mostly fist come or dispersed there. Will definitely look into the southerly recs as we'll be heading south after that, then west, meandering home.

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80skeys
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PostTue May 26, 2020 9:03 am 
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Luc wrote:
Will definitely look into the southerly recs

Take a look at the Antonito/Conejos area on the Colorado side. And if you're planning to head into NM (my home state), take a look at Chama. The highway from Antonito to Chama goes up and over the South San Juans and there may be sites along this route (last time I was there was in the middle of winter for snowmobiling so I don't recall if there were campgrounds).
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Cyclopath
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PostTue May 26, 2020 10:28 am 
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Yankee Boy Basin.
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