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RE: Wolf Creek Pass in Colorado

Pay attention to the weather. Snow up high already this week. Just talked with a friend who camped up on Grand Mesa a couple of days ago and had thundersnow with accumulation on the highway at 10,500', lower than the summit of Wolf Creek Pass. The switchbacks on the west side of the pass can be quite dangerous if one approaches them at too high of speed. Check out the video on the CDOT website: Wolf Creek Pass
4runnerguy 10/02/22 05:05pm Roads and Routes
RE: Montrose, CO to Durango

With your mountain driving experience, it shouldn't be an issue. The road is no narrower than where it is two-lane through the fields around Ridgway and in some places it is wider. Guardrails? No, there aren't any, but then I don't use them to keep myself on the road anyway! You might consider disconnecting your toad to make the drive a little easier. There are a few pretty tight switchbacks. If you are staying in Montrose and/or Durango, you could always take your RV via the route past Telluride and day trip US 550 from either end. That way you have more opportunities to pull off for photo opportunities that you won't get with a big rig. Driving the RV means focusing on the road and not the scenery. Plus, Silverton is worth some time to explore and parking for big rigs isn't the easiest to find there. On any given summer night, there are probably 500+ RV's camped in the Silverton area. Every one of those has traversed US 550, either from the north or the south. This is not a "poor argument" but just data showing it is done by many people every day. It's a little less enjoyable in the winter, but no less scenic.
4runnerguy 09/18/22 10:18am Roads and Routes
RE: Durango, CO to Baggs, WY

As others have stated, US 550 is steep and narrow, yet used by many RV's and semis every year. If you're used to mountain driving, go for it. Do pull over from time to time when traffic builds up behind you. Also, when you pull over the driver will actually get a chance to look at the scenery as otherwise their eyeballs are glued to the road. Red Mountain and Molas Passes are both listed as 7%+ grades by CDOT. Google Maps shows it as a two-hour drive, but given picture stops and traffic, plan on a minimum of three hours. The alternate route, (US 160 - CO 145 - CO 62) is an easier route but still quite scenic. Of course, as you near Grand Junction, take 32 Road/CO 141 through Clifton and up to I-70. As you approach Rifle, take the West Rifle Exit (87) and then east to CO 13 and north. This avoids going through town on a busy and not very wide road. Not much fun in a big rig. Along your route, Montrose will be your best bet for provisions and the like. Walmart and City Market (a Kroger subsidiary) are both on the south end of town with lots of other stores and restaurants.
4runnerguy 08/09/22 09:39pm Roads and Routes
RE: Traveling from Bond CO to Kremmling CO on CO Hwy 1

CO 1, also known locally as the Trough Road, is a graded gravel road from State Bridge to the junction with CO 9 south of Kremmling. Nothing difficult about the road but being gravel you won't be going 65 MPH either. If you don't mind graded gravel roads, it's a fine road with views of the river along the way. If does go through more of a desert environment with lot of sage brush in places Do avoid it if it has rained. We travelled that way after a rainstorm and had to stop at a car wash in Kremmling to wash everything off. Apparently, they use mag chloride to keep the dust down. When it gets wet, it forms a very sticky mud that is hard to wash off. Of course, the other option is to take CO 131 north to Toponas and then CO 134 east from there to US 40 and on to Kremmling. A little further in time and distance. Paved the whole route. You do have to travel over Gore Pass that way, but nothing too difficult. Definitely more trees and forest on this route vs. the Trough Road, although beetle kill is quite pronounced in areas.
4runnerguy 07/31/22 02:25pm Roads and Routes
RE: Durango, Silverton & Telluride Area

So jffnkrn, did you get a ton of rain? Just got back from a week in Ouray. Mudslides up Yankee Boy Basin, street flooding in Telluride, streams to jump in Silverton, East Portal Road closed in Black Canyon of the Gunnison NP from rock slides. We've desperately needed rain but every day???
4runnerguy 07/29/22 03:59pm RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: County Park Experiences

As others have noted www.uscampgrounds.info has info on many county parks. Found a county park near Grants Pass in Oregon on our trip last month and had a nice stay. Clean bathrooms, warm showers, etc. And with only 19 sites it was a lot less hectic than some of the SP's we stayed in.
4runnerguy 07/29/22 03:54pm RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: 2022 campgrounds

We were in Moab late April/early May. One weekend was the annual car show, always a big draw. This year it was noticeably less busy in town, even on weekends. It's been 10+ years since the crowds were this size. So yes, in the case of Moab, it is less busy. But one thing we noted is that while there was an increase in the number of RV's in BLM and NPS CG's compared to the past, we noticed a decrease in the number of tent campers. I can imagine that younger people who visit Moab for mountain biking, climbing, kayaking, etc. are also the ones for whom higher gas prices are most daunting. If you're a college student looking for a long weekend getaway in Moab, doubling the price of the gasoline for the trip makes a big impact on a small budget. Just got back from 5 weeks in Oregon. Stayed at a lot of state parks. Many would say no vacancy but 20% of the sites might be open on any given night. So someone made reservations but failed to use them. Fuel prices? Don't know. But I do wish people would cancel their reservations rather than being no-shows. Does make for a quieter CG but there are others who would have appreciated having that campsite.
4runnerguy 07/06/22 05:33pm RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: One Day Entry Fee Increase - RMNP

My goodness. What a lot of commotion over $2.00. How much did you spend to fill your fuel tank last time? How much did your rig cost? How much do you spend a night at your last stop at an RV park? This timed reservation system is in place to make for a better-quality visit. So more time sightseeing and less time waiting in line at the entrance and easier to find parking once in the park. With the timed reservation system in place at Arches, I'd guess the line at the entrance station is 25% of what it was a couple of years ago. From their website, visitation at RMNP increased 42% in seven years. But there wasn't a 42% increase in parking spaces nor will they be making Trail Ridge Road four lane anytime in the near (or even distant) future. You can do like we did at Arches: ride your bike into the park. No timed entrance permit required. The ride up Fall River Road is quite scenic and the coast back down from the top of Trail Ridge Road is exhilarating.
4runnerguy 05/04/22 10:25am RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: La Veta Pass (Colorado) with old and heavy RV?

Neither Poncha Pass nor La Veta Pass have the extended downhill like I-17 south of Flagstaff. That 20 mile drop down to Camp Verde is amazingly long. I wouldn't worry about climbing either of those passes as both have quite gentle approaches all the way to the summit. I would personally use Poncha Pass. One advantage it has over La Veta Pass is that the speed limit on the downhill side is 50 mph compared to 65 on La Veta Pass. It's easier to hold speed when you're starting from a lower speed to begin with. Once you're past Salida, the road in the canyon also has a lot of sections with lower speeds (50 mph) so much easier on your vehicle. Thom's advises to use CO 115 does cut off the mileage through Pueblo but do be ready for a lot of traffic on CO 115 through Colorado Springs as you approach I-25. It does save quite a bit of mileage and interstate driving. Do make sure you're in the left lane as you approach I-25. Try not to be on I-25 between Colorado Springs and Denver at rush hour. Amazing how many people communte between these two areas every day.
4runnerguy 05/03/22 11:19am Roads and Routes
RE: One Day Entry Fee Increase - RMNP

Well when they get rid of the timed entry fee on top of the regular entry fee, then I’ll go back to the NP’s!That's part of what is happening and it is making the parks a little less crowded. Timed entry spreads the crowds out some and reduces their numbers and there are those like dodge guy who won't go at all. Just got back from Arches and there weren't lines for parking spots like there has been in the past.
4runnerguy 05/03/22 10:31am RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Trip with a 9 year old.

Kids usually have a different perspective on what they like than we adults might appreciate. I know I wasn't a fan of looking at sites from the seat of a car and could only wait until we got somewhere that I could get out and play. While watching a few geysers erupt or visiting some of the thermal features in Yellowstone is something everyone should experience while young, don't miss out on finding ways to view the wildlife (from a safe distance of course). In Yellowstone, there are various places to observe elk, buffalo and even the occasional moose. Go to Fishing Bridge to see the trout swimming. Heck, a picnic on the lake shore is also something kids really like. For some other caves to visit, how about the Black Hills? Both Jewel Cave and Wind Cave are interesting for young kids and there are buffalo herds at Custer State Park. Of course Mt. Rushmore is worth some time also. Head from there south to Denver. Wherever you stay, make reservations NOW as popular destinations are already mostly booked for the summer.
4runnerguy 05/03/22 10:28am RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Bryce, Zion, Canyonlands, Moab end of April

Finally found a thread I started on Moab. Check it out for what to do, where to go, logistics, etc. Info about camping on public lands but nothing on RV parks. https://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fuseaction/thread/tid/29448394.cfm
4runnerguy 04/13/22 11:38am Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
RE: A Primer on Moab

How far can I go on some of the trails with a 16 Ram 1500 with 2” of lift? Not looking for aggressive off roaring. Just to get back to see some of the less seen sites!Of course a lot depends on your previous 4x4 experience. You can look at this web page and concentrate on trails rated 2 or 2+ to start. You might look at some of the trails rated 3. Search for videos on them and see what sorts of obstacles that you will encounter and decide if you can do them. For a starter course, try Shafer Trail off of Island in the Sky in Canyonlands and head back to Moab on the Potash Road. This really isn't much of a 4x4 road and it has been improved a lot in the last few decades. But it gets you right into the scenery. On the other side of the river is Chicken Corners. A little more difficult than Shafer Trail but still not very technical. Rated a 2, it's considered by many to be an intro to Moab four wheeling. Another relatively easy trail is Gemini Bridges. It takes off from UT 313 about 13 miles from the junction with US 191. There's a pretty small sign at the turnoff but usually lots of cars parked there, as it is the start of a heavily used mountain bike trail. About 5 1/2 miles down the road is a side road to the trail head for a short walk to view the bridges. Back at the truck, you can continue on down the Gemini Bridges road. It does get rougher but still doable with care. You'll come out on US 191 right across from the Brand Trails parking lot. These trails will give you an idea of what's out there, but you'll still rarely find much solitude. Moab is just crazy busy. If your appetite is whetted by these trails, you can always rent a jeep to try something a little more difficult. You have a pretty big rig and if it's a crew cab/quad cab it has a long wheelbase which makes it much easier to bottom out.
4runnerguy 04/08/22 11:49am RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: A Primer on Moab

Just to bring this up to date. Construction is finished on the north end of town, but it can still be quite a slow trek south on US 191 into down, esp. on Friday afternoons. But most days do get busy as everyone returns to Moab from their daily adventures. If you are visiting Arches, make sure you you get your reservations on recreation.gov three months out from when you want to go in. Reservations are released in one month blocks three months from the first of the month that you want to visit. https://www.recreation.gov/timed-entry/10088426
4runnerguy 04/07/22 10:53am RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Extended trip planning

For us this problem pre-dates the pandemic. We also used to travel without reservations except for popular destinations like Yosemite, Yellowstone, Zion, etc. No more. Now I have reservations for virtually every night of our upcoming five-week trip to Oregon. The only reservations I didn't do this time was for heading out and back, but since it's across NV and UT, we know of boondocking sites in the middle of nowhere where we can stop (we will travel on weekdays.) Even for a one-week trip here in CO, I had reservations as soon as they opened up. Now we will do some camping this summer at NFS CG's that don't have reservations, but we will arrive early in the day on a Monday through Wednesday. As a side note, we now camp a lot of NFS CG's in areas where we used to do a lot of boondocking. But there are so many people boondocking, we're willing to pay for a NFS campsite just to have a little more privacy. Some popular boondocking locations are so crowded they are like parking lots. I hate the lack of spontaneity, but have learned to adapt. I especially feel sorry for people who work in jobs where they can't request time off very far in advance. Don't know how they fare with the need to reserve so far our.
4runnerguy 04/07/22 10:41am Roads and Routes
RE: Bryce, Zion, Canyonlands, Moab end of April

Remember Most of the parks are 7000',, it could snow in June.. but it is a beautiful area, in early spring.. ENJOY.No, both Zion and Arches are around 4000' at the base with the cliffs reaching higher. Canyonlands (Island in the Sky) is around 6000'. By the end of April, all of these parks are generally quite warm and very busy. You'll have to search hard for campsites on some nights. The BLM has greatly reduced the amount of areas open to boondocking in and around Moab. Easily accessible BLM first-come, first-served campsites there often fill by noon, although some of the more remote sites, such as Ledges, might not fill until fairly late in the day on weekdays. Sand Flats CG above Moab might have spaces a little later, but not all sites will accommodate your rig. Bryce is higher and in some years can still have some lingering snow in shady areas. But generally by the end of April it is mostly open. Cedar Breaks NM is one park that can still have significant snow in late April as it sits above 10,000'. Unfortunately, like many places, any SP, NPS or BLM cg's that are reservable are snatched up almost immediately when they become available. You might keep an eye out for cancellations and try to snag a spot that way. High fuel prices might keep a few people home?
4runnerguy 04/01/22 01:00pm Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
RE: Campground Fun Zones

Devil's Garden CG in Arches NP. First visited as a child over 50 years ago. Have camped there numerous times since. There are all sorts of rocks to climb on, hidden passages to explore, lots of sand to play in, and often deer wander around the CG. Seems like most kids we have taken there have no interest in going out to explore the park but just want to stay around the campground and play in all that nature has provided. Still being a child at heart, I also enjoy "playing" at that campground.
4runnerguy 03/22/22 12:55pm RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Crater Lake 3rd week of June

The area around Crater Lake is experiencing some of the worst drought conditions in the west, so all should be open by then. We'll be there the first few days in July. Yeah, just so excited about the crowds!
4runnerguy 03/15/22 11:04am RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Yellowstone second thoughts.

Thanks to all for the replies. You have convinced me to go ahead as planned.Good choice. Early June isn't generally so crowded. Seems it takes until nearly July for the worst of the crowds to show up. Staying in the park alleviates the worst of the "commute" some make into and out of the park every day from West Yellowstone. I've lost track of how many times I've been there. I'm guessing at least 8 or 10 usually for at least a week at a time. We'll go back again sometime in the next few years. Still so much we haven't seen and done, and of course the old favorites are always great to revisit. One hint: if you bike at all, even on an e-bike, take them with you. We found ourselves parking in pull-outs along the roads and riding a mile or so to the various parking areas around the geyser basins. You can also ride the old road in the Lower Geyser Basin. Ride out to various spots where there are bike racks then have shorter hikes to see some of the features. We saw so much more and waited for parking spots so much less by using our bikes.
4runnerguy 03/15/22 11:01am RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Santa Fe-Taos and Flagstaff suggestions please

Bandelier NM is our go to place but no hookups. Hyde Memorial SP is about 15 minutes from downtown Sante Fe and does have some sites with electric hookups (30 amp max). Also a dump station. Booking starts 6 months in advance so you can score a site for mid-September in mid-March. For our explorations around Taos, there are 2 CG's along the Rio Grande that have water and electric hookups at some sites but no sewer, Pilar and Rio Bravo. IIRC Rio Bravo also had showers that cost like $1 for 3 to 5 minutes when we were there. Nice setting. Unfortunately first come first served only. But we had no problem getting a spot on a weekday early afternoon in June.
4runnerguy 02/21/22 02:05pm RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
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