Colorado Camping Trip Q's

Old May 30th, 2017, 08:45 AM
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Colorado Camping Trip Q's

Hey everybody,

A couple of buddies and myself have started making plans to take a 9-10 day camping trip to Colorado (and possibly some places on the way) this coming August. We're trying to gather as much information as we can between now and then so that we have the best experience possible. I thought this forum would be a good place to start.

We're planning on leaving Kentucky for Colorado around the first week in August and spending our time in CO finding the best places to camp, fish, kayak, hike, etc. We are not interested in any kind of community campground - rather, we're looking for areas that have the best primitive camping potential. I think the idea we have in our heads is that we would drive somewhere where we could hike from, find a cool place to camp, spend as much time there as we want, then hike back down to our vehicle the next day and move on to the next destination. This would be much easier, however, if we already knew what our next destination should be.

So, I guess I'm reaching out for advice on a few different details: what to bring; what to see; what to expect. Also, would it be worth the hassle to haul three kayaks across the country for a trip like this? I think I know the obvious answer but I'm looking for someone to tell me otherwise.

We're no strangers to the outdoors, but our camping experiences have been limited to 1-3 day trips where we only had to worry about catching enough fish to have for dinner. Tips on what kind of food to bring, clothes to pack, how much money we will need, must-see places, and travel advice would be greatly appreciated - or if you have any other information you think is important don't be afraid to share.

Thanks!
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Old May 30th, 2017, 11:17 AM
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Have you looked at all?

http://www.colorado.com/articles/cam...olorado-basics
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Old May 30th, 2017, 11:18 AM
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National Forest campgrounds will be more primitive, generally isolated and cheaper than national parks.

http://www.forestcamping.com/dow/lis...t.htm#colorado
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Old May 30th, 2017, 01:20 PM
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I chose to start here first so that I could hopefully get as many responses between now and August as possible, but I'm sure I can find a lot of what I'm looking for in articles like the two that have been posted here. Those are helpful and I do appreciate it.
However, getting feedback from actual people who may have gone through a trip like this in the past is what I'm searching for. I really don't want to show up to a location that I found online only to find that it's a family campground - that's not what I'm looking for.
Same goes for general camping tips - if I look online to figure out what I need I'm sure I will find an exhaustive list of materials/tools/gear that may prove to be overkill. Any first hand knowledge on anything about what I'm talking about would be extremely helpful.

Thank you again to those who have posted.
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Old May 30th, 2017, 01:25 PM
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For example, from what I'm reading right now on another website, it sounds like, in at least a few locations, a person has to make reservations for primitive camping areas. This is something I've never had to do before I don't believe.
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Old May 30th, 2017, 01:31 PM
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Well, it happens in NC--the reservations, that is. Are you planning on total backpacking in and out of your camp sites, as you choose them?
What kind of fishing do you do? Some rivers are catch and release--and possibly artificial fly only. That will be something else for you to check on if you plan to fish for your dinner.
And hopefully the water levels will be good with the good runoff they will/are having.
You may want to check the CO DNR site for rules on camping.
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Old May 30th, 2017, 02:07 PM
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I think the idea is that we park somewhere, hike until we find a place that is to our liking, and then get back to our car the next day and move on to another area that we want to see. But yes, we'll be backpacking in and out.

We primarily bass fish in Kentucky so we fish with artificial stuff a lot anyway. But, I don't think we expect to rely on what we catch for food every night we're out there. Realistically, we will probably eat the food that we have packed most of the time we are there. Regardless, we would bring enough food to last us the entire trip in case we don't have much luck fishing.
I'll check out the DNR for the rules.
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Old May 30th, 2017, 02:45 PM
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We generally travel without reservations for National Forest campgrounds. They are not family campgrounds, although families do use them. As stated, they are more primitive than National Park or State Park campgrounds, and often in dry areas, there is no potable water available. We have a book with the listings of all kinds of campgrounds, but it is old (1989 edition) and is no longer published. This means that camping information is not found in a single location. The URL I posted will not include BLM campgrounds, and BLM information sites will not include parks, national forests, or corps of engineer campgrounds. If a campground is five miles from the state road, as is often the case with national forest campgrounds, it will not be a family campground. You have to look at individual listings of campgrounds and read the directions to get there to know if it is close to a through road or at the end of a logging road in a national forest.

Here's an example of a campground 4 miles from the state road in Idaho:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/mksfca...7623050829865/ and the next picture.

If a campground is on a lake or a fishing stream, chances are it can fill up quickly on weekends and might require reservations.
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Old May 30th, 2017, 06:07 PM
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Kentucky,

I think it would be a very good idea for you to get involved with primitive backpacking closer to home before traveling a long way to learn by trial and error. Do you have REI in your town? They do beginner backpacking classes and trips. If not, look up your local chapter of the Sierra Club. Get involved and ask tons of questions. Lots of very helpful and highly experienced people who can really answer your questions.

Im a backpacker, but I couldn't even begin to tell you all you need to know here.

Kayaks - unless you know where you are going and want to camp lakeside, dont bring them. If you Leave them them on top of your vehicle while you are gone overnight, you may well return to no kayaks.
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Old May 30th, 2017, 08:37 PM
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Don't forget to compare altitudes between KY and CO. Drink lots of water and acclimate to the higher elevation over a few days. I come from 1200ft and find anything up to about 6000ft seems good to go once we are there and 8000ft takes a day or two...12000-14000 feet, I am wiped out.
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Old May 31st, 2017, 04:20 AM
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We haul our camping gear out to the Southwest each fall (on airplane) and find lots of incredible places to camp - on BLM land (usually pretty primitive), on backroads and in National Forests and State parks. The only places that we make reservations are specific National parks and monuments like Chaco Canyon (small campground and remote), Canyonland Needles (ensure a good site), etc.
We pack a good sleeping bag - it will get cool/cold at night, 2 coolers, air mattress, small camp stove (for coffee). We don't cook on our trips but find good prepared foods or sandwiches.
Check out wwww.campsitephotos.com for good info and photos of lots of different places to camp. Don't pass by some of the campgrounds - we've had incredible sites at some very remote places like Natural Bridges, Valley of the Gods, Hovenweep, , etc. It's also nice to have a bathroom with running water. Do some research and ask more questions.
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Old May 31st, 2017, 04:49 AM
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I like the advice not to pooh pooh the organized campgrounds. We camped a LOT when our kids were young, including backpacking and what we called "out of car doors camping". When you are in a beautiful place to enjoy it isn't all bad to just enjoy--or use it as a base for a great hike to another beautiful place.
Colorado is so beautiful--go and enjoy it!!
And in addition to a LARGE amount of water you will need, don't forget the sunscreen.
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Old May 31st, 2017, 10:09 AM
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Where are some of the better places for whitewater rafting for a family that will have some higher class but not top level rapids during July ?
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Old May 31st, 2017, 10:21 AM
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WickedGood - you should post this as your question instead of a hijacking some one else question with a completely different question.
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Old Jun 1st, 2017, 04:29 AM
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Wickergood - Try New River in West Virginia lol. Thank you to everyone for the help. Much appreciated.
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Old Jun 1st, 2017, 07:52 AM
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another answer for Wicked good==DO post a queston of your own but Nantahala Outdoor Center or French Broad River.
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Old Jun 1st, 2017, 07:53 AM
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OR if you just want to practice, come to Charlotte and go to the Whitewater Center for fun.
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