Ep. 133: Best Colorado RV Travel | camping hiking mountain biking

Ep. 133: Best Colorado RV Travel | camping hiking mountain biking


Hey there, welcome back to Grand
Adventure! I’m your host Marc Guido, and for many folks just the name of the
state of Colorado evokes images of the Wild West. For many RV campers from
the Midwest or from the East Coast, when they talk about heading west with their
RV they’re thinking about Colorado. We’re going to share with you some of the best RV
camping throughout the state of Colorado in this episode of Grand Adventure, so
stay tuned. Some of the best RV camping in Colorado
surrounds the state’s famed mountain towns, and perhaps none is more
quintessential than Crested Butte, which sits at nearly 9,000 feet and is
surrounded by spectacular scenery visible in any direction. While there are
a number of Forest Service campgrounds in the area, and there’s even a full
hookup RV park in town, our preference is for boondocking in the area, where we
spent a wonderful week in Washington Gulch. With barely over 1,600 full-time
residents, Crested Butte’s seasonal population swells by tens of thousands
of visitors and seasonal residents in winter. Summer is the off-season, yet
summer visitors still benefit from the amenities that a true ski town offers.
Delightful shops bars and restaurants line Crested Butte’s downtown Elk Avenue
in colorful wooden buildings. Recreation in the mountains surrounding
Crested Butte makes the town an attractive destination for campers,
thanks in part to the proximity of Crested Butte Mountain Resort. That
recreation includes hiking, scenic lift rides, mountain biking, paddling on Lake
Irwin, and more. Campers wanting to boondock near Crested
Butte as we did are advised to hurry up, for the Forest Service has announced
plans to limit dispersed camping in the mountains surrounding Crested Butte in
the very near future. The nearest gateway town to Crested Butte
is Gunnison, and just west of town our boondocking campsite overlooking Blue
Mesa Reservoir is en route to Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. After leaving Black Canyon we stayed at
one of our favorite RV parks ever, the Glenwood Springs West / Colorado River KOA,
located right off I-70 in the heart of the Colorado Rockies. This beautiful RV
park on the banks of the Colorado River makes an excellent overnight stop for
interstate through-travelers as well. Some of Colorado’s best RV camping is
situated in the ruggedly spectacular San Juan Mountains of the southwestern part
of the state. Here, Telluride is the most famous ski town,
where celebrities including Oprah Winfrey, Tom Cruise and Jerry Seinfeld
all own vacation homes. There are numerous Forest Service
campgrounds in the area. While boondocking opportunities surrounding
Telluride are somewhat limited, they do exist — like our spot here on North Trout
Lake Road in nearby Ophir. US Route 550, also known as the Million
Dollar Highway, cuts through the heart of the San Juan Mountains.
Although the mere name “Million Dollar Highway” strikes fear in the hearts of
many RVers, thanks to its narrow turns and sheer drop-offs, we
nevertheless recommend bucking up and hitting the road, just for the opportunity
to visit Silverton. Silverton is home to a number of Forest Service campgrounds
and dispersed camping areas, like our favorite found here along Mineral Creek
in the Sultan and Anvil Camping Areas. Silverton is a lovingly preserved
historic mining town that still to this day has only one paved street. It’s home to bars, shops and restaurants,
and the excellent and recommended San Juan County Historical Society Museum. Silverton is also the northern terminus
of the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, a heritage steam-powered
railway that’s one of Colorado’s most popular tourist attractions. The railroad’s southern terminus is in
Durango, a charming Colorado mountain college town and a popular destination
for RV campers. Head a little further west from Durango
and visit the Puebloan ruins at Mesa Verde National Park. While we’re visiting Mesa Verde we love
boondocking on Madden Peak Road just a few miles to the east of the National
Park entrance. You’ll find more Puebloan ruins in
Canyons of the Ancients National Monument in Colorado’s far southwestern
corner, and a very short drive from Mesa Verde. Twin Lakes is a boondockers’ haven in
the shadow of 14,439- foot Mount
Elbert, Colorado’s highest point. It’s also a short drive from Twin Lakes
across Independence Pass to visit Aspen. Just north of Twin Lakes, Leadville is a
former mining town that sits at a lofty 10,152 feet, and was the last place
that Doc Holliday served as a lawman. If you boondock at Oil Well Flats outside
of Cañon City, you’re only spitting distance from several central Colorado
attractions including Royal Gorge and the restored mining town of Cripple
Creek. From Cañon City it’s also an easy day
trip to Garden of the Gods and Pikes Peak, both outside of Colorado Springs. One unique treasure of Colorado is Great
Sand Dunes National Park. When visiting Great Sand Dunes you can
score free electrical hookups at the nearby San Luis State Wildlife Area. Steamboat Springs is another charming
Colorado mountain ski town, in the north-central part of the state’s Rocky
Mountains, west of Rocky Mountain National Park.
Here we boondocked atop a 10,000-foot sub- peak of Walton Peak, within Routt
National Forest. While in Steamboat, don’t miss a soak at
Strawberry Park Hot Springs. We don’t, however, recommend visiting
Steamboat while a massive wildfire is raging nearby, as we found ourselves
doing. So we truly hope that this video has
helped you plan your own Grand Adventure to Colorado! If you’d like more
information about any of these individual destinations, we’ll have links
down below in the video description to each individual Grand Adventure video so
you can learn more. Also down below you’ll find the comments section where
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until next week please remember, life is nothing but a Grand Adventure!
We’ll see you then.