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appletree
14-Jun-2017, 14:50
Hi All,
Always have gotten great advice on my adventures here! This time it is with a little twist, I won't be flying solo.

Went to Colorado a lot as a kid, but mostly one area (Breckenridge/South Park) to go fly fishing every summer. The girlfriend is off for two weeks in July and had a vacation for this time planned last year that isn't happening.
So, I have bought plane tickets, am going to surprise her, and we will be flying to Denver to spend 5 days driving/hiking/photographing/etc. then popping the big question.

Any advice for places to visit, see, hike, etc.? We are both in pretty good shape, nothing insane, but both backpack a couple times a year and do frequent the gym a few times a week...or try to!
I do have a National Parks Annual Pass I got last Dec when I hiked and drove through a lot of the parks in CA. So, I was thinking we might camp a good bit.

Any restaurants or neat places to check out along the route appreciated. We both enjoy good/clean fun, nice music, a glass of wine or a good beer. History stuff is nice too.
And of course, if you know a spot or area that is nice for asking the question and sharing the memory.

Thank you in advance!

Tentative Schedule

We land Tuesday (July 18th) at 7AM. We depart Sunday (July 23rd) at 7AM.
Tuesday - land, pick up rental car, then drive toward Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. Either stay in Salida (or somewhere for the night) or drive to Black Canyon by evening and camp there.
Wednesday - Either drive to or wake up in BCGNP and spend the day and night there.
Thursday - Wake up and head toward Rocky Mountain National Park. Spend afternoon and night.
Friday - Spend entire day (probably propose that evening on a hike or early Sat morning hike) and night.
Saturday - Get up pack, hike a little and head for hotel that afternoon. Check into the Curtis Hotel (I had points), clean up, and go somewhere for a nice dinner.
Sunday - Fly out at crack of dawn.


PS: A travel forum (which I received very little advice) had one person share a link to a map (https://www.mapquest.com/directions/from/us/colorado/denver-international-airport-den-10002325/to/us/co/boulder/to/us/co/colorado-springs/to/us/co/pueblo/to/us/co/walsenburg/to/us/co/trinidad/to/us/co/stonewall-gap/to/us/co/la-veta/to/us/co/alamosa/to/us/co/sargents/to/us/co/grand-junction/to/us/co/glenwood-springs/to/us/co/georgetown/to/us/co/grand-lake/to/us/co/estes-park?optimized=1) they suggested. Seems like a ton of driving for 5 days though. Maybe not too bad. But lots of moving around each day. See a lot of places, but not much time at each one.

Leszek Vogt
14-Jun-2017, 16:25
Not sure I can be of much help, but since you'll be traveling in the midst of the season....do secure places that you intend to stay over night at (hotel/motel/campground). My memory of Black Cyn is bit feeble (from over 30yrs ago) and disjointed, since last time (in 2014) I saw mostly Great Sand Dunes and Rocky Mts. Actually, I happen to like the small towns between larger towns. No doubt there are some ghost towns, but with 5 days....that's not much to explore the "otherness". Yep, make the best of it at Rocky Mt's. Your itinerary sounds pretty good.

I do recall a good rest. in Alamosa, but that's away from your track.

Enjoy.

Les

bloodhoundbob
14-Jun-2017, 17:23
Hi All,
Always have gotten great advice on my adventures here! This time it is with a little twist, I won't be flying solo.

Went to Colorado a lot as a kid, but mostly one area (Breckenridge/South Park) to go fly fishing every summer. The girlfriend is off for two weeks in July and had a vacation for this time planned last year that isn't happening.
So, I have bought plane tickets, am going to surprise her, and we will be flying to Denver to spend 5 days driving/hiking/photographing/etc. then popping the big question.

Any advice for places to visit, see, hike, etc.? We are both in pretty good shape, nothing insane, but both backpack a couple times a year and do frequent the gym a few times a week...or try to!
I do have a National Parks Annual Pass I got last Dec when I hiked and drove through a lot of the parks in CA. So, I was thinking we might camp a good bit.

Any restaurants or neat places to check out along the route appreciated. We both enjoy good/clean fun, nice music, a glass of wine or a good beer. History stuff is nice too.
And of course, if you know a spot or area that is nice for asking the question and sharing the memory.

Thank you in advance!

Tentative Schedule

We land Tuesday (July 18th) at 7AM. We depart Sunday (July 23rd) at 7AM.
Tuesday - land, pick up rental car, then drive toward Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. Either stay in Salida (or somewhere for the night) or drive to Black Canyon by evening and camp there.
Wednesday - Either drive to or wake up in BCGNP and spend the day and night there.
Thursday - Wake up and head toward Rocky Mountain National Park. Spend afternoon and night.
Friday - Spend entire day (probably propose that evening on a hike or early Sat morning hike) and night.
Saturday - Get up pack, hike a little and head for hotel that afternoon. Check into the Curtis Hotel (I had points), clean up, and go somewhere for a nice dinner.
Sunday - Fly out at crack of dawn.


PS: A travel forum (which I received very little advice) had one person share a link to a map (https://www.mapquest.com/directions/from/us/colorado/denver-international-airport-den-10002325/to/us/co/boulder/to/us/co/colorado-springs/to/us/co/pueblo/to/us/co/walsenburg/to/us/co/trinidad/to/us/co/stonewall-gap/to/us/co/la-veta/to/us/co/alamosa/to/us/co/sargents/to/us/co/grand-junction/to/us/co/glenwood-springs/to/us/co/georgetown/to/us/co/grand-lake/to/us/co/estes-park?optimized=1) they suggested. Seems like a ton of driving for 5 days though. Maybe not too bad. But lots of moving around each day. See a lot of places, but not much time at each one.

Johnathon: I stayed many nights in Salida, as the folks are great there. The bulk of my time was spent in and around Gunnison, which is just over Monarch Pass from Salida. I got to know many of the locals over the years. There are so many possible spots to propose in Colorado, that I don't know where to begin. My only advice is to not try to cram too much into your time there, as this trip will give you a lifetime of memories. Congratulations on the impending engagement, young man!

xkaes
14-Jun-2017, 18:43
Here's my two cents. First, be flexible and be as ready as you can for traffic jams due to accidents, construction, land slides, animal collisions, etc. Don't lose your cool -- I know you won't, but they can happen.

You know, of course, to take US 285 from Denver to Poncha Springs. I'll wave as you drive by. Salida is nice, but you should check out lodging ops in Poncha Springs, Mayville and Monarch (no Walmarts). After the Black Canyon, I'd advise the road to Paonia -- 550 might be faster, but 92 is nicer. Then go over McClure Pass -- BEAUTIFUL aspens and a infrequently-used trail near the top. Another option, just after the Pass, is the dirt road to Marble -- very scenic but very crowded.

Carbondale is the decision point. If you have time, I'd advise going through Aspen and over Independence Pass. The faster way is to head north to I-70 -- and you get to see Glenwood Canyon that way. Tough choice. (Forget about Hanging Lake. It's so busy you can only get there on a shuttle nowadays.)

From I-70, I'd advise taking Route 9 north vs US 40. US 40 might be faster, but you have to go over the Continental Divide TWICE, and it has more traffic. Check for lodging in Hot Sulphur Springs.

As to Rocky Mountain NP, you can spend a lot of time on Trail Ridge Road, but save time for the SE corner of the Park -- past Estes Park and down Route 7. Check out Wild Basin and the trip to Ouzel Falls. It can be busy, but it is, speaking from experience, a great place to find some serenity and romance.

appletree
14-Jun-2017, 20:01
@les
Thanks man for the advice and recalling some old memories. I love small towns!

@bloodhoundbob
Thanks for the kind words and advice! I agree, take it slow and just enjoy the time we get to spend there.

@xkaes
That is all GREAT information. Thank you so much. I will have to bust out a map shortly and look at all the routes and locations you are discussing.
And absolutely understand about the roads and traffic and such. We both are very patient (and get along great in the car haha).

Bummer about Hanging Lake. One of my all time favorite photos is one of John Sexton's that he took at Hanging Lake.

Regarding the overnight stays, here is a big decision point. I would prefer to do some of the trip on a budget. And we both love to camp/hammock. But, we are only there 5 total nights, with the 5th night being in a hotel in Denver. Thus in those 4 nights, if we stay somewhere in a little town or book a cabin or a room or whatnot, then I am packing gear for camping for two random nights. I would prefer (if possible along some sort of route) to camp.

And yes to any little towns without a Walmart! The more antique shops, little stores, random little places, the better.

BEAUTIFUL ASPENS. YES PLEASE! I have been dying to photograph some. I know everyone does, but I want some of my own!!!

PS: I just realized I will have to decide if I take the 35mm, Hassie, or Chamonix 4x5. Tempted to bring the Leica and Chamonix, but the goal of the trip isn't photography. Emily won't care either way nor be offended. But still, I don't want to be stopping (like when I travel solo) to take photos in one spot for 2 hours.

PPS: Regarding the big question. I would love to find a spot that isn't surrounded by tourists. Who knows, maybe just a random spot on a hike to the falls or Wild Basin. I have no idea. It would be nice to sort of have a place or two in mind beforehand.

Keith Pitman
14-Jun-2017, 20:43
My advice is to pick one location and stay there. It's a long way to Black Canyon from Denver and a long way back to Rocky Mountain. If you expect to to any meaningful photography, one location will afford you better opportunities.

As someone else advised, you better get your housing/camping locations locked up, especially in National Parks. You will be traveling in high season and things may be booked up already.

xkaes
15-Jun-2017, 06:25
Keep in mind that if you are in a National Forest -- NOT PARK -- you can pretty much camp anywhere. Sure, there are lots of NF campgrounds, but in July, they tend to be crowded, noisy -- and FULL. Plus you usually have to pay. One option is to park your car at a trailhead and carry/pack your gear in at least 1,000 feet and then 250 feet off the trail (and any creek/lake). For example, at the top of McClure Pass there is a trailhead and a small, dirt parking lot. As I recall, the trail crosses the road so you can choose which way to go. I've only taken the trail south. There are great groves of trees in either direction. Just pack your gear in far enough to get away from the road noise and of the trail -- to get out of sight of other, possible hikers. There's very little forest floor vegetation there (and most of Colorado) so it's easy hiking. Find a place that is flat, has a good view, nice trees or whatever. At McClure Pass, there are a LOT of Western bluebirds, woodpeckers (red-shafted flickers, yellow-bellied, Townsend, etc.), Stellar jays, Clark's Nutcrackers, and more -- especially in the early morning. So maybe you'll want a 35mm with a LONG optic! (I have 500mm, 650mm, 800mm & 1250mm T-mount lenses if you don't). But, McClure Pass is just one possible place to camp. It's easy to stay close enough to your car, in case you need to get to it for food, water, etc. P.S. I can even lend you a steering wheel locking bar -- yes, car thefts are not unknown, even in remote areas.

xkaes
15-Jun-2017, 06:38
I should also mention that I have a ton of maps (from highways to topos), hiking books, and more about Colorado if you want to borrow some.

166144

appletree
15-Jun-2017, 06:51
@Keith Pitman
Yes, indeed, I thought of that. Although, I know both of us would enjoy driving around and seeing various areas. And we both understand the trade off of each.

@xkaes
Wow, that is great information about the National Forests! See, I am pretty sure that is what my dad and I did a few times (that or trespassed on someones land...). As we generally stayed in Fairplay or his land nearby (just flat nothingness), although a few times I specifically remember us staying in random spots near a stream or whatnot. We even bathed in FREEZING cold streams.

And regarding the steering wheel bar, I think we will take our chances. Cameras and valuables (aka ring....) will stay with us at all times or in the tent while we sleep at night. I have traveled in South America and Eastern Europe staying in random hostels and stuff, so we will be wise about our stuff and drawing any attention. Regarding the lenses, all I can say is wow what a kind offer!!! I think I am good though, although it would be neat to photograph birds and such (I never have).

My longest lens is 150mm Hassie lens. Haha. Not very long.

I own:
Leica M2 - 50mm Dual Range Summicron (can borrow a 35mm from my pops)
Hasselblad 500 C/M - 80mm CF and 150mm CF lenses
Chamonix 045-N2 - 90mm Nikon Nikkor f8 and 210mm Schneider Symmar-S
Rolleiflex 3.5F (currently shutter button is busted)

Back on Topic
Anyway, yeah I really need to sort out camping and locations asap. Because IF I am going to book a place I need to do that pronto!!!

Hmmmmmm, what if we stay a night around Black Canyon of Gunnison National Park, then McClure Pass area, then two nights in RMNP?
And my heart isn't set on any place other than ending up somewhere around RMNP towards the end. It is the first 2-3 days (2 nights) that are in question.

appletree
15-Jun-2017, 06:57
Sir, not sure of your name, you are one generous soul!!!

I would always appreciate borrowing stuff, but getting it back to you (either driving in a perfect loop) or flying back with it to then ship it to you may be some extensive legwork. And I wouldn't want to put you out of your way.
I will probably buy a travel book or something with some decent trails/roads...especially if the first two days we are going to camp "somewhere" in a national forest. Even if close to the car, it will be nice to have an idea of where to drive to and not make 12 u-turns trying to find a cut off into the woods.

May it not be like the time I was in Berlin, didn't take the tour or a map and decided to walk and see the Berlin wall. Only to be walking on the wrong side of the road/river for 3 hours. Never did end up seeing it...
Not one of my shining moments.

appletree
15-Jun-2017, 07:04
Maybe the first night we stay in Monarch or Gunnison National Forest. Then get up early and do a day visit at Black Canyon of GNP. Then we head and camp near McClure pass for the second night.

xkaes
15-Jun-2017, 08:30
Here's a map of the Pass area -- www.subclub.org/monarch.JPG

166148

There are a few dirt roads off the highway, up high and down lower, for possible camping places. There are a couple of official campgrounds as well.

photojeff3200
15-Jun-2017, 19:45
Hey Johnathon if you take 285 West out of Denver it goes straight to Gunnison. Gunnison County has it all; Ghost towns, Hartman Rocks, Blue Mesa Reservoir, largest organism in the world (an aspen grove), groovy ski resort, wild flowers, waterfalls, West Elk Mountains, drive-able mountain passes, etc. etc. Shoot me an email and I'll give you my number. I'll give you the tour...

Jeff Michalek
(Gunnison resident 20+ years)

xkaes
16-Jun-2017, 06:01
Uhhh, unless they changed highway designation, in order to get to Gunnison, one heads west on US50 at Poncha Springs, leaving US285 -- see map. Staying on US285 gets you to Alamosa -- nice town, and often competing with Gunnison for the lowest overnight temperature in the US -- but definitely NOT Gunnison. But should you find yourself, by mistake, on the road to Alamosa, just stop off at the Great Sand Dunes National Park, on the way. It's every bit as scenic as the Black Canyon!

appletree
16-Jun-2017, 21:47
Thanks everyone for the great advice. I think for the most part my schedule is sort of locked down (need to figure out a few specific sights to make sure we see at each various point in the itinerary.

Tentative Schedule
We land Tuesday (July 18th) at 7AM. We depart Sunday (July 23rd) at 7AM.
Tuesday - land, pick up rental car, then drive toward Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. Spend the day in a few towns and soaking in a few sights. Maybe camp somewhere around Gunnison/Monarch/etc.
Wednesday - Get up and make our way toward Black Canyon of the Gunnison NP. Spend the day there/make our way toward McClure Pass. Spend the night somewhere around there.
Thursday - Wake up and spend a little time around McClure pass, then head toward Rocky Mountain National Park. Spend afternoon and night.
Friday - Spend entire day (probably propose that evening on a hike or early Sat morning hike) and night.
Saturday - Get up pack, hike a little and head for hotel that afternoon. Check into the Curtis Hotel, clean up, and go somewhere for a nice dinner.
Sunday - Fly out at crack of dawn.

Sights To See

McClure Pass
2-3 Towns We MUST Stop At?
Black Canyon
Independence Pass? Or Glenwood Canyon?
Trail Ridge Road
Wild Basin?
Ouzel Falls?
Emerald Lake? Shorter Hikes (http://www.rockymountainhikingtrails.com/rocky-mountain-best-easy-hikes.htm)
A list of suggested proposal spots in RMNP. (http://www.visitestespark.com/blog/post/top-5-places-to-propose-in-estes-park/)

Here is a potential (rough draft) map of the trip. (https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Denver+International+Airport,+8500+Pe%C3%B1a+Blvd,+Denver,+CO+80249/Monarch,+CO/McClure+Pass,+Colorado/Rocky+Mountain+National+Park,+CO/the+Curtis+Denver+-+a+DoubleTree+by+Hilton+Hotel,+Curtis+Street,+Denver,+CO/@39.360487,-107.2845642,8z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m32!4m31!1m5!1m1!1s0x876c7f2a98ff44ff:0x49583bb435b59c6a!2m2!1d-104.6737376!2d39.8560963!1m5!1m1!1s0x8715431dea9145e5:0x59e5adb853766742!2m2!1d-106.2939187!2d38.5526022!1m5!1m1!1s0x874058874e109585:0x6c685f039ef62285!2m2!1d-107.2839398!2d39.1288754!1m5!1m1!1s0x876979e4455903e9:0xfa27ee43a78e8217!2m2!1d-105.6836389!2d40.3427932!1m5!1m1!1s0x876c78d01c2afe1d:0x73ab587e72012a59!2m2!1d-104.997329!2d39.745946!3e0)

PS: Still need to decide (and pick up some roll film regardless/10 pack of color 4x5 if I am taking LF) if I am gonna take the Leica/Hasselblad or Leica/4x5 Kit.
PPS: More importantly, it looks like I will be trying to camp in RMNP for two nights. I will call tomorrow and try to see if any campgrounds are available or if it is first come/first serve or what. Definitely more pressing than my choice of camera, haha.

xkaes
17-Jun-2017, 06:11
I regret going to Maroon Bells instead on my last trip to Colo, and facing fees, huge crowds, and views that are so well known that they are almost trite.

Thirty years ago, I made the mistake of going there. I thought I had selected an area away from the crowds. The trail was basically a highway, so I did what I always do -- I examined the topo to find an area that looked good and was OFF-TRAIL. I found one. When my friend and I got there, the little lake was basically surrounded by tents. I can't image the crowds nowadays, but I know you can no longer drive to the trailheads -- you have to take a shuttle bus. What fun. It's basically Yosemite EAST. The scenery is beautiful, but I'll never go there again!

xkaes
17-Jun-2017, 06:16
PPS: More importantly, it looks like I will be trying to camp in RMNP for two nights. I will call tomorrow and try to see if any campgrounds are available or if it is first come/first serve or what. Definitely more pressing than my choice of camera, haha.

You should contact RMNP to see if you can reserve a site. Don't be surprised if you can't. If you can, don't be surprised if it is far away from where you want to be. They have a couple of really large campgrounds that are basically like camping in a Walmart parking lot. Keep in mind that you can always just camp off of a hiking trail -- BUT YOU WILL NEED TO GET A PERMIT and follow their regulations on fires, distances, bears, etc.

xkaes
17-Jun-2017, 06:23
There have been TWO deaths so far at Hanging Lake this year, but the Forest Service decided to make their changes BEFORE that happened. They were two completely unrelated events. The place is so overcrowded, people jumping in the lake despite the signs, crawling out on the logs despite the signs, vandalizing the rocks despite the signs, smoking pot, drinking alcohol despite the signs, acting weird, threatening people, etc. Now deaths and social media accounts of illegal activity. Even if you COULD get to it (i.e., get a ticket), it would be an unpleasant waste of time. It is now impossible to take a picture without people all over the place. How scenic!! The National Forest doesn't want to prohibit people from seeing it, but they have to do what is necessary to protect it.

Two23
17-Jun-2017, 09:31
While the north is nice, my favorite places for photography are the Great Sand Dunes and the timeless Mesa Verde. I consider Mesa Verde one of the five most interesting spots in the U.S. (Yellowstone, Sequoia NP, Grand Canyon, Hawaii Volcano NP, Mesa Verde.)


Kent in SD

appletree
17-Jun-2017, 10:27
Thanks all for the advice. I know there is WAY TOO MUCH to see in a meager 4 days. I think we will try and stay more to the north this time, so we don't spread out too thin.
And I am on hold right now with them. Seems like there are sites open at Aspenglen campgrounds. Not at Moraine. But, rather than doing it online, I figure I will talk to someone and get advice. Might get a "walk-in" tent only site. They seem a little more quiet and off the main path. But still probably can walk to a bathroom and all the things she will still appreciate.

For the "vibe" of our trip, neither of us mind some shorter day hikes. I just don't want to be hiking non-stop or photographing non-stop. When I traveled through California last winter for 2 weeks solo...I would drive, hike, camp, pull over on the side, snap some shots, take some photos during hikes or at the top of a summit, etc. I want it to be relaxing and laid back, yet at the same time...neither of us are people that want to sit in a camp chair and just relax all day. We will be up early and about and out til dinner time.

appletree
17-Jun-2017, 11:05
Looks like absolutely 0 sites available in RMNP.
Both online and after 45 minutes on the phone (I am in the desert of NM for work...got disconnected during the first call).

Also, not being negative, but the folks on the phone are very little to no help. Pretty sure they are just looking online like I could. It is some national reservation system, so they seem to know little about the park. Or about camping there. Or camping in the forest. Or permits. Or whatnot. Twice I was told they have availability, yet come to find out there was not. Unless I wanted to split the nights. So they person wanted me to book Thurs night at one place and Fri night at another campsite. But...come to find out there are no sites for Fri night. So I was confused why the person would offer that.

It's ok. I will figure something out. Seems like there is Mountain Park to the north but it is first come-first serve. Stillwater, which has no trees at all due to a bug infestation. Olive Ridge looks nice...but also first come-first serve. When searching for permits it only pulls up 4 locations, 2 in Utah, 2 in the very West of CO.

xkaes
17-Jun-2017, 12:46
I'm not surprised at all. July is their busiest time of year. Two pieces of information to consider. On the west side of the Park, about five miles into the park, there is a road on the left that goes OUT of the Park and into Arapahoe National Forest. It ends (1/2 mile) at the trailhead for Bowen Gulch (Trail 117). One POSSIBILITY, is to park there and hike in a little bit. There are a couple of other roads around there that do the same sort of thing.

You could spend the next day fighting the traffic in the Park. At the end of the day, drive south from Estes Park to Allenspark (Route 7). There are a couple of dirt roads to the southwest that lead to trailheads in the Roosevelt National Forest where you can do the same thing. Don't be surprised if there are other people doing the same thing you are. If they are from Colorado, they will probably offer you a toke. FYI, it's considered an insult to refuse -- Western hospitality, you know.

The following day you could visit Wild Basin -- close by.

Finally, memorize this map:

http://www.subclub.org/coloradomap.JPG

166223

Leszek Vogt
17-Jun-2017, 14:57
Johnathon, you might want to look up Dillon Reservoir.....there are several campgrounds. It appears that this was the place where I hang my hat on the way up from Alamosa. But, the season was ending so the dynamics of getting a camp space was much different. It was already freezing at night (below 32F), so I was forced to stay at a hotel the following night...when I got to Estes Park. Good luck.

Les

appletree
18-Jun-2017, 07:22
I'm not surprised at all. July is their busiest time of year. Two pieces of information to consider. On the west side of the Park, about five miles into the park, there is a road on the left that goes OUT of the Park and into Arapahoe National Forest. It ends (1/2 mile) at the trailhead for Bowen Gulch (Trail 117). One POSSIBILITY, is to park there and hike in a little bit. There are a couple of other roads around there that do the same sort of thing.

You could spend the next day fighting the traffic in the Park. At the end of the day, drive south from Estes Park to Allenspark (Route 7). There are a couple of dirt roads to the southwest that lead to trailheads in the Roosevelt National Forest where you can do the same thing. Don't be surprised if there are other people doing the same thing you are. If they are from Colorado, they will probably offer you a toke. FYI, it's considered an insult to refuse -- Western hospitality, you know.

The following day you could visit Wild Basin -- close by.

Finally, memorize this map:

http://www.subclub.org/coloradomap.JPG

166223

The more I think about it, we will be fine. Both of the close campgrounds that have first come first serve...I bet will have spots. Because we are getting there on Thursday. That is a huge advantage to lock down an empty spot.
I will try and decide if I want to a) to try the National Forest route and Bowen Gulch trailhead idea OR b) go and try Mountain Park OR c) go and try Olive Ridge. Or at least where I go to first.

Do I need a permit or any special thing to go park and camp at the trailhead (hiking in a little bit)? Would we be allowed to use showers in any of the parks? What about bathrooms? Honestly, I am just fine surviving! But, I want to make sure the lady has some sort of basic amenities.

Regarding taking a little drag, I will have to insult some folks I suppose. I smoked back in college, but don't touch any drugs anymore. Neither does the lady (she never has, she is a saint).

xkaes
18-Jun-2017, 09:19
Permits are USUALLY not needed to camp in National FORESTS, but there are USUALLY regulations as to fires, cutting wood, distances from trails, streams, lakes, etc. These can change so it's best to check. Just as important is finding a spot where you actually want to camp.

Camping in the RMNP, however, is only allowed in official campgrounds, or designated, backcountry sites which need reservations, or most anyplace if you get a permit through the backcountry office.

Bathrooms are not a problem USUALLY. Most campgrounds have them, but they can range from a single pit toilet with no water, to flush toilets with showers. Not camping there is NOT a problem, but finding what you want might be. Designated, back-country campsites usually have nothing, and usually require permits -- which you usually can't get, anyway.

Finally, not taking a toke is USUALLY not a problem -- just don't inhale!

SherW
22-Jun-2017, 03:58
Rocky Mountain and Breckenridge:o ski

xkaes
22-Jun-2017, 05:22
Rocky Mountain and Breckenridge:o ski

Like I said earlier -- Don't inhale!

SherW
22-Jun-2017, 20:26
[QUOTE=xkaes;1395351
Bathrooms are not a problem USUALLY. Most campgrounds have them, but they can range from a single pit toilet with no water, to flush toilets with showers. [/QUOTE]
This is the main problem faced by the people during the camping. Most of the people depend on baby wipes to clean the body.

xkaes
23-Jun-2017, 04:27
This is the main problem faced by the people during the camping. Most of the people depend on baby wipes to clean the body.

What do you think people did before there were "baby wipes" -- which you should NEVER put in ANY toilet in a camprground, whether it is flush or not. The issue was toilets, not BO. Maybe you should consider a new recreation -- one where you don't sweat.

appletree
27-Jun-2017, 06:39
Worst case, we can shower once we get to Denver on Saturday. I am sure we will both survive and just embrace the BO.

tgtaylor
27-Jun-2017, 09:53
Initially, on multi day/week hikes in the Sierra Nevada, I carried a collapsible 1 gallon clear plastic water container. When I found a campsite for the night – usually near a stream – the first thing I did after dropping the pack was to fill the container and put it in the sunshine to heat the water while I set-up camp and then take a “shower” before supper. I did that for a few years until I switched from the collapsible container to using the bear can which is mandatory in the sierra back-country. Now I transfer the food from the bear can into a waterproof bag that I picked-up in an army/navy store for protecting the camera equipment during wet weather and use it like I did with the collapsible. It holds more water and eliminates the bulk of the collapsible. There's nothing more refreshing than taking a shower after a days hike and sitting down to supper.

Thomas

xkaes
27-Jun-2017, 11:58
There's nothing more refreshing than taking a shower after a days hike and sitting down to supper.

Thomas

For me, it's taking the old boots off. I remember one hike that was so tough on my feet (off trail, of course), that when I got back to the car and took off the boots, I noticed that one of my boot heels was completley missing! My feet were so beat up, I hadn't even noticed.

appletree
28-Jun-2017, 06:32
Oh my!!! I can only imagine looking down to realize one heel is completely fallen off!

And yeah, I have a collapsible water container. Not sure how much is in it. But since we will only be camping out for 4 nights...I really believe we will find a shower here and there at these campgrounds.
Now, I am forgetting my plan. Oh yeah, we will just try and find a first come/first serve campground that Thursday.

appletree
28-Jun-2017, 07:06
Update

Tentative Schedule
We land Tuesday (July 18th) at 7AM. We depart Sunday (July 23rd) at 7AM.
Tuesday - land, pick up rental car, then drive toward "Secret Camping Spot Provided via PM". It is about 5 hours from Denver. Spend the day in a few towns and soaking in a few sights. End up at Secret Camping Spot and camp there.
Wednesday - Get up and spend the day in & around "Secret Camping Spot". Spend the day there. Probably spend a second night in the "Secret Camping Spot" as there is a lot of sites around the place.
Thursday - Wake up and drive to McClure pass, spend a little time there, and then head toward Rocky Mountain National Park. Attempt to find a spot at Olive Ridge Campground (I need to figure out a backup plan if they too end up booked). Spend afternoon and night in the area.
Friday - Spend entire day (probably propose that evening on a hike or early Sat morning hike) at RMNP. Things to try and see are Trail Ridge Road, Wild Basin, Ouzel Falls. Camp at Olive Ridge again.
Saturday - Get up pack, hike a little (try and see what we missed the day before) and head for hotel in the afternoon. Check into the Curtis Hotel, clean up, and go somewhere for a nice dinner.
Sunday - Fly out at crack of dawn.

Sights To See
Secret Camping Spot
Aspen Forest
McClure Pass
2-3 Towns We MUST Stop At?
Independence Pass? Or Glenwood Canyon?
Trail Ridge Road
Wild Basin?
Ouzel Falls?
Emerald Lake? Shorter Hikes
A list of suggested proposal spots in RMNP...

Where is this? Supposedly in RMNP...reminds me of Half Dome.
166605

xkaes
28-Jun-2017, 07:21
As to the peak, it looks a lot like Hallet (Hallett) Peak in RMNP.

As to dinner in Denver, I recommend the Old Spaghetti Factory. It's old, well-know, reasonably-priced, probably close to your hotel, great food and lots of people. Make a reservation! See if you can get one for INSIDE the trolley car!

http://www.osf.com/location/denver-co/

Parking is always a hassle downtown -- and NOT cheap -- but this might be within walking distance.

For a WILD West dining experience, try the BUCKHORN EXCHANGE (http://www.buckhorn.com/). It's about one mile southwest of downtown.

Keith Pitman
28-Jun-2017, 08:16
If you have a problem finding a camping spot in RMNP, try this: http://www.larimer.org/naturalresources/hermitpark.cfm

It's a Larimer county managed campground, near Estes Park.

appletree
28-Jun-2017, 10:50
@xkaes, yes was able to confirm is it Hallett Peak from Dream Lake. I will probably have to take a shuttle to get to the trailhead.
And I will check out the place you recommended. Thanks!

@Keith Pitman, thanks for the tip. Will put it as a backup location...just in case. :)