(non-skiing) TR: Camping Telluride, Silverton & Mesa Verde

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Re: (non-skiing) TR: Camping Telluride, Silverton & Mesa Ver

Postby snowave » Tue Sep 12, 2017 9:23 am

Glad you had fun in the San Juans! We went last week but took the car and stayed in motels as I fell off my galloping throughbred 2 days before the trip. Bouncing around in a jeep and driving the RV over was not in the cards. We also stuck to the 550 towns and did some mellow drives, etc. We also made it up to Animas Forks, too. Pretty incredible place.

Glad you had no trouble with 550. I am getting better with it, but still not ready to drive the big rig on it. As I mentioned before, the heavy traffic is what bothers me the most.
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Re: (non-skiing) TR: Camping Telluride, Silverton & Mesa Ver

Postby Admin » Tue Sep 12, 2017 9:53 am

snowave wrote:Glad you had fun in the San Juans! We went last week but took the car and stayed in motels as I fell off my galloping throughbred 2 days before the trip. Bouncing around in a jeep and driving the RV over was not in the cards. We also stuck to the 550 towns and did some mellow drives, etc. We also made it up to Animas Forks, too. Pretty incredible place.

Glad you had no trouble with 550. I am getting better with it, but still not ready to drive the big rig on it. As I mentioned before, the heavy traffic is what bothers me the most.


Get better soon! Ironically, I didn't find traffic on 550 to be an issue -- most of the time we had no one in front of or behind us. If someone caught up to me I just pulled over momentarily at the next pullout to let them pass.
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Re: (non-skiing) TR: Camping Telluride, Silverton & Mesa Ver

Postby Tony Crocker » Tue Sep 12, 2017 11:20 am

I found maps of the fire near Lake MacDonald in Glacier NP. I haven't found maps of the Kenow Fire near Waterton, but with the evacuation order I'd say these parks are close to done for tourism this year.
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Re: (non-skiing) TR: Camping Telluride, Silverton & Mesa Ver

Postby Marc_C » Tue Sep 12, 2017 3:27 pm

Tony Crocker wrote:I haven't found maps of the Kenow Fire near Waterton, but with the evacuation order I'd say these parks are close to done for tourism this year.

Especially after losing the visitor center!
http://globalnews.ca/news/3736503/southern-alberta-wildfire-updates-the-latest-information-on-the-waterton-kenow-fire/

From their FB page:
https://scontent-lax3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t31.0-8/21587195_1452595328161235_37305278742944809_o.jpg?oh=e368b27351e5e91f2c9d87a32d66b7de&oe=5A4B3C67

I can't quite rationalize that map with the news that the visitor center burned and there was concern about the townsite, but they are saying it's an extremely fast moving fire.

http://www.lethbridgenewsnow.com/article/572316/satellite-data-shows-movement-waterton-fire
https://www.facebook.com/WatertonLakesNP/photos/a.207339339353513.51772.182024185218362/1452595328161235/?type=3
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Re: (non-skiing) TR: Camping Telluride, Silverton & Mesa Ver

Postby Marc_C » Tue Sep 12, 2017 4:11 pm

Found a slightly better map sorta - it's the ArcGIS heat spot map.
https://www.arcgis.com/home/webmap/view ... %2C36.2478" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

The map I posted earlier looks to be activity *only* in BC whereas this looks at the entire hemisphere, I mean, planet:

waterton fire.PNG
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Re: (non-skiing) TR: Camping Telluride, Silverton & Mesa Ver

Postby Admin » Tue Sep 12, 2017 4:26 pm

It certainly looks like Glacier/Waterton would be off the table this year for anyone.
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Re: (non-skiing) TR: Camping Telluride, Silverton & Mesa Ver

Postby Evren » Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:47 am

You'd think that smoke-filled skies for the last two weeks would have moved me to check on the source, especially given where I intended to travel. But you'd be wrong. Things have gone so smoothly all summer in my travels that I must have become complacent.

So all those links above have been quite the revelation. And thanks.

I was thinking that the combination of fall colors and snow expected the next few days in the Glacier area would make for some fine opportunities for photography. But now I reconsider.
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Re: (non-skiing) TR: Camping Telluride, Silverton & Mesa Ver

Postby Marc_C » Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:27 am

Evren wrote:I was thinking that the combination of fall colors and snow expected the next few days in the Glacier area would make for some fine opportunities for photography. But now I reconsider.

If you were within an hour or two it might be worth checking out, but any drive much longer than that would be a real crap shoot IMO and probably not worth it.

Interesting photo from a couple of days ago; fire with aurora:
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Re: (non-skiing) TR: Camping Telluride, Silverton & Mesa Ver

Postby Marc_C » Mon Sep 18, 2017 3:01 pm

Admin wrote:Now I'm not one to second guess someone else's choices, but for the life of me I can't understand why people would insist upon paying for a spot in the crowded National Park campground (without even hookups at most sites)...

Besides the aforementioned hookups - and yes, those are actually rare in the national parks - there are several other major reasons:
1. It removes an additional bit of research and planning that people don't want to do.
2. Proximity to amenities - grocery, showers, restaurants, tours, etc. Yes, it all depends on the park and the location of dispersed camping relative to the park, which brings us to...
3. People want to spend time *in* the park, not outside - this includes camping/RVing. And frankly with some parks the location of legal dispersed camping is pretty far from where you want to be. Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Bryce, even Arches immediately come to mind. Seeing that it can take 45 minutes to get through the entrance gate at some parks at some times of year, it becomes a real consideration.
4. People are *very* leery of leaving their multi-thousands of dollars rig or even their tent/sleeping gear/kitchen stuff unattended in a remote location while they head into the park for a day.
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Re: (non-skiing) TR: Camping Telluride, Silverton & Mesa Ver

Postby Admin » Mon Sep 18, 2017 3:04 pm

Marc_C wrote:
Admin wrote:Now I'm not one to second guess someone else's choices, but for the life of me I can't understand why people would insist upon paying for a spot in the crowded National Park campground (without even hookups at most sites)...

Besides the aforementioned hookups - and yes, those are actually rare in the national parks - there are several other major reasons:
1. It removes an additional bit of research and planning that people don't want to do.
2. Proximity to amenities - grocery, showers, restaurants, tours, etc. Yes, it all depends on the park and the location of dispersed camping relative to the park, which brings us to...
3. People want to spend time *in* the park, not outside - this includes camping/RVing. And frankly with some parks the location of legal dispersed camping is pretty far from where you want to be. Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Bryce, even Arches immediately come to mind. Seeing that it can take 45 minutes to get through the entrance gate at some parks at some times of year, it becomes a real consideration.
4. People are *very* leery of leaving their multi-thousands of dollars rig or even their tent/sleeping gear/kitchen stuff unattended in a remote location while they head into the park for a day.


Although my comment was specifically referring to this NPS campground, my feelings generally remain the same at other parks, although there are logistics to consider when making a decision at those other parks. At Mesa Verde, the discrepancy was far more pronounced in favor of the BLM land we actually camped on.
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Re: (non-skiing) TR: Camping Telluride, Silverton & Mesa Ver

Postby Marc_C » Mon Sep 18, 2017 4:00 pm

Admin wrote:...although there are logistics to consider when making a decision at those other parks.

Precisely.
Have I camped in Yosemite? Of course - too many days to count.
Do I like camping in Yosemite? Hell no - it actually kinda sucks for a lot of the reasons you mention. Plus bears that are far too used to humans.
But......I wasn't there for the camping, and me and my partners didn't want an hour+ commute every morning and evening. There's definitely something to be said for grabbing your gear after breakfast and walking over to Glacier Point Apron to get terrified sliding around on tiny footholds with poor gear.
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Re: (non-skiing) TR: Camping Telluride, Silverton & Mesa Ver

Postby Evren » Mon Sep 18, 2017 4:38 pm

Marc_C wrote: legal dispersed camping is pretty far from where you want to be. Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Bryce, even Arches immediately come to mind.


I was at Bryce this past June and found plenty of dispersed camping within a mile of the entrance, arriving Friday evening. It was quite the revelation that this was possible. But the two times before that: first, I used a campsite within the park, because I was new to camping and timid. The other time, I was on Forest Service land but far away. FreeCampSites and Campendium changed all that (did they exist 3-4 years ago?)

Now I am at a point where I can smell out viable spots even without those sites but they provide a safety net coming into a new area.

Everywhere I go, #vanlife is all the rage. Obviously some of this is due to the fact that I myself am car camping on an extended trip but not entirely. The vehicle people are drooling over is not some new Tesla but the caravan from Mercedes.

Meanwhile, I am writing this from the library at Bozeman. Camped just outside Bridger Bowl, in a fantastic free designated NFS site. The canyon is beautiful and Bozeman has all the amenities of a great college town. Buying booze at Costco and paying no tax(!) is just the icing on the cake.
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Re: (non-skiing) TR: Camping Telluride, Silverton & Mesa Ver

Postby Admin » Mon Sep 18, 2017 5:22 pm

Evren wrote:FreeCampSites and Campendium changed all that (did they exist 3-4 years ago?)


I can't speak for FreeCampSites.net, but Campendium did not. It was conceived 4 years ago and launched 2 years ago.

Evren wrote:Meanwhile, I am writing this from the library at Bozeman. Camped just outside Bridger Bowl, in a fantastic free designated NFS site. The canyon is beautiful and Bozeman has all the amenities of a great college town. Buying booze at Costco and paying no tax(!) is just the icing on the cake.


Bozeman rocks. (And so does Bridger.)
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