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Camping Location Advise

Trailhead conditions, directions, roads, parking, camping, etc. Trailhead Info/Status
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Re: Camping Location Advise

Postby CincinnatiJeff » Mon May 07, 2012 7:38 pm

Thanks to all for the great advise! My daughter is 16....we were out there last year, and hiked 75% of Grays Peak kinda spur of the moment and didn't have time to get to the top due to other commitments on the trip. It was after that I learned about the "14er's". Not making to the peak was a disappointment, but also a motivating factor for wanting to go out there, finish that one, and do some others. The responses to my question definitely exceeded my expectations and I really appreciate the time you all took to answer. I'll look over all the suggestions and post our final plans.... And of course a report on the trip.

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Re: Camping Location Advise

Postby BKS » Mon May 07, 2012 8:47 pm

A final personal note:

Climbing the 14ers over the last 12 years with members of my family has been the best experience of my life. I have 4 children - two boys, two girls, and it has provided the glue in our relationships. We've done whole family climbs, climbs with individual kids, father -sons climbs, and father daughter climbs. I trip per year is no longer enough, 3-5 per year has been typical the last 6 years . My kids ask for time with their Dad in the mountains. All the kids have at least 10 14ers under their belts.

I wouldn't trade the experience for anything. I hope it turns out as good for you.

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Re: Camping Location Advise

Postby scipio337 » Wed May 09, 2012 12:06 pm

This flatlander (from MO) decided on Lakeview campground, got loop B (per the ranger office and photos, appears to have pretty good views).

The NPS reservation site (recreation.gov) is pretty good, with maps of nearby campsites (the ones that accept reservations, that is), along with actual maps of the campgrounds, and pics of the the different sites.

http://www.recreation.gov/camping/map_of_Lakeview_Campground/r/campgroundMap.do?page=map&search=site&contractCode=NRSO&parkId=70290&topTabIndex=CampingSpot

(if you click on a specific campsite like A001, there is a small pic that you can enlarge).


We're driving overnight, and will arrive around 10 am on a Sunday morning. We are hoping to scout the Elbert Creek sites (Elbert Creek, Half Moon West) to see what kind of availability there is (hopefully good, for a Sunday morning), and then deciding whether to either keep my Twin Lakes reservation, or switch to a "first come, first served" site.

I think the cancellation fee is something like $10, but we might be able to switch the reservation for another NPS park.

Either way, I wanted to make a reservation at a reseved campground to make absolutely sure I had someplace to stay (booked in Feb for June trip, was campground was already pretty full!) and go from there. The $10 cancellation fee is worth it, to me.

Hope this helps, and if anyone has any input to the campsites I mentioned, this first timer greatly appreciates it!

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Re: Camping Location Advise

Postby CincinnatiJeff » Fri Jun 28, 2013 9:10 pm

climbing_rob wrote:
schrund wrote:Winfield is a great suggestion. Just don't go on the weekend of August 18-19, 2012, as there is a huge trail run passing through there that weekend and traffic along the road will be near impossible to navigate.
+1 on the Winfield suggestion, or at least somewhere along the road. Tons of great campsites along here, and great access to nice, gentle 14ers.

But, Dear OP: Can you bring some cans of Skyline along? I'm fresh out, and jonesing for some...


I just came back to these messages again, and saw your comment about Skyline. I put it on my shopping list and will bury it somewhere then give you a "treasure" map. lol. Actually, we didn't make it last summer, but are now trying to nail down dates in late July to fly to Denver, then head out from there.

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Re: Camping Location Advise

Postby CincinnatiJeff » Fri Jun 28, 2013 9:12 pm

gdthomas wrote:First off, from one Cincinnatian (former) to another, welcome. As BKS has said, National Forest campgrounds offer a good balance of outdoor camping with amenities without being too primitive or commercial. If you go on the NFS website for Colorado and access the link for the San Isabel National Forest, I would focus on NFS campgrounds in the following areas: Buena Vista, Leadville, Nathrop and Twin Lakes. Camping in thess area provide access to the Sawatch Range 14ers, some of which are suitable class 2 climbs depending on your level of fitness - Mt. Yale, Mt. Elbert, La Plata Peak, Huron, Mt. Belford, Mt. Princeton (if you can drive to the radio towers), Mt. Antero (if you can drive to the stream crossing) and Tabeguache Peak. I've camped in many of these campgrounds with some of my favorites being Collegiate Peaks, Father Dyer, Mt. Princeton, Twin Peaks (doesn't take reservations), and Lakeview. Since you're driving 1,200 miles, I would make reservations as soon as possible to ensure you have a campsite. Of course the campground you select will depend on the 14ers you wish to climb.


Thanks for the advise...I hope I'm not too late on reservations for late July. :( We're finally getting a chance to go, so I'm sifting back through this thread.

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Re: Camping Location Advise

Postby ezabielski » Fri Jun 28, 2013 9:20 pm

Are you opposed to backpacking? Last year I was with a group and we got to the Belford/Oxford/Missouri TH, backpacked up to treeline at night, and found a treeline campsite. The next morning we did Belford/Oxford and then on the 2nd day we did Missouri and packed out. It was a great weekend and I really enjoyed those mountains.

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Re: Camping Location Advise

Postby CincinnatiJeff » Fri Jun 28, 2013 9:39 pm

ezabielski wrote:Are you opposed to backpacking? Last year I was with a group and we got to the Belford/Oxford/Missouri TH, backpacked up to treeline at night, and found a treeline campsite. The next morning we did Belford/Oxford and then on the 2nd day we did Missouri and packed out. It was a great weekend and I really enjoyed those mountains.


We're not at all opposed to backpacking, in fact, we prefer it. I was just looking at all the booked campsites!, so backpacking is looking like a much better option. How strenuous a hike was it to the treeline? And do you know what kind of temperature we should expect at night at that altitude?
Thanks!

Re: Camping Location Advise

Postby csmith » Fri Jun 28, 2013 10:04 pm

CincinnatiJeff wrote:
ezabielski wrote:Are you opposed to backpacking? Last year I was with a group and we got to the Belford/Oxford/Missouri TH, backpacked up to treeline at night, and found a treeline campsite. The next morning we did Belford/Oxford and then on the 2nd day we did Missouri and packed out. It was a great weekend and I really enjoyed those mountains.


We're not at all opposed to backpacking, in fact, we prefer it. I was just looking at all the booked campsites!, so backpacking is looking like a much better option. How strenuous a hike was it to the treeline? And do you know what kind of temperature we should expect at night at that altitude?
Thanks!


The hike to treeline on Belford/Oxford/Missouri is a fairly steep climb through the forest, but the trail is great, and if you are camping near treeline you don't really need to be in a hurry getting up there. The temp of course varies but it would probably drop into the 30s at night.

Re: Camping Location Advise

Postby csmith » Fri Jun 28, 2013 10:21 pm

Another option if you wanted to go to the San Juan range (Southwest corner of the state, farther away from you but beautiful) and do some car camping could be Handies (East Slopes Route) and Redcloud/Sunshine from a base camp near the Silver Creek/Grizzly Gulch trailhead. There are plenty of places to camp near the trailhead (free, no services), and the scenery around that area is spectacular.

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Re: Camping Location Advise

Postby CincinnatiJeff » Fri Jun 28, 2013 11:19 pm

csmith wrote:Another option if you wanted to go to the San Juan range (Southwest corner of the state, farther away from you but beautiful) and do some car camping could be Handies (East Slopes Route) and Redcloud/Sunshine from a base camp near the Silver Creek/Grizzly Gulch trailhead. There are plenty of places to camp near the trailhead (free, no services), and the scenery around that area is spectacular.


Thanks for the advise...we're going to fly into Denver, so I'll have to get out a map and check out driving times.

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Re: Camping Location Advise

Postby ezabielski » Sat Jun 29, 2013 9:17 pm

CincinnatiJeff wrote:
ezabielski wrote:Are you opposed to backpacking? Last year I was with a group and we got to the Belford/Oxford/Missouri TH, backpacked up to treeline at night, and found a treeline campsite. The next morning we did Belford/Oxford and then on the 2nd day we did Missouri and packed out. It was a great weekend and I really enjoyed those mountains.


We're not at all opposed to backpacking, in fact, we prefer it. I was just looking at all the booked campsites!, so backpacking is looking like a much better option. How strenuous a hike was it to the treeline? And do you know what kind of temperature we should expect at night at that altitude?
Thanks!


We hiked up at night in less than 2 hours if I recall. It's hard to judge distance or time when night hiking, but the miles flew by. The trail is great -- not bad carrying a load on it.

It was probably less than 30 degrees when we were there, but that was September.

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Re: Camping Location Advise

Postby jchapell » Sun Jun 30, 2013 1:50 pm

My wife and I spent a few nights at Lower Crystal Lake south of Breckenridge earlier this month and found it to be a fantastic spot - we hiked <1.5 miles in, but there is a route that would cut that hike in half (message me for more details). There's no restrooms, but there is a running stream, and remains of a mining cabin for a windbreak. No 14ers to hike directly, but Father Dyer, Crystal Peak, Peak 10, and Helen good options from your site.

IMG_0528-001.JPG
Lower Crystal Lake, w Father Dyer, Crystal Peak, Peak 10 in background
IMG_0528-001.JPG (139.75 KiB) Viewed 156 times


One of the NFS sites that might be fun is Kite Lake, we also spent our last night there before a quick Democrat hike, and Lincoln, Cameron, and Bross are right there. Let me know if you would like more details, but my trip report includes some details of the Crystal Lake site and Kite Lake. I'd love to share more, just let me know!
http://14ers.com/php14ers/tripreport.php?trip=13677&parmuser=jchapell&cpgm=tripuser

FYI, I've found it's still smart to BYOTP even if restrooms are available, just in case...

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