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Trailhead & camping etiquette

Trailhead conditions, directions, roads, parking, camping, etc. Trailhead Info/Status
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Re: Trailhead & camping etiquette

Postby MountainHiker » Sun Aug 05, 2012 8:12 pm

I sleep at trailheads a lot. I expect people will come and go at all hours. Doors will open and close, headlights will cross the lot. That is unavoidable. But the stereo doesn’t need to be on. People can keep their voices down. Headlights and engines can be turned off and door locks that blow horns & flash the lights don’t need to be pushed repeatedly.

But to say a trailhead is only a parking lot and not a campground, so don’t expect to sleep is absurd. Many, if not most trailheads are also legal camping areas. Most fourteener trailheads, even ones that don’t have “camping” will have people sleeping in vehicles. So go about your business. Just do it with respect. That person you’re waking up might be sharing a sketchy part of the route with you later.

Trailheads are where people leave for hikes early in the morning. Many arrived in the evening after a long drive and aren’t “camping” - no tent, BBQ, campfire etc. But they are sleeping.

If anything, non-trailhead campgrounds are where you should expect people to be parting late into the night.
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Re: Trailhead & camping etiquette

Postby forbins_mtn » Sun Aug 05, 2012 8:35 pm

one of my favorite pieces of gear are my ear plugs. i carry them with me every weekend.

Re: Trailhead & camping etiquette

Postby metalmountain » Sun Aug 05, 2012 9:49 pm

jasayrevt wrote:
awilbur77 wrote:
...that people should be considerate when coming or going in the wee hours of the morning, wherever you are. That's all.


This is well said also.

Fellow hikers just need to remember in the early hours of the morning to make as little noise as possible at trailheads. As Anna noted...reasonable noise at a trailhead is going to include engines, cars pulling in, door / trunk noise, assembling gear for the hike, muted discussion amongst the group if it needs to occur, etc. (since 14er trailheads intended purpose is to provide access to a trail that is available for public use).

Looking at this neutrally...I don't really think it's reasonable for anybody to be upset if they are trying to sleep in a TH parking lot, a hiker arrives, makes the minimum noise required to get ready, and proceeds on their hike.

Either camp near the TH (but not at it) within published rules for the area, or pack it in (what doesn't kill you makes you stronger). These are the best options if you elect not to get a hotel or something in a nearby town. As it's been noted, sometimes it's not even within guidelines to be camping at a TH (though most all of us have certainly broken that rule before :lol: )



+1

I avoid sleeping at the trail head at all costs. The crappy sleep isn't worth the convenience of sleeping there. I can either backpack in or find a place a few miles away that is nice and quite and actually get a solid amount of sleep. Most TH's have some amount of camping within a 30 minute drive, and that drive is worth it to ensure a good nights sleep. I try to be quiet when I pull up early to a TH or come in late. But its damn near impossible sometimes. I can see it being frustrating, but if you sleep at a TH I think you have to except that you have chosen to sleep in a place that is designed for cars to park. Not for people to sleep. If someone comes storming through your campsite late at night and wakes you up, then that is a whole different story. If you sleep at a TH plop in the ear plugs and hang something in your windows, then the noises and light won't be as much of a bother.
"The greatest battle is not physical but psychological. The demons telling us to give up when we push ourselves to the limit can never be silenced for good. They must always be answered by the quiet, steady dignity that simply refuses to give in. Courage. We all suffer. Keep going." - Graeme Fife

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Re: Trailhead & camping etiquette

Postby Taillon75 » Sun Aug 05, 2012 9:51 pm

It's a free country. Do what ever the hell you want.
Catchy saying from someone famous.

Re: Trailhead & camping etiquette

Postby FireOnTheMountain » Sun Aug 05, 2012 10:03 pm

Just pick up your f***ing garbage and I don't really care about anything else.

I make it a goal to pick up garbage at every TH I go to, not to mention I pick up garbage REGULARLY on the trail.
Everyday is a G r A t E f U L Day here in the CO

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Re: Trailhead & camping etiquette

Postby Taillon75 » Sun Aug 05, 2012 10:06 pm

Firey Bear.... I concur.
Catchy saying from someone famous.

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Re: Trailhead & camping etiquette

Postby BlueKhan » Mon Aug 06, 2012 2:49 am

this thread should be renamed...

"Parking Lot Etiquette for the Douchebag"....written by THE Douchebag
Etiquette for the douchebag who can't find his way out the the nearest parking lot

I'm sure I could find a more remote spot at the nearest Walmart parking lot than at the average 14er trailhead...but, honestly, I wouldn't bitch about it if I had to sleep in a Walmart parking lot.

I live in Colorado and like to get off the beaten track and, personally, I find it sad that in a community that holds some of these same values has dbag's bitching about sh!t happening while they're triying to sleep in a fcking parking lot.

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Re: Trailhead & camping etiquette

Postby Wish I lived in CO » Mon Aug 06, 2012 6:02 am

metalmountain wrote:I avoid sleeping at the trail head at all costs. The crappy sleep isn't worth the convenience of sleeping there. I can either backpack in or find a place a few miles away that is nice and quite and actually get a solid amount of sleep. Most TH's have some amount of camping within a 30 minute drive, and that drive is worth it to ensure a good nights sleep. I try to be quiet when I pull up early to a TH or come in late. But its damn near impossible sometimes. I can see it being frustrating, but if you sleep at a TH I think you have to except that you have chosen to sleep in a place that is designed for cars to park. Not for people to sleep. If someone comes storming through your campsite late at night and wakes you up, then that is a whole different story.


+1 A week ago at Huron was a good example. Car camped 20 mins. from the TH at a great spot, quiet, got great sleep. Packed the night before so as to just park and go at TH when arrive, but was not worried about how hard I shut the car door. I used the dims at the TH but I'm not gonna run over a rock or worse someone else because the OP wants my headlilghts off. I'll do what I can to be quiet, but it is a parking lot first.
I look up to the mountains - does my help come from there? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth! Psalm 121:1-2

Re: Trailhead & camping etiquette

Postby Climbdent » Mon Aug 06, 2012 8:37 am

"I live in Colorado and like to get off the beaten track and, personally, I find it sad that in a community that holds some of these same values has dbag's bitching about sh!t happening while they're triying to sleep in a fcking parking lot."

I think every additional curse word you add increases my respect for your opinion - or not.

Anyways, We camped at S. Colony lakes trail head which only had two spots left in the entire parking lot. Another car arrived late (~11pm) and quickly parked and made no noise. The people camping at the TH and the close campsites were respectful and quiet. Thus, not all trail heads and not all people are insensitive.

I would also like to add the people who camp at the trail head (and do the route in a day) significantly reduce the impact on high use areas like South Colony Lakes.

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Re: Trailhead & camping etiquette

Postby climbing_rob » Mon Aug 06, 2012 8:54 am

Yep, noisy CG's and parking lots are a fact of life here in CO, get some ear plugs and deal with it.

Or: Look at this unavoidable inconvenience as training for high mountain camps. I've yet to climb a Big Mountain without extremely noisy camps. Just one more thing mountaineers have to deal with. Preaching/Lecturing to an online community about how to act like courteous human beings does nothing to help, except perhaps making the Preacher feel better, which is fine, actually.

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Re: Trailhead & camping etiquette

Postby Mel McKinney » Mon Aug 06, 2012 9:26 am

timstich wrote:Some extra rules for BLM and NF land:

1. Try to conclude all gun shooting before sunset.
2. If the dirt bike isn't runnin' smooth after five minutes, revving that mother aint fixin it.
3. Outdoor raves should turn off the music by 4AM.


And the shooting should not commence until 9:00 am sharp on a Sunday. :x
Mountains cast spells on me - Why, because of the way Earth-heaps lie, should I be Chocked by joy mysteriously; stilled or drunken-gay? Why should a brown hill trail Tug at my feet to go? Why should a boggy swale Tune my heart to a nameless tale Mountain marshes know?
--- Belle Turnbull ("Mountain-Mad")

"Nothing is so embarrassing as watching someone do something that you said couldn't be done."
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Re: Trailhead & camping etiquette

Postby Taillon75 » Mon Aug 06, 2012 10:36 am

I'll shoot my guns whenever I want.

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