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Chaffee County 390

Trailhead conditions, directions, roads, parking, camping, etc. Trailhead Info/Status
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Chaffee County 390

Postby keith_stone » Sat Sep 08, 2012 7:01 pm

Just wondering how much dispersed camping their is off 390? Especially near the Bel/Ox trailhead. Thanks.

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Re: Chaffee County 390

Postby BKS » Sat Sep 08, 2012 7:42 pm

There is a good site along the creek a little past trailhead parking... Maybe 1/4 to 1/2 miles to the West. It is right on road to the south, with good water access. Vehicle pull offs with multiple sites.

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Re: Chaffee County 390

Postby IkeB » Sat Sep 08, 2012 9:43 pm

There are quite a few spots. They were filling with hunting parties quick this week though. Also be prepared for washboard.

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Re: Chaffee County 390

Postby keith_stone » Sun Sep 09, 2012 9:05 am

Okay thanks,

I'm not sure if this is a dumb question...but is there a source / map that shows you exaclty where you can and can't have dispersed camping. Seems like all the national forest websites don't offer too much info on the subjuct.

Are the national forests a free for all when it comes to open camping? Can you camp wherever as long as its not private property?

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Re: Chaffee County 390

Postby Dex » Sun Sep 09, 2012 10:23 am

keith_stone wrote:Okay thanks,

I'm not sure if this is a dumb question...but is there a source / map that shows you exaclty where you can and can't have dispersed camping. Seems like all the national forest websites don't offer too much info on the subjuct.

Are the national forests a free for all when it comes to open camping? Can you camp wherever as long as its not private property?



You will see the sites off the road, primarily on the left as you go to the mts - drive slowly.

Signs are posted where there is private property. No fee to my knowledge for the 390 area.
Montani Semper Liberi
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Re: Chaffee County 390

Postby Tigerbear » Sun Sep 09, 2012 2:43 pm

We are not too particular about camp spots here in chaffee cty. Pretty laid back and lots of space!
people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel...

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Re: Chaffee County 390

Postby peter303 » Sun Sep 09, 2012 3:13 pm

keith_stone wrote:Okay thanks,
I'm not sure if this is a dumb question...but is there a source / map that shows you exaclty where you can and can't have dispersed camping. Seems like all the national forest websites don't offer too much info on the subject.


Nearby vacation homes owners are pretty aggressive with trespassing signs, rocks in shoulder, and sometimes late night visits. You'll see this on way to Harvard Cottonwood TH, Kite Lake, lake City Grizzly Gulch etc.

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Re: Chaffee County 390

Postby keith_stone » Sun Sep 09, 2012 9:12 pm

I was wondering about in general, for any dispersed camping on national forest land. I understand that you cant camp on private property, just curious if their is a source where I can find out where I could camp prior to driving up there and looking around for private property / camping allowed signs.

Thanks.

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Re: Chaffee County 390

Postby Dex » Mon Sep 10, 2012 6:07 am

keith_stone wrote:I was wondering about in general, for any dispersed camping on national forest land. I understand that you cant camp on private property, just curious if their is a source where I can find out where I could camp prior to driving up there and looking around for private property / camping allowed signs.

Thanks.


There are RV parks that let people put up tents for a small fee.
Montani Semper Liberi
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Re: Chaffee County 390

Postby madbuck » Mon Sep 10, 2012 7:29 am

keith_stone wrote:I was wondering about in general, for any dispersed camping on national forest land. I understand that you cant camp on private property, just curious if their is a source where I can find out where I could camp prior to driving up there and looking around for private property / camping allowed signs.

Thanks.


Well it's a great question, but there isn't a source, and it is confusing because you need a detailed map to follow all the rules, which you've probably already read:
http://www.fs.usda.gov/detailfull/dixie/learning/?cid=stelprdb5137037&width=full

Anywhere on NF land is supposed to be fair game (also consider BLM land), but you need to be sufficiently far away from roads, trails, trailheads, lakes, and streams (200 ft), but also 1 mile from developed campgrounds. Private land has already been discussed, but it's a bigger (and at times more frustrating) issue in Colorado due to the amount of private-use land *in* National Forests, with odd areas of checkerboarded private land within what would otherwise appear as a large swath of NF land on an undetailed map. Sometimes specific areas have additional restrictions worth checking.

Furthermore, both LNT is promoted, but so is the use of 'existing' fire rings.
What does that mean for the piles of rocks that are consistently and repeatedly used in popular areas? There are certainly popular sites that are generally easily accessible, but definitely have a visible presence of humans. They are far from LNT, but at the same time, if people re-made and scattered even more burned rocks, one could argue that things would be worse.

Chaffee Co 390 has options, just keep your eyes open. If you arrive late, it's pretty much the same idea as if you arrived to a popular TH late and the parking lot is full -- you'll have to find an alternative.

Otherwise, here are my general observations:
1. There is a tenuous balance of enough 'existing' camp spots with easy access near popular areas
2. Arrive early with a generally idea and at least an hour budgeted to look for spots in an unfamiliar area. You may be surprised by private land or other issues that don't appear on your map (e.g. significant logging in an area) that preclude camping
3. If arriving late, be prepared to sleep in your vehicle and look for a spot in the morning.
4. Some popular car-camping spots are borderline in terms of being located sufficiently far from certain features...consider alternatives or use your discretion (e.g. if it's slightly closer to a road, don't have a campfire with smoke that drifts across the road). In general, if it looks well-used and you're polite, you won't be harrassed
5. The easy car-camping spots are not published in any one place, but you can get hints by searching for "free camping near <location>" and dirty-bum sites like TGR, mountainbuzz, and this one(!) often come up with suggestions.
6. Looking at google satellite views can be helpful!
7. If you're willing to hike in, you'll be able to make your own place to sleep. LNT!

Have fun!

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Re: Chaffee County 390

Postby J-RockandRockpile » Mon Sep 10, 2012 8:07 am

keith_stone wrote:I was wondering about in general, for any dispersed camping on national forest land. I understand that you cant camp on private property, just curious if their is a source where I can find out where I could camp prior to driving up there and looking around for private property / camping allowed signs.

Thanks.



No joke once you are up there you CAN'T miss the camp sites. They are all over the place, you don't really need a map before hand just drive up 390 - find your trailhead and then go adventure until you find a spot...
I have been to the top of the mountain, and it is good

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Re: Chaffee County 390

Postby keith_stone » Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:21 am

Cool thanks folks!

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