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RE: Substancial deposit required

We stay in NP's NF's, and a few SP's. They all require payment in full and will refund if you cancel (with a fee, usually around $8). So for our trip next summer, I've basically already paid for all our camping (except for those outside the six month window). So my bill for the camping will come soon and the bill for all the other expenses (gas, food, etc) will come in July, August, etc. Kind of spreads the pain out a little.
4runnerguy 01/16/20 05:22pm RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Northern Utah and Idaho in 2020

Getting pretty late to book in Yellowstone Park itself. You might be able to cobble together camping in several different campgrounds by moving every couple of days. First come first served CG's in the park are tough to get into and it often means waiting at the CG entrance by 7:00 in the morning. There are private CG's in West Yellowstone and also a few NFS CG's north of West Yellowstone. The downside of those places is the line at the west entrance to get into the park every morning. Wherever you decide for Yellowstone, I'd get reservations NOW (today!!!). For Glacier, we stayed at Apgar on the west side a couple of years ago and didn't have a problem getting a spot. With the time you have alloted for this trip, I'd also try to stay on the east side as well as the two sides are different. You can check for resevations at Many Glacier but you have to get them at 8:00 a.m. MST six months out. So if you can get a spot tomorrow it will be for July 17th. I didn't have luck with the push the enter button lottery last time I tried. Resevations are also available at St. Mary at the east entrance main road. Many Glacier and Two Medicine both sit on lakes at the end of glacially carved canyons and have amazing settings. Lines for the First Come First Served can start before 7:00 a.m. for busy times in the summer. THe NPS has a really handy webpage that shows the fill times for the CG's in the park. You can look at any specific date for a given year or get the average fill time for the last five years. CG fill time info Click on the individual CG then on the month you want to look at. BTW you can't tow across Logan Pass so you'll have to take US 2 around the south end of the park. Plan a day to move.
4runnerguy 01/16/20 05:18pm RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Ouray, CO- Ouray RV Park and Ouray KOA-Recommendations

As far as timing on when passes open, check out Bushducks. They have info people have posted as to the status of a lot of the trails here in CO. You can also research prior years by clicking on the appropriate link. Lots of good info can be gleaned here.
4runnerguy 12/14/19 11:02pm RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Yellowstone 2020

In late May you probably won't face the huge crowds one sees later in the summer. But you may find your explorations somewhat limited because of lingering snow. My mother worked at Old Faithful for more than a decade and I remember pictures she had taken in mid-May and they had dug through the six feet of snow to get to the front doors of the store. Not like that every year, but snow will undoubtably still be around. Parking near Old Faithful won't be a problem with your rig as there's a huge parking lot there. There are big rig places to park in Mammoth and you can hike from there. Same with Canyon although not at Inspiration Point. I remember there being RV/bus parking at Artist Point on the south rim of the canyon. You'll be challenged when it somes to some of the other geyser basins. Parking near the Grand Prismatic Spring is particularly difficult, even in a car, as there simply aren't enough spots. I don't know if you have or use them, but bikes are an amazing way to get around and avoid some of the parking crowds. When we were there in mid-July parking at places like the Lower Geyser Basin was backed up a long ways. We simply drove a mile or so up the road, found a paved pull-off, got on our bikes and rode back to the parking lot. (Traffic is pretty slow so really not very threatening) Locked our bikes, hiked the trails, and got back to our bikes. We saw cars still waiting to park that were in line when we got there. Bikes are also really handy around Old Faithful. One can ride along the old road from Old Faithful out to Morning Glory Pool. We would check on the predicted eruption schedule in the Visitors Center, then ride out the road, park and lock, then hike to the geyser. Had several people offer to rent our bikes when they saw how much walking we saved. One more thing: if at all possible try to get that 18 year old to go along. As you know Yellowstone is one of the marvels of the world. She won't be disappointed (although I can't promise how the drive out and back might be! ;) )
4runnerguy 12/02/19 09:16pm Roads and Routes
RE: Road Trip! BC to California

OP wants to do a MH trip. We should answer his question.Then maybe we should suggest someplace closer for spring break. The OP may not have truly considered the distance/time constraints and the nightmare of driving an RV in Los Angeles. My answers to these kinds of questions always skew toward making sure the children have fun. Parents can sometimes lose sight of that in their desire to use their RV's. I don't think I've ever met a kid that would give up a day at the beach, a day at the zoo, a day at SeaWorld and maybe another day at Disneyland :D for four 8 to 10 to 12 hour days of sitting in an RV going down the highway. :(
4runnerguy 11/19/19 10:50am Roads and Routes
RE: Road Trip! BC to California

Another vote for flying vs. driving. Half or more of your trip just staring at the windshield. And driving your rig around LA wouldn't be fun at all. Maybe you've driven in Calgary or Vancouver but neither of those hold a candle to the mayhem and madness of driving in and around L.A. Besides, there's a whole lotta other things to do in and around the area once you get there. And San Diego also has great attractions. Head to the beach, Seaworld, the San Diego Zoo (world class). Spend your time doing things your kids will remember other than spending days in the coach.
4runnerguy 11/18/19 12:20pm Roads and Routes
RE: WA 20 or US 2 across the Cascades summer 2020?

If you are in Washington later in July, the wild blackberries may be ripe, especially at the lower elevations. Bring leather gloves, ziplock bags, and long sleeves. Major thorns. But incredibly delicious -- the fresh picked stuff tastes nothing like store-bought berries.Thanks for the heads up. We'll keep an eye out as we're hiking. I imagine they grow at lower elevations rather than further up the mountain trail? We have a variety of different berries around us here in Colorado but I've never heard of anyone finding blackberries. Funny story. I was visiting my dad out in WA back in 1990. In the store I saw marionberry pies for sale. Now I had not heard of marionberries before so I just assumed it was some sort of joke about Marion Berry, the mayor of D.C. who had been arrested for cocaine possession. My dad then let me know that marionberries were indeed a type of blackberry.
4runnerguy 11/18/19 09:35am Roads and Routes
RE: WA 20 or US 2 across the Cascades summer 2020?

The Winthrop area is a mtn biking mecca - not bad for road bikes and fat/snow riding as well. On the phone, the MTB Project app is handy. There's also a hiking version. More and more places are getting to be mountain bike meccas. Towns now realize that mountain bikers aren't just a bunch of 20 y.o. stoners but a good number of older riders who spend money in town. In some ways figuring out which hikes to do is easier than which mountain bike trail systems to visit. Besides MTB Project, we also use the Trailforks app. Obviously lots of overlap but each has trails that aren't on the other. I like how you can see where you are on the map so when you get to a junction, you can figure out which way to go. Thanks all for suggestions. A common theme does seem to be to stop for ice cream in Winthrop!
4runnerguy 11/17/19 09:11pm Roads and Routes
RE: WA 20 or US 2 across the Cascades summer 2020?

Thanks all for your input. Sounds like WA 20 may be our choice. Try to spend as much time as you can along 20 -- many, many world-class day hikes in North Cascades NP. Great backpacking, too, although I have never done it. Nice blog post. It's interesting that you did some of the same hikes I have put in our list of things to do. Part of our trip planning is to mix days of mountain biking and days of hiking. I found this amazing website on hikes in Washington: Washington Hike Map The trouble is we only have maybe 10 days in WA so trying to narrow the right hikes down is pretty tough with all the choices. I do wish I could find a similarly high quality resource like the Washington Hiking Map for other states too. Well done site.
4runnerguy 11/16/19 11:27am Roads and Routes
RE: WA 20 or US 2 across the Cascades summer 2020?

It is the time it that the highway closes. watch weather we already had snow.I forgot to say that I'm planning next summers trip. Hopefully the snow will be cleared off the road by July! thanks for the input.
4runnerguy 11/12/19 09:59pm Roads and Routes
WA 20 or US 2 across the Cascades summer 2020?

We've never done either of these roads! Have had them on our list in the past but forest fires caused a change in plans. So if were only going to do one or the other, which would you choose? We'll be travelling west to east. We may plan an extra day or two on whichever one we travel to do some hiking.
4runnerguy 11/12/19 05:59pm Roads and Routes
RE: Has anyone stopped for the night at Avon CO

Thank you 4runnerguy!! That gives me several places to look. We want to go up for Vail Snow days but only for one or two nights. My teen boys want to see the band Modest Mouse who is playing up there for free. Just the cost of lodging - but lodging, of course, can be very expensive during ski season. So if the weather would hold out, we could take our travel trailer up (live just southeast of Denver) Then if the weather gets bad, we don't have the risk of late cancellations etc. I hope it works out - the boys really want to see the band and free is awesome!!Obviously the Gore Creek CG is closed by then. They also gate the BLM sites. Just drove by Gypsum today and they haven't yet, but when the snow flies they do. One thing you're going to have to figure out is what to do with the trailer when you're at the concert. Not really anyplace in Vail to park it while you're at the concert. So I guess you'd go up earlier in the day and drop it somewhere? At least by the time the concerts get going, parking in the Village Parking structure is free (after 3:00 p.m.) Not too much of a walk from there. Another option is River Dance RV Park just west of Gypsum. It is open all year. They have a cancellation policy where you'd lose a night if you don't go, but they're not full this time of year anyway, so just call the night before you want to go and make reservations only when you're sure about the weather. I think they're minimum is $45, but having electricity to plug into is nice. We take a couple of electric heaters to keep warm rather than burning our propane. Taking your skis/snowboards too?
4runnerguy 11/12/19 05:52pm RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Has anyone stopped for the night at Avon CO

Maybe the manager might let you stay, but I wouldn't count on it. Signs all over the parking lot and I've not seen anyone camped there when I've stopped in. A few other options: Gore Creek CG is at the east end of Vail up a canyon right off I-70. NFS CG that takes reservations so you know you'll have a place if you arrive late. Just past Wolcott is a BLM campground called, of all things, Wolcott. I think it's $10 per night. Gets real busy on summer weekends as rafters use it as a base camp to float the Eagle. But might have availability mid-week. No reservations, pit toilets. Right on the river, so a nice setting. Exit at Wolcott (157), north 1/4 mile to the frontage road, left (west) about two miles. CG on right. Another BLM CG is just past Gypsum, also with the clever name of Gypsym. Near the river but not as close as Wolcott. Pit Toilets, no reservations. Exit at Gypsum (140), south to the round-about, first right onto the frontage road, then 1 1/2 miles to the CG on left. There's a Walmart Supercenter in Rifle, about 1 1/2 hours west of Vail. You might have better luck with overnighting there. I just can't remember if there are signs there. FYI: the rest areas at Edwards and at Rifle have free dump stations (in season). They're closed for now until spring. The Rifle rest area might be a better choice than Edwards for a place to park for a little while. Drive around the loop where the bathrooms are then on your way back out there's a area where trucks often pull off and there are picnic tables there. While at the Edwards rest area you'd be parking side by side with the trucks, at Eagle it would be front to back.
4runnerguy 11/11/19 11:19am RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Ghost Towns

Some more in Colorado: St. Elmo SW of Buena Vista. Graded gravel road primarily following an old railroad grade. You can continue on the road up toward Hancock for another 6 or so miles and there are various mining ruins along the road. Once you cross the creek, there's a trailhead where you can walk to the east portal of the Alpine Tunnel (about three miles). Bonanza at the NW corner of the San Luis Valley. Graded gravel road but easy driving. Gothic north of Crested Butte. Just a few buildings here, but the wildflowers in July and August are some of the best anywhere in the nation. Again, an easy graded gravel road. Marble, CO. The marble quarry here supplied the stones for some of the buildings in D.C. Also do the loop through Redstone on your way here (it's a one lane street on the other side of the river from the highway). Some charcoal kilns right beside the highway. Paved road all the way to Marble. There are lots of smaller ghost towns above Cripple Creek. Cripple Creek itself has legalized gambling which has kind of changed the complexion of the town. But as employees looked for housing, some other towns like Victor have been preserved and restored to an extent. Lots of paved roads up here and many of the others are well maintained gravel roads. Same can be said for Blackhawk and Central City. Lots of smaller ghost towns in the surrounding hills. All along US 550 between Ouray and Silverton there are mining ruins visible across the valley. There are also a few right along the highway like at the view area about 1 1/2 miles north of Red Mountain Pass. If you're serious about seeing lots of ghost towns and mining ruins, rent a jeep in Ouray or Silverton and take a day to explore those back roads. Pretty interesting stuff. As boogie 4-wheel mentioned, head to Nevada to see a lot of ghost towns without the crowds around.
4runnerguy 11/07/19 09:50am RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Camping near Moab, Utah

https://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fuseaction/thread/tid/29448394.cfm Ken has pretty good info .............Glad it's back up and working. Tried to link to it a week or so ago and the first page wouldn't load. Heck, that's where all the good info is. Just got back from Moab yesterday. Think we made it out just in time. Got down to 19 last night at the airport and they're predicting lows in the teens again starting Tuesday night. Brrr!
4runnerguy 10/28/19 08:34am RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Texas to Ridgway CO late November

Possibly I might be crazy, but thinking of Ridgway CO during Thanksgiving week. Weather wise, is it a big gamble this time of year? Need a campground that has electricity cause we'd be going in a pop-up and need to be able to run a couple of space heaters. We've camped at Dead Horse Point in Moab during Thanksgiving and even with two space heaters going in our PUP, it got a little uncomfortable when the temps got into the mid 20's at night. The average low in Ridgway is around 15 degrees that time of year. If you decide to go, I'd take electric blankets. And if you're follicly challenged like me (thinning hair), wear a stocking cap to bed. For your route, if the weather and/or roads look iffy on Monarch Pass, head west on I-40 to Albuquerque, north on US 550 to Durango, west on US 160 to Cortez, north on US 491 to CO 141 to CO 145 then east back to Ridgway. This route will avoid some of the higher passes, although you should still keep an eye out for snow storms. They do get the roads cleared reasonably quickly but you might have to wait a day if a big storm rolls through.
4runnerguy 10/17/19 11:14am Roads and Routes
RE: Camping near Moab, Utah

Spring is a great time to go but everyone else also knows that. Can be incredibly busy. Do avoid the week before Easter (April4 4-12, 2020) as this is the week of the Moab Jeep Safari. You'll find Moab busy from mid-March through the end of May.
4runnerguy 10/17/19 10:56am RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Traveling in Oregon

The town in CO where my co-worker went and smelled it strongly downtown was Colorado Springs. Kind of amazing since Colorado Springs is about the most conservative town in the state.
4runnerguy 10/11/19 01:29pm RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Traveling in Oregon

In our travels, we've found usage in CG's about the same in states where it's legal as in states where it's not. When it was legalized, the place we noticed the usage increase here in Colorado was skiing. Seems a lot of out-of-state people want to experience the Rocky Mountain High! I'm not sure what the OP's concerns were but we've found alcohol to be at the root of unruly campers far more than those getting high. What's interesting is that I've discovered a significant number of Coloradoans in their 50's, 60's, and 70's partake, mostly at home. Haven't heard if they get an AARP discount! ;)
4runnerguy 10/09/19 04:39pm RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions
RE: Tuolumne Meadows Campgrounds is closed for the season.

And my little trailer (2500 lbs, fully loaded) could be pulled by a mountain bike. You're obviously more manly than me! :D
4runnerguy 10/08/19 06:34pm Public Lands, Boondocking and Dry Camping
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