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 > Where do full timers go out west to escape the heat?

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Thunder Mountain

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Posted: 02/05/20 07:30am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ok... We are not full timers but thought this might be a good place to post our question. We are actually snowbirds but have sold our house in Colorado and are moving to Arizona. So, we will be leaving the summer heat for at least 4 months a year. As 40 year residents of Colorado, we know where to escape the summer heat in Colorado such as Buena Vista, Ouray, Silverton and Lake City. Looking for advice of places out west to go to.

We have a Jeep, ATV and our feet to explore back country places. Some very limited boondocking is ok. Really want to stay away from places like the Tetons, Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks. Have explored around Lander, Cody and Dubois Wyoming. We are virgins to Oregon, Washington, Idaho and most of Montana. Might want to stay up to a month in a single place.

Thanks in advance! Private messages welcome.


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older_fossil

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Posted: 02/05/20 08:07am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

IMHO, your best bets are along the coast or higher elevations. The coast along CA, OR and WA gets very crowed during summer and California campgrounds can get pretty expensive. There is some wonderful country to explore in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the Cascades. Parts of US-395 take you into some great country and high enough to avoid a lot of heat. Some of the mountains in Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and South Dakota are well worth visiting. Also spend some time exploring around the Black Hills in South Dakota.

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jdc1

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Posted: 02/05/20 08:22am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Flagstaff....the mountains up there are 20-30 degrees cooler than the basin (Phoenix).
If you want to go anywhere in California to escape the heat, you'll need reservations 6 months in advance.

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Posted: 02/05/20 08:23am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Flagstaff....the mountains up there are 20-30 degrees cooler than the basin (Phoenix).
If you want to go anywhere in California to escape the heat, you'll need reservations 6 months in advance.

PawPaw_n_Gram

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Posted: 02/05/20 08:27am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yes, along the coast is a great idea. Also try to stay above 5,000 ft.

Avoid the basins between the west coast mountain ranges and the Rockies.

The Great Lakes area can be nice most of the summer. And the Appalacian's or east coast.

Believe it or not, but everything I've experienced and seen on forums is that the campgrounds on the east coast are more crowded than the west coast in the summer. A lot more families and kids out of school.

Try to make a plan, and hopefully be able to reserve Memorial Day, 4th of July and Labor Day weekends. Reservations are not that essential in may places the rest of the year, if you are willing to dry camp a few days.

Every year about this time, those of us from Texas see many threads about the best places to camp in Texas in the summer.

For most Texans, the best place to be in the summer is Colorado.


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Thunder Mountain

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Posted: 02/05/20 08:43am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

PawPaw_n_Gram wrote:

Yes, along the coast is a great idea. Also try to stay above 5,000 ft.

Avoid the basins between the west coast mountain ranges and the Rockies.

The Great Lakes area can be nice most of the summer. And the Appalacian's or east coast.

Believe it or not, but everything I've experienced and seen on forums is that the campgrounds on the east coast are more crowded than the west coast in the summer. A lot more families and kids out of school.

Try to make a plan, and hopefully be able to reserve Memorial Day, 4th of July and Labor Day weekends. Reservations are not that essential in may places the rest of the year, if you are willing to dry camp a few days.

Every year about this time, those of us from Texas see many threads about the best places to camp in Texas in the summer.

For most Texans, the best place to be in the summer is Colorado.


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ppine

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Posted: 02/05/20 09:01am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The Coast is cooler. So are the mountains. Look at some weather data and then decide.

BarbaraOK

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Posted: 02/05/20 09:06am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Western Washington. Try the Bellingham area (Birch Bay). We spend several weeks there every summer, you can do day trips all over the place (Mt Baker, San Juan Islands, Vancouver BC). Olympic Peninsula is another good place for exploring and doesn't get to warm. And the Oregon coast is great - - just get somewhere before the holiday weekends, but otherwise cool. Long Beach in Washington state is a good place to explore. And then there is Mt. Rainer/Mt. St Helens (stay in Randall, WA and see both), Mt. Hood. Even Eastern Washington, which gets hot in the summer, will be better than being in AZ for June-August.


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RedRocket204

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Posted: 02/05/20 10:13am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

As mentioned, the PNWet, far north CA, OR, WA and ID. If you're going to try and stay on the coast, be prepared to be turned away without reservations, so get them if you can. Also on the PNW coast, be prepared for wind, overcast and cold even during the summer... but it can be beautiful.

Although not necessarily escaping the heat, if you're in OR, make sure and spend some time near John Day, go to the Painted Hills NPs.


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winniman

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Posted: 02/05/20 01:20pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I met some folks from Arizona when I was down there last winter. They said they went to Minnesota in the summer. They called themselves sandbirds, the opposite of snowbirds.

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