Camping with kids

Tagalong

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Looking to take the kids camping in Colorado this summer instead of a beach trip. Any recommendations on last minute places? I backpacked into unit 76 during second rifle last yeah near pagosa but am hoping to get a little farther north. Maybe telluride area. Any suggestions on units that we may be able to camp in? Also, what are the rules for roadside camping in national forest units?
 

DenverCountryBoy

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Dispersed Camping is what you're looking for. It's allowed most areas, but not all. Check the Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) of the area you are looking at. The legend will show what no dispersed camping symbol looks like. I believe it was dots along the road line.

Also check the fire warning levels. Everything is hot and dry right now. Open flames are likely banned.
 

Razz

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Also check the fire warning levels. Everything is hot and dry right now. Open flames are likely banned.
Agree with this. Indications are it is going to be a busy fire season.

As you get closer watch the InciWeb site InciWeb for fires in the area you want to visit. We used it quite a bit a few years ago on a trip to Glacier. Avoided problem areas and tried to stay upwind of smoke a we camped our way home.
 

Elkfitness

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Telluride would be a fun place for the kids. I spent a week outside of town in a random basin there two years ago with mine. Look up the mines and the trails. Lots of cool basins to get up to where you can camp. I think alta lakes or mine was an are to explore. You can camp off the road on forest service roads. But, as someone said, keep any eye on fire bans.


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Tagalong

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Agree with this. Indications are it is going to be a busy fire season.

As you get closer watch the InciWeb site InciWeb for fires in the area you want to visit. We used it quite a bit a few years ago on a trip to Glacier. Avoided problem areas and tried to stay upwind of smoke a we camped our way home.
Thanks for the tip on the site. I assumed a fire ban but a place to check for active fires is great!

Question, does the open flame thing also refer to butane or propane camp stoves and/or lanterns?
 

Elkfitness

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I could be wrong, but as I understand the bans (and there are varying levels), stoves are fine, open fires are a no. We bring a propane fueled fire pit up with us that is portable. Kids get some fire and heat, and we are within the rules. We’ve had forest service guys come by with no issues.


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Razz

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Nestled between the Tetons & the Big Holes
Thanks for the tip on the site. I assumed a fire ban but a place to check for active fires is great!

Question, does the open flame thing also refer to butane or propane camp stoves and/or lanterns?
Typically it does not apply to camp stoves and lanterns. You can check each particular National Forest and the Ranger District in that forest for specifics on their website. I have also seen info posted at the various FS offices and at some campsites, but not always. If in doubt, call the ranger district office listed and ask.
 

D_Dubya

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Lots of dispersed camping areas around there, but it it’s anything like last summer every car camping spot along the road might be occupied. I went through the Lake City area last August trying to find a spot to camp and I’ve never seen half as many folks in the NF as were out then. Literally could not find an unoccupied spot to pull into - and not just on the Alpine loop. I had to go further north to one of my honey holes to escape the crowds. Hopefully it will be a little less nuts this year with other vacation options opening back up.
 
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