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Friedbrie
LSU Fan
Abita Springs
Member since Jun 2018
588 posts

Road Trip - NF Road Camping & Scenic Drives Between Colorado Springs & SLC
Any recommendations on NF roads for camping and scenic routes to take on the way to SLC? I usually take my Subaru for the AWD when we go but this time it'll be the Mazda 3 so I'll be more restricted. Last year we went to the San juans so its been a little while since we've been through central Colorado. Never been on Hwy 40 through Steamboat as google recommends hwy 40 or I-70. Also, any remmendations for the Wasatch and Unita ranges? Very excited about seeing those mountains!

Plan on going through 4 corners on the way back.


Thanks!


Shexter
Prairieville
Member since Feb 2014
7293 posts

re: Road Trip - NF Road Camping & Scenic Drives Between Colorado Springs & SLC
quote:

Plan on going through 4 corners on the way back.


4 corners was meh... If you haven't been, make a stop at Mesa Verde NP. Those cliff dwellings are amazing.



Friedbrie
LSU Fan
Abita Springs
Member since Jun 2018
588 posts

re: Road Trip - NF Road Camping & Scenic Drives Between Colorado Springs & SLC
Yeah, we've been through that area a good bit. MESA Verde is awesome! May camp around Mancos on the way back.


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8thyearsenior
Houston Astros Fan
Centennial, CO
Member since Mar 2006
4041 posts
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re: Road Trip - NF Road Camping & Scenic Drives Between Colorado Springs & SLC
Unless Mesa Verde is doing the tours I would push that out. If you are traveling with kids who want to see 4 corners then go if not it sucks. Look at a picture online and call it good.

How much time are you wanting to take to get to SLC? There are many ways to skin this cat depending on how much time you wanna take.

40 west of the boat is meh but you could drive the flat tops over to Meeker from there. Plenty of camping and scenery that way. Then you could head south into Rifle past the falls and hook back up with 70 there.

If you wanna do central CO you could take 24 over to 285 into BV then over reopened Cottonwood Pass. Follow the Taylor Reservoir then cross over into CB. Camp north of Almont or over by Lake Irwin. Then drive over Kebler Pass to Paonia and either head towards Montrose or Carbondale....

If Montrose way go to ridgeway and head west to Moab that way.

Need to know how long you wanna take to plan this and what you wanna do on the way.


Friedbrie
LSU Fan
Abita Springs
Member since Jun 2018
588 posts

re: Road Trip - NF Road Camping & Scenic Drives Between Colorado Springs & SLC
A couple of years ago we camped north of Taylor Reservoir and also in the old aspens of Keebler pass. Man, those two places I'll never forget.

How would you compare the Meeker option say vs the Taylor Res/Keebler option? We're just gonna camp out of the car for 2 days on the way to SLC, maybe hit a river. Never drove Boat-Meeker-rifle.

Also, you familiar with the SLC area? A night camping there would be ideal too. I've never been in those mountains.
This post was edited on 6/26 at 11:15 am


8thyearsenior
Houston Astros Fan
Centennial, CO
Member since Mar 2006
4041 posts
 Online 

re: Road Trip - NF Road Camping & Scenic Drives Between Colorado Springs & SLC
Flat tops are dope. The dirt road through starts in Yampa and ends in Meeker. There’s like 100 lakes and ponds in the area. Plenty of dispersed camping and a few sites. If you haven’t been I highly recommend it. Amazing views, hikes, and fishing.

From Meeker you’d take 8 down into the White River National Forest then meet up with 217. The Rifle Mtn Park is cool for climbing and Rifle Falls is neat to see.

They just paved the west side of Cottonwood Pass and that area is nice also. You could head down to Spring Creek area and camp there. Spring Creek Reservoir is full of dumb fish.

Another great camp spot is Lake Irwin on the CB side of Kebler. It has a real campground but the dispersed behind it is where it’s at. If you do that you could head over the pass then go north over McClure pass then head into Marble. Eat at Slow Groovin bbq(get the wings), then check out the Crystal Mill. Redstone campground north of there on the way to Carbondale is nice. Redstone has a good pizza place also. Maybe take this route home.

Never been to SLC actually. Was supposed to go snowboarding in Park City this year but Covid


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Member since Feb 2017
796 posts

re: Road Trip - NF Road Camping & Scenic Drives Between Colorado Springs & SLC
I have found that www.freecampsites.net is a good resource for boondocking on BLM land out west. I have used it for numerous road trips.


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TxWadingFool
Texas A&M Fan
Middle Coast
Member since Sep 2014
2560 posts

re: Road Trip - NF Road Camping & Scenic Drives Between Colorado Springs & SLC
After canceling Italy, Florida, and Roatan so far this year this looks like the next trip to get the hell out of town and unplug for a week +. I'll start researching further this week, we'll be looking at late July, what kind of weather and temps would we be looking at on these off the beaten path roads this time of year? Thinking of flying into Denver renting a SUV and heading NW, just the wife and I, late 40's,not interested in getting on the interstate and hauling arse to a certain destination, rather get off the main roads and just drive and stop where we want. Fly fish at lakes or walk in spots on the rivers, hike moderate trails to Falls or lakes, see wildlife, etc. Any recommendations of where to start looking would be greatly appreciated, hope I'm not hijacking your thread OP. TIA


Friedbrie
LSU Fan
Abita Springs
Member since Jun 2018
588 posts

re: Road Trip - NF Road Camping & Scenic Drives Between Colorado Springs & SLC
No worries, man! We just stopped in Salida, CO before heading to our VRBO. Safe journeys to yall! Spent a little time at the Sand Dunes and man was it packed. Its been years since I've been there though but I've never seen it that packed there.




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8thyearsenior
Houston Astros Fan
Centennial, CO
Member since Mar 2006
4041 posts
 Online 

re: Road Trip - NF Road Camping & Scenic Drives Between Colorado Springs & SLC
For that type trip I would head north to Ft Collins the. Cut west along the Poudre. Beautiful canyon that had a fire a few years ago. Follow it to State Forest State Park which has the largest moose population in the state. From there I’d head over to Steamboat then over to the Flat Tops area. Temps generally will be low to mid 70s during the day then mid 40s at night depending on elevation so basically paradise.

Not sure how much time you have and what the wife is in to but if you just wanna catch trout and be away from people then this is the route.

State Forest State Park has some really cool hikes and dirt roads. RMNP actually runs into it at the back of the Never Summer Range. It’s off the beaten path for most but one of my favorite areas. You’re coming too late to do it but my favorite rafting trip cuts down from Wyoming into Colorado near there.


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Friedbrie
LSU Fan
Abita Springs
Member since Jun 2018
588 posts

re: Road Trip - NF Road Camping & Scenic Drives Between Colorado Springs & SLC
quote:

The dirt road through starts in Yampa and ends in Meeker. There’s like 100 lakes and ponds in the area. Plenty of dispersed camping and a few sites. If you haven’t been I highly recommend it.


Hey 8thyearsenior, is this a forest rd? Does it have a number? Is it OK for a Mazda 3?


8thyearsenior
Houston Astros Fan
Centennial, CO
Member since Mar 2006
4041 posts
 Online 

re: Road Trip - NF Road Camping & Scenic Drives Between Colorado Springs & SLC
It’s a scenic byway so it’s a state road. It’s a mix of dirt and gravel and fine for any car.


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