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Unread 03-15-2014, 06:55 AM   #1
Tneagle
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Colorado Vacation Suggestions

Hi all, My first post here & my first Jeep ever. Recently purchased a 2011 Sahara Wrangler. Wife and I are switching from being motorcyclist to Jeepsters. We live in Bristol, TN and are planning a vacation this summer to Colorado. We want to do some off roading (beginner's stuff) and hiking around. We will have a week to spend in Colorado. We will probably tent/cabin/or posible rent a popup while there. Here's the big questions: First, what month is best for being able to have the top down and enjoy the sites with good weather? Next is there a favorite place to go where we can see and enjoy the most in a week or maybe a couple of areas we must go. We realize that 7 days isn't going to cover much so where would you outdoor lovers go if you only had a week to spend? Any campground preferences would also be appreciated. Thanks!

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Unread 03-15-2014, 08:15 AM   #2
bobjp
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You could go to the San Juan mountain area: Telluride, Ouray, Silverton. There's plenty of offroading that any Jeep can handle. Also plenty of hiking/biking to do.

I went out there in July last summer. Temperatures were comfortable because of the high elevation.

I left on a Friday after work from Michigan, and returned 10 days later on a Monday having stayed with some family for one day on the way back. I arrived in Ouray on Sunday night, and left the area on Friday night. I would have liked to stay longer, but that's all my vacation time would allow. It was still worth it.

It was 23 hours of driving one way for me, and would be 25 hours for you. It's a long drive, but you have your wife to help with driving (I did it by myself). Still worth it.

I camped the entire time, never staying in the same spot twice. You could maintain the same camp site for your duration, but that could result in you doing a lot of back tracking to your campsite at the end of the day. It depends on how much of the area you want to see.
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Unread 03-15-2014, 07:55 PM   #3
colojeepguy
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X2 on the San Juans.
Most of Colorado west of I25 is scenic, but that area is in a class by itself. Lots of mining, railroad, & native American history too, if you're into that.
Most of the trails in the area are doable in a stock Jeep. Just keep a cool head on the shelf roads!!
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Unread 03-16-2014, 08:32 AM   #4
CrustySprings
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If you get a chance, come visit us in the Gunnison-Crested Butte area. Paradise Basin up above Crested Butte is one of the most scenic spots in the region. It is a little challenging but not too bad at all. (if you are a Jeep newbie, stay off of Schofield Pass down into Marble) A trip to Lake Irwin out of Crested Butte is a nice half day trip and very tame. Day trips to Lake City and over Slumgullion Pass are awfully nice too. Thankfully, we have had a lot of snow this year. We need it for the Spring runoff and the reduced fire danger risk. Most high mountain passes in our area may not open until after the 4th of July, so plan accordingly. In my opinion, August seems to be the best month for Jeeping in Colorado. The snow is usually gone from the trails and most families with kids have gone home to start the new school year so the trails aren't nearly as crowded.

Crusty
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Unread 03-16-2014, 02:54 PM   #5
Tneagle
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This is great info guys. Especially August being the best time to go. Keep it coming!
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Unread 03-16-2014, 08:49 PM   #6
Indy
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Garden of the gods is supposed to be nice.
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Unread 03-16-2014, 08:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Indy View Post
Garden of the gods is supposed to be nice.
It's a must see. We spent a few hours there in 2012, we saw a bear. I've been there many times, but had never seen a bear there. The fires in Waldo Canyon (I think it was) chased a lot of animals down into the park.

Stopping to see Royal Gorge, on the way to Ouray, is good too...all though all the buildings were burnt down last year.

I can't wait to wheel some trails in the Ouray area....it's absolutely beautiful out there.
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Unread 03-18-2014, 07:15 PM   #8
MountainMan864
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Just rent a nice hotel in Denver and get baked all weekend. Sounds like a vacation to me.
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Unread 03-19-2014, 09:03 AM   #9
fundabug
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrustySprings View Post
If you get a chance, come visit us in the Gunnison-Crested Butte area. Paradise Basin up above Crested Butte is one of the most scenic spots in the region. It is a little challenging but not too bad at all. (if you are a Jeep newbie, stay off of Schofield Pass down into Marble) A trip to Lake Irwin out of Crested Butte is a nice half day trip and very tame. Day trips to Lake City and over Slumgullion Pass are awfully nice too. Thankfully, we have had a lot of snow this year. We need it for the Spring runoff and the reduced fire danger risk. Most high mountain passes in our area may not open until after the 4th of July, so plan accordingly. In my opinion, August seems to be the best month for Jeeping in Colorado. The snow is usually gone from the trails and most families with kids have gone home to start the new school year so the trails aren't nearly as crowded.

Crusty

My wife and just drove to Colorado in the Jeep one summer. No plan, just for the hell of it. Drove from Kentucky to Colorado on all back roads with the top down, doors off. Found some dirt road up through the mountains. It kept crossing back and forth over some little railroad that took tourist up in the mountains. Not sure exactly the name of the area, but we ended up down in Gunnison after a couple of days camping up in the mountains. We got into town on the 4th of July found a little motel right next to a park in downtown Gunnison. Unbeknownst to us the town has quite a lively free fireworks show right there in the park. They closed the streets off at dusk, my wife and I walked over, pigged out on carnival food and watched a firework display I'll never forget. Sitting in the grass in a little town in the mountains with the locals, watching fireworks with the Rocky Mountains as a backdrop. We might as well been citizens of Gunnison that night, we were treated like neighbors. Everybody was very friendly. It was all just dumb luck that we ended up there on the 4th of July. We talked about going back one day, but are afraid that planning it would take away from the whole experience that made that such a memorable road trip. That was almost 10 years ago, don't know if it's still the same little town now.
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Unread 03-19-2014, 10:13 AM   #10
CrustySprings
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Gunnison still has a very nice fireworks show on the 4th of July every year. We drive up towards the college and sit on folding chairs to watch the show. It can get warm in the summer in Gunnison (70's-low 80's) but it cools off at night. We wear light jackets to watch the fireworks on the fourth. Not too far away up in the mountains, it can be in the 40's for overnight low temps in the summer.
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Unread 03-22-2014, 08:15 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by MountainMan864 View Post
Just rent a nice hotel in Denver and get baked all weekend. Sounds like a vacation to me.
Seriously? Maybe he can get a few hookers from E. Colfax too.
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Unread 03-28-2014, 10:03 AM   #12
pipelayer_99
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San Juans around Telluride/Ouray are awesome and my favorite place in CO so far. Go in late June, July, August and make sure to drive Hwy 550 and go to Silverton.
http://www.traildamage.com/google_colorado.php
http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserR...-Colorado.html
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