Colorado in October?

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ryanorr280

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The wife and I are planning to go to Rocky Mountain National Park, camp in the Forest surrounding the park the week of October 10th. Depending how much time we spend here, then head toward the ouray area on a big loop coming home.

My real question is, is this a feasible plan in October? This wasn’t out original destination plan. So it’s later in the year than I would’ve picked for a Colorado trip.

Also, where are the must see trails/areas around RMNP? Anything I definitely don’t want to miss? I saw many USFS campgrounds looking on gaia as well as I’m sure there are many others in the area.
 

tw1st3d5

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We're heading to SW CO Oct 1st-12th. We're expecting snow in the passes and at higher elevations. Everyone I've talked to said we should be ok but make sure you have alternate options.
 

ryanorr280

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That is basically what I was expecting. But it’s great to hear that others agree on it.

we are planning to be in Estes park on the 11th, then meander through during that week. No true dead set plans. So we are negotiable on paths we take.
 

old_man

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If it is open, do Fall River Road. Can be run in any higher clearance vehicle.
If you want something more challenging, try Coney Flats via Camp Dick.

With the current state of the fires, I would be surprised if RMNP is even open by then.
 

ryanorr280

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If it is open, do Fall River Road. Can be run in any higher clearance vehicle.
If you want something more challenging, try Coney Flats via Camp Dick.

With the current state of the fires, I would be surprised if RMNP is even open by then.
Yeah. I’m wondering that myself to be honest. We are planning as if it will. And have a contingency plan if it’s not. Lol
 

USStrongman

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I'm heading to Ouray/Silverton via Stony Pass and then onto the Rim Rocker to Moab. Leaving this Sunday. I was up there at Thanksgiving a few years ago and thats when they shut down SR550 going south out of Ouray due to snow for the fist time of the year.
 
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Leirbag

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It sounds like it's still feasible in mid-October. Anyone in Southern California interested in heading up to the Durango/Telluride/Silverton/Ouray area for a week or so?
 

tw1st3d5

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It sounds like it's still feasible in mid-October. Anyone in Southern California interested in heading up to the Durango/Telluride/Silverton/Ouray area for a week or so?
We're up in South Fork, CO right now. Last night we camped at 11400` and it got down to 12°. It was a bit chilly. Day time temps up in the higher elevations have been in the mid 50s but the sun is hot. At lower elevations it's in the upper 70s low 80s right now.

Just a heads up, elk season starts the 10th and from what people said about last year, be safe. Apparently it's been bad and people just shoot at anything that moves.
 

ryanorr280

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We're up in South Fork, CO right now. Last night we camped at 11400` and it got down to 12°. It was a bit chilly. Day time temps up in the higher elevations have been in the mid 50s but the sun is hot. At lower elevations it's in the upper 70s low 80s right now.

Just a heads up, elk season starts the 10th and from what people said about last year, be safe. Apparently it's been bad and people just shoot at anything that moves.
Thanks for the heads up on elk season. Being a non hunter, it rarely occurs to me how many hunters are out there. We carry orange hats to make sure we are seen when out and about
 

USStrongman

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You may want to keep p with this. RMNP has closed about 20-25% of the park trail systems and dispersed camping due to the Cameron fire. We were keeping up with the happenings all around Colorado when we there last week. We were south in the San Juan Mountains, but closures are happening everywhere. It is drier than I ahve ever seen it everywhere, including the Moab area.


The Cameron Peak Fire moved into Rocky Mountain National Park on Saturday, September 6, and has encompassed approximately 7,050 acres in the Cascade Creek, Hague Creek and Mummy Pass Creek drainages in steep thick beetle killed forests with significant standing dead trees as well as dead and down fuels.

Included in this closure:

  • Chapin Pass Trailhead
  • North Fork Trail
  • North Boundary Trail
  • Stormy Peaks Trail
  • Mummy Pass Trail
  • Commanche Peak Trail
  • Mirror Lake Trail
  • Poudre River Trail
  • Crater Trail
  • Colorado River Trail
  • Red Mountain Trail
  • Grand Ditch Access
  • Skeleton Gulch Trail
  • Thunder Pass Trail
  • Little Yellowstone Trail
  • Holzwarth Historic Site access beyond the historic site
Closed cross country travel zones include:

  • Cascade Creek
  • Cache La Poudre
  • South Cache La Poudre
  • Hague Creek
  • Mosquito Creek
Numerous wilderness campsites are also included in this closure area.
 

ryanorr280

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You may want to keep p with this. RMNP has closed about 20-25% of the park trail systems and dispersed camping due to the Cameron fire. We were keeping up with the happenings all around Colorado when we there last week. We were south in the San Juan Mountains, but closures are happening everywhere. It is drier than I ahve ever seen it everywhere, including the Moab area.

Thanks for the links.

I have been following the Cameron fire pretty closely. It definitely has limited what is going to be possible on this trip. Our plan is to start out the week at RMNP and decide from there where we end up. my original plan was the San Juan’s but the wife wanted RMNP, so I decided to start out there and see where we end up at. Hopefully it works out well, but time will tell.
 

USStrongman

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Another fire started at Purgatory Ski area between Durango and Silverton just yesterday. Sounds like they may have a handle on it though. I was just in Silverton/Telluride/Ouray/Montrose/Moab. Everywhere was pretty busy. Moab more than San Juans though. You can't go wrong heading to Silverton/Ouray. Lots of camping, but not lots of hotels available currently.
 

ryanorr280

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it’s crazy how many fires are going on. I sent a message to @old_man to see if the area of RMNP is smokey as I’m sure it is. We went to ouray 4 years ago. But only up from Durango, Silverton to animas forks and back to Silverton, then 550 to ouray as the Subaru was height limited. Lol.

we are likely heading that way at this point simply due to the fires. I haven’t heavily researched that area as far as dispersed camping, but I’m sure it’s not hard to find. I looked around on a couple apps this morning but that’s about all I’ve researched for it in that area so far
 

USStrongman

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Last week there was a northerly wind that pushed the smoke out of the west Gunnison Valley area for one night. Filled back up the next day. Smoke was omnipresent from Ouray to Montrose to Nucla to Gateway to Moab.
 
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ryanorr280

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We ended up making basically a big loop through CO. Started at RMNP, down through blackhawk, to grand junction for a room/shower, then ouray across corkscrew/hurricane/California/cinnamon pass to lake city. Onto creede for bachelor loop, i wanted to see the old mines along it as well as creede itself. then a stop in Albuquerque on the way home.

everywhere in Southwest was still busy. it was a great trip regardless.
 
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