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Tent Camping in Crested Butte or Gunnison?

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Denver,CO
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Tent Camping in Crested Butte or Gunnison?

Hello! My husband and I are planning a 16 day camping trip in late July from our home in Denver throughout Colorado - We have found some great campsites in Durango, telluride, ouray but we are lost as to where to stay when we are in the Gunnison/CB area. We would love to go rafting, mountain/trail biking, and hang out in both of the towns. We would like to stay at a campsite close to one of the towns, but with very little RV's (or none, if possible!)and something within biking distance of restauants, markets, etc.

Also, anyone know of a good campsite in Glenwood Springs and Steamboat Springs? Same criteria (biking, close to towns)

Thank you so much!

Santa Fe, New Mexico
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for Santa Fe, Mesa Verde National Park, Boulder, New Mexico
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1. Re: Tent Camping in Crested Butte or Gunnison?

There are many forest service campgrounds in the area. North of Gunnison is Taylor Park Res. Also we camped somewhere east of Gunnison near Pitkin. Drove to the west entrance to the Alpine Tunnel

Manitou Springs...
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2. Re: Tent Camping in Crested Butte or Gunnison?

National Forest Campground "Gothic" on one end of Crested B. is good. You can bike along the Schofield Pass past Emerald Lake to Lead King Basin (Marble and Crystal City) although Lead King is a 4WD road, I see bikers all the time. (Do not drive Schofield) The direction to Crystal City would be pretty tough mountain biking. You would want to follow 315 to Lead King. Coming from Scholfield Pass you would hang a right in the loop and bike across a pure shell shelf road (a little unnerving in a 4WD) to Lead King. The scenery in Lead King is one of one the most spectacular in Colorado and the wildflowers in the basin will be incredible that the time you are there. There is also a nice 3 mile hiking trail head (you might be able to bike it) to Geneva Lake right outside of Lead King.

There is another hiking trail that takes you to a waterfall in the opposite direction from Gothic C.G. I think it takes you across Maroon Bells but I'm not sure. I never hiked it that far.

There are also a couple other N.F.C.G. along Kebler Pass. That would be a beautiful road to bike through the tall Aspens (dirt).

We usually camp at Bogan Flats N.F. campground just past Redstone (Hwy 133) and Marble and head up to Lead King Basin from there. The first couple of miles would be tough biking although bikers do it all the time. When you reach the fork of the loop where the road splits, (right takes you to Crystal City, left takes you to Lead King) veer left on 315 to take you to Lead King Basin. You can park in Marble at the beginning of the 4WD road or drive a couple miles into it and park somewhere near where the road forks to start biking. I guarantee you will not be disappointed in the scenery and wildflower display. The basin is surrounded by 14ners and has 3 waterfalls. It is a secret gem, so you will not run into too many people going into the basin. We also camp in the basin, but if you want to be able to easily get back to town, don't camp in the basin. It's very secluded and would take you a while to get back to Marble/Redstone and then back to your campsite.

The raging Crystal River comes back the c.g. and also into the basin. I've seen kayakers go past the camp ground. (not commercial rafting)There is fishing in the area too. Geneva Lake has fish also.

If you decide to do Lead King Basin, some other things to enjoy in the area is Redstone, Penny Hot Springs right off of hwy 133 right on Crystal River(look for a pull over between mile marker 52 & 53 or 53 & 54, somewhere near those markers) You'll have to get out of your car and walk to the edge to see it. Check out the Marble Quarry and there is a parking lot and hiking trail just before the entrance to the quarry. That's the only way you can actually see the quarry. On your way to Marble, and around Carbondale, stop for lunch at Woody's Creek Tavern (between Aspen and Carbondale) or breakfast on Main St. Carbondale for breakfast stop at The Village Smithy. Both of these restaurants have websites. Check them out on the internet. Local favorites and both are unique.

Would love to hear from you if you do try any of the places and what you think.

Manitou Springs...
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3. Re: Tent Camping in Crested Butte or Gunnison?

Forgot to tell you...you mentioned Glenwood Springs area. Carbondale is the center location for Marble/Redstone area, about 10 miles from Aspen and only 12 miles from Glenwood Springs. So you can spend several days in the area by staying at Bogan Flats and biking Lead King, hiking to Geneva Lake out of the basin, visit Redstone and eat some great ice cream, bathe in the primitive Penny Hot springs, visit Glenwood Springs, Aspen, and the unique restaurants I mentioned if you want a break from camp cooking. A weeks worth of things to do using Bogan Flats as your base camp.

Gunnison, Colorado
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4. Re: Tent Camping in Crested Butte or Gunnison?

Here's a couple more great camping spots:

Irwin Lake (NFS site)- hiking, fishing and biking the Dyke trail right out your door.

North Bank CG (NFS site): Doctor's Park hiking or biking right out of the campsite and is situated along the Taylor river where rafting and fishing are popular as is rock climbing...

Oh-be-joyfull (BLM site): just outside Crested Butte- bike the lower Loop to town, or hike into wilderness right from camp.

There's a million other options- just ask a local when you get there.

Denver
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5. Re: Tent Camping in Crested Butte or Gunnison?

Hello,

We live in Denver too, and are planning to take a two week "stay-cation" with our kids next summer. We are planning to drive and tent camp around Colorado. You mentioned that you know of some great campsites in Durango, Telluride and Ouray. Would you mind sharing that information please? Your reccomendations would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks so much!

Kristin

Santa Fe, New Mexico
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for Santa Fe, Mesa Verde National Park, Boulder, New Mexico
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6. Re: Tent Camping in Crested Butte or Gunnison?

Here's a few we love...

Morefield CG in Mesa Verde National Park

Cascade CG - Forest service west of Nathrop (near Buena Vista)

Moraine Park in RMNP

Lake Dillon forest service CG.

Steamboat Lake State Park

O'Haver Lake near Poncha Springs

Lathrop State Park

Golden Gate State Park

Twin Lakes and Turquoise Lake areas near Leadville

Wolf Creek Pass area forest service sites. (Tucker Ponds was a family favorite when I was a kid)

7. Re: Tent Camping in Crested Butte or Gunnison?

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