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Camping in White River NF and Ouray/Silverton Area

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Prescott, AZ
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Camping in White River NF and Ouray/Silverton Area

Looking to reconnect with the beautiful Rockies after a very long absence, so want to get recommendations for the most beautiful campgrounds we can find.

A little background - we love nature and getting away from humans. We don't dig noisy or crowded spots tho we are willing to accept the realities of summer travelling.

Will be driving from Golden to Mesa Verde Natl Park second week of August. SO can head west on 70 then south, or take 285 south. Open to suggestions, however, for the most scenery we can squeeze in. Will have 3 nights to camp, and staying 2 nights in one place is always kinda nice. I visited Ouray when I was a kid so I'd like to camp there if the Amphitheater Campground (Natl Forest) is recommended.

Sure would appreciate some suggestions from folks that know and love the area!

thanks

Nancy in Prescott, AZ

Sarasota, Florida
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1. Re: Camping in White River NF and Ouray/Silverton Area

Nancy -- If you're on 70, obviously you'll have a gazillion other people travelling alongside you; 285 is both scenic and less crowded. There are quite a few campgrounds around the Mt. Princeton area (Buena Vista); that could be one night. Then 285 to 50 and over to Ridgway and Ouray. A nice spot is Ridgway State Park, though that's the most popular state park in Colorado. If that doesn't work, you could try Sunshine, just outside of Telluride. Another option would be to head further south; there are quite a few attractive campgrounds along 160 between Alamosa and Pagosa Springs. Or if you're willing to detour a little bit, some gorgeous and uncrowded sites along the Conejos River (and good fishing too); you'd reach it off of 160 or off of state route 17.

Prescott, AZ
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2. Re: Camping in White River NF and Ouray/Silverton Area

Great suggestions. Thank you!

Are you familiar with Amphitheater Campground, tho? I think it might be where I stayed as a kid and that would be a nice memory for me unless its not as great now as in my memory!!

nancy

Sarasota, Florida
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3. Re: Camping in White River NF and Ouray/Silverton Area

Nope, we've never camped in Amphitheatre, so I can't help you on that one. We've driven into Ridgway, but did not camp there either. We did camp in Sunlight, also Vallecito (near Durango), several places along the Conejos, a place near Creede, two others near the Sand Dunes and near Mt. Princeton, also off of 285 near Hoosier Pass, plus a bunch of places in the northern part of the state. But Amphiteatre eluded us.

Another campground I just noticed on the map that is near Ouray is Beaver Lake and Big Cimmaron; I wonder if you are remembering one of those? They're on a dirt road out of Ridgway just over Owl Creek Pass.

Prescott, AZ
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4. Re: Camping in White River NF and Ouray/Silverton Area

Thanks for all the suggestions!

North Platte...
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5. Re: Camping in White River NF and Ouray/Silverton Area

Howdy swami12,

I would head west on 70, on the west end of Vail (Minturn exit) I would head south on Hwy. 24 through Leadville until Hwy. 50 West to Montrose and south to Ouray. The Amphitheater campground is a nice choice overlooking Ouray. I drove through the camp last fall, and camped there around 10 years ago in the fall.

Will you be driving a car or motorhome?

The reason I ask is when you go south on Hwy 24 into Buena Vista, there is a nice drive west out of Buena Vista over Cottonwood Pass that brings you out between Gunnison and Crested Butte. The road changes to gravel at the top of Cottonwood Pass for about 10 to 12 miles down to Taylor Reservoir. It is a very good gravel road. I have seen RV's on here but would not recommend it.

Happy trails,

SandBilly

Prescott, AZ
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6. Re: Camping in White River NF and Ouray/Silverton Area

WE'll be in our truck so gravel road is no problem. Thanks for the confirmation on Amphitheater. I think that's the place!

nancy

7. Re: Camping in White River NF and Ouray/Silverton Area

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