April 18, 2019

Southern Colorado, Moab

Canyonlands National Park

Day 1. From Denver, travel on I-70 west for 345 miles to Moab, UT. If you prefer to break up the drive, a good place to stop would be the Colorado National Monument in Fruita, CO. Depending on the weather, this is a great place for a hike or to just relax and have some lunch. Continue on towards Moab. Take US 191 to Moab. There are several BLM roads on the East side of 191 with plenty of dispersed camping. If you take UT-313 towards Canyonlands National Park, there are several designated camping areas along this route. Along UT-279 (Potash) you will find some dispersed camping by the Colorado River.

Day 2-3. Canyonlands. Continue South on 191 to the entrance to Canyonlands National Park. See Canyonlands Park Service Map for hiking and camping. Next stop is Arches National Park. There is plenty of hiking and photographic opportunities inside the park.

Day 4. Arches and Negro Bill Canyon. From 191 South, turn left onto Arches Scenic Dr., also the entrance to Arches National Park. At the park entrance you will receive a park map and guide. All of the hiking opportunities will be on this map. After exploring Arches, exit the park and head south on 191. After approx. 3 miles turn left onto UT-128. Continue on 128 for approx. 5 miles to the parking lot for Negro Bill’s Canyon hike. This is an easy 4.2 mile round trip hike which affords awesome views photographic opportunities. From here, return to camping spot or find a new place to camp.

Day 5. Telluride. 132 miles. Enter telluride into the GPS. From Moab, continue south on 191to the junction of 191 and 46. Turn left (East). 46 turns into CO-90 once you cross the border into Colorado. Take 141 South at the junction then continue straight on 145 to telluride. Once in Telluride inquire about camping in the area at the Visitor Information Center. 700 W. Colorado Ave.

Day 6. Visit the Telluride Mountain Resort for information on self guided or Guided snowshoeing tours.

Day 7. Black Canyon of the Gunnison. 78.4 miles. From Telluride, Backtrack on 145 to CO-62 east to US-550 North. Continue through the town of Montrose. This is a good spot to fill up on propane, gas, water, ect. At Montrose, take US-50 East towards Gunnison. You will see the turn off for Black Canyon of the Gunnison. Inquire at the visitors center about camping and snowshoeing opportunities in the park.

Day 8. Buena Vista, CO. 145 miles. From the Black Canyon, continue East on US-50 to the intersection of US-285. Head North. You will arrive in the town of Buena Vista. Here you can stop at the Cottonwood Hot Springs. Relax and sooth your aching muscles in the natural hot springs. You can also camp in the parking lot and enjoy the hot springs the next day for free. Enter 319 Lookout View Ct, Golden CO. into the GPS.

April 11, 2019

Maiden Voyage 2014

First stop for the Go Explore It Team was Crater Lake National Park in Oregon.  Bessie was the first vehicle in the Go Explore It Fleet. She is a 2014 Sportsmobile that is always ready for adventure.

The second stop on our adventure was Mt Bachelor.  We just had to try out some of that Cascade concrete.  Bessie did a great job plowing through the snow.

Another stop for the Go Explore It Team was Grand Teton National Park and Jackson Hole Wyoming.  What a beautiful place for an adventure.

April 11, 2019

Aspen Mountain, Independence Loop

This Itinerary takes you from the dry rocky canyons of north-western Colorado, to the lush, Aspen filled mountains of the Maroon Bells Wilderness. Crystal clear glacial melt fills the lakes throughout this beautiful wilderness. This route also take you over Independence Pass (12,095 ft). The traverse affords you wonderful views of the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness (south), and the Mount Massive Wilderness (North). From the East side of the pass, you drop down into the San Isabel National Forest. Finally you climb over Weston Pass (11,921). You will cross the continental divide 3 times on this trip! This Itinerary would be good for an 7-14 Day adventure. Be safe and enjoy!

Day 1. Leave Golden, CO and head west on I-70. Your initial 40 miles will take you through the historic mining towns of Idaho Springs and Georgetown. On a longer trip, stopping in these quaint little towns is highly recommended. See maps and Points of Interest Pages for things to see and do in these spots. Continue on I-70 west towards Glenwood Springs, CO. At exit 157, take CO-131 North towards Steamboat Springs for approx. 25 miles. On the left you will see Colorado River Rd. follow this for approx 10 miles to Elby Creek Rd. This is a very bumpy dirt road, so take it slow. At 3.6 miles on this road, there will be a road sign for rd 8544. There is great camping here, along with a really fun 4×4 trail that leads to the top of a bluff with amazing views and a great place to camp. Relax and enjoy the night.

Day 2-4. Get an early start! This will afford you the time to take a small side trip to Hanging Lakes, outside of Glenwood Springs. This is a must do! The hike to the lake is 2 miles round trip, and fairly steep and strenuous, but worth the effort! A beautiful waterfall fills a turquoise pool of crystal clear water. Not far off the trail is spouting rock. A waterfall coming out of the face of the mountain. Depending on time spent at the lake, this will be a 2-4 hr side trip. From here head west on I-70 to Glenwood Springs. For you adventurous types, Glenwood Springs Adventure Park is just the thing for you. Choose the Giant Canyon Swing, which launches you out over the canyon 1300 ft above the Colorado River! Take a ride on the first alpine coaster in the United States! You control the speed of your very own coaster car. Whatever you choose, you are guaranteed to have a blast. From Glenwood Springs, Head South on CO-82 towards Aspen. You will be passing through the beautiful White River National Forest. In 41 miles arrive in beautiful Aspen, CO. Either have us reserve a spot at one of the three campgrounds on Maroon Creek Rd., or find dispersed camping on Castle Creek Rd./ rd 102. I would suggest at least 1 night in one of the structured campgrounds to allow for exploring Maroon Lake, a crystal clear Glacial lake, and the surrounding area. With Aspens and wildflowers abound, this area is truly a sight to behold.

Day 5-6. From Camping, Follow Castle Creek Rd. down to Little Annie Rd. Continue on little Annie rd to Aspen Mt Summer Rd 4×4 trail. This road takes you to the top of Aspen Mt Resort. Great Picnic spots up here. Continue down the front side of Aspen Mt. Driving under the gondola and the ski lifts. End up in the town of Aspen. Stop here and explore the town of Aspen. When done exploring Aspen, continue on CO-82 south, which will take you over Independence Pass and the Continental Divide. Stop and explore the Ghost town of Independence, near the top of the pass. Continue over the pass and down into the San Isabel National Forest. 3/10 of a mile past MM 68 is great dispersed camping along the north fork of the White River.

Day 7-8. From Camp, continue on CO-82, past Twin Lakes, to it’s end at US-24. Head North on US-24 towards Leadville. At 10,152 ft elevation, Leadville is the highest incorporated city in the United States. A unique town worth checking out. For camping, Turquoise Lake is a good spot to set up camp. Plenty of good fishing along with hiking and Mt biking trails that circle the lake.

Day 9-10. From the lake, Backtrack on US-24 to county rd 7, the road for Mt Massive Lakes. These are private lakes, so continue on to FR 425 also Weston pass rd. There are plenty of great campspots on both the east and west sides of Weston Pass. I would suggest camping on both sides of the pass. Both sides are beautiful with great fishing and hiking. From camp continue on FR 425 to CR 5. This will take you to US-285. From here head north through Fairplay and on to CO-470 back to Golden.

April 11, 2019

Alpine Loop Scenic Byway

The Alpine Loop Scenic Byway is known as one of the most beautiful in Colorado. Several ghost towns and abandoned mines are on this route.

Day 1

Leave Golden Colorado for Lake City, Colorado. This is a 4 hour and 45 minute drive with plenty to see and do along the way.

2 hours and 25 minutes into your drive you will will arrive in the historic town of Salida, Colorado.

Nestled in the heart of the Rockies, Salida will blow you away visually with the 14,000 ft. peaks nearby. The area is famous for having tons of outdoor activities including rafting, kayaking, mountain biking, hiking, fishing as well as hot springs for rest and relaxation. There are many fun things to do in and around Salida, so if you choose to stick around, there are plenty of campgrounds to stay at.

Salida – Things To Do

Captain Zipline Adventures – Yelp Reviews
1500 County Road 45
Salida, Colorado 81201
(877) ZIP-LINE
www.captainzipline.com

Soar over a rugged canyon and explore the majestic Rocky Mountains on Colorado’s first World-Class Zipline Tour, challenge yourself on Colorado’s largest Aerial Course, or test your climbing prowess and scale the cliffs on the Via Ferrata.

River Runners – Yelp Reviews
24070 County Road 301
Buena Vista, Colorado 81211
(800) 723-8987
www.whitewater.net

Raft Class III-IV rapids on the Arkansas River through Browns Canyon 19 miles North of Salida in Buena Vista, Colorado. View Video.

River Runners – Yelp Reviews
44641 US Hwy 50
Cañon City, Colorado 81212
(800) 723-8987
www.whitewater.net

Raft Class III-IV rapids on the Arkansas River through the Royal Gorge 59 miles East of Salida, in Canon City, Colorado. View Video.

Mountain Biking Trails
Arkansas Trail System Map
Methodist Mountain Trail System
Salida Mountain Trails Interactive Map

Hiking Trails
Agnes Vaille Falls Trail
Stavation Creek Trail
North Cottonwood Trail
Horn Fork Basin
Kroenke Lake
Rainbow Trail

Hot Springs
Salida Hot Springs

Camping
Four Seasons RV Park
Heart of the Rockies RV & Tent Campground
Monarch Spur RV Park
Rocky Mountain Recreation Co.

Day 2
From Salida, head to Gunnison, Colorado. This is a 1 hour and 15 minute drive.

Gunnison, Colorado is a place that harkens back to the Old West. The community retains its ties to a century of ranching with its wide open spaces, friendly folks and Cattlemen’s Days, one of the oldest rodeos in Colorado. Its location offers easy access the largest body of water in the state at Blue Mesa Reservoir. Whether it is waterskiing, sailing, fly fishing or camping with the family, Gunnison provides the perfect recreational and western get-away.

Gunnison – Things To Do

Scenic River Tours – Yelp Reviews
703 West Tomichi Avenue
Gunnison, Colorado 81230
(970) 641-3131
www.scenicrivertours.com

The Gunnison River headwaters start in the highest reaches of the county with the same name, cascading down from the mountains and finding its’ way to the Blue Mesa Reservoir – the largest body of water in the State of Colorado. The Upper Gunnison flows through green pastures and groves of cottonwood trees, at one point cruising by ancient volcanic rock formations soaring straight out of the river high into the sky.

Blue Mesa Reservoir
www.thebluemesa.com
Blue Mesa Reservoir is Colorado’s largest lake. It is twenty miles long with 96 miles of shoreline. A number of fish species are in the lake, including lake trout which grow to be very large trophy fish. In addition to fishing the lake offers all sorts of water recreation including boating, water skiing, sailing and wind surfing.

Mountain Biking Trails
Hartman Rocks Recreational Area

Hiking Trails
Hartman Rocks Recreational Area

Motorcycling Trails
Hartman Rocks Recreational Area

Rock Climbing
Hartman Rocks Recreational Area

Horseback Riding Trails
Hartman Rocks Recreational Area

Fishing
The Blue Mesa Reservoir

Camping
The Blue Mesa Reservoir
Mesa Campground
Big Blue
Cebolla Creek
Deer Lakes
Gate View

From Gunnison, head to Lake City, Colorado. This is a 1 hour and 15 minute drive. Your drive on The Alpine Loop Scenic Byway begins in Lake City.

Staying true to its late 1800s “mining boom” status as the area’s supply and service center, Lake City is now the everything-you-need hub for amazing hiking, climbing, fishing, boating, four-wheeling, mountain biking, horseback riding, camping, sightseeing adventures. To visit the Lake City website, [click here].

Lake City – Begin Alpine Loop – Information

Day 3
Spend the day exploring Engineer Pass, Animas Forks Ghost town, Cinnamon Pass. You can find dispersed camping along this stretch, or continue on to Mill Creek campground.

Day 4-5
Take short stretch of alpine loop back to rd 878, Engineer mountain, to CO 550 north to Ouray. Explore the neat little town of Ouray. From Ouray Take 4×4 trail 853.1B, Yankee Boy Basin 4.2 miles to trail end. The wildflowers along this route are amazing during the spring and summer months. Go back to the start of 361 then continue on to Imogene Pass 4×4 rd. Find dispersed camping any where on this route.

Day 6-7
Eventually you will reach the beautiful town of Telluride. From here, explore the town, and the myriad of 4×4 trails in every direction. You could easily string this out into a 10 day trip. Refer to maps for list of area trails.

April 11, 2019

Southern Colorado Snowboarding, Snowshoeing

Day 1. Leave Golden, CO and head south on US 285 towards US 50 and Monarch Mountain. Either head up old Monarch Pass for some snowshoeing, or head to Monarch Mountain for some uncrowded turns at the ski area. Stay the night at the mountain.

Day 2-3. Head west on US 50 to the turn off for the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. The South entrance, which is 15 miles East of Montrose, is open year round and offers a great opportunity to snowshoe the South rim of the Canyon. The South Rim Campgrounds are also open year round, so stay a couple of days and explore this amazing canyon.

Days 4-5 After visiting The Black Canyon, Head west on US 50 to the Junction of US 550. Head south on US 550 to the Junction of CO 62. Take CO 62 to the town of Telluride. There are plenty of boarding and snowshoeing opportunities here. (see maps and guide) You will probably want to stay here at least 1 full day if not 2 to take in the beauty, and explore the town of Telluride.

Days 6-8 Backtrack on CO 62 to US 550, then head South to the town of Ouray. It would be worth it to take a dip in one of the many Hot Springs in and around this town. Continue south to the Town of Silverton. Camp in Silverton, or head directly to Silverton Mountain Ski Area. I would allot 3 days to enjoy all that Silverton Mountain has to offer. Day 1, ride the only lift on the mountain to amazing steeps and tree runs. Also there is great hike-to terrain abound. Day 2, Try some cat skiing. Their Snow cats will get you to some of the best terrain on the mountain. Day 3, the Grand Finale! Heliboarding some of the best snow in all of North America! Pay per run or shred the whole day. It’s all up to you and your level of skill and endurance. This will probably be the most epic stop on your trip.

Day 9. Head South on US 550 towards Durango. Spend a day either snowboarding, snowshoeing, or both at Durango Mountain resort, formerly Purgatory. Stay the night in Durango or on the mountain.

Day 10. Continue South on US 550 to the Junction of US 160. Head East on US 160, through the neat town of Pagosa Springs, onto Wolf Creek Ski Area. This Ski area gets the most snow in the entire state by far. 2-4 ft dumps are not uncommon here. Enjoy the day shredding Powder then enjoy apres ski at the mountain bar. There is a RV area right on the Mountain for camping. Days 11-12. Continue East on US 160 to the junction of US 285. Head North on US 285 to the Junction of US 50. Head West to the town of Buena Vista. You will need 2 days to visit Cottonwood Hot springs, Deerhammer Distillery, and all of the attractions in the Town of Buena Vista.

Days 13-14. Backtrack East on US 50 to US 285. Head North to the junction of CO 9. Take CO 9 North to the town of Breckenridge. Here you will find Great Boarding, Snowshoeing, Tubing and Shopping. Take your pick, or do them all on your last 2 days.

Return. Enter 319 Lookout View Ct into the GPS and arrive at the starting point, hopefully no worse for ware.

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