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Old 05-12-2018, 12:09 PM   #1
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Fall Camping around Durango

Anybody have campground recommendations for a September trip to Durango and surrounding southwest Colorado (or Four Corners) areas?

The reason I ask is because many Forest Service campgrounds near the Front Range close immediately after Labor Day, apparently due to concessionaire contract reasons. Not sure what's common for the FS and BLM campsites around Durango.

We'll be bringing gravel bikes for road/gravel day rides. So any sites with nearby scenic or low-traffic rides are particularly appreciated.

Any local insight is much appreciated!

Pete
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Old 05-12-2018, 09:09 PM   #2
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I never got to stay here because they were closed by the time I got to Durango in October. But based on the research I had done, they are a good "full service" option in between boondocking nights. Lightner Creek Campground | Campground in beautiful Durango, Colorado
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Old 05-12-2018, 09:52 PM   #3
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Well there is my back yard depending on when you were around. Or United Campground north of Durango for the amenities like showers and shitters - oh - and the train runs through the CG each day which is cool.

Or a shitload of good boon docking sites here and there. I like boon docking either Boggy Draw or around West Mancos. Not sure what gravel bikes are... pedal bikes or throttle bikes? Either way, lots of options depending on more detail of what you want to do and where. Durango and Four Corners are pretty spread out.
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Old 05-13-2018, 12:08 PM   #4
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Thanks for those Durango tips. And to be more clear although we'll start in Durango itself I'm hoping most of our camping and hiking/biking would be at Forest Service or BLM sites in the SW Colorado area. So San Juan National Forest, Silverton area, Lizard Head, and maybe even over to Lake City could be in scope.

We've been to a few of those areas before, although during summer when everything was open. Wasn't sure whether Forest Service there tends to shut down campgrounds immediately after Labor Day (like White River NF) or whether they leave them open a bit longer into the fall.

For cycling we'll bring our gravel bicycles which are basically road bikes with wider tires. We'll mostly look for some nice day road rides but it's handy to have the wider tires if we hit some gravel sections. Plus the gravel bikes have plenty of mount points for water and day gear bags.
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Old 05-13-2018, 12:20 PM   #5
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That Boggy Draw area looks great for mountain biking. We won't have the mountain bikes this trip but we'll have to put that on a future list...
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Old 07-26-2018, 11:12 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteM View Post
Anybody have campground recommendations for a September trip to Durango and surrounding southwest Colorado (or Four Corners) areas?

The reason I ask is because many Forest Service campgrounds near the Front Range close immediately after Labor Day, apparently due to concessionaire contract reasons. Not sure what's common for the FS and BLM campsites around Durango.

We'll be bringing gravel bikes for road/gravel day rides. So any sites with nearby scenic or low-traffic rides are particularly appreciated.

Any local insight is much appreciated!

Pete
I go to Durango all the time (from Vermont). Try going to Silverton via Molas Pass and then from Silverton out to Cunningham Gulch. I mostly coyote camp in this area. You can hike to Clear Lake, Ice Lake and Highland Mary Lakes. Lots of great gravel roads in the area.
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Old 08-03-2018, 03:58 PM   #7
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Durango camping ideas

We like to head up to vallecito lake area and the usfs campsites along E shoreline.also pine Creek trailhead NE of lake. Wenimuche wilderness access.
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Old 08-04-2018, 01:43 AM   #8
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I CAN'T STRESS ENOUGH...YOU (sorry caps lock was on...lol) NEED TO GET the Ultimate Campground App!!!! It is the BEST app I have purchased ever! And I LOVE the My Weather Radar App (live weather radar soooo helpful)A LOT! It is the BEST campground app ever...it shows all campgrounds including; BLM lands, State Parks, National Parks, City Parks etc...boat in, cabins, hike in, group sites on and on! Just pull up app, zoom in area you want to visit and wa-la!!! It has filters to refine your search ie. eliminating "boat-in" and or "walk-in" campsites to help in your search...I even offered one Forum member (a favorite of mine great posts...) to refund his money if he didn't love it...not 'like' but LOVE! I haven't heard from him so I am thinking it was a hit...its GREAT to get suggestions from members (except for the a-holes that DON'T and say "its my private spot" yeah like your there 365 days?!? and IF it IS so special your that SELFISH to not share PLLLLLEEEEASE...sorry I digress...) BUT when your actually out there and your chasing daylight, hoping not to head back to the closest walmart (lol) it is a Godsend...check it out!!!!
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Old 08-04-2018, 05:58 PM   #9
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Re the concessionaires. I dunno about down near Durango, but up in Junction on Grand Mesa I camped late in the season and the USFS offices, etc had all closed for the season. But the campground hosts told me they hung in till the snow actually flew, so there were bunches of us in the campground. That was my experience in the Eastern Sierra as well; they seem to wanna wring every last dime out of the places. But YMMV as they say (and BTW, Grand Mesa was spectacular with color; hit it just right that year, and it was strangely warm even up top).
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Old 08-16-2018, 11:10 AM   #10
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San Juan CGs stay open into fall

The San Juan National Forest keeps most of its campgrounds open into the fall, usually at a half price rate since the concessionaire bails out early and the water and electricity get shut off when they leave. Check the Forest's website for details. Some campgrounds have been affected by fires and/or mudslides this year.
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