2016 Colorado Rally - planning

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kitphantom

Super Active Member
Platinum Supporting Member
Dec 26, 2009
13,640
Albuquerque, NM
The 2016 Colorado Rally will be the same week in July as this year, the dates will be July 11-17. Site yet to be determined. (We'll probably have a poll later in the fall once the suggestions are narrowed down.)
Some ideas for 2016 include a "Meet 'n Greet" early in the week, in addition to the potluck, a list of who is interested in what type of activity (learning this happens informally as time goes on in at a Rally, but it was suggested knowing it sooner might be nice), resources to help other Rally participants, etc.

The site is usually a USFS campground, with boondocking in the vicinity, for those so inclined. Most of the USFS campgrounds are dry camping, though Matterhorn CG (2014), near Telluride not only had some sites with electricity, there were flush toilets and showers in the campground. A campground that takes reservations, but has FCFS sites, is very useful.
An area which has fishing, hiking, 4-wheel driving, and the like is great. Not too close/far from the metro Denver & Colorado Springs areas. While termed the Colorado Rally, this one has always drawn a bunch of folks from NM (like me!) and other states (IIRC, at least Texas and Oklahoma).
Suggested so far, with Mapquest driving times from (usually using lat/long for the campground): GJ - Grand Junction; DA - Denver Area (I used Arvada since my BIL lives there & we've dealt with commuting to camp from his house); D - Durango, CS - Colorado Springs, and A - Albuquerque:

White Star CG, near Twin Lakes (Leadville and Buena Vista nearby), site of the 2013 Rally.
http://www.recreation.gov/camping/white-star/r/campgroundDetails.do?contractCode=NRSO&parkId=70791
Large campground, with one loop FCFS only. Not the most remote in atmosphere (at night, with the right conditions, the hum from the power station a few miles away is audible in some sites), some loops have more shade than others. However, Mt. Elbert looms over the CG, there is great hiking and fishing, the lakes are suitable for small watercraft (canoes, etc.) and Leadville, Buena Vista and Aspen are all within in a reasonable drive. (For those preferring hookups, there are campgrounds in BV and Leadville with them.) GJ: 3-1/2 hours, CS: 2-1/2 hrs, DA: 2-1/4 hrs, D: 4-1/2 hrs, ABQ: 6 hrs

Flat Tops, North Fork CG, site of the 2012 Rally.
http://www.recreation.gov/camping/north-fork-campground/r/campgroundDetails.do?contractCode=NRSO&parkId=70707
This campground was little used, one night the only folks in the campground were from the Rally. The water at the campground taps was safe, but so metallic tasting, no matter what we did (including putting it through our PUR filter) that we ended up driving to town for bottle water - and we almost never do that. Fishing and hiking, 4 WDing, no high mountains close by, pretty remote
GJ: 2-3/4 hours, CS: 6 hrs, DA: 4-1/2 hrs, D: 6 hrs, ABQ: 10 hrs

Owl Creek Pass Area, near Ridgway/Ouray. One campground I've found is Silver Jack:
http://www.recreation.gov/recreationalAreaDetails.do?contractCode=NRSO&parkId=245780&facilityId=245780&agencyCode=70903
I need to do more research on this area, and find out if this is the campground that was actually suggested.

St. Charles or La Vista CG, Lake Isabel. Info is for St. Charles:
http://www.recreation.gov/camping/st-charles-campground--lake-isabel/r/campgroundDetails.do?contractCode=NRSO&parkId=70320
According to the reservation site, there is hiking, fishing and mountain biking nearby, DH & I haven't been to this area ourselves, so can't comment from experience.
GJ; 5-1/2 hrs, CS : 1-3/4 hrs, DA: 3 hrs, D: 5-1/2 hrs, A: 5-1/4 hrs

Vallecito: near Durango, hiking (trail into the Weminuche Wilderness from camp), fishing, lake (Vallecito Reservoir) nearby; other campgrounds in the area. Lots of places to explore for those inclined to drive.
http://www.recreation.gov/camping/vallecito-campground/r/campgroundDetails.do?contractCode=NRSO&parkId=79060
Close enough to Durango to make reservations and ride the Durango and Silverton RR. There are a few sites with power, though they aren't the prettiest in the campground (DH & I decided they put the power where it was easiest to do so)
GJ: 3-3/4 hours, CS: 5-1/2 hrs, DA: 6 hrs, D: 1/2 hrs, ABQ: 4 hrs
 

kitphantom

Super Active Member
Platinum Supporting Member
Dec 26, 2009
13,640
Albuquerque, NM
I'm giving this a bump in case there are any more suggestions for campgrounds. I'll be setting up a poll sometime next month or early Dec., since most CGs can be reserved beginning 6 months in advance. For those of us traveling quite a distance, or arriving late in the day, reservations are not only handy, they can be a must.
 

sleach

A short run will get you within walking distance.
May 17, 2014
702
Boulder, Colorado
Kitphantom, you might take a look at Ridgway State Park as a location for the 2016 Colorado Rally. Right beside Ridgway Reservoir, 15 miles north of Ouray, 20 or so miles south of Montrose. Three large loop campgrounds with a variety of site types, and some group facilities. Go to www.cpw.state.co.us, then mouse around to places to go.
 

kitphantom

Super Active Member
Platinum Supporting Member
Dec 26, 2009
13,640
Albuquerque, NM
sleach-
I can add it to the poll. We've stayed there several times, the last being in June when I was there for several days. I have to admit I liked it better later in the year, June was hot. I was in a site on the hill, where there are more trees, but still lots of sun.
One thing, on the cost issue, is that the daily entrance fee for the park is a separate charge (and it is going up by a couple of $$). For some, that might not be a biggie (either for the one visit or if they have a yearly state park pass), but for others the less expensive USFS sites are more cost effective. Maybe I should add the site and any entrance fee costs to the campground info.
 
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