2017 Colorado Rally - Vallecito CG (Durango)

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kitphantom

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Dec 26, 2009
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Albuquerque, NM
The 2017 Colorado Rally will be at Vallecito Campground, outside of Durango, July 10-16. You don’t need to be a Coloradoan to attend, this Rally has always had participants from other states. You also don’t need to attend for the entire time. The pot luck and general gathering is held on Saturday night; most people leave Sunday morning. Depending on when people arrive, there may be a meet-and-greet earlier in the week. (Since this is one of our vacation weeks, my husband and I plan to arrive on Saturday the 8th – he has a backpack trip planned.)
Reservations can be made beginning 6 months in advance, so in January. If interest in camping stays as high as it was in 2016, making reservations sooner rather later is suggested. (Some people who wanted to attend 2016’s Rally could not get sites.)
The Colorado Rally is an informal Rally, with few organized activities. Often, folks get together casually to fish, exchange information on the area or activities, or just socialize.

Vallecito CG (San Juan NF), $ 19-24/night, depending on site choice. There are a few sites with power, though they aren't the nicest in the campground (We decided they put the power where it was easiest to do so). http://www.recreation.gov/camping/vallecito-campground/r/campgroundDetails.do?contractCode=NRSO&parkId=79060

Using Mapquest or Googlemaps, these are the estimated driving times, not including stops or traffic: Grand Junction : 3-3/4 hours, Colorado Springs: 5-1/2 hrs, Denver area (I used Arvada): 6 hrs, Durango: 1/2 hrs, Albuquerque: 4 hrs; Phoenix: 4-1/2 hrs; Salt Lake City: 7 hrs

Activities in the area include hiking (one trail into the Weminuche Wilderness leaves from the campground), fishing, lake (Vallecito Reservoir) 4 miles away. There are other campgrounds in the area, including private ones. For those inclined to drive a bit, there are lots of places to explore, including Mesa Verde NP.

Links:
San Juan NF: http://www.fs.usda.gov/sanjuan/
Mesa Verde: https://www.nps.gov/meve/index.htm
Durango and Silverton RR: http://www.durangotrain.com/
Ouray: http://www.ouraycolorado.com/
Durango: http://www.durango.org/


At some point, the participant list will be started. You can post your questions, etc. here. You can also PM me.
 

kitphantom

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Dec 26, 2009
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Albuquerque, NM
We last visited Valllecito CG on the way to the 2014 Rally at Telluride. The site we had was deemed the "favorite site" of the campground by the host. It was beautiful, but a challenge for leveling. It'd be even worse with our Retro TT, so we'll be picking a different site, we made notes.
Vallecito site 12 by Andrea Vaughan, on Flickr
This was the view from the lowest part of the site:
streamside at Vallecito by Andrea Vaughan, on Flickr
 

kitphantom

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Dec 26, 2009
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Albuquerque, NM
Other activities in the Durango region include mountain and road biking, rock climbing, zipline, kayaking, and 4x4 road driving.You can find info on some of the links, above. The durango.org seems to have links to many of the activities.
Looking at the San Juan NF page, I found this link to info on a by-way that can apparently be driven by 4x4, motorcycle, or mountain bike (we haven't done this one): https://www.blm.gov/co/st/en/fo/gfo/recreation_information/al.html
 

kitphantom

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Dec 26, 2009
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Albuquerque, NM
It looks like about half of Vallecito campground is FCFS, there were 30-some reservable sites on the map when I looked yesterday.
We made notes the last time we camped there, and I can email them to anyone wanting a copy. We made the notes assuming we'd be camped in our 8' pup. (The TT requires a slightly larger site than the pup did, so a couple of our "very nice" sites aren't quite large enough, we'll have to double-check length when we make reservations next month.)
 

bearman512

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Apr 17, 2010
1,229
Albuquerque NM
Andrea, please send us the notes and pictures if you have them. We will reserve a site when available and plan on arriving Friday the 14th.
We will be moving to Albuquerque soon so our schedule is going to be messed up for a year or so before we settle in in Albuquerque.
 

EricB

Member
Sep 11, 2016
15
I'll be up for the rally. Please send a PM with all info for reservations once available.
 

kitphantom

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Dec 26, 2009
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Since we're arriving before the official Rally, we have our reservations made. We will be in site 27, starting Saturday the 8th. (actually arriving late Friday night)
 

kitphantom

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Dec 26, 2009
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It looks like the cost per campsite for this year is $22 and up. We made our reservations this morning for an electric site, which was $27/night. My NPS Senior Pass reduced the cost by $11 a night (the savings is on the base camping fee, it does not reduce extra fees for power or the like).
 

kitphantom

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Dec 26, 2009
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Albuquerque, NM
Since the rotating rally list has yet to be updated, I'm giving this one a bump. The reservations window is now open for the week of the Rally. I know there are FCFS sites there too, but it's been a couple of years since we were there, so don't know if/when they fill up.
 

kitphantom

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Dec 26, 2009
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Albuquerque, NM
I just did a spot check, and there are still close to 2 dozen sites available i the CG, for the weekend end of the Rally.
 

NM_Alien

New Mexico: Not really new and not really Mexico..
May 28, 2015
79
Albuquerque, NM
Just logged on to PUP after months of being away. I think we are in. I need to look at our schedule and some other days off in late June to figure out how much time we can spare. Andrea, please send me your notes on your past experiences to help us decide what site to reserve.

On a side note, we just finished the concrete pad on the side of the house and got the trailer back from its storage location. I need to do some brake inspections due to funny sounds from last year. But I'm pretty excited about being able to set up and take down from camping while the trailer is securely parked and locked behind a 6' tall gate. Should make for much easier trip prep and stowing.

- Marc
 

kitphantom

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Dec 26, 2009
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Albuquerque, NM
It will be great if you guys can come to Vallecito. I'll PM you the notes we took in 2014. They were made with the 8' Cobalt in mind, and you may need to look at the reservation system to confirm power, if you want to consider it. We thought some of the better sites were the ones without power.

The parking pad sounds like a nice project. Our campers have had to live in the driveway, there's not enough clearance on either side of the house to put them anywhere else.
 

NM_Alien

New Mexico: Not really new and not really Mexico..
May 28, 2015
79
Albuquerque, NM
In one of the first posts, Andrea provided a link that takes you to a description of the Alpine Loop Back Country Byway. This is a very nice and scenic 4WD loop through the mountains north of the campground. The scenery is spectacular and depending on your vehicle you can get way above tree line.

You have to drive through Durango to Silverton or Ouray or through Pagosa and up to Lake City to access it. It would be an all-day adventure. I would be happy to lead a group of people up and through part of it if anyone is interested. I would recommend having a 4WD like a Toyota Land Cruiser, 4Runner, Chevy Colorado, Jeep Wrangler or Grand Cherokee or similar to do all of it though. A crossover utility like a RAV4, CR-V, Subaru could handle some of it but not all of it. Even some parts of it can be done in a low clearance 2WD. We could custom tailor the excursion to be simpler routes depending on who is interested and what vehicles and level of experience are interested. There are many different routes and options to travel.

- Marc
 

NM_Alien

New Mexico: Not really new and not really Mexico..
May 28, 2015
79
Albuquerque, NM
Pretty is good. It looks like I will have a direct path to the creek across the road without having to walk through someone's campsite.

This might be our only big trip of the summer (or year) since we are saving up to go on an Alaska cruise in May 2018. We need to save some of this year's vacation budget to add to next year's budget so we can afford the cruise. I want it to be something a little more special than usual because we will be celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary. The date is technically Jan 3, but it's a little cold to take an Alaska cruise in January.
 

kitphantom

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Dec 26, 2009
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Albuquerque, NM
I thought you were adventurous :) - though maybe they don't even do cruises in Jan!

Friends went to the Iditirod a couple of years ago, and visited the Kenai Peninsula -pretty seashore pics, but it looked cold.

So far, we have two sites reserved for the Rally. We're looking forward to exploring the area more, I hope others join us at the campground.
 

NM_Alien

New Mexico: Not really new and not really Mexico..
May 28, 2015
79
Albuquerque, NM
I am also looking forward to exploring the area more. I've been to Durango and north several times but never east of Durango. I would like to see what Bayfield and Pagosa Springs are like because SW CO is high on my list of possible retirement locations.
 
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