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Old 01-15-2021, 12:15 PM   #1
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R.M.N.P. to Chama, NM

We were able to get reservations in Moraine for mid-July. After leaving, we will head toward Chama. Any recommendations for a CG somewhere mid-point near 285 in Colorado? We will then be staying a few nights in the NF near Chama. We have stayed in this area before. Also looking for your recommendations in this area.
Thanks
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Old 01-15-2021, 02:21 PM   #2
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It’s a little over halfway, but the Circle the Wagons park in La Veta CO is pretty nice and the town is a cool little place to knock about in for a couple days...

Ride that railroad, but only one way!!! And get your space/spend all your time on the open car during the trip!
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Old 01-15-2021, 02:52 PM   #3
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Only you know your schedule/driving plans.
Near what town are you considering to be mid-point?

Knowing this, I'm sure you would get lots of ideas.

Are you open to boondocking or do you prefer a formal campground?

Ed
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Old 01-15-2021, 06:38 PM   #4
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R.M.N.P. to Chama

After leaving the NP, we will stop in Boulder to visit my son so I don't want to drive to Chama that same day. Boondocking is fine. I want to avoid 25 so I will go down 285.
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Old 01-15-2021, 07:48 PM   #5
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From Boulder, Poncha Springs is about 3- 3 1/2 hours towing allowing for stops. A little short of halfway but close.

If you need gas, there is an easy-in easy-out station in Fairplay.

Near Poncha Springs is our all time favorite Forest Service campground, O'Haver Lake. It's so nice, you will want to stay for a few days, time permitting.
They have have some walk-in sites but since it's so popular, reservations are best.
Reservations open 6 months in advance so now is the time if you want to stay there. Snag a lake front site.
Poncha Springs has a municipal dump/water fill should you need one.

https://www.recreation.gov/camping/campgrounds/231870

As you drive towards the campground from 285 (it's a dirt road but in decent shape usually) , you will see any of a number of disbursed camping areas. Just pull in and set up camp if you want. Free.

No trip to Poncha Springs is complete without a stop at The Hunger Trailer.

Any more questions, just ask.

285 is a beautiful drive. You will enjoy it.

Ed
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Old 01-15-2021, 09:14 PM   #6
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I might want to stop a little earlier than Poncha Springs.

If so, consider looking for campgrounds around Bailey.

Bailey is high in the Rockies, not down in a river bottom. Both are nice, sub alpine is better in July. Bailey is at least an hour closer and after navigating the western burbs of Denver, not a moment too soon.

I like to stop a little higher up unless I am going to fish the Arkansas river.

Just a thought.
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Old 01-16-2021, 10:16 AM   #7
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R.M.N.P. to Chama

TFord, Ed and Uncle Tim, thanks all for your suggestions. I think Poncha Springs will work for us. We plan to leave Boulder by1PM and head out via 119. We have to wait until 1/19 to make our reservations.
Is the Hunger Trailer a food truck
Again , thanks.
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Old 01-16-2021, 11:31 AM   #8
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The Hunger Trailer is a small, not very impressive looking restaurant. Super food.

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaura..._Colorado.html


If you’re interested in a beautiful drive while your camping there, Marshall Pass Road ( 10,842’) goes from the campground over the mountains to Sargents. A worthwhile trip. Dirt road but maintained for 2wd vehicles.

Top off your water at the town dump/water fill.
38.521774. -106.080732

Enjoy

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Old 01-16-2021, 01:19 PM   #9
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You aware that Highway 285 does not go through Chama, right? To get to Chama by following 285 south through Colorado, you will have to cut over on Highway 17 from Antonito, CO. Highway 17 is a good road and a beautiful drive but it goes over the mountains so hopefully you don't mind mountain driving. There are several FS campgrounds along 17 between Antonito and Chama. LIttle Creel campground in Chama has some nice sites right on the Chama River but that is a commercial place with hookups.
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Old 01-16-2021, 02:13 PM   #10
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And off that road is the Lake fork of the Conejos River.

My favorite once it is not under 20 feet of snow.
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Old 01-16-2021, 02:22 PM   #11
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Chama

Chama, yes I am aware of that, have camped in the National Forest near there in the past. No issue with mountain driving. Many very nice spots near there.
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Old 01-18-2021, 10:44 AM   #12
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O'Haver CG

Ed, I have been checking availability at O'Haver. Does not look promising!! Yesterday, there were 9 trailer sites available for July 18. By 9:20 CST, today(site opens at 9:00 CST), they were all reserved. There is only 1 trailer site that opens tomorrow.
Seems I'll need another CG.
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Old 01-18-2021, 12:49 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by md cawley View Post
Ed, I have been checking availability at O'Haver. Does not look promising!! Yesterday, there were 9 trailer sites available for July 18. By 9:20 CST, today(site opens at 9:00 CST), they were all reserved. There is only 1 trailer site that opens tomorrow.
Seems I'll need another CG.

Well, there are many options.

First of all, it's only January and youíre looking at July. I would start checking, now and then, for cancellations.
There are ten First Come First Served sites. Thatís always a possibility. There is a lot of boondocking areas around there. Look at Google Earth.

The Arkansas Headwaters State Recreation Area has some very nice campgrounds in the area. Hecla Junction would be a good choice.

https://cpw.state.co.us/placestogo/p...s/Camping.aspx



Here are some good boondocking options right on US-285 in the same area.
As time gets closer, and if any of these options interest you, let me know and Iíll provide more details.
Go to Google Earth and you can see places to camp.

Trout Creek Pass.
38.909444 -105.983484
This area is popular with the mountain biking crowd. Lots of room to camp in the woods not far off of 285. Dirt road but drivable.

Mushroom Gulch. CR-307
38.858614 -105.985663
Exit off 285 and drive along this dirt road that runs parallel to 285. Lots of camping spots. Some traffic noise during the day but at night 285 is lightly travelled.

Poncha Loop Road/CR XX50
38.416976 -106.078418

Keep the faith.

Ed
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Old 01-18-2021, 01:17 PM   #14
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Ed is right!

No worries, plenty of disperse camping and campgrounds. We always find something around Brown's Canyon when running the Arkansas river.

Just outside of Poncha Springs are FIVE big passes with lots of options. Lots of camping down by the river all the way to Cotopaxi! Lots of national forest.

It is good to be prepared, but the area has good choices.

Tell em Ed!
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Old 01-18-2021, 02:05 PM   #15
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O'Haver

O'Haver is a popular CG with reserve sites filling up 6 months in advance(at lease in my particular case needing a specific date in July to alin with my return home).
Thanks Ed and Uncle Tim for other suggestions.
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Old 02-28-2021, 11:56 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by md cawley View Post
After leaving the NP, we will stop in Boulder to visit my son so I don't want to drive to Chama that same day. Boondocking is fine. I want to avoid 25 so I will go down 285.
285 can be very busy, too. Best wishes
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