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Old 05-28-2020, 04:28 PM   #1
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Question Summer camping above 7000 feet.

When asked recently about summertime camping without air conditioning, a veteran van dweller said "just stay above 7000 feet". Knowing there are some exceptions to every rule, would you say generally speaking that statement is accurate?
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Old 05-28-2020, 04:48 PM   #2
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It depends on where you live. Here in Western Washington you can usually find much cooler temperatures in the summer in the shade or near the water or both. Above 7000 feet you can usually find snow.
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Old 05-28-2020, 05:39 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Curious Mike View Post
When asked recently about summertime camping without air conditioning, a veteran van dweller said "just stay above 7000 feet". Knowing there are some exceptions to every rule, would you say generally speaking that statement is accurate?

I would agree. We frequently camp/fish in the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mts. of CA. To get there, we leave the 70-80° Calif. coast, travel through the northern part of the Mojave Desert @ 110-115° to the Owens Valley/US-395, which is 90-100° at about 4000' elev.
When we turn off, wherever we turn off, the highway and head up into the mountains, by the time we are at 6000', it's down to generally the 80's, and by 7000' elev., usually we're in the 70°'s.
Note that this would be highs. Even in summer, it's possible to be in the 60's or even 50's, and then the nights are 20-30° below that. You want cool nights: try 9000-11000 ft. Whew!
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Old 05-28-2020, 06:58 PM   #4
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I would think most the time it be comfortable at that elevation . of course you could get a heat wave or cold snap. A 12 volt fan could be a life saver. parking in the shade helps also. summers around here don't get the heat you do. I don't take heat well. I did a hog hunt in stonewall OK in late July and I was puking my guts out from the heat.
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Old 05-28-2020, 07:08 PM   #5
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It depends on where you live. Here in Western Washington you can usually find much cooler temperatures in the summer in the shade or near the water or both. Above 7000 feet you can usually find snow.
What you can’t find above 7000ft is a road (in WA).
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Old 05-28-2020, 07:17 PM   #6
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What you can’t find above 7000ft is a road (in WA).
https://www.dangerousroads.org/north...arts-pass.html

Highest maintained road in Washington is at 7200 feet- but no trailers allowed!
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Old 05-29-2020, 01:07 PM   #7
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https://www.dangerousroads.org/north...arts-pass.html

Highest maintained road in Washington is at 7200 feet- but no trailers allowed!
This road is no joke. It's not to be taken casually. There is a half-mile section around what's called Dead Horse Point. Very high pucker factor! If you're the least bit squeamish about shear drop-offs, this road isn't for you.

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Old 05-29-2020, 01:44 PM   #8
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cooler weather and fun roads

If you pucker easily you may not want to tow your trailer between Aspen, Co and
Leadville, Co. But you will find cooler weather and some snow year around.
Speaking of weather it is 107* here and we can't take off for nearly 7000' for another month where we will spend 5 weeks.
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Old 05-29-2020, 01:47 PM   #9
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This road is no joke. It's not to be taken casually. There is a half-mile section around what's called Dead Horse Point. Very high pucker factor! If you're the least bit squeamish about shear drop-offs, this road isn't for you.

Chuck
Definitely isn't for me- I would not even want to watch a video of someone else driving it.
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Old 05-29-2020, 02:06 PM   #10
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Black Canyon of the Gunnison

That road to Black Canyon of the Gunnison is a beauty too. Little pieces of asphalt painted white regularly roll down the hill. We did not tow this road but did drive it in 2016. Gathers and focuses your attention. Oh look, there’s a jackrabbit.
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Old 05-29-2020, 02:14 PM   #11
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How about this one for dangerous roads?

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Old 05-29-2020, 02:17 PM   #12
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If you pucker easily you may not want to tow your trailer between Aspen, Co and Leadville, Co.
Well darn, I had Leadville as a possibility for this summer. If I take the Southern route up from New Mexico to Leadville, is it more easy on the nerves? Heard that there are several beautiful places around Leadville to camp and stay cool. (Above 10,000 feet).
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Old 05-29-2020, 02:28 PM   #13
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Well darn, I had Leadville as a possibility for this summer. If I take the Southern route up from New Mexico to Leadville, is it more easy on the nerves? Heard that there are several beautiful places around Leadville to camp and stay cool. (Above 10,000 feet).
Easy drive to Leadville from the south, basically one low pass (Poncha Pass) coming up from NM. No need to take Independence Pass to Aspen, either, with a bit more driving via I-70/Glenwood Springs.

Most of our summer camping is above 8,500 feet here in CO. It is not uncommon for us to use the furnace periodically in the summer, even if just for one or two cycles in the morning. Summer nights around Leadville often in the 30s/low 40s.
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Old 05-29-2020, 03:23 PM   #14
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Some great forest service campgrounds around Turquoise Lake outside Leadville at around 10,000'. You can end up with a frost any time, even in August. Here is the start of a journal of my stay in Leadville in early August, 2012. Boom Days & the Leadville 100 Bike & Trail races have been cancelled for 2020...
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Old 05-29-2020, 03:58 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Curious Mike View Post
When asked recently about summertime camping without air conditioning, a veteran van dweller said "just stay above 7000 feet". Knowing there are some exceptions to every rule, would you say generally speaking that statement is accurate?
There is a measurement called the "standard atmosphere adiabatic lapse rate" that's used in aviation a lot.

The mathematics are rather complex, but for mere mortals like ourselves, a rough rule-of-thumb is for every 1000' of elevation, the temperature drops by 3.5 degrees F.

Chuck
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Old 05-29-2020, 04:37 PM   #16
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And Leadville has a decent golf course with super views.
The balls fly well there.

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Old 05-29-2020, 06:16 PM   #17
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For a long time golfers played the Mt Massive Golf Course in Leadville just to say they played the highest in the US at 9680', but has now been beat by Copper Creek Golf Club at 9863'.
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Old 05-29-2020, 06:28 PM   #18
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Copper had their golf course all laid out and found out they were just short of the highest. So, they changed the plan and moved one hole higher on the hill to get the honors.
I was a ski instructor at Copper for a dozen years and a guide with the Copper Over The Hill gang too.

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Old 05-29-2020, 06:42 PM   #19
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I get altitude sickness above 7000 so I'll just stick to the northwest for cooler camping.
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Old 05-29-2020, 06:53 PM   #20
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Bear Lake, Colorado

PS to Dave Walter - that's not a road- that's a trip on insanity.
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