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Camping Mid to Late May

Bastrop, Texas
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865 posts
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Camping Mid to Late May

I am thinking of planning a camping trip for the week before Memorial Day next year. We would plan to sleep in our SUV and I would like to be at a developed campground (pit toilets at least) somewhat close to a town. Being reservable would be a plus. We are driving from Texas, so I need to take into account what route to take.

The goal is to enjoy nature, hike (doesn't have to be high elevation), play in some snow, and visit nearby towns. We are comfortable with night temps around freezing. We have gear to stay comfortable down to 20 degrees, but that makes for terrible night trips to the bathroom.

We have visited Colorado before and are planning a trip to RMNP this summer. Those trips have always been in the summer and we stayed in hotels.

Thank you in advance for any recommendations you guys can give.

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Texas
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United States
3 replies to this topic
Eagle, Colorado
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1. Re: Camping Mid to Late May

Areas around Salida/Buena Vista are a bit lower and warmer but easy access to higher areas. Gives you warmer nights and flexibility. If there is a high snow year high country stuff can be problematic in May for access while they might be more accessible in a dry year like this year. We love camping up chalk creek near Mt. Princeton Hot Springs/Buena Vista. There are few forest service campgrounds up there and then some as part of the Arkansas River Headwaters area.

This area has hot springs, near high mountains, great whitewater and Buena Vista and Salida are both nice small towns that are not super expensive compared to some of the resort areas.

The Durango area is also similar in that you can camp around Durango a bit lower, you can go down to the desert if the weather is cool, but easily get up higher if the weather is cooperative. There is a ton to see and do there also, although now they are having fires, so how that affects things long term remains to be seen.

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Salida
Salida
Colorado
Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort
Mount Princeton Hot...
1,837 Reviews
Nathrop, CO
Durango
Durango
Colorado
Bastrop, Texas
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2. Re: Camping Mid to Late May

Thanks.

I was eyeing Mesa Verde/Durango. We visited Mesa Verde a couple years ago, but didn't do any of the tours. I've been wanting to go back. That same trip we drove the million dollar highway from Ouray to Durango, but it was raining and foggy, so the views weren't great. The train might be a good way to experience it in May. Maybe camping a few nights near Durango and then a couple near Mesa Verde.

I'm also thinking of pushing it to the week of Memorial Day, but that seems like it will be much more crowded.

Salida/Buena Vista looks great, but I'm leaning towards saving that for later in the summer when the white water will be tamer. Thinking about a week after 4th of July trip also (or is that just too crowded?).

Edited: 07 June 2018, 23:37
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Durango
Colorado
Ouray
Ouray
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Salida
Salida
Colorado
Eagle, Colorado
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526 posts
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3. Re: Camping Mid to Late May

Depends on your definition of too crowded. Depending how the holiday falls the weekend will be super busy but will get a bit quieter after. Even on holiday weekends you can find hikes and places that are fine. You just want to reserve campsites way out the best ones go quick.

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