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Accomodations for Colorado fall colors
  
 
loudtiger
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Accomodations for Colorado fall colors


Hi,

I'm planning a trip at the last weekend of September to try to visit some good spots in Colorado for fall colors. Right now, I'm thinking of these places:

Crested Butte
Last Dollar Road
San Juan Mountains
Maroon Bells

Unfortunately, I'm not very familiar with this area - should I be looking for hotels in the Aspen area? Or are there lodges that would be closer? Where would you recommend I stay? I will likely be flying into Denver and driving over.


Thanks for any pointers!



Jul 15, 2014 at 12:34 PM
JimFox
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Accomodations for Colorado fall colors


For Maroon Bells, you will want to stay in Aspen. It's a bit pricey, but you are then only 20 mins or so away from the Bells.

For Last Dollar Road and the San Juan Mountains, Ridgway is the closest town, they have a couple of motels. Otherwise Ouray is a good option.

And then Crested Butte, it has lodging too. Now depending on how much time you want to spend in Crested Butte, you could just shoot Maroon Bells first and stay in Aspen for how many days you want. Then leave for Crested Butte, shoot around that area during the day, and then end up in the evening at Ouray or Ridgway and spend a couple of days in the San Juan Mountains (which includes the Last Dollar Road).

Hope that helps.

Jim



Jul 15, 2014 at 08:40 PM
jalamiller
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Accomodations for Colorado fall colors


Hi Guys, I'm doing the same thing on about Sept. 20th. I'm looking at staying around Crested Butte. LoudTiger, I'm planning on camping in the outback. If you are into camping it is much cheaper and you don't need reservations (I found many campgrounds full.) You can park your car and camp 300 feet either side of the certain roads. These are called MVUM maps found here: http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/gmug/maps-pubs/?cid=stelprdb5191814

JimFox, I'm there for about four days. My research says I can stay pretty busy shooting around Crested Butte and Gunnison area. Are those pretty good locations? It seems driving all the way over to Maroon Bells would be quite a trip. Any thoughts on that?



Jul 16, 2014 at 08:13 PM
Darren K
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Accomodations for Colorado fall colors


Not only is (dispersed/boondock) camping free, but there is no real travel time to and from at either end of the day, which is particularly useful at sunrise. That's stating the obvious, though. If camping is not in the cards, I would sure think Carbondale or Basalt would be economically more friendly for lodging over Aspen for that particular area, but I don't do anything except camp, so I can't say for sure. Crested Butte and Ridgway/Ouray would definitely be the best options for their respective areas.

Jala, I've never heard of an MVUM map! How about that. Doesn't look like those maps contain anything that aren't in a state road atlas, other than the fact there is no cost.

You could easily spend an entire week in that area alone when peak color is going, so yes, it is a great location. Per your other post, though, you would be early and would have a lot of green, so you'd likely feel the need to roam around a bit more. Black Canyon is always nearby as another option if the trees aren't keeping you busy.

The drive to Aspen would take a few hours from Kebler. If the Maroon Bells are on your list, by all means, do it. Drive north and spend an evening towards the end of Capitol Creek Road out of Snowmass for sunset of Capitol Peak, then drive the 45 minutes out to camp at the quiet East Maroon Creek TH to be ready for sunrise at the Bells, then spend the better part of the morning along Maroon Creek and Castle Creek before heading back around and to the south. You could take an alternate route back to 133 and drive West Sopris Creek/Prince Creek roads that gets you closer to our second tallest (not highest) peak in the state, Mt. Sopris. That would be a worthwhile trip, no doubt.



Jul 16, 2014 at 10:44 PM
 

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jalamiller
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Accomodations for Colorado fall colors


Hi Darren, I am flying with Southwest and I see they allow a change to flight dates. So would it best to back it up one week or two? Either Sept. 27-30 or Oct. 4-7. I'd like to hit the Crested Butte area. Thanks.


Jul 17, 2014 at 05:57 PM
Darren K
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Accomodations for Colorado fall colors


Of the two, I am inclined to suggest the 27th-30th. The later range would mainly favor the McClure Pass forest below Chair Mountain and the grand forest on the west end of Kebler below West Beckwith Mountain. Ohio Pass and the Aspen area are generally best towards the beginning of that range, while the rest of Kebler goes somewhere in between.


Jul 17, 2014 at 10:02 PM
jalamiller
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Accomodations for Colorado fall colors


Thanks for the help!!


Jul 18, 2014 at 07:25 PM





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