Sunday, June 30, 2013

Telluride Historical Museum

  Built in 1896, this building served as a hospital for the miners and their families. As the mines started closing in the 1950s and 60s, the population dropped and a hospital was no longer needed. Now the building houses a very well done museum with exhibits about the history of Telluride and the surrounding area.

  Everything is accessible. A lift access the second floor.

  Parking is limited. A few spaces for cars are located next to the building. RVs can be parked along Fir Street.  Museum
37.93959, -107.81075

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Lizard Head Pass Dispersed Camping

   Gorgeous 360 degree views! This meadow is at the the top of a 10,300’ pass. Free camping is permitted for 7 days out of 30. The dirt roads, which lead to flat spots where people have previously camped, can be rutted and rough. If you’re unsure about the road check before proceeding.  Pass
37.80798, -107.90465

Friday, June 28, 2013

Target Tree Campground

    There are two sections in the campground – a group horse campground and a small loop of regular campsites. The campground doesn’t seem to get a lot of use. It’s very quiet but traffic noise can be heard from some of the sites.

  None of the sites are marked as assessable but many are usable. All of the tables have long overhangs. The ground covering is small gravel. The vault toilets are accessible but do not have paved access paths from any of the sites.

  Some of the sites are large enough for any RV.  Campground
37.34136, -108.18863

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Animas River Trail

  This trail follows alongside the Animas River for seven miles. Most of it is wide, smooth concrete although there are some older sections that are bumpy asphalt. There are some steep parts as the path goes down and back up for the underpasses. Restaurants and stores are accessible from the path.

  There are numerous parking lots with trail access but one of the best places for RV parking is at the visitor center lot in Santa Rita Park. Trail
37.27239, -107.88546

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Mining Heritage Center & County Jail Museum

  Part of this museum started it’s life as a boarding house constructed with huge timbers, hand hewn  and dovetailed together. It had served the miners of Caledonia Mine in the 1890s and was being destroyed by the elements when the historic society went to work to save it. It was carefully dismantled, trucked down many switchbacks and reassembled in Silverton. An addition has been added to display the large collection mining equipment and artifacts. Admission includes a 1902 pre-fab kit jail house. The warden and his family lived on the first floor with the prisoners living above them. Note the metal ceiling which supported a concrete floor on the second level.
  Most of the museum is accessible. A ramp leads to the entrances of both the museum and jail. A small lift accesses the three floors of the museum. There’s a steep ramp in the basement of the museum which leads to the basement of the jail where a mineral collection is on display. Some of the doorways to the rooms in the living quarters of the jail have high barriers that are hard to see over. The second floor of the jail is not accessible – steps and no lift.

  The parking lot is large enough for any RV. Museum
  37.8149, -107.66181

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Mineral Creek Dispersed Camping

   This is a beautiful setting but don’t expect to be alone.Since the camping area is easy to access and close to Silverton, it’s very popular. A sign with the rules marks the entrance. Dispersed camping is allowed in designated areas only. A large opened rocky area allows camping close to the creek. Other camping spots are nestled under the pines. Dust may be a problem depending on the wind and the amount of traffic through the campground. No tables or trash cans but there is a vault toilet. Rangers make regular rounds to enforce the 14 day camping limit.

  The creek is polluted with metals from mine drainage. It’s still pretty but I doubt that it supports any life.

  The camping area is accessible by any RV. The road is a little rough but in good condition overall. This link is for a developed campground a few miles father down the road. It also has information about the dispersed camping areas- Camping
37.81922, -107.71423

Monday, June 24, 2013

Amphitheatre NF Campground

  Located on the side of the mountain above Ouray, this campground is suitable for small RVs and tents. The entrance road is narrow with tight curves and restricted to RVs under 26’ and trailer/tow vehicles under 35’.

  Three of the sites close to the accessible vault toilets are marked as wheelchair accessible. One is used by the camp host and one is  tilted and has a tight bend but the third one is fine The site (#17) that we chose is very accessible but not marked as such. All of the tables have long overhangs. The ground is surfaced with small gravel.

  The campground name comes from the way the mountain has been shaped by a volcanic explosion. The best view of this and the town of Ouray is from the overlook which is right in the campground. There’s a small parking lot but RVs may not be able to turn around. It’s a short but rather steep walk. Campground
38.02264, -107.66171

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Dennis Weaver Memorial Park & Bike Path

   Dennis Weaver, actor and environmentalist, donated this piece of land, located along the Uncompaghre River, for a public park. Most of it has been left in a natural state except for a small picnic area and a medicine wheel with a huge eagle sculpture in the center. Trails, access to the river and a paved bike path are near the parking lot.

  The medicine wheel paths are surfaced with small gravel – easy to push along. The bike path is accessed by traveling for a short distance along a gravel road. This is a little steep and rough. Most wheelchair user will need to have some help. Heading south the one mile section, which ends in Ridgeway, is smooth, wide, flat and very scenic.  The northern section climbs steeply, then parallels US 550 before ending in Ridgeway State Park. We waked/rolled along the southern section only.

The gravel lot is large enough for any RV.  Park
38.16779, -107.74735

Uncompahgre RiverWay Trail

    We walked and rolled on a short section of this trail so I’m not sure how many of the 6.2 miles are concrete and how many are gravel. We entered the trail from the Ute Indian Museum grounds. This section is in very good condition, level and scenic, passing by fields and with views of snowy mountains.

   The parking lot is large enough for any RV but the gate to the trail may be locked when the museum closes. Getting back to the parking lot will require traveling on the shoulder of US 550. Use another lot if you plan to use the trail late in the day.

   The parking lots at the museum and across the street from it are large enough for RVs.Trail
38.43442, -107.86799

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Ute Indian Museum

   Located on land that was once the homestead of Chief Ouray and his wife Chipeta, this is a small but interesting museum. The building  also houses the Montrose Visitor Information Center. The grounds include a park with teepees and a path leading to the grave of Chipeta.

   Everything is accessible.

   The parking lot is large enough for any RV.  Museum
38.43523, -107.86737

Friday, June 21, 2013

Montrose County Historical Museum

  The old Montrose railroad depot houses artifacts of early pioneers, miners, ranchers and farmers. Two cabins, a caboose, a stagecoach and lots of old equipment are located outside. Unfortunately there’s very little information about any of it and we left the museum knowing no more about Montrose than we did when we went in.

  The museum and grounds are partially accessible. There’s a ramp to the entrance but no landing. The door opens in but it’s still awkward to enter. The ramp to the grounds doesn’t have a landing either. The upstairs is accessed by steps only. The caboose and the two cabins have steps.

  RVs can be parked in front of the museum, taking up several spaces, but watch the roof overhang which sticks out into the street a little bit. Museum
38.47784, -107.87977

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

  The canyon is so deep and narrow that it’s hard to see the river that is responsible for cutting through all of the layers of sedimentary  stone and volcanic rock and ash. Overlooks allow visitors to peek down into the canyon but there are no marked or maintained trails into the canyon.The visitor center has displays about the geological and human history plus a short film.  A 7 mile long scenic drive follows the southern rim road with stops at 12 overlooks. The campground has 87 sites, 23 have electric hookups.

   The visitor center is accessible. Five of the overlooks are accessible. The others have short paths that are steep, rocky or have steps. The campground has two accessible sites. One is in the electric loop and is so small that it’s only suitable for a van. The other has been redone and is large enough for any RV. It’s paved under the table and around the fire ring. A paved path leads to the vault toilets. This is also the path the other campers use so expect that people will be walking through the site. We parked sideways because it was more level.
    The visitor center and the overlooks have enough room for RVs unless the park is really busy. The campground loop with electric hookups has the most sites that are long enough for large RVs. Reserve a site if you need a long one or one with electricity.  Park
38.53863, -107.70309
013  019

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Curecanti NRA-Elk Creek Campground

   Blue Mesa Reservoir in Curecanti NRA is popular with fishermen trying to catch big Mackinaw trout, which can be more than 39 pounds, kokanee salmon, rainbow, brown and brook trout. There are ten campgrounds. Reservations are necessary for electric hookup sites. The picture above is the non-electric section of Elk Creek Campground. The sites are nicely spaced but have little vegetation for privacy.

  None of the sites are specifically wheelchair accessible but most will work. The tables all have long overhangs and the parking pads are asphalt and small gravel.

Many sites are long enough for any RV.  Park
38.46649, -107.18399

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Almont NF Campground

  Ten primitive campsites are strung out along the Gunnison River. Five  are tent only. The other five are fairly small and RVs longer than 35 feet may have a problem in the turn around. The area is scenic with fast flowing water and high rocky hills visible from the sites. A steady stream of traffic passes by on Hwy 135 during the day but nights are quiet.

  None of the sites are accessible but a couple of them are usable. The pit toilets are not accessible.  Campground
38.65388, -106.85772

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Crested Butte Mountain Heritage Museum

  Crested Butte was a coal mining town for 70 years. After the mine closed in the 1950s the town was rapidly losing population but, with the opening of a ski resort in 1960 and with the popularity of mountain biking, it’s become a destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Crested Butte is typical of other tourist towns with restaurants and shops lining the main street.  Even though fires swept through the town several times, many of the buildings date from the 1880s. Forty two buildings are including in a walking tour.The paved road ends just past town so this is a one way trip unless you have four wheel drive. The 28 mile road is very scenic, traveling through a valley that is half ranch land, half country estates.
  The museum is housed in a general store that was in operation from 1883 to 1996. All of the old fixtures are still in place including the pot belly stove. The first part of the museum is free and starts in the store. A $4.00 fee is is charged to see the rest which is pretty small.
  A high threshold is at the store entrance. A ramp leads to the second part of the museum. The main street in Crested Butted is the only street with sidewalks. They’re in good condition but most of the shops have steps up to the entrances.
  A small parking lot is located behind the museum. Short RVs and vans will fit. Larger RVs can be parked along the street.

  Don’t miss the dragon and knight sculpture as you come into town! Museum
38.86979, -106.98434

Monday, June 17, 2013

Gunnison Pioneer Museum

   Over a dozen buildings have been relocated to the museum grounds. Each one serves as a small museum in itself. Along with many miscellaneous possessions donated by local people are collections of everything imaginable – beer cans, cameras, sewing machines, cowboy hats, dolls, WW II posters and a great collection of antique cars.

  The museum is partially accessible.  A ramp leads to the entrance but the door is very heavy. The main museum building is all accessible. A lift accesses the second floor. The grounds do not have paths and the grass is very thick. Many of the buildings have steps without a ramp. Some have high thresholds. The staff will provide a golf cart ride to the farther away areas of the museum grounds for visitors who are able to board a cart.

  RVs can be parked along the street.  Museum
38.5438, -106.91788

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Saguache County Museum

  The women who volunteer at the museum are wonderful tour guides, taking visitors through each room of the museum and pointing out all of the interesting bits of local trivia. A small jail that could house four prisoners is located on the grounds along with old machinery and farm equipment.

  The museum is accessible but some of the thresholds are high. The path to the entrance is gravel. The grounds are grassy and uneven – hard to push through.

  Parking is along the street. Museum
38.08635, -106.14226

Russell Lakes SWA Dry Camp

  Camping for self contained RVs is permitted in the parking lot. A trail leads out into the meadows and around the lakes. Parts of the wildlife area are closed from February 15 through July 15 to protect wintering and nesting waterfowl but there weren’t any signs prohibiting trail use. The parking lot is close to a busy road so it’s noisy during the day but fairly quiet at night.

The parking lot and trail are surfaced in large loose gravel making it very difficult to push through. The vault toilet is accessible.

  The lot is large enough for any RV. Wildlife Area
37.93829, -106.14411