Explore Colorado: With My Son - Planning Our 2016 Summer Trip

July 18th I finally get my son back from his dad = YAY! So ready to have him back, even if only for a week or so. (His dad gets the majority of the summer break.)
This year I really want to share my love of exploring Colorado with my son - especially since he is turning into a typical 2000's-or something-kiddo, and is forever attached to some form of technology.

This is what I am thinking so far...

Day 1 & 2 : We pick him up in Steamboat Springs. My thought is that we camp on my friends property (Day/Night 1) outside of Steamboat (beautiful piece of property! but break him in with toilets haha), and spend a day tubing the Yampa River (Day 2).

Day 2 : Drive to Summit County (after tubing) so we can drop off our tube, and so my son can see my parents/his grandparents. While my son gets his grandparent fix, we may set up camp - if we do not get back too late and are not exhausted. If we camp in County Night 2; thinking maybe Peru Creek area, St Johns (above Montezuma), or Windy Ridge (behind Alma) - all areas have camping, hiking and fishing. And we want to explore all of these areas more than we have.

My idea is to head Southwest from here. My favorite area of Colorado is the San Juan Mountain Range; I just have not decided whether to camp our way there, or drive there and camp our way back...

Areas I would like to visit with my son on this trip: Black Canyon of the Gunnison (Camp 1 Night), Crested Butte to visit our friend (Camp 1-2 Nights), San Juan Bi-Way (Camp 2 Nights), and Buena Vista for Hot Springs.
...Looking at this now in type I think we may have a game plan...

Day 3 : Drive to Glenwood Springs/Carbondale/Aspen area to camp (on route to Black Canyon of the Gunnison). This is another area we have wanted to explore more, especially after spending time there this spring for my sons weekend lacrosse tournament in El Jebel.
(I highly recommend Hanging Lake Trail in Glenwood Canyon, as well as the trail to Doc Holidays Grave/Pioneer Cemetery in Glenwood Springs. Both are family friendly. We have not checked out the Pools/Springs/Caves there yet, but hear they are fun! As well, Glenwood Springs has all sorts of family friendly fun to be had; from their new activities high above town on the mountain top, to rafting, hiking, local restaurants, art, festivals, and more!)

Day 4 : Pack up camp site EARLY, and head to Black Canyon of the Gunnison and spend the day exploring; It is a true natural beauty! Breath taking in every sense! But it is not something I would explore "off the main trail" with my son (currently), so I know we could do it in a day as you drive from view point to view point within the park - much like the Grand Canyon.

Camping is sparse in the area, so we will definitely want to figure out where we want to camp before leaving for this trip. (As well, camping at the bottom of the canyon = ticks, mosquitos, and the like : with a dog + child + camping = momma is all good on that lol) If financially possible, maybe we will spoil ourselves and book a room at one of the hot springs "resorts" in the Ridgway area. (If you chose to stay somewhere with fee, whether it be a campground or resort, be sure to make a reservation. Can not tell you how many times we have done last minute trips and not been able to find anywhere to stay.)

Day 5 : IF we camp in the Black Canyon area, we may want to explore the Canyon some more, buuut ;-) if not, we begin exploring the San Juan Mountain Range, and camping in the Uncompaghre National Forest.

Day 6 - 7 : Telluride, Ames, Stoner (tehe),  Dolores & Cortez, Durango, Silverton, and Ouray; I can't wait!

Day 8 : Pack up and head to Crested Butte to see a friend whom is family. < happy heart >
Camp in the Crested Butte area over night; I hope to find a good spot on a lake/pond for the boys to fish. We, or should I say, "I" (lol) definitely need to do some research on the area... been many years since I was last in the Crested Butte area. Time to ask my Crested Butte friend where to camp :-)

Day/Night 9 : Take it easy!
Enjoy our morning. Pack up. Enjoy the beautiful drive from Crested Butte, over Monarch Pass to Buena Vista, and thennn... Unwind in the Hot Springs in Buena Vista and camp on Cottonwood Pass - one of my favorite spots to camp!

(Left: Cottonwood Hot Springs, Right: Mount Princeton Hot Springs)

NOTE: Whenever possible we camp on National Forest Land. If you chose this route please learn & follow the rules, and please (as humanly possible) Leave No Trace.

Day 10 : ...head home?

...This is just a rough draft though ;-)

I would love any & all suggestions!
And let me know if you try this trip :-)

Until next time,
Live. Laugh. Love.

On Pinterest? Camp? Follow my Camping Board!


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