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Old 12-30-2008   #1
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 33
Winter Camping - Summit Cty?

Is there any relatively easy place to winter camp or car camp in Summit County? I'd like to be able to spend less time driving to/from Denver during the ski season.

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Old 12-30-2008   #2
Snowhere's Avatar
Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 93
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 844
Good luck finding places now. 16 years ago I winter camped plenty. Being a poor college student at the time I would camp out in the back of my truck where ever I could. I would stay around Frisco as I was skiing Copper back then. Most of the places I could park and sleep are gone. Basin lot at Copper is now condos. Frisco water works is now gated off. You could try officers gulch, but I am sure the man will hassle you or the traffic will keep you awake. You might be able to get away with it in the Janet's cabin lot at Copper, or behind some large hotels, depends on how gutsy you are. Chances are, you might be hassled just about anywhere in 'Denver-west', nowadays. You can aways park and hike in to get away from being hassled. I know a few who would do that, but not having a vehicle to hide made it easier for them. This would be an option up Miners creek road, but you will have to ski in quite a bit and you still may be inundated by snowmobiles.

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Old 12-31-2008   #3
Dillon, Colorado
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 16
If you truly plan on camping, there are a few spots off of Montezuma Road. You shouldn't have to worry about being hassled unless you stay more than 14 days or your vehicle isn't fully out of the roadway and blocking snow removal. Not much privacy and you will see a lot of day time traffic, but not bad if you know how to handle the harsh enviroment. If all else fails, join the RV crowd at the Walmart parking lot.
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Old 12-31-2008   #4
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Indian Hills, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,448
Historically, there were some camping options off of Swan Mtn Road near Soda Gulch and also right off of Hwy 9 between Frisco and Breck where the road bends toward the River. Both might be condos now. 'In the day, there were some unsecured, poorly guarded and unpatrolled HEATED parking garages near Keystone which were a real favorite.

Montezuma Rd is a good call. I seem to recall that the pull-offs were not plowed during big snow years. Perhaps you could park at the lot for the Peru Creek trailhead?
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Old 01-01-2009   #5
Boise, Idaho
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 108
If I remember right there is a small parking lot just up the road from A-Basin on the left. It's been some years since I left but I remember my buddy living out of his RV up there.
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Old 01-01-2009   #6
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are you not allowed to park in the resort lot overnight? maybe not for days but if you left at the end of the day and came back at night? thoughts?
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Old 01-01-2009   #7
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Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 93
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Most do not allow overnight parking in the lots do to that's when they do their snow removal operations. Even if it does not snow, they tend to move snow around and work on maintaining the lot, so it would be tough to get any sleep in the lots.
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Old 01-03-2009   #8
Vail, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1066
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 165
Article in the Vail Daily today about a man who was fond frozen in his tent in Summit.
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Old 01-03-2009   #9
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Eastern Slope, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1980
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 2,404
You want to know the spot? The sweet, super, Summit spot? Alright, I'll tell you, but only because I'll be in the nearest condo by the fire with a hot toddy.

Across the state highway from the Copper Mountain entrance you will find the Corn Lot. This is where they park the weekend overflow. On the same side of the road, and less than a half mile south, is a simple, legal, pull off camp site by the creek with several fire rings and plenty of room. I knew a guy who lived there all summer. Come to think of it, I hope it's him they found frozen...
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Old 01-03-2009   #10
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Buena Vista, Colorado
Paddling Since: 93
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Posts: 844
Yea, if you need a heater, you should not be winter camping. My stint of winter camping was right before I headed to Alaska to climb. So my gear was fine to -55, and with some additional layers, would keep me comfy much lower. The gentleman that was found, had a few demons, RIP.

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