Looking for some information opinions of folks in Colorado. We have a trip planned to Mueller State Park with reservations in the park from July 7th through July 12. Mueller has not updated their current conditions since 6/19 which was before the Waldo Canyon fire started. I know that travel west from Colorado Springs is limited due to fire containment efforts, so I am looking for some information. Does anyone have any word on the conditions at Mueller (is the current fire/smoke affecting the park so much that the trip would not be worth it? As well as the surrounding areas, Garden of the Gods, Royal Gorge) is it even possible to go west from Colorado Springs at this point? We have nine days before we leave but I don’t foresee it getting much better? Am I CRAZY to even think we will still be able to go? Should we just cancel our reservations now?
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I'm not from that area at all, so have no clue how to answer your question about accessability or not. However, if it were me, I'd still like to go (provided the park is still open), even if was burned down completely.
Contrary to most opinions (I'm sure), we all love to see beautiful trees and pristine lakes and rivers, and the tranquility of nature when we go camping. But far to often we forget that the strong forces of nature are also just as interesting. We all love sunshine, but rain is facinating when camping. Sit back and listen to it, close your eyes, hear the sounds, smell the air, relax and enjoy... something we far too often forget to do because we are so active and want those sunny days.
The aftermath of a devistating fire is equally as compelling as a beautiful sunny day at the beach. We had opportunity a few years ago to visit an area that was consumed by fire, although everything was opened back up, what we saw and experienced was beyond words. To see how the forces of nature did what it did is an experience you just have to "experience." There is beauty in "that" kind of camping too.
There again, I cannot answer the availability of what is open to the public and accessable, but if I had a chance, and the campground was open, I'd sure go!
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We live near one of the fire areas High Park and had reservations at campgrounds above the fire. Needless to say we cancelled our reservations. I think you answered your own question with your statement"Am I CRAZY to even think we will still be able to go?"
As I type this, Hwy 24 is still closed west of I-25. The Waldo Canyon fire is just 5% contained. The winds have subsided somewhat today so hopefully that will help the firefighters get more control over that fire. As it stands today, if it were me, I wouldn't plan on coming.
You would be camping within 15 or so miles (as the crow flys) of the fire. But the fire would also have to cross hwy 24 to head that direction. So far the line has kept it from crossing hwy 24. I don't know whats its like up there right now but the wind is unpredictable so I am sure you'll at least smell the smoke. If the winds blow out of the north-northest you'll get smoke.
If it were me I would still go, if the smoke gets to bad I'd just move on elsewhere. As of today, you would have to come in from the west. With hwy 24 closed there is no way to get there from colorado springs. Garden of the Gods is closed due to the fire.
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I'm in a rv park close to South Fork Co. At this point all fires are at least 200 miles away. I have a friend that was scheduled to go to Garden of the God's rv park, and he has cancelled and coming here this Sunday. Just saying that to say there is a kit if Colorado that is not affected by fire. I also understand as dry as it is fire could start most anywhere. Mueller is beautiful and if wind is blowing the right direction it would be fine, however; you will have to come in from the west.
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I believe you can also get to Mueller off of Hwy 50 between Pueblo and Canon City. I think's Hwy 67 which would take you through Cripple Creek.
Thats Phanton Canyon road it heads north from Canon City and turns into hwy 67 at the victor mine. Great drive, recommend it in a vehicle, it has been a long time since I went that way. Last i knew it was mostly a dirt road from where it turns into hwy 67 south to hwy 50. I would seek more advice before traveling that way in an RV.
Thank you all so much for your thoughts and opinions. I think as everything stands today, we have deceided to keep our reservations and pray for the best. Not only for our vacation but for everyone and everything that is being affected by the fires.
You cannot go through Phantom Canyon with an RV; I believe there are length restrictions. As things stand now, US-24 will likely be open by the time you get here, but there is another route you can travel if it continues to be closed (It is currently open but "restricted"). You can travel US-285 to Pine Junction, then take CO-126 south to Deckers where it joins CO-67. That will take you to Woodland Park where you can get onto US-24 westbound to Divide. The route is 2 lanes most of the way, but good road and drivable in an RV.
I love Mueller and will be there early August. Unless conditions worsen over the next week or so, I would recommend going ahead with your trip. You can keep up with current road conditions on the CDOT website. Good luck.
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