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Open Roads Forum  >  RV Parks, Campgrounds and Attractions

 > Where to vacation this fall?

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dkperez

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Posted: 09/11/09 09:34am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We were scheduled to leave Minnesota 9/18 to head to Glacier and up into Canada for 3 weeks. It just got changed and now we won't be going until October 10 - still for 3 weeks.

But, that late, Glacier, Banff, Jasper aren't going to work.

So, I"m looking for information on alternatives... I'm a nature and wildlife photographer so fall colors, preferably with interesting animals and birds are important.

Is mid-October too late for places like Acadia and the New England coastline? Too early for the Carolinas/Virginia?

I'm looking for good information on peak colors/areas/attractions south-or-north east.

South and West would also be OK, although we've spent a fair amount of time in Yellowstone, RMNP and those areas in the last few years.

SO, I'm looking for ideas for great places to spend three weeks photographing in mid/late October.

Ideas?

DesertHawk

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Posted: 09/11/09 01:17pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Have you tried New Mexico Fall Colors ?

A neat area in New Mexico would be:
Cimarron Canyon State Park is three miles east of Eagle Nest along US 64. Cimarron
It is a very scenic area, with a nice trout stream running along. We enjoyed our stay there, some years ago.

Eagle Nest is a neat area as well. Eagle Nest Lake is very pretty, with a just opened primative campground. The drive from Eagle Nest (a neat little town) to Raton you would see Cimarron Canyon SP. You would be driving along or in the Cimarron Canyon much of the way. The village of Cimarron is a neat historic place. Village
Colfax
Cimarron
If you do make it to the Eagle Nest Area, be sure to see the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, one of the first Memorials of its kind in the United States dedicated to Vietnam Veterans. A very moving place. It is in Angle Fire.
Memorial
Angel Fire Memorial

By driving 30 miles from Eagle Nest, one could go to Taos a very historic area. The neat Rio Grande Gorge Bridge is near Taos as well on the way to Chama. Taos
Taos
Pueblo
Rio Gorge
Ditto
Bridge

A Veterinarian in Raton told us to drive SR476 to see wildlife. It was fun. We saw deer, elk, turkeys and a bear.

We also did a day trip to see Capulin Volcano National Monument from Raton area. Cone

When we woke up to snow one morning in June at Sugarite Canyon State Park, we also drove over to see Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site in La Junta, CO to find a warmer area for the day. Bent's Fort Both were neat to see, but Capulin was the neatest. But our young children at the time liked Bent's Old Fort. Capulin seems to be closer to Raton. We also did a drive to the Maxwell National Wildlife Refuge. But this would be better in winter to see more birds. Refuge
Maxwell
We made thes day trips from Sugarite State Park near Raton. Sugarite

We spent a few days in the Telluride area of Colorado, camping at a National Forest Campground on the Dolores River. It must have been West Dolores Campground.

On our way to Creede from the north via Hwy 149, we stayed over night at Silver Thread Campground along the Rio Grande. Camping A very lovely area.

We then spend a night at the Great Sand Dunes Nat'l Park which has the tallest sand dunes in North America at the Park's campground. Pinyon Flats Campground

Fenton Lake State Park is a small out to the way Park surrounded by beautiful ponderosa pine forests. We camped there for 2 or 3 once, a very nice place. Fenton

Carson National Forest - my only personal experience has been camping up by Taos on the Hwy going to Eagle Nest such as La Sombra 8 miles east of Taos along US Highway 64 at 7,800 ft. elevation or Capulin & Las Petacas. One of these can serve as a base to visiting Taos. Find near Taos

San Juans' Attractions

* This post was edited 09/11/09 03:38pm by DesertHawk *


">DesertHawk- Las Cruces, NM USA
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dkperez

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Posted: 09/11/09 03:38pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for the suggestion. We were in NM in 2006 and photographed the Balloon Fiesta. I'm rather disappointed that with the delay we won't be able to be there in time for the event. But, we wandered around New Mexico a little, Santa Fe, Socorro, etc. Then West and up to Zion. But, I'm sure there are areas that would be interesting as you described...

Other ideas? I'm not sure I'll be able to convince my wife to go east, but if the colors are right it'd be great to starst at Acadia and go down the coast a ways... Anyhow, please keep the ideas coming.

coloradodave

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Posted: 09/11/09 03:51pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What about other places like Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, RMNP, Mt. Rushmore, just a bit south of where you were gonna go. If u can make it next year, still would do GNP, Banff, Jasper, well worth the trip.


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Phillerup

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Posted: 09/11/09 04:06pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We recently got back from a long trip to Gettysburg among other stops. It is a very interesting place to visit and would make some very good photos....From there you could go to Shenandoah Valley area and continue down the Blue Ridge Parkway to Asheville and The Biltmore Mansion (very good stop for photos also) and to the Smokeys and Gatlinburg area....The colors would probably be pretty good around The Blue Ridge Parkway and it is a very beautiful area.

Another suggestion is Branson and then down into the Eureka Springs, Ozark Mountains and then on down to Hot Springs, Arkansas---this would also make a very nice three week trip...Lots to do around all those places.



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DesertHawk

Las Cruces, New Mexico

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Posted: 09/11/09 04:07pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The Black Hills around Custer and Mt. Rushmore might work for fall colors, for wildlife for sure. Also on the western side of North Dakota, Theodore Roosevelt National Park is very worthwhile to see. The colorful Little Missouri River Badlands provides the scenic backdrop to the park & home to a variety of prairie plants and animals including bison, prairie dogs, pronghorn, elk, mule deer and wild feral horses.

The South Unit entrance is in Medora, ND. Medora is accessible via Interstate 94 Exits 24 and 27 in North Dakota. Medora is 133 miles west of Bismarck, ND and 27 miles east of the Montana state line. The Painted Canyon Visitor Center is located 7 miles east of Medora on I-94 at Exit 32.

Camping Cottonwood Campground south unit.
North Unit Juniper.

Things to do If following Hwy 2 in North Dakota, Lake Metigoshe State Park which is on the border with Canada about 10 miles north of Bottineau, ND. A very nice campgound in the woods (hard to find in ND at times) and up in some hills called the Turtle Mts. All very pretty, nice lake with bike/hiking trail, boating, fishing.

There is also Turtle River State Park located 22 miles west of Grand Forks on Highway 2.

We stopped at the Teddy Roosevelt Nat’l Park North Unit near Watford, ND for a night around July 19. We had been there last year, but this year we found the first 6 or 7 miles from the entrance is under construction, very dusty and slow going. But we got to see many Bison.

PackerBacker

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Posted: 09/12/09 04:18pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Just be aware that most campgrounds up here in the Canadian east will close after Canadian Thanksgiving which is October 12th this year; as well, so will most in the US northeast.


Eric
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GUNNERS MOM

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Posted: 09/13/09 06:28am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My personal recommendation is the Smokies. This will be prime time for the leaves so you would need to find some reservations now. There is a place called Cades Cove which is a wildlife photographers dream come true. There are bears, deer, coyote, turkeys, etc. Additionally, there are several old refurbished buildings from settlements in the cove. Do a google search on Bill Lea. He is our favorite photographer of the cove.

You won't beat the weather. It is awesome that time of the year. Crisp fall mornings make lots of the "smoke" the mountains are famous for and even more photo ops...

Good luck and wherever you go..be safe and enjoy.

Klueck

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Posted: 09/11/09 07:04pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would think heading south would be great. North Georgia peaks around the 3rd week of October. The farther north, the sooner. You could start north and follow the fall colors down south. That is a dream trip of ours.

photofinder

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Posted: 09/11/09 10:14pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I second what Deserthawk has to say. There is alot to photograph in the Black Hill area of South Dakota. Custer State Park is great for wildlife. We saw Bison, prairie dogs, and pronghorn up close. Just make sure you take some carrots for the burros,as they will come right up to your car to get fed, and are quite tame. We didn't know about them, so didn't have anything with us, so they came up just for a friendly pat. We asked someone how the burros got there, and apparently they were left from mining days, and have just multiplied from then. Also, you've got Mt Rushmore, and the Badlands in the area, that are definitely worth spending time photographing.
Kathy

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