CO 2017, July 24-29: La Reunión Buena de Buena Vista Rally - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-12-2017, 06:59 PM   #1
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2017, July 24-29: La Reunión Buena de Buena Vista Rally

La Reunión Buena de Buena Vista Rally

When: July 24-29, 2017, or whenever you arrive and decide to depart.

Where: Buena Vista, Colorado

If you have been curious about boondocking, or have wanted to try it but were concerned about being on your own in the sticks, this is the event for you. If you are open to some dispersed camping in the Buena Vista area, just south of Leadville, you will enjoy a nice dispersed site near town on the old Colorado Midland railroad grade road. It has some trees and you can walk down to the Arkansas River. It may be an event held just this year, or whenever the Rocky Mountain Rendezvous group does not have a planned meet.

The area all the way from Interstate 70 down through Leadville, Buena Vista and down to Salida is a rally great area. Plenty so see and do and several dispersed camping sites. It’s about 2.5 hours from Denver and is a quick get-away without driving all the way to Durango, Silverton, Lake City, etc. for great views. The road over Independence Pass to Aspen is south of Leadville about half way to Buena Vista. There is also Cottonwood Pass out of Buena Vista, and a whole lot of other roads to take to incredible places. You will see why Colorado's largest business is tourism.

Dispersed camping here is nice since no reservations, registration, BLM permits or payments are required. Whether just a few or many show up, it won’t matter. Just pull in, set up and enjoy the setting, activities and great views. I am guessing that the site can accommodate at least a dozen campers, probably more.

There are no check-in or check-out times. Arrive and depart whenever you want to. Maximum stay in this site is 14 days. There are no pre arrival or post leave dates. Just arrive and depart within the 14-day limit.

The site is about 3 miles north of Buena Vista on the old Midland Railroad roadbed. At the traffic light (there is only one) in town on Hwy 24, It intersects with Main Street. Turn left and go about 3 or 4 blocks east to I believe Colorado Ave. (I will check for sure before the get together). Turn left and follow the road out of town. It is asphalt at first then turns to gravel after the houses. Continue through the two tunnels. After the second one, you will see a very large rock ahead on the left. That’s where you want to go. Enter on the right side of the rock and you are there! Don’t drive in on the left side of the rock as that is for those who put in or take out for rafting. If you arrive during the week, the site is usually pretty empty.

Watch for on-coming traffic through the tunnels. They are wide enough for only one vehicle, don’t try to meet another in them. They are short so allowing the other vehicle to advance is no big deal and drivers are courteous.

Services: There are no services such as a pit toilet, garbage dumpsters, drinking water or hook-ups of any kind, so each camper has to be self-contained. Bring whatever you need to survive, however, if you forget something, you are only about 3 miles from Buena Vista so it’s easy to get food from a City Market (Kroger) food store at big city prices, not tourist town prices. Also has a large, new Ace Hardware, Tractor Supply, Loves truck stop, and many local mom and pop restaurants and coffee shops. No franchised ones in the entire town. Has a new library with free wifi and really nice seating.

Showers are available for a fee at the Senior Center on the far east end of Main Street in Buena Vista, in the new red building on the right side.

Bring a large garbage bag to hold each of the daily smaller garbage bags so everything is hauled out after.

Pets: All pets must be kept on a leash and you are also responsible for cleanup and disposal of your pet’s waste. No Pit Bull or Doberman dog breeds allowed. They are illegal in Denver for a good reason.

For those who need a Wal-Mart fix, there is one down in Salida, otherwise, Buena Vista has everything you need. It is a tourist/local rancher town and not at all pretentious. It is boondocking without being in the boonies unless you want to go further into it.

No 4x4 or heavier vehicle is needed as it is a level, maintained road as well as are the campsites. I am guessing that the site can accommodate at least a dozen campers, probably more

What to do: Since there are so many things for each to do on their own in the area, there would be only a Meet-and-Greet and viewing other campers for planned events. However, for those who insist on having some traditional activities as well, we could “borrow” a couple of ideas from the Quartzite gathering such as each contributing a can of soup (no cream style) that gets all mixed together and shared with the group one day for lunch. It tastes surprisingly good.

We could also use their dessert pot luck idea. There are a few fire rings there so open fires might be allowed depending on the fire season.

There is also a hiking trailhead about a ¼ mile from the camping site. Some who climb to the top of the rock top next to the site holler out as if they just finished climbing a 14er. Tourists!!

Bring your fly fishing rod for some trout fishing close to the site.

If anyone has a kayak, they can bring it and put-in very close to the site.

Some may want to try the white water rafting on the Arkansas. There are several professional outfitters in Johnson Village just 2 miles south of Buena Vista. Leadville is the headwaters of the Arkansas River and the epicenter of white water rafting. Plan on getting wet if you go!

Photos of the site will be forthcoming in early summer when I get back up there.
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Old 03-12-2017, 07:44 PM   #2
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Sounds like a great site. Count us in.
Dave & Paula
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Old 03-12-2017, 08:16 PM   #3
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A few attendees should bring some Mexican beer! I'll try to come, if I don't end up having to work. You mention kayaks; how fast is the river moving in that spot?
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Old 03-13-2017, 09:58 AM   #4
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Showers for a reasonable fee are also available at Wally Lalas Laundromat in Buena Vista right near the traffic light. You can do your laundry and shower while you wait.
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Old 03-13-2017, 10:38 AM   #5
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On Google maps it is called Miners Camp, at 38.884729, -106.152220. Neat! Would like to make it, but this year's plans are uncertain.
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Old 03-19-2017, 05:43 PM   #6
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Buena Vista Dispersed camping site

Yesterday it was in the high 70's here so decided to shoot up to Buena Vista to get some photos. I wasn't sure if it would be nice there also, or if covered in two feet of snow as it is at 8,000 there.

These are some pics of the site and should give a pretty good idea of what it's like. The ones of the river are taken showing upriver from the site, and the other is downriver from the site. The river is a short distance of about 200 feet from the site after passing under a train trestle and making your way on a path over and around some rocks.

Even though the RR tracks are still there, they have not been used in decades, so no worry about there being any trains at any time.

Look forward to meeting you there.
Jim
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Old 03-20-2017, 10:51 AM   #7
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Arkansas River at Buena Vista

For Mike who asked about kayaking, as well as any others interested in possibly kayaking on the Arkansas. I took some pics of the river as of Saturday above Buena Vista. It was a nice warm day up there and the kayakers were out in full force. When I chatted with some, they said they had been kayaking almost all winter. They said they can put in as far north as by Granite and take out by Buena Vista by the dispersed site, or a little further closer to town in a parking area.

I don’t know the ratings for the various levels of white water, but they seem they would give plenty of action, not just lazily floating down the river. Best to consult some kayaking maps for ratings of the various sections of the river.

The really wild sections are below Buena Vista and are used by the larger, professional rafting companies. They bus you further south to the put in site, and you raft down t where they then pick you up. You will be given instructions on when to paddle to help make it through the rocks and are expected to help for your own safety. There are professional photographers above on the rocks who take photos of you coming through the rapids, and can buy your photo after when you arrive back at the company site.

Below are some pics of the river as of Saturday. The water is a little low yet since the spring runoff is not in full force yet.

There are also spots along the river where you can fish for trout. There are also some really great mountain bicycling trails on the old railroad grade paralleling the river also.

For those who are into HOV, Quads, etc, there is an incredible staging area on road 375 just before the first tunnel with a whole wide area for running. There is also a really nice dispersed campsite .7 miles back on that road with plenty of trees and established sites.
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Old 03-20-2017, 03:28 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Thom Rowland View Post
Showers for a reasonable fee are also available at Wally Lalas Laundromat in Buena Vista right near the traffic light. You can do your laundry and shower while you wait.
There is also the Mt. Princeton Hot Springs Resort a few miles south of Buena Vista near Nathrop. You can soak in the river or the lower pools for a "reasonable fee" and a much higher fee if you use the resort pools. In summer there is a very nice and gentile 440 ft water slide which ends in a hot spring pool.
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Old 03-20-2017, 06:17 PM   #9
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There is also the Cottonwood Hot Springs Inn and Spa just west of Buena Vista going up Cottonwood Pass.
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Old 04-24-2017, 08:48 AM   #10
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We camped at Collegiate Peaks (USFS) campground last summer and LOVED the area. Rode bikes along the Arkansas on the very road where you will camp. HIGHLY recommended. (I was afraid the altitude would be a problem for me, but it was not!)

We're coming back this summer, but it'll be a week or two later, so we'll miss this gathering.

FWIW, Collegiate Peaks cg is on the Cottonwood Pass road, slightly west of Buena Vista; our friends did enjoy an afternoon soak at the Cottonwood Inn spa, and our drive up to the pass was lovely. Great place for a gathering of FGRV's, y'all!
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Old 05-03-2017, 02:30 PM   #11
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This sounds like great fun! I live in Cortez, CO and I'll try to come. Love that area near Buena Vista! Thanks,
Patsy
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Old 06-12-2017, 09:54 AM   #12
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I'd like to correct the information about Pit Bulls and Doberman breeds not allowed on the BLM land as reported earlier. They are banned in Denver, but NOT on Colorado BLM land. All dogs must be kept under control and you have to pick up their poop. The note earlier made it sound like these dogs were not permitted on BLM land. That is not the case. However, the BLM officers I talked to on the phone did get a big laugh when I asked them this question.
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Old 06-12-2017, 10:46 AM   #13
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There is nothing for you to pretend to correct. I never said pit bulls and dobermans were not allowed on BLM land. They are not allowed at the rally, per me!

If you have one, and are considering attending, please leave them at home.
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Old 06-12-2017, 11:03 AM   #14
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We LOVE this area and wish we could join you there!! Maybe next time! Have a wonderful time!
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