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So, my wife and I are headed down to see the Ute Bear Dance festival over Memorial Day weekend. From what I can tell, the Ute reservation is essentially between Pagosa Springs and Durango.

My wife has never camped before, but likes the idea of spending time in beautiful, more remote places (ie not around RVs). I feel like this is the perfect opportunity to introduce her to some light camping, with the hope that she enjoys and and wants to do it more.

I've never been to southwest Colorado and need some advice from locals or other people in the know: where would be a good non-campground place to camp? I'm guessing somewhere in the San Juan NF would be ideal, but really don't know where to start. We'd want to stick with car camping or a site a quick walk from the car this time around.

I'd appreciate any good tips or advice you guys have. If she enjoys herself, it will be a total game-changer for me, so it's really important! Thanks in advance.
 

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Be prepared is my major advice especially if you still want her to be married to you and go on furture trips, as you know weather can be bipolar in Colorado and the San Juans can be a life taker (lost an experienced outdoor buddy in those mountains). Next advice is Memorial Day is a **** show for camping in Colorado, avoid it like the plague, now it won't be Front Range bad down where you will be but everyone with a tent and RV comes out that weekend it seems.

I don't personally have any recommendations for that area between both towns but you may want to check this out as it mentions a camping area. I didn't explore much of the area between the two towns when I lived in CO, especially since Telluride/Ouray/Silverton are just up the road. It should also should be snow free due to the low altitude (Wolf Creek Resort's webcam still show lots of snow at 10000'. http://www.traildamage.com/trails/index.php?id=308
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Be prepared is my major advice especially if you still want her to be married to you and go on furture trips, as you know weather can be bipolar in Colorado and the San Juans can be a life taker (lost an experienced outdoor buddy in those mountains). Next advice is Memorial Day is a **** show for camping in Colorado, avoid it like the plague, now it won't be Front Range bad down where you will be but everyone with a tent and RV comes out that weekend it seems.

I don't personally have any recommendations for that area between both towns but you may want to check this out as it mentions a camping area. I didn't explore much of the area between the two towns when I lived in CO, especially since Telluride/Ouray/Silverton are just up the road. It should also should be snow free due to the low altitude (Wolf Creek Resort's webcam still show lots of snow at 10000'. http://www.traildamage.com/trails/index.php?id=308
Thanks for this. I realize what I'm up against with the holiday weekend. My goal is to go somewhere where RVs couldn't or typically wouldn't go. Undeveloped campgrounds are fine. Somewhere like this place: https://www.google.com/maps/@37.1608677,-107.3540856,276m/data=!3m1!1e3

That traildamage.com link looks promising--I'm currently mapping it.

Since we need to be close to the Ute reservation, someplace up high in the San Juans isn't going to work for us, and I realize it's potentially still very snowy in places.
 
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