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Colorado Beauty... North Clear Creek Falls & Curecanti National Recreation Area

Saturday July 29, 2023

We had a short four-hour drive to today’s destination of Cedaredge, Colorado.

In typical “Angie Skinner Travel Queen” fashion, I planned a quick drive over to the impressive North Clear Creek Falls Observation Site. It was a gorgeous drive back alongside the Rio Grande, and an even more gorgeous view of the cascading waterfall. Great parking available right of Highway 149 and restrooms! As we watched the waterfall with the morning sun creating a rainbow in the mist, three Bucks appeared at the top of the reservoir as if a Hollywood director yelled, “Cue the Bucks!”

It was pure morning magic!

From there, we headed into town to visit an adorable bakery food truck! Bristol Head Bakery was definitely worth the time for a final stop before jumping back on the road! When I say it’s a great European-style bakery… trust my word. Emma and I purchased nearly one of everything to sample and review for RV Round Up. Yeah, that’s why we did that… gulp.

A little local knowledge is key when RVing in Colorado. You find the honey hole parking spots that aren’t advertised anywhere—people just seem to know about them. While driving along Highway 149 toward Cedaredge, we saw numerous locations where folks boondock and set up camp. ONE DAY we will do more of this style traveling!

Also, remember that morning jaunt to the waterfall? Well, it was on our way in the RV, so we could have easily pulled off into the waterfall parking lot and viewed enroute to Cedaredge… note to self for next time!

Okay, Education Break:

Rio Grande Reservoir. I had to find out what really is the difference between a lake and reservoir? In many people’s minds, they are the same thing, but in fact, a reservoir is a man-made “lake” that is created when a dam is built on a river. The river water backs up behind the dam to create the reservoir. Yes… I GTS (googled that shit).

While riding toward Cedaredge, I made a few notes of the roads & stops along the way:

Highway 149 North headed to 50 West: Curvy, but good, well-maintained highway. Take it slow once you start to climb up towards Mt. Baldy—this route is very curvy and not for nervous drivers. Knowing how to use the engine brake or transmission brake is key. Not recommended for beginners or less experienced RVers.

Mount Baldy – elevation 13,383

Slumgullion Point: Pull off at Mile 62 for big rigs! Do it and snap a picture! There is also a small campground right after mile marker 62 if you have a smaller RV and want to boon dock!

Windy Point Scenic Overlook – Gunnison National Forest: Back in 2021 we drove the most gorgeous route from Sante Fe, NM to Ouray, CO thru the Gunnison National Forest. Well, today we get to see more of this amazing landscape. YAY! The highway is lined with white Aspen trees and spectacular views of mountains all round.

Lake San Cristobal Scenic Overlook: There is a curve there that is massive. WHOA!!!! Hold on!

You can see Uncompahgre Peak, elevation 14,321

Around mile marker 75, the Independence Gulch area was lovely to drive by. If we could have found a pull off, I would have grabbed lunch from the RV and dangled my feet in the Lake Fork Gunnison River bank.

Between mile marker 80 and 81 are some unreal views. Absolutely breathtaking.

Once I started looking at our map route, I realized we would be back on 50 where I saw the coolest pull off stops along a gorgeous lake. Look up the Curecanti National Recreation Area.

There are tons of recreation areas to stop, boon dock or just have lunch!

Across from the reservoir is Blue Mesa Recreational Ranch – Thousand Trails RV Resort. It looked like a nice spot to book a one adventure, so you can actually STOP and enjoy this gorgeous area in Colorado. Next time!!

Just past that on the left, was Elk Creek Campground. That campground looked to have TONS of RV parking all along the lake area.

I also noticed Pine Creek Recreation Area. It looked gorgeous if you drove down into the area.

Now, with all the beautiful views, we forgot about that 5-mile stretch of Highway 50 that is DIRT and under construction. It’s just past the reservoir. Make sure you obey the speed limit here at 25 mph! It is manageable in a big rig, as long as you take it with caution and know it’s narrow near the end. It was under construction in 2021 and still in 2023, so I’m guessing it will be some time before its complete.

Our final destination for the day was Cedaredge, CO. Another family stop—this time, it’s Mike’s oldest son Joshua and his family. We made it just in time for a homecooked dinner and a few days of relaxing family fun. We are so lucky to get this time together!

Watch for the upcoming Skinner & Geese Fly West Adventures on RV Round-Up... coming this fall! Click here to subscribe here!

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