Must Stay Campsites on the CDT

Discussion in 'Americas' started by T_D805, Mar 21, 2021.

  1. T_D805

    T_D805 Been here awhile

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    Calling all CDT veterans!

    I’ve been researching an upcoming CDT ride but I’m a little overwhelmed by the huge amount of options for routes/campsites/hotels/etc. I’ve been reading ride reports, watching videos, and studying the gpsKevin route. One thing that seems conspicuously lacking is info on campsites. Seems like many spend their nights in hotels/motels... Those that camp seem to just plop down wherever they were when darkness fell. But I’m a real sucker for a good campsite! The ride I would like to do would include 2-4 nights camping punctuated by a night in town at a hotel/motel. I’m thinking 2-3 such nights would suffice. I would also like to have 1 or two “layover” days, where we could leave our camping stuff and do some more challenging trails for the day.

    To help me narrow this down, I would like to know:

    What are your favorite campsites?

    Which towns would make for the best hotel/motel nights?

    If you could pick an area to explore a bit more for a day, which would it be?

    Thanks in advance for any advice, and thanks to all the legends who have gone before me for the wealth of info already available!
    #1
  2. ibgary

    ibgary Long timer

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    I took off 2 days just north of Silver City. The road to Gila Clif Dwelling was awesome. Gila was a great 2 hour hike. Many great camp grounds in that area. Unfortunately it only a day into the journey.
    Aspin Alley area is great to. (Colorado Wyoming border) check out the Jim Bridger trail. Its very slightly off route but IMO should be part of the CDT.
    When you get to Atlantic City, just go to the campground. Its nice, easy and walking distance of the store f or beer. 848120604.jpg
    #2
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  3. ibgary

    ibgary Long timer

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    3 days to get to the border another to SC laundry R&R.
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  4. T_D805

    T_D805 Been here awhile

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    Awesome! Thank you!
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  5. PittsDriver

    PittsDriver Fuse lit.... Supporter

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    Favorite camping - O'Haver in Marshal Pass. The campground is always packed but on the road up to the lake look closely off to the left side as you ascend and there are some really nice spots in the woods before you get to the official campground. They have fire rings and are nice level sites in the trees but you will be relatively close to the road there.
    #5
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  6. T_D805

    T_D805 Been here awhile

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    Great tip, thank you!
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  7. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority Supporter

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    Unless we were in brown bear (Grizzly) country, we preferred to disperse camp. Campgrounds with bear boxes were preferred once we got north enough to be in brown bear country.

    Most campgrounds too me are unremarkable. Ones I remember and liked (I guess) included:

    Grandview Campground near Lower Mesa Falls, ID

    Fernie Campground, Fernie, BC
    #7
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  8. T_D805

    T_D805 Been here awhile

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    Good call on the the bear boxes, not trying to carry a bear canister on the back of the bike :D. Thanks!
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  9. ibgary

    ibgary Long timer

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    Bear box, check. Removable and lockable, doubles as a table. Locate away from sleeping area by 100'. 816004580.jpg
    #9
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  10. dlrides

    dlrides 1:1.618 Supporter

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    I rode the complete CDT solo, north to south in Sept. 2020 (several sections in the past), and had the same camping concerns. Within a couple of days, I realized there was nothing to worry about ! Camp spots are plentiful and many are story book stunning ! I used GPSKEVIN route and many camping locations were marked, but there were so many spots I only used the marked ones a couple of times. Camped beside rivers, alpine lakes, scenic vistas, etc............. options are endless.

    I enjoyed this ride so much, I plan riding it again in 2022.

    ) One camp spot that really stands out is Brooks Lake Campground near Togwotee Pass WY, in Shoshone NF .............. amazing !

    ) All the small towns have some interesting hotel/motel type places to stay. I used airbnb often and stayed in a sheep herders wagon, in an old hardware store, etc. all was a great experience.

    ) When you are near Sargents/Salida CO area, scoot over to Lake City CO area and ride anywhere around the Alpine Loop. The Almont/Pitkin CO area is another that comes to mind, but riding areas are plentiful everywhere.

    A few suggestions:

    ) Consider a Garmin inReach mini or similar.

    ) Temperatures vary greatly, ......... layers.

    ) Consider riding North to south in early September and you avoid the heat in the south section, and beat the cold in the north section.

    ) Ride Going To The Sun Road in Glacier NP !

    ) Polebridge MT huckleberry bear claw and Bowman Lake is a must !

    ) * Fleecer Ridge is no f**cking joke, up or down !!! *

    ) Parts of MT and ID has been destroyed by UTV’s, if wet be prepared for some rough areas.

    ) Depending on the route you use, be prepared to cross the Great Basin in WY ! Make sure you have enough gas, and hope it doesn’t rain. It is a desolate area !



    https://dlrides.smugmug.com/Travel/Continental-Divide-Ride-2020/i-6rTLBwx


    Ride On Amigos did a 28 part series on the CDT ride that’s good. Big loaded bikes do they went around several areas, but you can get a good feel for the ride. Part #4 starts the actual CDT.


    https://www.youtube.com/c/RideOnAmigos/videos


    PM if you have any questions.
    #10
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  11. T_D805

    T_D805 Been here awhile

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    dlrides, unreal! Thanks for your response! I’m planning to go North to South the first or second week of September, 2022. I’ll shoot you a PM in the morning :thumbup
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  12. dlrides

    dlrides 1:1.618 Supporter

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    Ive decided to do it again in sept 2022, might see you along the way ................. addicted.
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  13. JoeVstrom

    JoeVstrom Adventurer

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    How long does it "generally" take to go from one end to the other?
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  14. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority Supporter

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    You are kidding right? What time do you you start your ride every morning? What time do you stop to set up camp? How fast do you like to ride? How good of shape are you in? How long do you stop for lunch? How often do you stop to take pics? Motel every night or camp?

    In 2014 we did it with a sidecar from South to North in 18 days. Our daily mileage varied from a low of 130 miles to as high as 235 when we didn't linger at one place. We camped for 4 nights and the stayed in town on the 5th night to do laundry and resupply.

    Your goal for the ride and the pace that goal sets your ride is the key.

    Sidecar Echo Camp.jpg
    #14
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