Author Topic: Do we have to book for campings during summer?  (Read 3547 times)

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Offline bebert100

Do we have to book for campings during summer?
« on: March 30, 2010, 05:22:02 am »
Do we have to book for campings during summer?

Hello; i'll will travel this summer from denver to San francisco. Starting in denver i'll join the transamerica until portland crossing  wyoming, montana and then oregon; then i'll follow the pacific coast to reach San francisco .

I'll start on the 15 th june and will arrive on the 15 th August.
I'll bring with me a tent.
Do you know if i need to book for camping sites?
Do you know if there are some reserved sites for bikers?
Do you know if it's possible to sleep outside of camping sites?.

Sorry for my english (i'm French)
Thanks for your answers.


Offline staehpj1

Re: Do we have to book for campings during summer?
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2010, 08:46:16 am »
We found no need to need to book ahead anywhere on the Trans America.  There were places where we called ahead the same day or the day before, but that was the exception.  The Adventure Cycling maps will give pretty good details and phone numbers for potential places to stay.

My understanding is that on the Pacific coast there are hiker/biker sites most places and no need to book ahead, but I only speak from personal experience on a small part of the coast, but the Kirkendall and Spring book listed hiker biker sites at pretty frequent intervals so I wouldn't worry.

Offline JimF

Re: Do we have to book for campings during summer?
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2010, 09:07:34 am »
Be sure to check the addenda for your ACA maps for updates on services before you leave. Also, for the Pacific coast in Oregon, see http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/BIKEPED/docs/oregon_coast_bike_route_map.pdf . It identifies all the camping spots along the coastal highway. No knowledge on northern California, but you may hear from others. Enjoy.

Offline valygrl

Re: Do we have to book for campings during summer?
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2010, 10:13:58 am »
Generally there is no need to book ahead.   July 4th is a national holiday - Independence Day - almost everyone has that day off as a holiday and people tend to drive around and camp.  If you think you are going to need a hotel or be in a popular vacation spot (like Yellowstone National Park, for example) on/around July 4th, then you might need to book something in advance.

In the west you can camp on forest service or BLM (Bureau of Land Management) land for free. How do you know if you're on that kind of land?   Well, I don't know, hopefully someone can help out with that, but the Adventure Cycling maps have a lot of information about where to camp, including free city parks. 

National Parks (Yellowstone) may have "hiker/biker" spots reserved, and on the coast most state parks have these too.   You can NOT camp outside of campgrounds in national or state parks.   Most forest service campgrounds are pretty relaxed, so if you get there and they are full, the camp host will often find somewhere to squeeze you in.  You can also camp at "RV Parks" = campgrounds meant for huge motor homes - they are usually not as pleasant but have good facilities like hot showers, laundry and often a pool.

If you do get to a campground that is full, you an often find someone willing to share a site - I've only had to try this a few times, but it has never failed me.

Have fun, you picked a great part of the country to ride.

On a side note, the Denver Airport is far away from the city, if you don't want to ride out of the airport there is a local bus SkyRide
http://www.rtd-denver.com/skyRide_SubHome.shtml that can take you into Denver or to Boulder if you are going North, for a very small amount of money - and you can put your boxed bike on the bus.   

You didn't ask but I have a suggestion about getting to the Trans Am route.  Even though it will be very hard because it is a huge climb and you will be at a high altitude, may I suggest that you head north to Boulder, then Estes Park then Trail Ridge Road through Rocky Mountain National Park.  You can connect to the TransAm in Kremmeling, CO.  You'll want to check the weather forecast, but if you have nice weather it is really spectacular. 

I live in the area, so if you haven't sorted out your connecting route, please fee free to ask here if you want some suggestions.  There are a lot of ways to connect, a few of the ways you see on a map look good but are not, but there are lots of good choices.

:)

Offline bebert100

Re: Do we have to book for campings during summer?
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2010, 11:32:51 am »
Thanks for all guys.

To get to the transAm; i think i'll follw your advises Valygrl even if it will be a pretty hard start.
I have already planned to get to denver by bus; i think i'll buy a cheap bike in denver because to bring mine, it's a 200$ fees.


Offline John Nelson

Re: Do we have to book for campings during summer?
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2010, 11:53:41 am »
Buy the ACA Great Parks South map 1. After you get to Boulder ride Left Hand Canyon to Ward (ask anybody on a bike in Boulder, as everybody knows this route). Then you can follow the GPS route to the TA. It'll keep you off the ugly roads.

Offline bebert100

Re: Do we have to book for campings during summer?
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2010, 01:06:45 pm »
Do you know if it's easy to follow the ACA road without a map small road; path?
Is there any sign which shows us the direction to follow?
Are they so many people in summer that it's impossible to lost (Like the road of santiago in spain for those who know it)?

Thanks !!!

Offline rvklassen

Re: Do we have to book for campings during summer?
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2010, 01:44:11 pm »
Do you know if it's easy to follow the ACA road without a map small road; path?
Is there any sign which shows us the direction to follow?
Are they so many people in summer that it's impossible to lost (Like the road of santiago in spain for those who know it)?

Thanks !!!
The western US is a BIG place.  It would take a LOT of people to get to anything like the Camino de Santiago.  The ACA routes (generally) follow regular roads, and will rarely be specifically signed.  With a lot of work (reading journals, studying the online overview maps, etc) you can probably get close to following the route.  You will miss the descriptions, including recommendations of where to camp, where to find food, where there are bike shops, etc.

Offline Spokey

Re: Do we have to book for campings during summer?
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2010, 02:26:00 pm »
I would definitely use the maps.  Note that they are strip maps so you'll be off map before long if you go off route.  It's unfortunate that the map price has skyrocketed so much in the last couple years, but I think they are worth it. 

I just got new ones for the ACA route even though I bought a set less than 5 years ago and I have a GPS. One reason is that you can no longer go through camp Legune.  Information like that and the new bypass are pretty valuable in addition to the camps, bike shops etc that others have mentioned.

Offline valygrl

Re: Do we have to book for campings during summer?
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2010, 09:04:01 pm »
Buy the ACA Great Parks South map 1. After you get to Boulder ride Left Hand Canyon to Ward (ask anybody on a bike in Boulder, as everybody knows this route). Then you can follow the GPS route to the TA. It'll keep you off the ugly roads.

Lefthand Canyon is a really hard way to get to the Peak to Peak Highway, on a fully loaded tour bike.  That last mile to Ward is very steep.   Hwy 7 / South St. Vrain road out of Lyons is nicer.   It's a lower grade, and it's a really beautiful ride.    That's the one I use to get to Estes Park when I'm leaving on a tour.  Don't take Hwy 36 from Lyons to Estes directly, unless you are really rushed for time - that one carries all the car traffic.   And DEFINITELY don't take Hwy 119 from Boulder to Nederland - way too much traffic, no shoulder, dangerous.

Offline John Nelson

Re: Do we have to book for campings during summer?
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2010, 10:44:44 pm »
Buy the ACA Great Parks South map 1. After you get to Boulder ride Left Hand Canyon to Ward (ask anybody on a bike in Boulder, as everybody knows this route). Then you can follow the GPS route to the TA. It'll keep you off the ugly roads.

Lefthand Canyon is a really hard way to get to the Peak to Peak Highway, on a fully loaded tour bike.  That last mile to Ward is very steep.   Hwy 7 / South St. Vrain road out of Lyons is nicer.   It's a lower grade, and it's a really beautiful ride.    That's the one I use to get to Estes Park when I'm leaving on a tour.  Don't take Hwy 36 from Lyons to Estes directly, unless you are really rushed for time - that one carries all the car traffic.   And DEFINITELY don't take Hwy 119 from Boulder to Nederland - way too much traffic, no shoulder, dangerous.

I agree with all of that, especially those two roads you said to avoid.

Offline bebert100

Re: Do we have to book for campings during summer?
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2010, 11:21:15 am »
Thanks you're great;

You even answer to the things i did not ask.

Offline denver_whitest185

Re: Do we have to book for campings during summer?
« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2010, 02:33:39 am »
a very good website for planning camping along a road trip is http://www.publiclands.org/home.php

Its an interactive website that has "zoomable" maps of the western states, and on those maps are scenic byways, camp sites (mostly US forest service or BLM sites, some of which are free), and other useful things. i always look cross check this website with my route to find out where i should camp or if there are any cool places to stop or drive though along the way.

-Ted

Offline bebert100

Re: Do we have to book for campings during summer?
« Reply #13 on: May 10, 2010, 09:02:32 pm »
Thanks for all; you make my trip possible and i'll start it on the 9th June.
First day from Boulder to Estes park will be quite difficult.
I'll hope i meet some of you on the road and i pray that the € wont go too down. :'(