Check out a short video AB shot the other day at Mary Jane:
To say this early season on the hill has been good would be an understatement. We've had so much snow in Colorado that it feels like February skiing and it hasn't even technically been winter until today! Most resort bases are hovering around the 40" mark currently, and there's several feet in the forecast for this week. Yes, feet.
Check out a short video AB shot the other day at Mary Jane:
If you're thinking about a ski trip to Colorado this year, don't delay -- get at us and set yourself up with a mobile ski chalet and get the first-chair runs you've been dreaming of. Want to check the forecast before your trip? Look where the locals look and check out OpenSnow.com.
We've been busy and the blog's been idle for a while but wanted to break the radio silence with some awesome news. We were stoked for this surprise inclusion in Backpacker Magazine's 2016 Adventure Guide. We agree, there's no better mobile basecamp than a VW campervan. Thanks to photog Will Rockfort for the amazing shot -- you can see more of his work (including a few posts about an epic trip they took in Jerry, our 1995 van) over at the Just a Colorado Gal blog.
While we're in full winter mode here at RMC -- it's not too early to start planning your summer vacation. We're already filling vans for June, July and August 2016!
We'll also be expanding our fleet this winter and adding a few new van configurations in the coming months.
Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Daniel Norris understands what it means to love a VW camper. The 21-year-old makes millions hurling fastballs in the mid-90s but still chooses to live his off-seasons in an absolutely beautiful 1978 Westfalia bus.
While Norris is somewhat of a curiosity to the media (and even his team mates) for his choice of living, we think the guy is awesome and just the type of adventurer who would appreciate a VW camper.
"It's not hard for me," Norris said on the Today show Saturday morning. "It's just easy, that's the reason I do it, because of how simple it is and how easy it is, and it's no big deal to me."
We completely understand. Norris says taking a step back from life and taking things to a much slower, more simple pace in a VW helps him remain grounded and focused.
His camping style involves some chance, luck and a search for good waves.
“Every time I travel in this, I don't have plans. I'll put in $20 in gas, and wherever I run out, I stop for the night."
Currently, he’s holed up in Florida for Blue Jays spring training. We wish Daniel the best of luck and hope to see him out here in Colorado sometime in that amazing bus of his.
Our furnace-heated Eurovan campervans were made for skiing in the winter here in Colorado. Areas like A-Basin, Silverton, and Wolf Creek allow camping in their parking lots and other mountains are close to campgrounds or Forest Service roads where camping is free (or they look the other way when you set up camp in their lot for a night or two). Backcountry skiers and snowboarders love the vans for the access they provide to untouched riding and the ability to camp out at the trailhead before skinning up early in the morning for fresh tracks. Check out PowderBuzz.com if you’re planning a trip on your own, and for a world-class guided experience check out our friends at Paragon Guides in Vail. Either way, the community around ski camping in a campervan is growing and a great way to feel like a local and not a tourist.
But downhill skiing isn’t the only reason to camp in Colorado in the winter.
Snowshoeing is a hugely popular pastime here. Basically, any place you’d normally hike in the summertime is a prime place to snowshoe in the winter, with the added bonus of having far fewer people on the trails. Rocky Mountain National Park has 355 miles of trails to explore in the winter, for example. If you’re feeling more adventurous, winter hiking on the Colorado Trail. Want to stay closer to the Front Range? Nederland, Colorado just north of Boulder in the foothills provides easy access to the Glacier Trail that leads to Lost Lake. It’s a serene and beautiful hike. So is the hike to Hanging Lake near Glenwood Springs. For more info, Colorado.com has some great ideas for snowshoe hikes.
Though downhill skiing is by far the most well-known winter sport in Colorado, Nordic or cross-country skiing is also hugely popular. Strap on your skis and take a gliding tour of the high country via one of the many Nordic centers in the state. Never put on skis? Don't worry, it's one of the easiest and best ways to tour the mountains. Devil’s Thumb Ranch, with more than 100,000 kilometers of trails, is arguably the most popular cross-country ski area in the state, but smaller places like the Breckenridge Nordic Center and the Beaver Creek Nordic Center offer trails that are just as breathtaking. Snow Mountain Ranch Nordic Center near Granby is another great spot that is a quick jaunt from Rocky Mountain National Park with more than 100,000 kilometers of trails. For more info and ideas, CrossCountrySkiColorado.com is probably the best resource in the state for finding trails, trail conditions and Nordic events in the state.
Want to try something new? How about ice climbing in Ouray, Colorado – arguably the nation’s top destination for ice climbers of all abilities. Every winter a crew of volunteers and city workers build the Ouray Ice Park, the largest man-made ice climbing system in country. It has more than 200 different routes all set in one amazing venue just on the edge of Ouray – one of Colorado’s true mountain towns. The Ouray Ice Festival is not to be missed.
Or maybe you’re headed to one of the many music festivals here in Colorado – even in the winter. Winter Wonder Grass in Beaver Creek has become one of the most exciting bluegrass/acoustic music festivals in the state over the last five years, with acts like Leftover Salmon, The Infamous Stringdusters, Elephant Revival, Sam Bush Band, Les Claypool of Primus, Paper Bird, and Jeff Austin Band on the lineup this year, the festival is one not to miss for Bluegrass fans.
Whatever brings you here to the Rockies, our fully-outfitted vans -- complete with cold-weather camping gear and furnaces -- are the perfect way to enjoy a night under the stars of the Colorado winter sky.
One of the most beautiful places not only in all of Colorado, but the United States, Rocky Mountain National Park celebrated its 100th anniversary on January 26. Signed into law in 1915, RMNP covers a whopping 415 square miles of beautiful Colorado high country.
It’s a gem of the National Parks Service and while one of the most-visited places in Colorado, there are still plenty of places to get away and surround yourself with natural beauty, even in the winter. We recently rented to a couple and their three-year-old daughter who took one of our campervans up to Rocky Mountain National Park for some snowshoeing, sledding and camping. While it got down to the teens at night, the whole family said they stayed cozy and warm in our Eurovan camper.
Rocky Mountain National Park is also one of our favorite places to explore because you can find activities to fit anyone. The scenic drive up and down Trail Ridge Road, hikes to distant waterfalls and peaks, flyfishing, playing around in glacial snow and – of course – camping. Car camping is only allowed in the scattered campsites, but we’ve found those to be some of the best places to meet travelers from all around the world. They book up quickly though, so check out the National Park Service website to get a reservation. If that’s not your speed, there’s plenty of state and National Forrest land bordering the park towards Grand Lake where it’s easy to find a quiet, secluded place to set up your home for the night.
To celebrate the 100th Anniversary, Colorado Public Radio put together a small slideshow of historic photographs of the park as well as a brief history packed with interesting facts – including why you won’t find any wolves or grizzly bears lurking around the woods. Have a look over at cpr.org.
Though the snow is still falling outside of RMC headquarters this week, it’s time for you to get a jump on summer camping plans, according to the folks at Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
“Parks located on the plains such as Jackson Lake, John Martin, Lathrop, North Sterling and Trinidad, usually have moderate weather in early spring,” CPW Reservations Coordinator Mercedes Schwall said in a release last week. “Our most popular camping sites fill up six months in advance so planning now could get vacationers a prime camping spot.”
Spots at the state’s 3,900 campsites and 50 cabins and yurts fills up quickly for the summer, so get a jump on reservations now at the Colorado Parks and Wildlife website.
Or, if you want to stay away from developed campsites – just contact us at Rocky Mountain Campervans to find the best boondock camping in state and national forest lands.
And there’s more to a Colorado vacation than just getting away from work. Studies show Colorado camping can be good for your health. Researchers at CU Boulder say that spending just one week exposed only to natural light while camping in the Rocky Mountains was enough to synch up your internal circadian clocks and set you back on a normal schedule. It’s also a great way to relieve built-up stress.
“Getting outdoors improves my mood and helps manage stress,” CPW Parks and Outdoor Recreation Assistant Director Ken Brink tells the Fowler Tribune. “Camping at Crawford, James M. Robb, Mancos, Navajo and Yampa or any of the other State Parks gives our family a place to socialize and engage in new adventures.”
Rocky Mountain Campervans was featured in this month's Men's Journal magazine in a cool little spread about the return of the van and the increasingly popular campervan lifestyle. We are honored to be included in the list with fellow VW rental companies http://www.vwsurfari.com_ California and Hawaii Campers -- both amazing companies that helped pave the way for RMC here in Colorado!
As the article says: if you're wondering if the campervan is the right choice for you and your family, give us a call to set up a rental for a weekend. We guarantee you'll get hooked!
Planning your Colorado Vacation? Here's a few suggestions that go great with a Rocky Mountain Campervan!
While we don't want to think about the end of winter and ski season just yet, the reality is that spring and summer are just around the corner. It's time to start planning your next road trip in one of our Volkswagen Campers, and the folks at the Ft. Collins Coloradoan have created a great list of the top 15 places and things you should experience when visiting the Centennial State.
01. Backpack the Colorado Trail, either in sections or all at once.
02. Sandboard at the Great Sand Dunes National Park
03. Hike a Fourteener (We suggest one of the Collegiate Peaks near Buena Vista)
04. Book a hut trip for Winter or Summer (check out our friends at Paragon Guides based in Vail if you want the best of the best)
05. Spend a day at the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs.
06. Be blown away by the ancient cliff dwellings in Mesa Verde near Cortez
07. Visit a true Colorado mountain town where fishing, rafting and hiking are all anyone talks about, like Salida.
08. Pick a festival in Telluride and enjoy the most beautiful place on earth.
09. Do some day hiking in a lesser-known Colorado spot, like the Rawah Wilderness near Fort Collins.
10. Park the van and get your wine tasting on in Palisade
11. Bait a hook at Blue Mesa Reservoir, Colorado’s largest.
12. Enjoy the view from your windsheld as your drive any of Colorado’s 25 scenic byways. Give yourself a little scare on the San Juan Skyway between Ouray and Silverton.
13. Tour our state’s historic trains, including the Georgetown Loop and the Durango-Silverton Narrow Gauge.
14. Okay, so it’s not Colorado – but Canyonlands, Zion and Arches National Parks in Utah are just around the corner. A night camping in Canyonlands should be on everyone’s bucket list.
15. And again, while it’s not Colorado – it’s a place were us Coloradans love to play: check out Curt Gowdy State Park, Vedauwoo and Happy Jack Recreational Areas in our neighbor to the north, Wyoming.
For more details on each of the 15 suggestions, visit the Coloradoan.
And, of course, there is no better way to get in the most of their 15 suggestions than doing it in the personal mobile hotel room that is a Volkswagen Camper! Reservations for the spring and summer are filling up, so contact us soon with your travel questions and plans and let us design the ultimate Colorado road trip for you and your family or friends!
There's a great article out this week in the UK Telegraph about how a winter ski camper van rental not only saves you a van-load of money, it allows you to follow the snow and find the mountains with the best, fluffiest powder. We're a little biased, of course, but you can't beat the cozy comfort of a VW Eurovan camper and the propane furnace that keeps you toasty all night long! - A.B.
Would you take a campervan to the ski slopes this season?
Is swapping the warmth and comfort of a ski chalet for a campervan worth the money you'd save?
New research has found that families could save up to $1,720 [prices converted from the British pound] by swapping a hotel room for a "cosy caravan" when hitting the ski slopes in Europe this season.
Caravan dealership, Salop Leisure, compared the average cost of staying in a hotel or chalet with the cost of driving to the mountains and staying in a campsite. Yes, there’s no match for the comfort of real, actual brick walls, a freshly-made bed every morning or chalet staff-made coffee and cake on your return from the slopes every day, but making the swap to the deal on wheels could be almost eight times cheaper.
Using prices from Trip Advisor's 2014 Trip Index, Salop Leisure found that the average price for a week's stay in a hotel or chalet in Serre Chevalier, France, where accommodation is apparently one of the cheapest in the French Alps, is $1,890 However, skip the hotels and head to the nearby Champ du Moulin campsite and the cost for a family of four for seven nights plummets to $255.
Read the entire article over at the UK Telegraph.