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HillHaven Escape Campout - 7-11 to 7-14 (you can do 1,2 or all 3 nights)

  • Jul 11, 2014 · 12:45 PM
  • TBA

HillHaven Escape

 July 11 Fri -14 Mon (one to 3 night - your choice)

Car Camping with TONS OF STUFF TO DO!!!


This is group car camping adventure on 12+ acres of private, quiet, partially treed land with amazing views of the Collegiate Peaks, Black Mountain and the Buffalo Peaks.  The land is located equidistant from Buena Vista (closest town by road), Fairplay and Salida as the crow flies.  Located in Badger Creek Ranch, you will be camping at approximately 9600 ft. and the land serves as a nice base camp for primitive car camping and easy driving distances to a variety of things to do in the area. 

Campout begins Friday, July 11 (arriving around 1:00 pm) thru Monday, July 14 (final departures by 1:00 pm).  You can come for one, two or three nights.  Please indicate your arrival/departure days when signing up. When you arrive, check in with Tamera for parking/camping instructions/options.

KIDS AND DOGS ARE WELCOME provided you adhere to the rules/guidelines provided.  You must indicate when signing up whether or not you're bringing a dog or minors under 18 and how many.  The trip is limited to 40 people and 10 dogs.  To minimize the number of vehicles, car pooling is encouraged. Directions to the land will be provided ONLY to those who have confirmed their RSVP by 5:00 pm Wednesday, July 9.


Fill out the form found at this link:

(Failure to fully complete the form means you will not be confirmed to attend nor provided with directions.  Please do not sign up unless you are committed to coming.)

Tons of Stuff To Do

·  Hiking for all levels of ability - Whether you're looking for an easy to moderate hike to alpine lakes or a more challenging journey to the top of a fourteener or mountain pass, there are plenty of options.  Some trails require dogs on leash, some not. Here's a link to hiking trails for the Collegiate Peaks (Harvard, Princeton and Yale) as well as Antero and Shavano also nearby in the Sawatch Range:  Plenty of trails are also accessible off the road to Cottonwood Pass, including Ptarmigan Lake, a personal favorite of your hostess, and portions of the Colorado Trail, leading to Raspberry Gulch and other destinations.

·  Hot Springs - What could be more relaxing that a soak in a hot spring after a day of hiking, biking or rafting? There are several facilities in the area; however, Princeton Hot Springs offers river pools for soaking provided the water's not running too high.

·  Exploring old mining "ghost" towns/camps - There are several in the area in various stages of restoration, most inhabited year round by entities other than ghosts, including St. Elmo, Tin Cup, Turret and Futurity. All make for nice scenic drives and most have nearby trailheads.  Some require an AWD vehicle.  St. Elmo is a ghost town in Chaffee County, Colorado, United States. Founded in 1880, St. Elmo lies in the heart of the Sawatch Range, 20 miles (32 km) southwest of Buena Vista and sits at an elevation of 9,961 feet (3,036 m). Nearly 2,000 people settled in this town when mining for gold and silver started. The mining industry started to decline in the early 1920s, and in 1922 the railroad discontinued service. The community is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the St. Elmo Historic District. It is one of Colorado's best preserved ghost towns. Tincup, or Tin Cup, originally called Virginia City, is an unincorporated community in Gunnison County, Colorado, United States. The community was once a prominent mining town. Tincup is now a community of summer homes with a few year-round residents. Many historic buildings are still in use. 

·  Biking – Mountain biking trails for the serious adventurer are available near Salida and very hilly country dirt roads around HillHaven for the less aggressive but still athletically fit ones. Absolute Bikes is the place you should visit for the insider's view of best mountain bike trails in the area.

·  Rafting the Arkansas – Rafting deals are available via our perks on Meetup; however there are numerous rafting companies launching from Johnson's Village, Buena Vista and along Rt. 24 to Salida.  The closest to the land is Wilderness Aware Rafting.

·  Rock Climbing - is available in the area; however, do your research before climbing to make sure you're not on private land.

·  Horseback Riding - Quite a few stables are active in the area, particularly along Cottonwood Pass and along the road to St. Elmo's.  Princeton Hot Springs also runs a stable.

·  Fishing - in the area with a permit at lakes, reservoirs and in rivers.  Again, do your research to make sure you're not on private land.

·  Shopping, Eating Out, Galleries, etc.- Lots of interesting things to do in the local towns and oftentimes each are having summer festivals and events, so checking each town's website might be worth a look-see if that sort of thing interests you.

General Rules and Things You Should Anticipate Staying at HillHaven

·  No outhouse, running water, or electricity.   Cell phones do not dependably work at the land.  There is a community outhouse about a 1/4 mile away from the land so if you can hold it and drive there, more power to you!  Otherwise, this is a dig and bury site (6 inches down) or bring your own port-a-potty and haul out.  Please do not bury toilet paper that is not biodegradable camping type.  Haul it out.  

·  There is a community well about a 1/4 mile from the land where you can hand pump and resupply.  We fondly call it the Badger Creek Workout'll find out why.  The water is not regularly tested, but your hostess has been using it for over 15 years and she still doesn't have two heads.  You can also resupply in Buena Vista at the laundromat sink or the town park. Bring your own potable water/ice.

• ·  NO RVs, ATVs, dirt bikes or motorcycles.

• • ·  NO firearms or fireworks.

• • ·  NO individual open fires.  Weather permitting, there will be a community fire ring at the top of the land in the evenings.  Firewood will be provided; however, if you want to earn your hostess' ever-loving gratitude, bring an axe/chainsaw and help her replenish what we use from deadfall on the land.

• • ·  Haul out all your own trash and any you find on the ground (make it better than you find it).

• • ·  Most any car can make it to the land on the dirt roads (20+ miles of them); however, you may not be able to get up the drive without AWD.  In those instances, you'll have to park as directed by your hostess at the bottom of the hill and haul your stuff up.

• • ·  The land is fairly rocky and if we get a storm it can get quite windy, so if you're tent camping, it's recommended you bring a pad/cot to sleep on and a hammer to drive in your heavy-duty tent stakes.  Your tent should also be equipped with guy wires.

• • ·  Be advised, we do have wild critters in the area:  bighorn sheep, occasionally bears and wildcats (rare), antelope, elk, badgers, packrats, rabbits, ground squirrels, deer, raccoons, beavers, foxes, coyotes, etc.  Driving in you will go thru open range so be considerate, drive slow and respectfully of the cattle.  In other words, bring hamburger/steaks already packaged from the store...don't kill it on the way in.

• • ·  Secure storage in a shed or trailer will be provided for foodstuffs at night so you don't have to "hang" stuff if you are not storing your food in a locked vehicle with closed windows.

• • ·  There are a couple grills/smokers for cooking and an actual full-size propane stove/oven in the big trailer; however, it's recommended you bring your own grill for cooking.

• • ·  Popup campers are allowed but will have to park/setup/camp at the bottom of the land. Please indicate if you are bringing one when you sign up.  Tent campers who want to set up at the top of the hill (where the views are) will be able to drive up and unload but will be directed to park at the bottom.  If you have strong feelings about setting up next to your vehicle, you'll have to camp at the bottom of the land.

• • ·  Anyone under 18 must be accompanied by their parent or legal guardian.  

• • ·  Please no toddlers, infants or kids who have never camped before or didn't enjoy it when they did.  This is primitive camping.

Dog Rules

·  There is a limit of 10 dogs at any given time, so knowing when you're coming and going is key information for managing that.  No more than 2 per person. 

·  The land is not fenced so your dog(s) MUST be trained and attentive under voice control. 

·  Your dog(s) MUST already be well socialized with other dogs, kids and strangers.  This is not a training event and this stipulation is key to the enjoyment and safety of all, including your dog(s).

·  If you bring your dog, you are responsible for it at all times.  You may not leave it unattended in your tent/car/camper or tied up while you go off and play.  If that's your intent, leave your dog at home.

·  Your dog is to sleep with you in your camper or tent at night.

·  Everyone says their dog is a "good" dog; however, they are dogs.  Be a responsible pet owner and adhere to the following to avoid unnecessary aggression that can occur even with the best of dogs: 1-Dogs are to be off-leash for the most part to avoid leash envy.  Tying up your dog is a disciplinary measure, not a way of life at HillHaven and will be done IF necessary away from other dogs. 2-Feed your dog privately and when others are feeding theirs, keep yours away. 3-Treats/bones/etc. are to be kept in your tent/camper and privately given.  4-Dogs are not to be fed around people eating or thrown scraps from the cooking areas. 5-Dogs need to be watched closely so they don't pee on tents or poop near where people are camping. 6-Dog owners will immediately deal with any bad behavior of their own dog IF it occurs. 


·  Tamera (Your hostess) - Camping/Site Organization.  Questions regarding accommodations, things to do, etc. should be emailed to her at[masked]

·  Jeff – RSVP review and approval 

·  Group Hikes to any particular location or Rafting Trips - If interested, contact Jeff to get instructions about how to take the lead on organizing those.  

Join or login to comment.

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hope to see you all again! Thanks for a fun time and lots of laughter!

    1 · July 14, 2014

  • Jeff D.

    I am having some people ask for directions.. If you did not get my email last night and early today let me know and I can resend them [masked]

    July 10, 2014

  • Cheryl E.

    I'm assuming that Car Camping means that we will be able to drive right up to (or close to) the camping spot...??? Just wondering how to pack, if my vehicle serves as my tent & suitcase then I can bring more stuff. Please let me know if we will be able to park close to the camp site. Thanks!!!

    July 9, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      If your car can make it up the hill you can drive up unload if you're camping up top; otherwise, you haul stuff up by will be parked on the lower land...if you want to camp next to your car you have to camp down at the bottom.

      July 9, 2014

  • Carol H.

    Just learned that the long-range weather forecast is predicting lots of rain on Friday and Sat nights. Be prepared!!!!

    1 · July 8, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      right now weather forecast for BV/Salida/Fairplay/Harts­el is in the high 70s Friday-Monday with occasional showers. Sometimes we get their weather sometimes not given we're a good 30 miles or more away & at a higher altitude, but campers should come prepared as always in the high country. If weather becomes crappy to the point folks don't want to sleep in their tents, I have room to provide shelter for up to 15 in the trailers/shed loft but you have to bring in your own pads/cots/bags. Worse case the camping trip becomes a slumber party.

      July 8, 2014

    • Cheryl E.

      Impromptu Mud Runs...Yeah!!!

      July 9, 2014

  • Cheryl E.

    For Jeff & Tamera, wanted to give you all my cell if needed. 701 (not 719)[masked]

    1 · July 7, 2014

    • Jeff D.

      you had it right on the form :-)

      July 7, 2014

    • Cheryl E.

      Jeff, could you please let me know if you received my form.

      July 7, 2014

  • Carol H.

    I have a hammock. Will there be trees for hanging from at or around the camping area? Thanks

    July 5, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Land is well treed in various areas...pine & aspen...I'm sure you'd find a spot but don't know anything about hanging a camping hammock so I'll show you areas once you arrive to choose from depending on what you're looking for.

      July 6, 2014

    • Carol H.

      Thanks, Sounds great.

      July 6, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Couple updates...called Princeton HotSprings. They're opening the river pools for this weekend (have been closed for the past month) and anticipate being opened the weekend of the 11th but river still running a bit high. Depending on what I need to do to get folks settled, I'm planning on doing Ptarmigan Lake on Saturday (couldn't get all the way up first week of June due to waist high drifts but it's an offleash hike) and perhaps going to some quiet local backroad spots Sunday, including a springs/swimming hole only locals know about and maybe drive backroads with great views to Salida to hang out at my favorite bar on the river and laze the day away...anyone interested can tag along.

    July 2, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Be advised, this meetup is being advertised on 3 different camping groups and because we have to manage attendance manually, you may see it full at one time or another. Don't let that put you off! Get on the waitlist and fill out the form when doing so, jeff will move you to going then provided you've filled out the form. Essentially, the meetup allows up to 40 people and 10 dogs between the 3 groups. First come, first served. And, DO come! But fill out the form to get your spot!

    June 30, 2014

  • Jeff D.

    ONLY 7 more spots left

    June 28, 2014

  • Jeff D.

    We have about 10 going so far from other sites!!!

    June 26, 2014

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