Recreation

Snowy Ranger Mtns

Welcome to Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests and Thunder Basin National Grassland! Visitor opportunities abound on almost 2.9 million acres of National Forest System lands.

The Medicine Bow and Routt National Forests provide year-round recreation opportunities for you. These activities include hiking, biking, camping, horseriding, OHV riding, fishing and hunting, just to name a few. Beautiful vistas await sightseers and photographers.

The topography varies greatly within the national forests. Elevation ranges from 5,500 to 12,940 feet. The climate ranges from semi-arid at low elevations to colder and less arid in the high country. Frost may occur at any time, and visitors to the higher elevations should be prepared for harsh weather, including snow and high winds, even during the summer months.

The Thunder Basin National Grassland provides unique opportunities for recreation, including hiking, sightseeing, hunting, and fishing. There are no developed campgrounds; however, dispersed camping is allowed.  Elevation on the national grassland ranges from 3,600 to 5,200 feet, and the climate is semi-arid.

The following recreation conditions report includes a sampling of our recreation sites.  For information on specific sites or areas, use the link to the right or search by activity in the lefthand search bar.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information

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Recreation Conditions Report

 Area Name Status Area Conditions
Big Creek Lakes Campground Closed to Visitor 8/19/15:  Big Creek Campground does not have potable water.  Please plan to bring your own water!  Campground and bathrooms are open with full services.  $10/night.  Please contact Parks RD at 970-723-2700 for current conditions.
Bottle Creek Group Picnic Site Open to Visitor Open May 26 with toilets and trash service.
Bow River Campground Open to Visitor Open May 26 with toilets and trash service. No water.
Bow River Ranger Station Open to Visitor Available mid-June into September using the www.recreation.gov website.
Dry Lake Campground Open to Visitor All sites "first-come, first-served". *No drinking water available.
Dunckley Pass Overlook Picnic Site Open to Visitor At 9,763' feet, the views at this pass are a highlight of the Flat Tops Trail Scenic and Historic Byway on the Yampa Ranger District.
Freeman Reservoir Campground Open to Visitor
French Creek Campground Open to Visitor Open May 26 without water.
Grizzly Guard Station Recreation Rental Open to Visitor This historic year-round rental is available by passenger vehicle June through September, by higher clearance vehicles in the Fall and Spring seasons, and by snowmobile or cross-coountry skis or snow shoes during the Winter. Go to recreation.gov for rental information and reservations.
Hahns Peak Lake Campground Open to Visitor Reservations at www.recreation.gov, or 877-444-6777. *Water not available.
Hidden Lakes Campground Open to Visitor Campground is open with all services and fees provided.  $10/night.
Hinman Park Campground Open to Visitor All sites "first-come, first-served".
Libby Creek Willow Campground Open to Visitor
Lincoln Park Campground Open to Visitor Open June thru September with toilets and trash service.
Lynx Pass Campground Open to Visitor
Mirror Lake Picnic & Fishing Site Open to Visitor Picnic sites, fishing and hiking trails all in one location.
Ryan Park Campground Open to Visitor Open Memorial Day weekend through September, weather permitting. Reservations available through Recreation.gov. No water available in 2016.
Sawmill Creek Campground Closed to Visitor Dispersed camping allowed. Please pack out what you pack in.
Seedhouse Campground Open to Visitor Reservations at www.recreation.gov, or 877-444-6777.
Snow Survey Cabin Open to Visitor Available year-round. Cabin can be driven to during the Summer and Autumn. Winter access is by snowmobile, skis or snowshoes. Reserve cabin through www.recreation.gov.
South Brush Creek Campground Open to Visitor Open Memorial Day weekend thru September with toilets and trash service.
Spruce Mountain Fire Lookout Open to Visitor Go to www.recreation.gov to check availability and to reserve the site
Teal Lake Campground Open to Visitor Campground is open with all services and fees provided.  $10/night.
Vedauwoo Campground Open to Visitor

Spotlights

Vedauwoo Campground

The campground is composed of two loops, winding around the boulders, slabs and cliffs of the Vedauwoo rock formation which comprises 10 square miles of weathered Sherman granite.  There are 28 campsites with tables, fire rings, trash pick up and vault toilets.  This area is constructed to blend in with the natural beauty of the surroundings.  The vegetation is a variety of Limber pine, Engleman spruce, Douglas fir and Aspen. The general area was once used as a hideout for outlaws. Native Americans thought playful spirits piled up the boulders. All the tent sites are walk-ins and some of them are so secluded, one might feel the "outlaw's spirit."   There is access to rock climbing and a nature trail through the rocks. 

It is located in the Pole Mountain area and is managed by the Laramie Ranger District.

Bear Lake Camground

6/7/2016 Bear Lake Campground is now open. Water will be turned on as of June 11th, 2016.


ABOUT THE CAMPGROUND: Managed by the Yampa Ranger District. This campground is located in the Bear River area of the Flat Tops Wilderness, 14 miles southwest of Yampa on Forest Development Road 900. This campground is in a large wooded area that makes a small loop with 43 sites + 4 double sites and 1 triple site making it a popular place for RV’s and families with children.


VIEWS: Bear River Campground is surrounded by 235,000 acres of Flat Tops Wilderness. Some sites have a view of the Flat Tops and the valley, while others are more wooded. Bear River reservoir is located just outside the campground and is within walking distance.


ACTIVITIES:
HIKING: 3 miles past Bear Lake Campground is the Stillwater Trailhead where three popular hikes begin. Trail guides are available at no cost in town at the Yampa Ranger Station.


FISHING:
This area accesses some great fishing for brown and brook Trout. Along this 17 mile, dead end road are 3 reservoirs. (Yamcolo, Bear River, and Stillwater) which can accommodate a canoe, with Yamcolo being the only one of the three that allows a small boat with a motor as long as the boat does not cause a wake.


HOW TO GET THERE: From Downtown Yampa, Forest Road 900 is located just past the local General Store, (Montgomery’s). The 900 road begins with 6.4 miles of pavement with the remainder 8 miles being gravel road. Bear River Campground is on the left side.


FOR MORE INFORMATION: For questions call the Yampa Ranger District. (970) 638-4516 Trail guides for hiking as well as other information are available at the Yampa Ranger Station in downtown Yampa and our hours are Monday – Friday 8:00am – 5:00pm.

 

 

South Brush Creek Campground

Currently without water, South Brush Creek Campground is a sunny campground with small trees among the campsites. The 20 sites include 6 pull-throughs (trailers under 32'), picnic tables, toilets, fire grates, and trash service. Recreational opportunities include the Brush Creek Hiking Trail System, Stump Hollow and Cedar ATV trails, and fishing in area streams. The Brush Creek Visitor Center is nearby on Hwy 130. 

Mirror Lake Picnic & Fishing Site

Mirror Lake is a popular picnic and fishing stop on the Snowy Range Highway. The site is near the base of Medicine Bow Peak. It provides lakeside access for fishing and a short easy walking trail to the West Lake Marie Trailhead. Other popular hiking trails in the area include the Medicine Bow Peak, Lake Marie Falls, Lakes Trail and Miners Cabin Trails. This site should not be missed if you are traveling along the Snowy Range Scenic Byway.

Fish Creek Falls TH: Trail #1102

Fish Creek Falls

Trail Map

Fish Creek Falls Trailhead #1102 is located in the Steamboat Springs Area and managed by the Hahns Peak/Bears Ears Ranger District. Enjoy a great view of the waterfalls from an wheelchair accessible overlook trail or a dirt trail can take you down to the base of the falls, and a historical bridge, which crosses Fish Creek and continues the trail 5 miles to Long Lake and connects to the 1101,1032. Vault toilet are provided. Area open year round, providing snow shoeing and ice climbing in the winter months.