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.
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.
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.
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.
Open May 26 without water, South Brush Creek Campground is a sunny campground with small trees among the campsites. The 20 sites include 6 RV 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 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 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.