Yampa Ranger District


The Yampa Ranger District is located in Routt County in the small town of Yampa, Colorado (27 miles south of Steamboat Springs.) 
Yampa is the southern-most district of the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests & Thunder Basin National Grassland and manages Routt National Forest lands consisting of nearly 400,000 acres of varied terrain, ranging from sagebrush flats, forested mountains, alpine tundra, and accesses the Flat Tops Wilderness and the Sarvis and Silver Creek Wilderness.

The Yampa Ranger District hosts 8 developed campgrounds, as well as many opportunities for dispersed camping and is a haven for fishermen, hikers, hunters, those who enjoy scenic drives in the fall and summer, and those seeking winter recreation opportunities such as snowmobiling, snowshoeing, dog sledding and cross country skiing during the winter months. 

THE SCENIC BYWAY:  The Flat Tops Trail Scenic and Historic Byway is an 82 mile scenic drive on dirt road that can be accessed from Yampa and connects the towns of Yampa, CO and Meeker, CO.
The byway cuts through the heart of the original White River Plateau Timberland Reserve, set aside in the late 19th century as the second unit of what eventually became the National Forest system. 

Due to the heavy winters, the Flat Tops Scenic Byway is not passable by wheel travel in the winter months or plowed from the west side at approximately mile point 31 or on the east side of  Dunkley Pass at mile marker 7 which becomes a staging area in the winter months for those seeking opportunties to snowmobile, snowshoe, cross country ski, and dog sledding in the Dunckley Pass area just 20 minutes outside of Yampa.

Winter recreation can start as early as November and run through the end of May, but varies from year to year due to snowpack conditions and when the first and last snow fall occurs which has varied greatly over the years.

For information on permits, passes, a general conditions schedule and more helpful information, please scroll down.


At a Glance

Current Conditions: Hikers can expect heavy amounts of snow each year through the end of June and should come prepared. For Current Fire Bans and Restrictions and Conditions please call the Yampa Ranger Station at 970.638.4516

(Closed weekends and holidays)     VIA EMAIL: SM.FS.r2_mbr_vis@usda.gov   AFTER HOURS: Visitors can obtain information at our outdoor kiosk located outside of the Yampa Ranger Station at 300 Roselawn Ave in downtown Yampa, or by listening to the voicemail greeting for current updates by calling 970-638-4516.
All camping is on a first come basis with a 14 day stay limit in a 30 day period.
Rentals & Guides: Call the Yampa Ranger District for a directory of local outfitter guides for activities regarding hunting, horseback riding and dog sledding services in the area.
Developed camp sites range from $5-$10 per night, and after the first vehicle, additonal vehicles are $5 per night. (Cash or Check and exact change only)  
Bear River Reservoir: Located on Forest Service Road 900 and offers shore side fishing, a fishing pier and a picnic area with fire grates and grills, a vault toilet and potable water and is located just outside of the Bear Lake Campground.     ________________________________________________________________________________________
  • Dunckley Pass/Scenic Byway: Scenic overlooks and picnic areas can be found along the scenic byway, Flat Tops Trail 
  • Ripple Creek: Scenic overlooks and picnic areas can be found along the scenic byway Flat Tops Trail 
Permit Info: CAMPING: No permit required
HIKING/BACKPACKING: No permit required
Open Season: as early as Memorial Day for camping. Late June to early July for Hiking - Mid October or until freezing occurs
Usage: Medium
Best Season: Mid July through September
Busiest Season: June through September
Restrictions: FIRE RESTRICTIONS: Before your arrival, please check with the Yampa Ranger Station to find out if there are fire restrictions 970-638-4516 ROAD CLOSURES AND ALERTS: Please see Alerts section BOAT REGULATIONS: Electric trolling motors are allowed (However, internal combustion engines are only allowed at Yamcolo Reservoir.)
Closest Towns: Oak Creek, Colorado - 10 miles
Kremmling, Colorado - 44 miles
Toponas, Colorado - 10 miles
Steamboat Springs - 27 miles
Passes: Currently our Visitor Center is closed to the public until further notice to protect the health of our visitors and staff. Passes can be purchased at the following sites: REI: www.rei.com
  • Annual interagency pass only
  USGS Store: https://store.usgs.gov/pass
  • Annual interagency pass
  • Lifetime Senior
  • Annual Senior
  • Access
  • Hangtag and brochure
  Rec.gov: https://www.recreation.gov/
  • Annual interagency pass only
Although day use areas are free on the Yampa Ranger District, those that frequent the National Forest and Federal lands often may be interested in purchasing the America the Beautiful Pass. PASSES OFFERED:
America the Beautiful Annual Passes ($80)
Senior Passes ($80 Lifetime/$20 Annual)
Access Passes (Free with proper documentation)
Military Passes (Free with proper ID)
4th Grade Every Kid Outdoor Program Passes (free for 4th Graders, good for the whole car/family) WHERE TO PURCHASE ONLINE: REI: www.rei.com
  • Annual interagency pass only
USGS Store: https://store.usgs.gov/pass
  • Annual interagency pass
  • Lifetime Senior
  • Annual Senior
  • Access
  • Hangtag and brochure
Rec.gov: https://www.recreation.gov/
Information Center: Printed material, brochures and free maps can be accessed 24/7 outside of the Yampa Ranger Station at 300 Roselawn Ave at our outdoor kiosk.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information



Show detail SHOW

Camping & Cabins

Hide detail HIDE

Campground Camping

Dispersed Camping

What is Dispersed Camping?: Dispersed camping is finding your own, unmaintained camp site within the Forest. This type of camping can be done in the middle of the Forest or just off Forest Service roads, in undeveloped areas where there are no facilities or services provided, and no fees are charged.

Dispersed car camping opportunities can be found at the following areas: (free of charge)

  • Dunckley Pass
  • The Gore Range
  • Red Dirt Reservoir
  • Gardner Park (Call to check for closures during Elk Calving Season)
  • Trout Creek
  • Ramshorn

Please note: Camping along Forest Service Road 900 in the Bear River Corridor near Yamcolo Reservoir, Stillwater Reservoir, or Bear River, is fee based and at developed designated camp sites only. Along the corridor, making and creating sites of your own outside of those designated sites is prohibited and subject to a fine.

Fees: Free


Show detail SHOW


Show detail SHOW

Horse Riding & Camping

Show detail SHOW


Show detail SHOW

Nature Viewing

Show detail SHOW

OHV Riding & Camping

Show detail SHOW

Other Activities

Show detail SHOW

Outdoor Learning

Show detail SHOW


Show detail SHOW

Scenic Driving

Show detail SHOW

Water Activities

Show detail SHOW

Winter Sports

Show detail SHOW
Areas & Activities


  Latitude : 

  Longitude :