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

Recreation Conditions Report

 Area Name Status Area Conditions
Aspen Campground Open to Visitor Campground is open for the season, with all all services except water provided at this time.
Big Creek Lakes Campground Open to Visitor Campground is open for the season, with all all services except water provided at this time.
Bottle Creek Campground Open to Visitor Open with water, toilets and trash service, weather permitting.
Bottle Creek Group Picnic Site Open to Visitor Open June thru Sept with water, toilets and trash service. Reserve thru www.recreation.gov
Bow River Campground Open to Visitor NO trash service available in area. Plan to pack out your trash. $10 per night per site.
Bow River Ranger Station Open to Visitor NO trash service available in area. Plan to pack out your trash. $80 per night.
Brush Creek Visitor Center Open to Visitor Open June through Labor Day, weather permitting, with information on area recreation opportunities.
Curtis Gulch Campground Open to Visitor
Dry Lake Campground Open to Visitor All sites "first-come, first-served". *No drinking water available.
Dunckley Pass Overlook Picnic Site    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 mid June with water, toilets and trash service. No services after September.
Friend Park Campground Open to Visitor
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-country 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 for the season, with all all services except water provided at this time.
Hinman Park Campground Open to Visitor All sites "first-come, first-served".
Hog Park Campground Open to Visitor Some campsites are reservable thru Recreation.gov. Water, toilets and trash service available, weather permitting.
Jack Creek Crew Quarters Open to Visitor 1980's two story log bunkhouse. Reserve through www.recreation.gov
Jack Creek Guard Station Open to Visitor Rustic cabin located near Jack Creek campground. Reserve through www.recreation.gov
Libby Creek Willow Campground Open to Visitor
Lincoln Park Campground Open to Visitor Open mid-June with water, toilets and trash service. No reservable sites.
Lost Creek Campground Open to Visitor Services include toilets and trash service. No reservable sites.
Lynx Pass Campground Open to Visitor
Mirror Lake Picnic & Fishing Site Open to Visitor Snowbound in June. Picnic sites, fishing and hiking trails all in one location.
Pines Campground Open to Visitor Campground is open for the season, with all all services except water provided at this time.
Ryan Park Campground Open to Visitor Open with trash, toilets and water thru Labor Day. Summer sites available through www.recreation.gov.
Sandstone Cabin Open to Visitor Located on west side of Continental Divide off Hwy 70. Reservations are made with www.recreation.gov.
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.
Silver Lake Campground Open to Visitor Located on the Snowy Range Highway, snow stays late and comes early at this high elevation campground. No reservable sites.
Six Mile Campground Open to Visitor Open June thru October with water, toilets and trash service. After September this becomes a pack-in pack-out area. 
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 Weather permitting, open Memorial Day weekend thru September with water, toilets and trash service. After September this becomes a pack-in pack-out area.
Spruce Mountain Fire Lookout Open to Visitor Go to www.recreation.gov to check availability and reserve the site.
Teal Lake Campground Open to Visitor Campground is open for the season, with all all services except water provided at this time.
Vedauwoo Campground Open to Visitor
West Lake Marie Open to Visitor Open Memorial Day following the opening of Highway 130, weather permitting. Late and early snow is common.

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

ABOUT: This campground is located adjacent to Bear Lake, between Stillwater and Yamcolo Reservoir, 11 miles outside Yampa. It is composed of 3 overlapping loops in dense trees of Engelmann spruce, Subalpine fir and a few Aspen and Lodgepole, providing excellent privacy between sites. Although Bear Lake is adjacent to the campground, none of the campsites are on the lake.


Some of the sites have partial views of the towering black cliffs that identify the wilderness boundary, but most sites are secluded with views of Engelmann spruce, Subalpine fir, Aspen and Lodgepole. This campground has an elevation of 9,500 ft. Those seeking views of the reservoirs and Flat Tops, may want to check out the designated dispersed campsites off FS RD 900 outside of the campground. 

The campground hosts 43 sites total, to include 2 double sites, and 1 triple site making it popular for groups. Max trailer and camper length is 30 feet (trailers longer in length can find larger sites that are designated dispersed sites outside of the campground along FS RD 900)

The nearest RV waste station is located at the Stagecoach State Park, or at the KOA campground in Steamboat Springs, CO

AMENITIES: Vault toilets, trash, potable water, bear containers, fire grates, picnic tables, and camp hosts to answer questions. Outside of the campground is a free day use area with a fishing pier.

BOAT REGULATIONS: Electric trolling motors are allowed. Internal combustion engines are not allowed. (Combustion engines only allowed down the road at Yamcolo Reservoir).

RECREATION: Fishing/Hiking/Boating/Stand-up Paddle Board.
(there is a boat launch nearby at Yamcolo Reservoir as well as 2 other reservoirs that are great for wakeless boats, canoes and stand up paddle boards as well.

HIKING NEARBY: Mandall Lakes Trailhead and the Smith Lake Trailhead are nearby. The Stillwater Trailhead is located further where Forest Service Road 900 comes to a dead end. *Please note, most hiking trails typically still have snow until mid June. Paper Trail guides for hiking as well as other information are available at the Yampa Ranger Station in downtown Yampa at 301 Roselawn. Even if after hours, material is available outside of the Ranger Station at our outdoor kiosk.

FIRE RESTRICTIONS: Current as of August 9, We are still under a Stage 1 fire restriction. Camp fires are ONLY allowed in the permanent fire grates at  the designated campsites/campgrounds. NO back country fires allowed, NO rock ring fires, (must use the permanent structure fire grates at the designated sites only) NO charcoal grills allowed. NO smoking outside allowed.

DIRECTIONS: From Downtown Yampa, Take Cty Rd 7 just behind the local General Store, (Montgomery’s Grocery) approximately 7 miles. The road will turn into gravel becoming Forest Service Road 900. Drive another 7 miles, Bear Lake Campground is on the left side after passing the Yamcolo Reservoir and has a sign.


 
 

South Brush Creek Campground

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, fire grates, toilets and trash service. Recreational opportunities include the Brush Creek Hiking Trail System, the Stump Hollow and Cedar OHV trails, and fishing in area streams. The Brush Creek Visitor Center is nearby on Hwy 130. 

Mirror Lake Picnic & Fishing Site

Mirror Lake Picnic and Fishing Site

Open without services, plan to pack-in-pack-out. 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.

Lincoln Park Campground

This campground is three miles off the Snowy Range Scenic Byway (Hwy 130) beside North Brush Creek. Facilities include: 12 small camp sites, picnic tables, water, toilets, fire grates and trash service. The campground has a 14 day stay limit. Brush Creek Visitor Center is located nearby. OHV trails in the area include Stump Hollow Trail and Cedar Creek Trail.  Kennaday Peak is nearby and offers a panaramic view of the area.  

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.