From late spring through early fall, Stagecoach State Park becomes one of Colorado’s most desirable camping and recreational destinations. The 1,641-acre park is just one of many Colorado State Parks in the Steamboat Springs area, but its facilities make this park one of the more popular destinations for a variety of reasons. Stagecoach State Park is located in Colorado’s Yampa Valley, which sits along the western ridge of the Continental Divide. Since the park is only roughly 16 miles south of Steamboat Springs, campers are never far from modern comforts such as grocery stores, restaurants, and gas stations.
Stagecoach State Park is a year-round destination. When you stay here, you can enjoy RV and tent sites with electric hookups or primitive camping. The sites are divided between a couple of campgrounds, each with its own pros and cons. Make the park a basecamp and explore the area surrounding the park, like the Sarvis Creek and Flattops Wilderness Areas, and then venture back inside the park’s perimeters for camping, boating, fishing, and picnicking. Birders will love the chance to see pelicans and herons, while avid anglers won't want to miss the large trout population here. From horseback riding and hunting to volleyball and ice fishing, the outdoor adventures here are endless.
The park is only 160 miles from Denver, and is perfect for a weekend RV trip away! Check weather conditions to determine which route and mountain pass is most accessible during your trip, as inclement weather can impact the route you should take.
Stagecoach State Park is simple enough to find, just off the CA-131. Traveling to Stagecoach State Park will require RVers to traverse steep mountainous terrain and winding roads almost from any direction. Some of the passes have long, steep grades and winter driving restrictions. Before driving, map out the mountain passes, and plan to stop atop of some of these passes to witness the pure and iconic beauty of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. Many of the summits offer parking, restrooms, and a place to rest.
If you need anything during your stay, you can try the nearby town of Oak Creek, just eight miles from the park. If you don't find what you are looking for there, then you're sure to find it at the nearby city of Steamboat Springs, approximately 16.5 miles from the park.
All Colorado State Parks require that visitors pay a daily vehicle fee, which you'll have to pay before you can enter the park. This fee is an additional cost added to camping and other recreation fees. Once inside the park, the road turns into a dirt road, and RVers should adjust their speed accordingly. Keep an eye out for pedestrians, cyclists, and wildlife as you drive through the park. Campers can go ahead and check into their site before setting off to enjoy the park's activities. Once set up, you can continue by foot, bike, or car around the park.
Day visitors can make use of the plentiful parking found throughout the park. These parking areas are usually found near a trailhead or a fishing point.
Traverse hiking and biking trails, fish on the Yampa River, soak in hot springs or spend the winter months hunting or skiing when visiting the Steamboat Springs KOA. The campground is just a few miles north of the historic Western ranching town Steamboat Springs. At the campground, guests can ride a free bus to explore the town’s unique shops, pioneer museums, family restaurants, and entertaining Western shows. Guests may also enjoy the heated pool, miniature golf course, and bike rentals while on-site. There’s plenty of space for big rigs with pull-through sites able to accommodate up to 60-foot rigs. Enjoy all the modern conveniences here with full hookups, Wi-Fi, and cable TV.
McKindley Campground is a small, pet-friendly, primitive facility that is centrally located between the park’s other campgrounds. This campground has no hookups, but can still be used by RVers who don't mind a more rugged experience. The gravel spaces range from 30 to 40 feet, and each site offers campers a picnic table, fire pit, and grill. Seven of the nine sites are back in, but if you would prefer a pull-through site, try and reserve sites 91 and 92. Each site can accommodate up to six people a night.
Also included in the campground is a group site, for groups of up to 36 people. The site can hold seven cars at a time and has amenities like vault toilets, picnic tables, and a fire pit.
This campground is a basic facility and campers will need to bring potable water and use the vault toilets while staying here. Contact the park office to see where the closest hydrant with potable water is located within the park. Generators are allowed, but please silence them between the hours of 10:00 PM and 6:00 AM. All facilities that use water close down in the late fall. Contact the park for more information.
The Pinnacle Campground is a pet-friendly campground located close to the marina and the pay showers. This campground consists of 36 electric sites offering 30-amp electrical service, showers, restrooms, and hydrant the back-in and pull-through spaces fit RVs and trailers up to 40 feet, and each area has a fire ring, picnic table, and a grill. Generators are allowed, but please silence them between the hours of 10:00 PM and 6:00 AM. Campers who need to use a dump station will find it located near the Pinnacle Campground.
Pinnacle campground also features a group campsite, Juniper Group Camping Area. This site is perfect if you'd like to go camping with a group of friends, and can cater for up to 18 people at a time. It features two RV sites with electrical hookups, three tent pads, and additional parking for up to four cars. Other amenities include a group fire ring, grills, picnic tables, and flushing toilets.
During the peak season, reservations are accepted, and campers can stay on a first-come, first-serve basis during winter operations. Some water services may be unavailable during the winter.
If primitive camping isn’t for you, then reserve a space at the pet-friendly Junction City Campground. This campground is located near the Keystone Day-Use Area and the park office. These 25 back-in and pull-through spaces accommodate RVs and trailers up to 40 feet. All of the sites have 30-amp electrical service, as well as a picnic table, fire pit, and a grill. They can each sleep six people a night, and sites like 6, 7, 8, 9, and 16 offer campers a water view.
This campground provides potable hydrants and a restroom. Generators are allowed, but please silence them between the hours of 10:00 PM and 6:00 AM. All facilities that use water close down at the beginning of October and reopen again in the middle of May. Contact the park for more information.
Campers wanting to enjoy a hot shower will have to travel to the shower facilities by the Marina. These are coin-operated, so be sure to bring along some quarters.
If you prefer basic, primitive camping, reserve your stay at the Harding Spur Campground. This RV and tent campground is close to the Haybro Day-Use area and sits parallel to the lake. All 16 sites are pet-friendly, are back-in, and accommodate RVs and trailers up to 30 feet. Each space sleeps six campers and has a fire pit, picnic table, and a grill. This campground provides potable hydrants and a restroom. Hot showers can be found by the Marina and are operated by quarters. Generators are allowed, but please silence them between the hours of 10:00 pm and 6:00 am. All facilities that use water close down in the late fall.
During the winter months, RVers can still camp at select electrical sites at the Pinnacle Campground. These are available on a first-come, first-served basis. The showers, drinking water, and dump station are all closed from the beginning of October to the middle of May. During the winter months, the park is still a fun place to be and if you are thinking of coming to the park at a quieter time of the year, then this is your chance.
Fishing on the reservoir is a year-round activity. Novice and experienced anglers can fish, as long as all people over the age of 16 have and possess a valid Colorado fishing license. The park’s equipment rental program offers fishing equipment, and the camp store has some bait and other fishing gear. The waters of Stagecoach reservoir are known for its massive rainbow trout, with some of the fish growing as large as 14 to 18 inches long.
From December until March, the reservoir is frozen over and visitors can try their hand at ice fishing. If you are visiting during the winter, you can check out some of the available ice fishing equipment. Contact the park for more information on fishing and the current water conditions.
If you are visiting the park during the snowy weather, make sure you pack snowshoes or cross-country skis in your motorhome. All groomed trails are available to winter wanderers, so you'll have a chance to explore the park as it turns into a winter wonderland. If you're lucky and bring a pair of binoculars, you might catch a glimpse of some critters foraging for food like white-tailed deer, red foxes, and muskrats.
When you visit the park during the migratory season, birdwatching becomes the highlight of many visitor’s trips. The water draws different species of birds resting along their flights to and from warmer climates. Look for songbirds, hawks, falcons, Eurasian coots, osprey, bald eagles, white-faced ibis, great blue herons, Grouse, and American white pelicans. Pick up or print out a birdwatching guide, bring your binoculars and your cameras, and capture the beauty of the many birds who make Stagecoach State Park a temporary stop or a permanent home.
The reservoir isn’t just for boating and fishing. After hiking, biking, and picnicking, why not cool off by taking a dip in the water? The park has designated wake-free zones near and around the swim beach. The swim beach is located by the marina, which means you are close to the park office, where you can get ice cream and other snacks. The swim beach is also near one of the camping areas and the restrooms.
While swimming and relaxing on the swim beach, remember that all children under 18 need adult supervision. There are no lifeguards on duty, and swimmers should swim at their own risk. Although this is a pet-friendly park, your pets are not allowed to swim with you in the water and will have to remain on land.
The Stagecoach Reservoir is a 780-acre body of water that draws visitors from all over the state during Colorado's warm months. From May until the end of October, watersports are some of the park's main recreational activities. Whether you have a boat, or you rent a boat from the marina, you will enjoy the time in the outdoors on the water. Visit the marina to get snacks, ice cream, and other supplies from the small camp store, and ask about boat rentals. The marina rents pontoon boats, stand up paddleboards, paddle boats, kayaks, and canoes.
If you decide to bring along your own vessel, you will need to subject it to an Aquatic Nuisance Species inspection (ANS) done by the park. This procedure helps to prevent invasive plants and different flees and insects from breeding and populating in the park. Once complete they will be provided with an ANS stamp, allowing your vessel access to the reservoir.
When the weather is warm in Colorado, people want to be outside. If you are someone who loves the outdoors and seeing the world rush past you, then bring your mountain bike on your next camping trip to Stagecoach State Park. The park has eight miles of trails open seasonally. Bike the Elk Run and the Lakeside Trails, both easy to moderate level gravel trails, or make a longer loop and bike the perimeter of the reservoir by connecting the two trails. If you don’t have a bike, stop by the park office and borrow a fat-tired bike from the park. Make sure to tell cycle with friends or tell somebody where you are going before you head off.