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The entire state of Colorado is known for its natural beauty and has the second-highest concentration of national parks in the Lower 48. But even its state parks rival the national parks and monuments found in other parts of the country. So if you’re thinking about camping with an RV in the northwestern corner of the state, you can’t miss Stagecoach State Park and its campground.
Camping at Stagecoach Campground is fairly rustic, with a 30 amp electrical connection being the only hookup available. There is a communal dump station though if you need to empty your tanks. For essentials, your best bet will be driving up towards Steamboat Springs, which has some truck stops and a grocery store. Most visitors don't book an RV in Routt County because they’re hoping for extensive amenities though; they want to get away from the crowds near Denver, on the eastern slope of the Rockies
Some of the best things about parking a rental motorhome at Stagecoach Campground are the recreational opportunities within the state park. Some easy hiking trails encircle the reservoir at the park’s center, and if you have your own boat or would like to rent one, there’s a marina to launch from on its north side. If nothing else, the tranquil scenery provides an excellent backdrop for a family picnic.
This is Colorado, so it won't be difficult to find opportunities for outdoor adventure; it might be a challenge figuring out how you will fit all the possibilities into your motorhome camping schedule though. The Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest lies just east of Stagecoach Campground and has an abundance of great hiking trails to explore. For a moderately difficult hike, try the 12-mile-long Sarvis Creek Trail just east of the campground.
If you’re up for a day trip when getting an RV rental near Stagecoach Campground, there are several excellent options nearby. For one, the western entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park is only about two hours' drive from Oak Creek. As it’s farther from Denver, this side of the park sees fewer tourists but also has fewer amenities. If you’ve got a smaller RV or campervan rental, take a scenic drive on the Old Fall River Road. The steep gravel road has some of the most spectacular views in the park, and it doesn’t have the traffic jams seen on the more accessible (paved) Trail Ridge Road. You could also go for a hike along the majestic Grand Lake, with several paths to choose from and varying levels of difficulty and elevation gain.
Dinosaur National Monument is a similar distance but to the west of Oak Creek. The 200,000-acre park is home to thousands of archaeological sites where several of the most well-preserved dinosaurs skeletons have been found. With even fewer crowds, the monument is a favorite among off-the-beaten-path destination enthusiasts. One of the most productive fossil beds there, known as the Quarry, was enclosed to become part of the visitor center, so it’s possible to look for fossils no matter the weather outside. The monument is also a Dark Sky Park, so check to see if they have any star parties happening during your visit.
Tired after hiking some tall peaks or stooping down to look at fossils? Well, they don’t call it Steamboat Springs for nothing – it has some world-class hot springs that are sure to soothe your achy muscles. The springs are contained in the Strawberry Park Resort, and there are even several pools of varying temperatures, just in case you’re not ready to take the plunge in some of the warmer waters.
Only a ten-minute drive away, Oak Creek is the closest town when you get a rental motorhome at Stagecoach Campground. It’s small, with just a few restaurants and cafés dotting its main street, but it’s worth stopping at the Tracks and Trails Museum if you have the time. Inside you’ll find exhibits laying out the history of Oak Creek as a railroad and mining center in the latter part of the 19th century with old oil lamps, mining helmets, and photos of the train depot.
Most of your urban activities with the RV rental will take place in the larger community of Steamboat Springs. Home to the oldest continually operated ski area in the U.S. at Howelsen Hill, Steamboat has been a popular tourist destination for the better part of a century. For a fun journey through the history of Steamboat Springs, visit the Tread of Pioneers Museum. Beautifully curated inside a luxurious Victorian home, the museum covers everything from the history of skiing to Native American culture and even a little bit about Colorado’s Old West outlaw days.
While Steamboat is most famous for its winter activities, there’s plenty of fun to be had in the summer too. The kids will love a day out at the town’s amusement park, which has all sorts of games like miniature golf, laser tag, a maze, and bounce house. If you’re itching for a cold-weather activity in July, try the Howelsen Ice Complex with its skating rink and “ice bumper cars.”