2019 Pioneer Bunkhouse
2019 Pioneer Bunkhouse
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Yampa River State Park isn't just one park — it's three. Located in northwestern Colorado in the Yampa River Valley, this unique state park offers a host of great outdoor experiences for campers.
The park's headquarters are located in Hayden, a 25-mile drive west of Steamboat Springs, and host a modern campground, visitor center, and nature trail. The star attraction of the park is a 134-mile stretch of the river itself, along which you'll find several river access sites and four primitive camping areas. The third area of Yampa River State Park is the Elkhead Reservoir, where excellent boating, fishing, and swimming are all on offer.
There's a whole lot to see and do in such a large park, so keep reading to find out how to make the most of your Yampa River State Park camping trip.
As you'd expect in a park that runs along the banks of a beautiful river, boating is a hugely popular pastime in Yampa River State Park. With 13 river access points between the park headquarters in Hayden and Dinosaur National Monument, there are plenty of options when you want to launch a boat and go exploring.
Seven of those 13 sites feature boat ramps, including one at the state park headquarters. Thrillseekers love getting out on the river for some white-knuckle fun, with the swiftest parts of the river boasting Class V rapids.
Another favorite activity for Yampa River State Park campers is fishing. Both warm-water and cold-water species can be caught here, and you'll find several spots where you can wade into the water and cast a line. You might want to try your luck at the South Beach river access point, or head a little further east between Hayden and Craig to target trout, northern pike, and smallmouth bass.
When you need a break from watersports, you might want to set out on foot to check out the park's short nature trail. Starting at the headquarters campground, the trail features interpretive displays to help you learn more about the river and its surrounding ecosystem. It's a great way to relax if you've had a long drive to get to the park. You can even pick up a birding book from the nature center before setting out if you're keen to lay eyes on some of the feathered creatures that call this part of Colorado home.
There are also great hiking opportunities to be found at several of the river access points throughout the park. The Duffy Mountain, Juniper Canyon, and Cross Mountain areas all offer a variety of trails, so make sure you pack your hiking boots before leaving home.
If you want to camp with an RV at Yampa River State Park, you'll first need to rent an RV in Routt County and reserve a site in the Headquarters Campground. Located near Hayden, the 50-site campground features 35 electric sites for RV campers.
These campsites can be accessed by reservation only. The campground's services building features showers and laundry facilities. 50-amp electrical hookups are provided to all electric sites. If you're traveling with your dog, leashed and well-behaved pets are welcome in the campground. Just make sure you remember to clean up after your dog whenever necessary.
Four primitive camping areas are also spread along the park's 134-mile stretch of river. Each of these areas has between five and ten primitive sites for campers to choose from, but you'll need to check whether RV access is available before visiting.
When you've finished your Yampa River State Park RV camping adventure and you're ready to hit the road once again, you'll be happy to discover that there are lots more excellent attractions to be found nearby.
Head west and you'll be exploring the fascinating fossils of Dinosaur National Monument before you know it. Head east towards Steamboat Springs and you could be preparing to hit the slopes at Steamboat Ski Resort within an hour.
Alternatively, if you'd rather head for a big city, Denver is just a three-and-a-half-hour drive to the southeast. While you're there, make sure you take some time to explore MCA Denver, which boasts a fascinating collection of contemporary art.
From fast-paced outdoor adventures to arts, culture, and history, there's a whole lot to enjoy in northern Colorado. So rent a camper near Yampa River State Park and start planning the perfect itinerary for your next motorhome camping vacation.