Looking for the best camping spots in Steamboat Springs?
Steamboat Springs is nestled in the beautiful Yampa Valley in northwest Colorado. Originally a small ranching town, Steamboat put itself on the map as an international ski destination in the 1960s.
Fast forward 60 years, now Steamboat Springs is a hot spot for snow sports enthusiasts during the winter and a family-favorite destination for summer activities. But with the ever-growing popularity of this small mountain town, accommodation in Steamboat is becoming expensive and tricky to book.
So, if you’re an avid nature lover who enjoys sleeping in a tent or under the stars,露营在斯廷博特斯普林斯可能会瞧t more enjoyable and budget-friendlyfor you.
Read on to discover the 17 best campsites in and around Steamboat.
Places To Go Camping Near Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Mike and I first met in Steamboat Springs, and to this day, we call it our home. Over the years, we have camped all around the Yampa Valley, so take it from us, Steamboat is home to some of the most breathtaking campsites in the world.
Whether you’re looking for fully equipped campgrounds, RV hook-ups, dispersed camping, or you’re a true badass and wild camping is the only way for you, we’ve got you covered!
In this guide, you are bound to find the perfect Steamboat Springs camping spot for you and your crew.
1. Chapman Reservoir
Located along the Flat Tops Trail Scenic Byway, Chapman Reservoir is a picturesque camping location with stunning views of the reservoir and the Little Flat Tops.
To access this campground, you’ll need to drive along Forest Service Road 940, about 12 miles out from the town of Yampa.
Chapman Reservoir is a perfect spot to relax and unwind from your busy day-to-day life. Here you can enjoy hiking, scenic driving routes, fishing, swimming, and canoeing.
With 12 campsites and a 22-inch maximum for trailers, Chapman Reservoir is a relatively small campground. However, there are also many dispersed camping options outside of the campground.
This campground is open from June to October, and there are no reservations required; you camp on a first-come, first-serve basis. There is a $10 fee per site and one vehicle, you will have to pay $5 for any additional vehicle. All fees must be paid by cash or check; no credit/debit card payments are accepted.
You will have to take a short walk to access the reservoir, as no ATVs are allowed in the campground. And for any additional information about the area and hiking maps, you can stop by theYampa Ranger District Office & Visitor Center.
2. Pearl Lake
Within a short 30-minute drive from downtown Steamboat, you can immerse yourself in Colorado’s backcountry. Located just off of Country Road 129, past the small village of Clark, Pearl Lake State Park is a gorgeous, remote location nestled in the mountains north of Steamboat Springs.
With amazing views of Farwell Mountain and a 166-acre lake, Pearl Lake campground is the perfect spot for an activity-filled getaway.
From hiking to fishing, boating to bird watching, snowshoeing to cross-country skiing(see my dad and me snowshoeing on Pearl Lake below!), this campsite is an outdoor enthusiasts’ paradise.
Fun Fact:Pearl Lake is in the top 25 canoeing spots in America!
Andif you’re looking for a great day hike, we highly recommend nearby Hahns Peak for amazing 360° views.
Pearl Lake campground offers 36 lakeside campsites, all in sunny locations with views of the surrounding mountains. Each campsite offers a 14 x 14ft tent pad and can accommodate trailers and small motorhomes, too.
Each site includes a parking spot, a fire ring, and a picnic table. There are drinking water fossettes located around the campground, as well as vault toilets. Pearl Lake campground guests can use the shower, laundry, and waste disposal facilities at Steamboat Lake State Park, just a few miles up the road.
Pearl Lake campground usually opens from late May to early October, depending on snowfall. Each campsite costs $28 per night. But if you want to camp in style, Pearl Lake also offers two yurts that can be booked year-round at $90 per night and can sleep up to 6 people.
If you’re planning on camping during the prime summer months, we highly recommend booking your spot several months in advance. And be aware that the access road to the yurts is closed during winter. So, if you booked a winter yurt getaway, be prepared to snowshoe or cross-country ski about 0.5 miles.
3. Sheriff Reservoir Campground
This small, secluded campground is located about 15 miles west of Yampa, nestled deep in the national forest. Although you can’t see the Flat Tops directly from your campsite, the beautiful view opens up just steps outside of the campground.
警长水库是湖泊和溪流的热点fishing for Colorado trout. There are also several trailheads nearby for some amazing hikes, such as Sheriff Reservoir Dam, Bunker Basin, Sand Creek, and Black Mountain Creek Trail.
This tiny campground only has 6 sites, making it a great spot for those looking for some privacy in nature. There is no reservation policy, sites are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. And the fee is $10 per night.
The campground is equipped with toilets and picnic tables and is most suitable for tent camping given its modest size. However, there are larger dispersed camping opportunities along the 4-mile forest road leading to the campground; campers and trailers can be accommodated here.
Weather permitting, Sheriff Reservoir is open from June to November.
4. Allen Basin Reservoir
Located about 25 miles from Steamboat Springs near Yampa in Rio Blanco County, Allen Basin Reservoir is a scenic location popular amongst outdoor adventurers.
Allen Basin is better known for its amazing fishing opportunities with three trout species: Colorado River Cutthroat Trout, Rainbow Trout, and Brook Trout. There is also an ATV trail if you’re into more thrilling activities.
Only dispersed camping is available at Allen Basin Reservoir and can be reached by a short hike, bike, or ATV ride approximately 1 mile from the parking area. Toilets can also be found in the parking lot.
Pro Tip:If you’re planning on winter camping, you will need to come equipped with snowshoes or a snowmobile if you’re extra fancy.
5. Dutch Hill Campground
Located within Steamboat Lake State Park, 27 miles north of Steamboat Springs, Dutch Hill is a beautiful lakeside campground with views of the iconic Hahns Peak.
Aspen trees and evergreens offer shading and some privacy around each site.
Dutch Hill Campground is very popular due to the long list of activities year-round, such as 7 miles of mountain biking trails, swimming, canoeing, paddle boarding, boating, jet skiing, hiking, horseback riding, and bird watching.
Winter activities include cross-country skiing, ice fishing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling.
And if you’re not in the mood for cooking, stop in at Steamboat Lake Outpost, just outside of the state park. Here you can enjoy local dining, shop at the general store, and book outdoor adventure activities such as guided ATV rides.
This large and well-equipped campground offers 85 sites and 10 cabins throughout the year. There are also tent-only sites that are walk-in friendly. Sites 116-155 are located along the Wheeler Loop and offer electric hook-ups.
Each site has its own fire ring with a grate and picnic table. Other campground amenities include vault toilets, drinking water, and coin-operated laundry and shower facilities. The boat ramp and marina are also close by.
Tent camping is available on a first-come, first-served basis, or reservations can be made in advance by calling the parkVisitor Centernumber: (970) 879-3922.
The fee for RV sites is $18 per night or $126 per week. Just be aware that fees may vary if you request a boat access site or hunting site.
6. Sunrise Vista Campground
This campground is also located in Steamboat Lake State Park at 8,000ft (2,438m), neighboring Dutch Hill Campground. At just a quarter of a mile away from the marina, Sunrise Vista offers the same incredible mountain and lake views as Dutch Hill Campground.
Sunrise Vista offers the same amenities as Dutch Hill; guests have access to a boat ramp, amphitheater, flushing toilets, showers, and picnic tables.
However, Sunrise Vista is the larger of the sister campgrounds with a total of 113 sites spread across 6 different “loops.”
75标准的非电的网站是基于“增大化现实”技术ound Harebell, Arnica, and Rosecrown Loop. The 38 sites with electric hook-ups can be found at Lupine, Larkspur, and Yarrow Loop.
All sites are equipped with a 14 x 14ft tent pad, fire pit, picnic table, and level parking spot. Showers, laundry, and dump station facilities are located at the marina.
Like Dutch Hill, Sunrise Vista is open year-round. Reservations are encouraged but can only be made between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend. You can reserve your spot on your arrival day or up to 6 months in advance.
7. Hahns PeakLake
Although smaller than Dutch Hill and Sunrise Vista campgrounds, Hahns Peak Lake Campground is a hidden gem nestled amongst the pine trees at the base of the towering Hahns Peak mountain.
This spot is beloved by families and outdoor enthusiasts thanks to all the hiking, biking, and fishing opportunities. Off-road vehicles and non-motorized boats are also allowed.
The Prospector Trail is a popular mountain bike route, and the West Side Lake Trail offers a gentle walk around the lakeshore.
Pro Tip:Just be wary of all the wild animals! You will likely encounter black bears, elk, bobcats, coyotes, mule deer, and moose.
This medium-sized campground offers 23 single-unit sites and 3 double sites for large groups. Campers will have access to toilets, picnic tables, parking, and a boat ramp.
Hahns Peak Lake Campground is usually open between June and early October, depending on snowfall. After September 17th, all sites are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. If you wish to book a spot before then, call 877-444-6777.
Single-unit sites cost $12 per night, while double units cost $20 per night. All payments must be made by cash or check.
8. Stagecoach State Park
Located in the lush Yampa Valley, just south of Steamboat Springs, campers at Stagecoach State Park can truly immerse themselves in Colorado’s great outdoors.
The campground is centered around a 780-acre reservoir with other recreation areas nearby, like the Flattops Wilderness, Blacktail Mountain, and Service Creek Wilderness.
There is a huge array of activities to enjoy, including boating and fishing at the full-service marina, swimming, hiking, biking, and wildlife watching. Fishing licenses can be bought onsite, and you can also go ice fishing in the winter.
Two of the most popular lakeside trails are Elk Run Trail and Wetlands Trail; both offer great birdwatching and wildlife spotting opportunities.
There are 5 campgrounds within Stagecoach State Park: Junction City, Pinnacle, Harding Spur, McKindley, and Juniper Campground.
Junction City offers 27 electrical sites, Pinnacle offers 17 electrical and 5 non-electrical, and Harding Spur offers 17 non-electrical sites.
McKindley and Juniper are both group camping areas. McKindley offers non-electrical sites that can accommodate up to 36 people and 7 cars, whilst Juniper offers facilities for up to 18 people and 4 cars, including 2 RV sites with electric hookups.
Peak season runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day, and reservations are necessary during this time. Reservations can be made by visitingcpwshop.comor by calling 800-244-5613. Camping fees range from $18-36 per site per night.
9. Freeman Reservoir Campground
This relatively small campground is a relaxing spot, perfect for escaping the hustle and bustle of the city. Freeman Reservoir Campground is particularly popular amongst equestrians, thanks to the many horseback riding trails.
Fishing is also permitted at the reservoir, but no motorized boats are allowed.
The closest town is Craig. To access the campground, you will need to drive 12 miles north from Craig on Highway 13, then turn right on Moffat County Road 11. Follow this unpaved road for about 8 miles until you reach the reservoir.
Freeman Reservoir Campground is only open during the warmer months, from late spring to mid-autumn. There are no reservations required; campsites are allocated on a first-come, first-serve basis.
There are 19 campsites in total, with a combination of pull-through and back-in sites. The only basic amenities available are drinking water and vault toilets.
The fee per site per night is $12.
Where To Camp Near Steamboat – Buff Pass
Buffalo Pass (or “Buff Pass,” as the locals say) is a vast wilderness area that stretches from Steamboat to Walden, Colorado. Sitting at 10,180ft (3,100m), it’s a pristine playground for nature lovers with incredible views.
Although there are plenty of wild camping opportunities, below are 2 popular campgrounds on Buff Pass.
10. Summit Lake Campground
Just a short drive from downtown Steamboat, Summit Lake Campground offers gorgeous views and plenty of outdoor recreation activities.
The lower part of Buffalo Pass wilderness area can be accessed by 2-wheel drive cars; however, as you climb in elevation, you will require a 4-wheel drive vehicle with some clearance.
There are numerous hiking, biking, and horseback riding trails leading off from Summit Lake Campground. ATV riding and fishing are also permitted, but no motorized crafts are allowed on the lake.
Summit Lake Campground is pretty basic, with 15 tent sites and 9 RV sites. Each site includes a fire grate and picnic table. There are vault toilets, but no drinking water – so be sure to pack plenty of water!
Campsites are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Fees are $10 per night or $5 for day use. Given the elevation of Buffalo Pass, this campground is only open from July to October due to heavy snow conditions.
11. Dry Lake Campground
Located 8 miles northeast of Steamboat Springs, Dry Lake is another great campground on Buffalo Pass.
This small but delightful campsite is a great base camp for awesome hiking and mountain biking adventures. Dry Lake is also within driving distance ofStrawberry Park Hot Springs– the best natural hot springs around Steamboat!
This campsite only has eight single sites available, so be sure to get there early to secure your spot or make a reservation.
Dry Lake Campground is open from mid-June to late October, with basic facilities such as picnic tables, fire grates, and one vault toilet. Like Summit Lake Campground, there is no drinking water provided here either.
Campsites cost $10 per night.
Where To Camp Near Steamboat – Zirkel Wilderness
Another unspoiled, beautiful corner of the world is the Mount Zirkel Wilderness. In 1964, this was one of the original areas protected under the Wilderness Act.
Stretching an incredible 159,935 acres, the Zirkel Wilderness is home to 70 lakes and 3 rivers with towering mountain peaks.
Here are 2 of the best campgrounds nestled in Zirkel Wilderness.
12. Seedhouse Campground
Located just 25 miles north of Steamboat Springs, Seedhouse Campground is the gateway to Mount Zirkel Wilderness area. And sitting at 8,000 ft (2,438m), you’ll find yourself deep in the Rockies, at the heart of Routt National Forest.
Seedhouse Campground offers incredible outdoor activities, such as hiking, biking, horseback riding, river rafting, swimming, and trout fishing. One of the most popular hikes is the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail.
And if you’re seeking even more outdoor adventure opportunities, Steamboat Lake State Park is just a short drive away.
There is a total of 24 camping sites at Seedhouse Campground; 15 can be reserved, while the rest are all available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Reservations are available from June 24th to September 9th.
Each site has ample room and includes a campfire ring and picnic table. There are two drinking water pumps throughout the campground and vault toilets. There are no electrical hookups.
Seedhouse Campground is open from July to October, and a single site costs $12 per night. Campers can stay at the campground for a maximum of 14 days.
13. Coulton Creek Campground
This campground is located off of the Coulton Creek Trailhead (Trail #1188) in the Seedhouse Corridor, just a few miles out from Clark. Coulton Creek Campground is strictly dispersed (free) camping.
Coulton Creek Trailhead is a non-motorized trail; it’s a great starting point for hiking, biking, or horse riding excursions, linking up with numerous other trails in the Mount Zirkel Wilderness.
This camping area is completely free and open year-round. There are 6-15 campsites, depending on the size of tents and RVs. The maximum RV length permitted is 25 feet, and campers are welcome to stay for up to 14 days.
Where To Camp Near Steamboat – Rabbit Ears
The iconic Rabbit Ears Pass gets its name from a distinctive rock formation at its peak. Unfortunately, the rocks have been eroded over time, but early pioneers believed them to look like rabbit ears.
Rabbit Ears is located along Highway 40 between Steamboat Springs and Kremmling. Straddling the Continental Divide and with an elevation of 9,246ft (2818m), this high-country pass offers gorgeous views of the valleys below.
Here are 2 of our favorite campgrounds on Rabbit Ears Pass:
14. Meadows Campground
Nestled amongst tall evergreens, Meadows Campground is a beautiful retreat for the whole family. It’s a great spot to set up camp, then explore Steamboat and the surrounding areas.
There are much great hiking, biking, and horseback riding trails accessible from the campground. You can enjoy peaceful strolls through meadows and pine trees or hike up to the Rabbit Ears rocky summit.
In winter, Rabbit Ears is a very popular destination for snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing.
There are 30 campsites in total, with a mixture of back-in, pull-through, and walk-in tent sites. Each site comes with a picnic table and a fire ring. There are vault toilets and garbage services, but there is no drinking water provided.
Meadows Campground is usually open from late June to mid-October, depending on snow conditions. There is a fee of $10 per night per site.
Just be aware that there can be some noise pollution at this campground due to its proximity to the highway.
15. Dumont Lake
Although a little smaller than Meadows Campground, Dumont has a few more amenities and, of course, an idyllic alpine lake.
Campers can enjoy roomy and private camping sites with relaxing views of the meadow surrounding the lake.
The 2-mile long trail to Rabbit Ears Pass summit starts from this campground, as well as the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail. Dumont Lake is located just a short walk from the campground, and only electric motors or non-motorized water crafts are allowed.
Dumont Lake Campground offers 22 handicap-friendly campsites with a combination of back-in and pull-through sites. Campers will have access to 3 vault toilets and drinking water pumps.
This campground is typically open from early July to late October, and reservations can be made in advance. Each site costs $12 per night.
Additional RV Parks Near Steamboat
If you prefer camping in style and sleeping comfortably in your home on wheels, there are also 2 RV parks around Steamboat Springs too:
16. Steamboat KOAHoliday
The KOA vacation resort in Steamboat Springs is in a prime position along the banks of the Yampa River. From here, you will be able to explore all that Steamboat has to offer! You can stroll downtown or hop on the free bus up to Mount Werner ski mountain.
This centrally located RV park is a great spot to enjoy all of the Steamboat festivities throughout the year, such as the Winter Carnival, Texas Week, or the Hot Air Balloon Rodeo.
The Steamboat KOA is open year-round, making it a great winter getaway too.
The maximum length allowed for an RV is 60 feet, and sites come with 20/30/50 amps.
Campers can enjoy amenities such as cable TV, Wi-Fi, mini golf, a camping kitchen, fishing, and a pool during the summer months. Firewood and propane are also available to purchase.
There are also cabins and tent sites available to book. You can call 800-562-7782 or email@example.com get pricing and make a reservation.
17. Eagle Soaring RV Park
Located just a 5-minute drive west of downtown Steamboat, Eagle Soaring RV Park covers 27 acres of mountain meadows with beautiful views of Mount Werner. At Eagle Soaring, you can enjoy all Steamboat offers without paying outrageous hotel prices.
There is plenty of room to roam and play around the campground, or you can bike, run or stroll along the Yampa River Core Trail nearby.
所有站点都是70英尺长度过难关accessibility and include a 30/50 amp, drinking water, and sewer hook-up. Campers at Eagle Soaring also have access to free Wi-Fi, picnic and BBQ facilities, and handicap-accessible bathrooms and showers.
Rates start at $50 per night. For more information, you can call 970-879-0164 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Backcountry Camping Near Steamboat
So far, we’ve listed out 17 of the best campgrounds around Steamboat Springs to suit your needs and preferences. But if you truly want to dive into the wild and immerse yourself in nature, rest assured there are plenty of backcountry camping opportunities.
The Buffalo Pass, Mount Zirkel, Flat Tops Wilderness areas, and Routt National Forest offer a truly wild experience. If you’re backpacking, you will be able to enjoy days upon days of hiking, you can set up camp wherever you like.
And while there are no formal wild camping regulations in the Steamboat Springs area, here are some general guidelines to follow:
- Leave no trace– Whatever you pack in, you better pack out. Plain and simple. Whether it’sfood waste, trash, cigarette buts, or even toilet paper!
- Bathroom etiquette– It’s recommended to walk at least 70 steps away from your campsite, sources of water, and trails when you have to do your business. You should also dig a 6-inch whole, then cover it up once you’re done. – We know this is a little gross, but it has to be said.
- Fire safety科罗拉多干燥的气候而闻名,wildfires are a constant threat throughout the summer months. So be sure to check the fire risk level around your camping location. If the risk is high, you will not be allowed to start a campfire.
Most Important Tips For Camping In Colorado
If you’re a seasoned camper, you probably know all of this already. But just in case, here are a few basic tips to keep in mind when camping in Colorado:
➡️Double-check in case you need a camping permit.In most cases, camping in Colorado is very straightforward, and permits are not required, but passes or permits may be necessary to camp in specific areas of natural beauty.
➡️Reserve your campsite in advance when possible, especially if you want to camp in the middle of the summer. It would be so disappointing to arrive at your dream campground, then discover there are no spots left.
➡️Throw away all food waste and food containersin the appropriate bear-proof trash cans provided. Do not leave food items in your tent, RV, or car!
➡️Be mindful and respectful of wildlife, especially bears.Never feed wild animals, and always maintain a safe distance. Observe them quietly and let them go their merry way.
What To Pack For Camping In Colorado
Mike and I are experienced campers. We have camped all around Colorado during all seasons. We are also geeks when it comes to camping gear, so here are a few staple items we always bring on camping trips:
✔️Layers!– The weather can be very changeable high up in the Rockies. It could be 80°F during the day, then drop to near freezing at night. And even in mid-July, you might get caught in a snow blizzard.
✔️Sunscreen– Due to the elevation, the sun is always strong in Colorado. You can even get sunburnt in winter if you’re not careful.
✔️Water– Always make sure to have plenty of water on hand in Colorado. Due to the altitude, dry climate, and strong sun, water is indispensable. Check whether your campground has drinking water taps, and if you’re wild camping, you might want to invest in a LifeStraw.
✔️Biodegradable soap/shampoo——不管你是在营地的淋浴或洗涤in a mountain stream, we highly recommend using nature-friendly soap to respect the natural environment.
✔️Bear spray– Camping in Colorado, you will be in prime black bear territory. While, for the most part, the bears are non-aggressive, they may attack over food or to protect a cub. So you might want to invest in a can of bear spray; it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Can I Camp In My Car In Colorado?
Yes, car camping is definitely a thing in Colorado. In fact, it’s probably the best way to “get into camping” if you’re a beginner.
Car camping really offers so much freedom! You can park in a designated campground, pull up for the night at a scenic overlook, or go off the beaten track on a forest road.
And by car camping, we mean vehicle camping in general. Whether you’re literally rolling back the seats and sleeping in your car or you have a kitted-out van with a bed, it’s a great affordable way to enjoy Colorado’s natural beauty.
The Wrap-Up: Places To Camp Near Steamboat Springs
So there you have it: the rundown of the 17 best camping spots in and around Steamboat Springs. Thank you for taking the time to read through this list. We hope you find the perfect campground for your Colorado getaway and take some of our tips on board.