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Camping at Yampa River State Park

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Overview of Yampa River State Park

Yampa River State Park, located in northwest Colorado near the town of Hayden and about 30 miles west of Steamboat Springs, is a natural park that encompasses a 134-mile stretch of the Yampa River. This park is known for its camping opportunities, boating, fishing, wildlife viewing, and a variety of other outdoor recreation activities.

Camping Information


  • The park offers several campgrounds along the river. There are developed campgrounds with amenities as well as backcountry sites for a more primitive experience.
  • Headquarters Campground, near the visitor center, has sites with electric hookups and is open year-round.


  • Reservations can be made online or by calling the reservation system for Colorado State Parks. It is recommended to reserve in advance, especially during peak seasons.


  • Campsites typically include grills, picnic tables, and nearby restrooms.
  • Some sites may offer electrical hookups and shared water taps.
  • A dump station and potable water fill-up are available at certain campgrounds.


  • Campsite fees vary based on amenities and location within the park. There is usually a base fee for camping plus additional charges for electricity and other facilities.
  • All vehicles entering the park need a parks pass, which can be purchased daily or as an annual pass.

Recreational Activities

Boating and River Use:

  • The park offers multiple access points for boating. The Yampa River is popular for rafting, tubing, kayaking, and canoeing.
  • Water levels fluctuate with seasons and weather, so it’s important to check current conditions.


  • The river is home to a variety of fish species, offering excellent opportunities for fishing. Anglers might catch smallmouth bass, northern pike, or various species of trout.
  • Colorado fishing licenses are required for anyone aged 16 and older.

Wildlife Viewing:

  • Wildlife in the area includes deer, elk, various bird species, and occasionally bears and mountain lions.
  • It's important to follow guidelines for storing food and dealing with wildlife to ensure safety.

Hiking and Trails:

  • There are trails available for hiking within the park, offering the chance to explore the regional flora and fauna.

Winter Activities:

  • During winter months, the region is suitable for activities such as cross-country skiing and snowmobiling, depending on snow conditions.

General Tips and Guidelines

  • Fire Safety: Always follow posted fire regulations and any burn bans. Use designated fire rings or grills for cooking or warmth.
  • Leave No Trace: Preserve the natural beauty by packing out all trash, staying on designated trails, and respecting wildlife and plant life.
  • Weather Awareness: Prepare for sudden weather changes by bringing appropriate gear and clothing.
  • Pet Policy: Pets are typically welcome but must be kept on a leash and supervised at all times. Please clean up after your pets.

Contact and Emergency Information

  • For any emergencies within the park, contact local law enforcement or the park visitor center immediately.
  • Up-to-date contact details for the park, including emergency numbers, can be found on Colorado State Parks' official website or by contacting the visitor center.
Map of Campgrounds in Yampa River State Park
Campgrounds in Yampa River State Park
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