Monday, May 31, 2004
There are many camping opportunities on the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest outside of Steamboat Springs. From developed sites with picnic tables and fire grates to primitive camping both inside and outside Mount Zirkel Wilderness, visitors have many choices.
Car and RV campers can choose from several campgrounds a short distance from town. Amenities include picnic tables, fire grates, vault toilets, dumpsters and a seasonal water system. All campgrounds are $10 when the water systems are on, and are offered at a reduced rate otherwise. Call the Hahn's Peak/Bears Ears District for 2004 opening and closing dates (970) 879-1870.
Meadows Campground is 15 miles southeast of Steamboat Springs on U.S. Highway 40 (Rabbit Ears Pass) at an elevation of 9,300 feet. There are 30 sites, two of which offer access for the disabled. All campsites are first-come, fist-served. The campsites can accommodate RVs and trailers up to 40 feet. It is open from July 4 to Sept. 15. Hiking and biking opportunities are nearby.
Hahn's Peak Lake Campground is 30 miles north of Steamboat Springs on Routt County Road 129, and 2.5 miles west on Forest Road 486. It is the only campground on the National Recreation Reservation System, and reservations can be made up to 240 days in advance by calling 1-877-444-6777 or on the Internet at www.reserveusa.com.
There are 25 campsites, ten of which are first-come, first served. They can accommodate RVs up to 40 feet. The campground is open from Memorial Day to October 15 and is at an elevation of 8,500 feet. Hiking and water activities are nearby, but internal combustible boat engines are not allowed on Hahns Peak Lake.
Hinman Campground is 26 northeast of Steamboat Springs via Routt County Road 129. Follow RCR 129 through Clark and take a left on Forest Road 400 (Seedhouse Road). Follow signs to Forest Road 440 (Reed Creek Road) to the campground, located at an elevation of 7600 feet. There are 13 campsites that can accommodate RVs up to 22 feet. The campground is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Hiking, biking and fishing on tributaries of the Elk River are nearby.
Seedhouse Campground is 30 miles northeast of Steamboat Springs. Take Routt County Road 129 through Clark. Take a left onto Forest Road 400 (Seedhouse Road) and follow signs to the campground, located at an elevation of 8000 feet. There are 25 campsites that can accommodate RVs up to 22 feet. The campground is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
The surrounding areas were heavily affected by a large wind event, the Routt Divide Blowdown, that occurred in 1997 and also by the fires of 2002. Fishing and hiking opportunities are nearby, and the Mount Zirkel Wilderness Area is four miles to the east.
Primitive camping opportunities are available in many areas of the Hahn's Peak/Bears Ears Ranger District. Please call the district office for information on area and fire closures. If you choose to camp outside a developed campground, pack out all trash and practice Leave No Trace techniques. n