Yampa River State Park

Quick Facts

Yampa River State Park

Colorado

(970) 276-2061

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

Located in the Yampa Valley west of steamboat springs, the headquarters on the Yampa River offers visitors a wonderful base to enjoy western Colorado's outdoors. To the west of the parks headquarters you will find several river access sites for fishing and boating, most sites with rustic camping facilities for pre and post trip overnight stays. To the northwest, you will find more opportunities at Elkhead reservoir including, fishing, power boating, swimming, water skiing and soon to open will be new campgrounds. The Yampa River supports a rich agricultural heritage that shapes the unique character of this area. The Yampa River is one of the most hydrologically and biologically intact rivers in the West, supporting a diversity of native aquatic communities (including four federally listed fish species as well as candidate species) and significant reaches of globally rare riparian plant communities. Sandhill cranes stage on the Yampa River during migratory travel and to care for their young until they are ready to fly. Blue Heron rookeries co-exist with nesting bald eagles and a variety of other avian species. This area of Northwest Colorado is known for abundant big game species: Elk, deer and antelope can be found throughout the year. The Yampa River is one of the last relatively intact river systems in the west and contains globally rare plant communities. While riparian areas occupy less than three percent of the western landscape, they provide habitat for 80 percent of the region's wildlife. Mature Cottonwoods line the river corridor and provide the base for other riparian plant species.

Map of Yampa River (CO)

Latitude, Longitude: 40.473007, -106.829707

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Activities

  • Boating

    Yampa River boaters have 13 access points in the 134-mile-long Yampa River State Park portion of the river, stretching from Hayden, Colorado, to Dinosaur National Monument (Permits required within Dinosaur National Park.) on the Utah border. All access sites have some type of river access for boating or limited walk-wade fishing.

  • Bicycling

    There are many opportunities available for bicycling.

  • Auto/Motorcycle

    Opportunities are available

  • Camping

    The Headquarters campground near Hayden, CO has 50 camp sites; 35 are electric sites. Water hydrants located at the Head Quarters campground and water at the dump station and the camper services building are closed during winter months. There are six basic campgrounds with river access along the 134-mile segment of the Yampa river from Hayden to the Dinosaur National Monument. The sites are: South Beach, Duffy, Juniper, Maybell Bridge, and Cross Mountain Canyon.

  • Fishing

    The Yampa River offers many fishing opportunities. Anglers fish for both warm-water and cold-water species in the Yampa. Upstream of Yampa River State Park is one of the healthiest trout fisheries found in the state. In and around Steamboat Springs, there is a variety of fishing opportunities. On the eastern end of Yampa River State Park from Hayden to Craig, there are good trout numbers, small-mouth bass and northern pike. On the western end of the river from Craig to Maybell, there are warm-water species, including a good small-mouth bass fishery, northern pike and catfish.

  • Hiking

    At the Headquarters Campground, walkers can enjoy a mile of nature trail to work the kinks out from the long day's drive. The primary hiking opportunity is at many of the river access sites along the river. Hiking in the area is primarily on BLM lands and offers a diverse experience for all levels and interests. With the high-desert environment, your hikes can offer some of the most scenic views found anywhere. Areas like Duffy Mt., Juniper Canyon and Cross Mountain have some excellent hiking territory.

  • Horseback Riding

    Opportunities are available in the area.

  • Hunting

    Yampa River State Park is centrally located to all major areas of hunting. The visitor center has BLM maps for sale as well as maps and information about the area State Trust Lands open for public access.

  • Off Highway Vehicles

    There are opportunities available for OHV driving.

  • Picnicking

    Yampa River offers Picnic sites at all 13 river access sites. See the River Access Points page on this Web site as well the Yampa River Brochure and Map. The Headquarters campground also has a group picnic area that can be reserved.

  • RVing

    Electrical hookups are available at the headquarters campground.

  • Water Sports

    White-water rafting, kayaking and canoeing are popular activities on Colorado's rivers. While most of the 134-mile stretch of the Yampa River in Yampa River State Park is relatively flat water with Class I-II rapids, there are some areas of Class III-V rapids for whitewater rafting.

Seasonality/Weather

Park open year-round from 8 a.m. till sunset.

Directions

Driving

Yampa River State Park offers several public access sites along a 134-mile stretch of the Yampa River between Hayden and the Dinosaur National Monument near the Utah border. The central park office is located on Highway 40 between the cities of Craig and Hayden. See the Yampa River State Park Brochure and Map for locations of all public access sites.

Flying

Closest airport is located in Denver, CO.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(970) 276-2061

Links