Northwest Colorado is a camper's paradise

Whether you like to car camp or backpack out to a remote location, there are a wide variety of camping experiences available in the five-county Northwest Colorado area.
Because of the large amount of snowfall during the 2005-06 winter, this year all of the campgrounds are going to open late, said forestry technician Larry DeAndrade. "It's going to be a short season."

From developed sites with picnic tables and fire grates to primitive camping both inside and outside of Mount Zirkel Wilderness, campers have many choices in the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest.

Car and RV campers have several campgrounds to choose from within a short distance from Steamboat Springs. Amenities include fire grates, dumpsters, vault toilets, picnic tables and a seasonal water system. All campgrounds cost between $10 and $12. Day use fees are $5. Campgrounds will be open from June 1 through Oct. 1, weather permitting. Hahn's Peak/Bears Ears district offers primitive camping as well. Call Hahn's Peak/Bears Ears District at (970) 879-1870 for more information.

Meadows campground is 15 miles southeast of Steamboat Springs on U.S. Highway 40 and sits at an elevation of 9,300 feet. There are 30 sites, two of which are accessible for the disabled. The campsites can accommodate trailers and RVs up to 40 feet. All of the campsites operate on a first come, first served basis and are open from June 1 through Oct. 1, weather permitting. There is no water available, but 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. Reservations can be made up to 240 days in advance by calling (887) 444-6777 or on the Internet at www.reserveusa.com. There are 25 campsites and ten of them are first come, first served. The campground can accommodate RVs up to 40 feet and is open from June 1 through Oct. 1, weather permitting. Water is not available and internal combustible boat engines are not allowed on Hahn's Peak Lake. Hiking and biking opportunities are nearby.

Hinman campground is 26 miles northeast of Steamboat Springs. Follow Routt County Road 129 through Clark. Take a left onto Forest Road 400 (Seedhouse Road). Follow signs to Forest Road 440 (Reed Creek Road) to the campground, which is at an elevation of 7,600 feet. There are 13 campsites and they can accommodate RVs up to 22 feet. The campground is open from June 1 through Oct. 1, weather permitting. Hiking, biking and fishing on the 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, which is at an elevation of 8,000 feet. There are 25 campsites and they can accommodate RVs up to 22 feet. The campground is open from June 1 through Oct. 1, weather permitting. Fishing and hiking opportunities are nearby.
Dumont campground is about 17 miles southeast of Steamboat Springs on U.S. Highway 40. The elevation is 9,300 feet and the campground has 26 sites which all operate on a first come, first served basis. RVs and trailers up to 40 feet can be accommodated. The campground is open from June 1 through Oct. 1, weather permitting. Hiking, biking and fishing opportunities are nearby.

Dry Lake campground is approximately five miles east off of County Road 36. The elevation is 8,200 feet and there are eight campsites, but no water is available. The campground is open from June 1 through Oct. 1, weather permitting.

Summit Lake campground is 11 miles up County Road 36 toward the top of Buffalo Pass. The elevation is 9,200 feet and there are eight campsites but no water available. Hiking, biking and fishing opportunities are nearby. The campground is open from June 1 through Oct. 1, weather permitting.

Granite campground is south of Summit Lake. It is 15 miles southeast from County Road 36. There are eight campsites and no water is available. Hiking, biking and fishing opportunities are nearby. The campground is open from June 1 through Oct. 1, weather permitting.

Every campground has specific rules to abide by. "If you want to go somewhere beside an established camp, stop in the local office to get the scoop," said Wendy Holden, of the visitor information department for the Hahn's Peak/Bears Ears U.S. Forest Service. "Even the motorized folks should leave no trace. We want everyone to be safe out there and not destroy the environment."

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