Late spring snowpack will limit road access and delay the opening of most developed campgrounds on the Routt National Forest this Memorial Day weekend. While there will still be some opportunities to explore and camp, Forest visitors are reminded to call their local ranger district office to know what is open and accessible.
The following are area-specific conditions:
(As a side note, if you ever get the opportunity, be sure to hike the Gilpin Lake / Gold Creek Lake Loop just north of Steamboat Springs. It's one of my favorite hikes in Colorado.)
Parks Ranger District – The Aspen Campground near the town of Gould will be the only recreation facility open this holiday weekend. While fees will not be charged, campers should be aware that water, trash and restroom services are not yet available; therefore they should plan to bring plenty of water and pack out their trash. Access is limited to most dispersed areas, so please contact the District Office at (970) 723-2700 for the most up to date information.
Yampa Ranger District – All developed campgrounds are currently snowed in and there is very limited access across the District for free dispersed camping opportunities. However, approximately 11 designated dispersed camping sites are open in the Bear River Corridor southwest of the town of Yampa. These first-come, first-served sites cost $5 per night and have standard picnic table and fire ring amenities. Two restroom facilities are located near group sites and campers are required to pack out their trash. For the latest information, please contact the District Office at (970) 638-4516.
(As another side note, the Devils Causeway is an exciting hike - for those that dare to cross it!)
Campground reservations are not required for any of the campgrounds open this holiday weekend on the Routt National Forest. As additional campgrounds open later in the season, reservations may be made for some reservable sites through ReserveUSA by phone at 877-444-6777 or online at www.recreation.gov. Where available, reservations are recommended for holiday weekends such as Memorial Day.