Campers brave conditions for Memorial Day weekend

Matt Stensland

Call ahead to check on campsites

Steamboat Springs Forest Service: 970-870-2299

Yampa Forest Service: 970-638-4516

Yampa River State Park: 970-276-2061

Steamboat Lake State Park: 970-879-3922

Stagecoach State Park: 970-736-2436

— Despite the damp weather, people were filling up propane tanks and campers were rolling into Routt County for Memorial Day weekend.

Rain is forecast through the weekend, and campsites were still available Friday at popular camping areas as local police were beefing up staffing to keep the roads safe.

Stagecoach, Steamboat Lake and Yampa River state parks on Friday all had some camping spots available for the weekend. Reservations cannot be made online, and people should call to check availability.

Some campsites are also open in the Routt National Forest.

“While there are some opportunities to explore and camp, conditions are rapidly changing so forest visitors are encouraged to call or stop by their local ranger district office before traveling to find out what is open and accessible,” Forest Service spokesman Aaron Voos said in a news release.

In North Routt County, Hinman Campground will be open. Dispersed camping opportunities are limited to Routt County Road 129 north of Columbine, and Seedhouse Road is open to the Seedhouse Guard.

Closer to Steamboat Springs on Buffalo Pass, crews will be working at Dry Lake Campground, so people are encouraged to call or visit a Forest Service office before camping there.

Many Forest Service recreation areas, campgrounds and roads at higher elevations are still inaccessible due to snowpack or because of ongoing maintenance work.

“Respect these closures and do not try to drive around snow banks or barriers,” Voos said.

There are camping opportunities in South Routt County in the Yampa Ranger District. Blacktail Creek and Lynx Pass Campgrounds are open, with outhouse and trash services. There are 24 Bear River designated dispersed sites available in the Flat Tops area along Forest Service Road 900.

No fire restrictions are currently in effect, but visitors are reminded to be careful with campfires.

The Forest Service is also reminding visitors to be cautious of falling trees, including beetle-killed lodgepole pine trees.

“Recreationists should be aware of high-risk trees, especially in strong winds,” Voos said.

The Colorado State Patrol is encouraging travelers to drive safely, allow extra travel time, always buckle up and to not drive while impaired.

With grant money, police will be working overtime shifts and will focus on looking for distracted, aggressive and impaired driving.

The Steamboat Springs Police Department began its increased impaired driving enforcement Friday. It will continue through Monday.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland

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