Yampa River Park
6185 US Highway 40, Hayden, CO 81639 (MAP) – fees & reservations
Yampa River Park System
The Yampa River State Park stretches 134 miles along northern Colorado’s iconic Yampa River. Beginning at Dinosaur National Monument and continuing to Hayden Pump Station, this stretch includes 13 river access points as part of this State Park.
Yampa River Park Activities
Visitors will find boating, camping, excellent fishing, and the chance to glimpse birds and wildlife on the water, land, and air. This unique park is a chance to discover the stunning beauty, abundant wildlife, and outstanding recreation experienced on the Yampa River. Rafers, canoeists, and kayakers have miles of flat water and Class I to V boating.
Facilities, access, and rules for use vary by site, so boaters should be informed. Brochures can be obtained from the visitors center or downloaded here. Respecting private land along the river corridor, landscape, and natural communities is important. Visitors can swim, boat, fish, camp, hike, and bike at Elkhead Reservoir. — Back to All State Parks.
Three Main Aspects of Yampa River State Park
The Headquarters – Hayden
Visitors can begin (or end) their voyage at the visitor center near Hayden (Yampa River State Park Headquarters), which has a full-service campground, information, nature trail, and easy river access.
Elkhead Reservoir State Park
This component of the Yampa River system is not “on the river.” Instead, it is just a few miles from the Headquarters. At Elkhead Reservoir State Park, visitors can enjoy swimming, boating, fishing, hiking, biking, and more camping options.
Yampa River Access
Beginning at Dinosaur National Monument and ending at “The Pump Sation” just past Hayden. Within this 134-mile span are 13 access outlets to the Yampa River. Some of these access points include camping; others are simply places to put in or take out.
13 River Access Points
- Pump Station – 5 miles east of Hayden off U.S. Hwy 40 on the north side. No camping Parks Pass is required.
- Yampa River State Park Headquarters – 6185 US Highway 40, Hayden, CO 81639 (MAP)
- State Wildlife Area – Located between Hayden and Craig, south of U.S. Hwy 40, near a small metal railroad building called Dorsey. No camping, no improvements.
- Yampa Valley Golf Course – Pebble Beach is near the Craig Golf Course. No camping, no improvements.
- Moffat County’s Loudy Simpson Park – Located off Hwy 394. South of Craig at the developed ball field complex. A launch and parking area, overnight camping by permission only.
- South Beach – Yampa Project Pump Station – Located 3 miles south of Craig on the west side of Hwy 13. Some parking via the pump station. Limited primitive camping, max two nights, $8 camping permit plus vehicle pass. Restroom facilities, boat ramp, picnic sites, tables, fire rings, and trash bins. 32 miles to the next takeout.
- Duffy Mountain – Located 32 miles downstream from South Beach, about 30 miles southeast of Craig to Moffat CR 17, near Lay, go 10+ miles and turn left on BLM road 1593. The river site is 1 mile further on the right: overnight camping, vaulted toilets, parking, picnic sites, boat ramp. A State Park pass is required.
- Juniper Canyon – Located 12 miles from Duffy Mountain Access Site. Take U.S. Hwy 40 west of Craig for 20 miles, turn south onto Moffat CR 53 for 3.6 miles to Moffat CR 74, and turn west (right) .8 miles: overnight camping, vaulted toilets, parking, picnic sites, and a boat ramp. A State Park pass is required.
- Maybell Bridge – Located 28 miles west of Craig on the south side of U.S. Hwy 40, approximately 12 miles downriver from Juniper Canyon access. Primitive camping, boat ramp, limited foot access to the river, picnic area, tables, fire rings, restrooms, and trash bins. $8 camping permit and State Parks Pass.
- Sunbeam – Located 7 miles northwest of Maybell. From Maybell, take State Highway 318, six miles to Moffat CR 23, which goes to the access site: minimal improvements, no overnight camping. Pack out trash.
- East Cross Mountain – Located 18 miles southwest of Maybell. Continue on U.S. Hwy 40 west of Maybell, approx 13.6 miles to Moffat CR 85. Turn north Moffat CR 85 to BLM Road 1551 and another 1.5 miles to the access point: $ 8 camping permits and State Parks pass required. The improved area includes vaulted toilets, parking, picnic & camping sites, tables, fire rings, and a boat ramp.
- West Cross Mountain & (13.) Deerlodge Park – Located between Cross Mountain Canyon and Dinosaur National Monument. Both of these access sites are in the care of the National Park Service. Boaters accessing Deerlodeg Park must have a permit to float on the Yampa through Dinosaur.
Yampa River Etiquette
The following rules are basic but will help preserve the park and make a more positive experience for visitors and landowners.
- The river passes through private property. Please respect private property signs; don’t trespass!
- All trash must be packed out. If you find trash, please help and pack it out, too.
- Human waste must be packed out.
- A firepan is required for open fires. Use only fallen deadwood or dry wood for campfires.
- Wash dishes away from camp. Strain water and pack out strained garbage. Use only biodegradable soap.
- Keep noise to a respectable level.
- Always bring the required safety equipment.
Focus Activities at Yampa River Park
- Camping - visitors center, basic campsites, tipis, electric, dump station, laundry, showers
- Boating - paddle sports, rafting, kayaking
- Picnic sites
- Hiking & biking
- Fishing - ice fishing
- Ranger and nature programs
- Wildlife and bird watching
- Cross-country skiing & snowshoeing, snow tubing
- Ice skating