Routt National Forest


Fall in the Flat Tops of Routt National Forest
Fall in the Flat Tops of Routt National Forest

Routt National Forest was administratively combined with Medicine Bow National Forest and both forests are managed by the US Forest Service office in Laramie, Wyoming. For the most part, Routt National Forest is in Colorado while Medicine Bow National Forest is in Wyoming.

Because of the location and elevation of the National Forest, winter sports and recreation are a big thing here. The world-famous Steamboat Ski Resort is on Routt National Forest. Elevations vary from about 5,500' to about 12,800'. The mountains on the Routt were obviously carved by glaciers, glaciers which left hundreds of small, high mountain fishing lakes nestled in deep U-shaped canyons beneath the sheer walls of ancient cirques.

Located in north central Colorado away from the big centers of population, Routt National Forest sees its overall heaviest usage in the fall hunting season. The Steamboat area sees its most traffic in the heart of winter when the snow is deepest. Most times in the wilderness areas about all you're going to hear is the moose and the elk taunting each other, although these woods do have lots of black bear, deer, mountain lion, bighorn sheep, coyote, and bobcat.

Looking at a Flat Top directly across Trappers Lake in Flat Tops Wilderness
Trappers Lake, Flat Tops Wilderness
 
Upper photo courtesy of Byways.org
Lower photo courtesy of Lynn Lockwood, US Forest Service

Campgrounds

Hahns Peak/Bears Ears Ranger District
Campground # of Units Max Unit Length Elevation Amenities
Dry Lake 8 16' 8,000' Camping availableToilets availableParking availableTrail headHiking trails availableBiking trails available
Dumont Lake 22 40' 9,500' Camping availableToilets availableDrinking water availableFishing available nearbyHandicapped AccessibleHiking trails availablePicnic sites availableMotorized boating allowedNon-motorized boating availableBiking trails available
Freeman Reservoir 17 22' 8,800' Camping availableToilets availableFishing available nearbyBoat launch availableHandicapped AccessibleParking availableTrail headHiking trails availablePicnic sites availableNon-motorized boating availableBiking trails available
Granite 8 22' 10,200' Camping availableToilets availableFishing available nearbyBoat launch availableHandicapped AccessibleParking availableHiking trails availablePicnic sites availableMotorized boating allowedNon-motorized boating availableBiking trails available
Hahns Peak Lake 25 40' 8,500' Camping availableToilets availableFishing available nearbyBoat launch availableHandicapped AccessibleParking availableTrail headHiking trails availablePicnic sites availableMotorized boating allowedNon-motorized boating availableBiking trails available
Hinman Park 13 22' 7,600' Camping availableToilets availableDrinking water availableFishing available nearbyBiking trails available
Meadows 30 40' 9,300' Camping availableToilets availableParking availablePicnic sites available
Seed House 6 22' 8,000' Camping availableToilets availableFishing available nearbyHiking trails availableBiking trails available
Seed House Group Camp 1 Tents Only 8,000' Camping availableToilets availableFishing available nearbyHiking trails availableBiking trails available
Summit Lake 16 22' 10,300' Camping availableToilets availableFishing available nearbyHandicapped AccessibleParking availableTrail headHiking trails availableNon-motorized boating availableBiking trails available
Parks Ranger District
Campground # of Units Max Unit Length Elevation Amenities
Aspen 7 22' 8,920' Camping availableToilets availableDrinking water availableFishing available nearby
Big Creek Lakes 54 76' 9,000' Camping availableToilets availableDrinking water availableFishing available nearbyHandicapped AccessibleParking availableHiking trails available
Hidden Lakes 9 22' 8,900' Camping availableToilets availableDrinking water availableFishing available nearby
Pines 11 22' 9,200' Camping availableToilets availableDrinking water availableFishing available nearby
Teal Lake 17 22' 8,800' Camping availableToilets availableDrinking water availableFishing available nearbyBoat launch available
Teal Lake Group Camp 1 Varies 8,800' Camping availableToilets availableDrinking water availableFishing available nearbyBoat launch available
Yampa Ranger District
Campground # of Units Max Unit Length Elevation Amenities
Bear Lake 43 30' 9,700' Camping availableToilets availableDrinking water availableFishing available nearbyPicnic sites availableNon-motorized boating available
Bear River Dispersed 31 Varies 8,800'-10,200' Camping availableBoat launch available
Blacktail Creek 8 18' 9,000' Camping availableToilets availableFishing available nearbyPicnic sites available
Chapman Reservoir 12 35' 9,300' Camping availableToilets availableBoat launch available
Cold Springs 5 22' 10,200' Camping availableToilets availableFishing available nearbyBoat launch available
HorseShoe 7 18' 10,100' Camping availableToilets availableFishing available nearby
Lynx Pass 11 18' 9,000' Camping availableToilets availableFishing available nearbyHandicapped AccessiblePicnic sites available
Sheriff Reservoir 6 20' 9,700' Camping availableToilets availableBoat launch availableNon-motorized boating available
Vaughn Lake 6 22' 9,500' Camping availableToilets availableFishing available nearbyHandicapped Accessible