Flickr album link: Deerlodge Park Campground
Deerlodge Park is located in the far eastern end of Dinosaur National Monument along the Yampa River and there are a couple of ways to get to this picturesque area. Traveling by automobile via the country roads in western Colorado is the easy way to arrive. Going overland on the Yampa Bench 4x4 trail from the Utah side of this national monument to the town of Dinosaur will suit those who relish the thought of experiencing the back country. There is a third way to arrive, which involves rafting, canoeing or kayaking from the Gates Of Lodore near Browns Park through Cross Mountain to Deerlodge Park on the Yampa River. This river rafting route definitely is the most adventurous way to go during the summer season and the Deerlodge Park Campground is perfect for doing an overnighter before continuing downstreat to the Green River and the main body of this vast national monument.
Deerlodge Park is a large day use area that offers world class fishing, open space recreation areas and a cozy river rafter campground. The tall cottonwoods provide plenty of shade for relaxation and the tent campsites are equipped with chargrills. Basic facilities with drinking water are available during the warm weather seasons and there is a boat launch ramp on site. This is high desert sagebrush country and the towering mountains harbor a wide variety of wildlife, so practicing bear safe food storage will be necessary at the campsites.
There are hiking trails that follow the river and some go into the wilderness where the spring wildflowers blooms are magnificent to see. Spring and summer are the best times to plan a trip, since this entire region is very difficult to access when the winter snow covers the ground. For those who plan on doing a Yampa River float trip, some of the most picturesque landscapes in the entire west can be found between this campground and Echo Park. Deerlodge Park may seem like it is too far to reach when perusing a map, but all it takes is one look at the Yampa River basin landscape to see that the venture will definitely be worthwhile!
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