Meadows Campground Overview
Meadows Campground is a nice medium size campground just off US-40 about 15 miles outside of Steamboat Springs. There are different loops for campsites here and most of the southern sites overlook the beautiful meadow in which this campground was named for. The campground is thick with pine trees and wild flowers. Luckily the beetle kill is not too bad in this area yet. Many beetle resistant trees have been planted but it will be many years before they offer any real shade. For wildlife viewing and convenience this is a great campground to enjoy. It is right on the highway with quick access to Steamboat Springs.
|Region:||North West Colorado|
|Location:||From Steamboat Springs, take east US-40 16 Miles.From Walden, take west US-40 44 miles.Meadows Campground is on the south side of the road. Google Map|
|Forestry:||Routt National Forest – Forest Service|
|Camp Sites:||30 Campsites of all Types ~ Tent, Camper Trailer, small RV|
|Cost:||$10 a Night – No Reservations|
|Season:||Peak Season is late June through to early September|
|Activities & Amenities:||Bird Watching, Cross Country Skiing, Drinking Water, Fire Pits, Stream Fishing, Hiking, Horseback Riding, Hunting, Photography, Picnicking, Self-Pay Station, Snow Shoeing, Tables, Tent Pads, Wildlife Watching Opportunity, Vault Toilets|
Meadows Campground Campsites
The Meadows Campground rests in a thickly wooded area to the north of a large open meadow in the Rabbit Ears Pass area of the Routt National Forest. The campsites themselves are well protected from the weather as they are back in the trees. Luckily the bark beetle problem that is plagueing pine forests is not too bad here yet. The elevation here helps as the campground is over 9000 feet. This is something campers should keep in mind when they are camping here. It can be cold here at any time during the year so be prepared.
The campsites themselves are set up well and spaced out more than other campgrounds which is nice. Even if campsites are close the trees really help separate campers and give everyone their own little piece of outdoors.
The campsites are great for tent camping or trailer camping. Most of the parking spaces are relatively flat. However, there is no electricity or water in these sites so it is not an idea place for RV camping. However if you do bring your RV camping here it is a good idea to make sure it is no bigger than 30 feet. With all of the trees and a few sharp corners larger RVs may run into some trouble here.
The picnic tables are the wood and concrete kind. They are stable and cannot be moved. However, they may get dirty or have splinters so it is a good idea to have tablecloths and bench covers if possible. The tables to don’t overhang and are not considered ADA accessible.
The fire pits here are the tall static fire pits you find in many campgrounds. The tall sides keep embers from blowing out of the fire which is good. What isn’t so good about them is that they tend to direct the heat up and away from those sitting around trying to enjoy it. This is a problem where even mid-July nights can be chilly. They do have a grilling rack. It is attached to an adjustable height rack. This is nice for getting your food to the exact right place to cook. This grilling rack does get in the way for a fire for warmth and heat. Remember to use local wood to help stop the spread of bark beetles. Never burn green wood! The camp hosts should have bundles of wood or they can be found in nearby Steamboat Springs.
One thing that does stand out here is that Highway US40 is very close to the campground. You will hear noise from the road round the clock. Being near the top of Rabbit Ears Pass it is the most popular route for people to get around in the region.
If you have stayed at the Meadows Campground, please leave a comment below. Remember to mention the exact campsite you were in. This will really help other campers that are thinking about going to Meadows Campground.
Amenities at Meadows Campground
This is a more rugged campground than others and this should be kept in mind when choosing your camping location. The campsites are designated but they are not groomed and boxed in.
There are water taps to well water here but they may not always be available. During the peak camping season campers should be OK but anytime outside of it do not expect to get any water here. Water can be brought up from Steamboat Springs. Make sure that you pack some containers to bring enough water.
There is no electricity at Meadows Campground. Cell service cannot be expected here either. You may be able to get a bad signal since Steamboat Springs is so close but it is not something to count on when camping here.
There are no dumping stations for RVs either. This is really not an ideal place for RV camping.
There is trash service here to those that are camping here. Otherwise all trash must be packed up and taken out. There are a few bear proof dumpsters around the campground.
There is small creek that usually has some water in it that can be fished. Dumont Campground is nearby which has a small a lake if you looking for a bit more water. There are also a handful of other places around the area that are within an hour if you are looking for even larger bodies of water when camping.
This is an excellent place to watch wildlife. There is a huge diversity here and careful and patient campers can expect to be rewarded. Make sure to have your cameras ready at all times so you can catch those moments when you spot wildlife. More notably this area is known for its birdwatching. There are some platforms for larger birds set up around the meadow. The meadow also makes a fine place to watch for birds. The lush wildflowers draw all kinds of birds from all over the region. Binoculars or a spotting scope are a great thing to have when camping at Meadows Campground.
If you are looking for some exercise there is a nice nature and bird watching hike that makes a small circle near the western part of the meadow.
Things to do around Meadows Campground
Wildlife viewing is a fantastic thing to do outside of the Meadows Campground when camping here as well. There is a huge area that is open and perfect for seeing what Mother Nature has to offer.
There are hiking trails all over the area from short and easy trails to long and difficult ones.
Dumont Campground is a few miles to the west and has access to more hiking area as well as a small lake. There is also access here to roads and trails that head up to Rabbit Ears peak.
The city of Steamboat Springs is just about 20 minutes away from The Meadows Campground. This is very convenient if you find you need more supplies or the weather turns foul. You can take in a movie or see other sites and make the most out of your camping trip in the way you would like.
Final Thoughts on Meadows Campground
Meadows Campground near Steamboat Springs is a nice and beautiful place to go camping. The views and scenery here are fantastic. With so much wildlife activity in the area you could spend your whole camping trip just watching and taking pictures.
The altitude can make it a chilly place to go camping. Tents and trailer campers work well here but it is not well suited for an RV.
There are no reservations that can be made here. Everything is on a first come, first served basis. So make sure to have another campground or two in mind during the peak camping season in case you arrive at the Meadows Campground and it is full.
The proximity to Steamboat Springs makes it a nice option for those that like to have civilization close in case of emergencies. There is a lot to do in the area so it should be fun for anyone camping here. Remember to be animal aware and prepared for the weather and you should have a great time camping at Meadows Campground.