Stagecoach State Park, located 17 miles south of Steamboat Springs, is a 1,641-acre park with a 771-acre reservoir on the upper Yampa River. The scenic park, surrounded by mountains, offers lots of recreation for water-sport enthusiasts. The reservoir, split into wakeless and non-wakeless areas, attracts a variety of watercraft, including sailboats, canoes, pontoons, jet skis, paddleboards, and power boats. The park has a marina, boat ramps, eight miles of hiking trails, picnic areas, and 92 campsites in four campgrounds on the north shore. Like other mountain lakes, there are lots of birds to watch and fish to catch. Rainbow trout, averaging 14 to 18 inches, are regularly reeled in, along with pike up to 46 inches long.
State Park Maps
- Stagecoach has four campgrounds—Junction City, Pinnacle City, Harding Spur, and McKindley—with 92 sites. Most of the sites cater to the RV and trailer crowd, leaving tenters to fend for themselves. Coin-operated showers are at the marina. Make reservations if you’re coming on summer weekends. Little shade is found at the campgrounds.
- The Yampa River below Stagecoach Reservoir offers superb trout fishing. The 0.6-mile-long stretch of river, with pools and riffles, is ideal trout habitat with cold water flowing from the dam and plenty of aquatic insects. Toss a fly out for brown and brook trout that average 15 inches in length, as well as massive rainbow trout. The tailwaters below the dam is catch and release only. Fishing is restricted to artificial flies and lures. Bring a stocked fly box and waders to have fishing fun.
- If you forget some essential gear, you can rent it at the Stagecoach. Kayaks, canoes, pontoon boats, and standup paddleboards can be rented at the Marina in summer. Ice fishing gear and snowshoes are free for use for hikes and fishing at the park. Pick them up at the park office.
Recommended season(s): Year-round.
—Stewart M. Green