The last stop on my 2013 summer road trip was Steamboat Springs, Colorado. I wanted to camp as close as possible to the town of Steamboat for easy access to the nearby trails and other amenities, and the Dry Lake Campground was really the only option within 20 miles.
Located just up the mountain, Dry Lake is a quick 6-mile drive from downtown. If you prefer to bike or hike to town, the Spring Creek Trail runs straight from the campground, down the mountain, into Steamboat Springs.
With only 8 campsites and 1 vault toilet, this campground is by no means big. However, the camping prices reflect that: camping here is only $10 per night.
While this camping loop doesn’t house very many sites, each of the sites is spread out well away from the others, for some nice privacy.
Even though this campground isn’t very fancy, its proximity to the town of Steamboat Springs makes it very popular. I rolled in here on a Monday midday, after all of the weekend campers had pulled up stakes. We set up the camper, registered, and went down to town for dinner. By that evening, the campground had already filled back up with a wave of new campers coming in. All through the week I was there, campers filtered in and out of the sites, thanks to the first-come, first-served policy.
So if you want to grab a spot at Dry Lake, be sure to come at the right time. If you can’t seem to snag one, try driving up the road towards Buffalo Pass. The road is rough, but there are plenty of dispersed campsites available, including some with views so incredible that I was tempted to leave the site we had paid for and move the camper when I saw it!