Clark provides access to Steamboat Lake, National Forest

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— A short drive north from Steamboat Springs on Routt County Road 129 welcomes travelers to Steamboat Lake State Park, a popular and beautiful summer destination that offers an abundance of recreational opportunities.

Located just north of the town of Hahn's Peak, the 1,000-acre state park hails itself as a park for all seasons.

However, it's during the summer that the park receives most of its visitors. Nearly 200 campsites -- some of which offer electricity and are RV-friendly -- dot the area, providing visitors a peaceful spot to star gaze and enjoy the solitude of Northwest Colorado.

Campsite prices vary from $12 to $18 a night. A $5 vehicle pass is needed to enter the park.

Once inside, visitors can explore hiking trails, fish the lake or go for a boat ride. Anglers must follow Colorado Division of Wildlife fishing regulations at the lake.

The park's full service marina rents boats, or visitors can bring their own. Parts of Steamboat Lake are wakeless.

A swim beach allows guests to take a dip in the cool water on a warm Colorado afternoon.

A park interpreter offers nature programs throughout the summer. Pontoon boat tours are also part of the park's summer program.

Though U.S. Forest Service land surrounds much of Steamboat Lake, backcountry access is limited because private land borders the park.

Campsite reservations fill up quickly during summer months, so park employees recommend visitors call and reserve spots ahead of time. The toll-free reservation number is 1-800-678-2267.

Several private businesses in the area provide a slew of recreational activities. Steamboat Lake Outfitters offers horseback riding, all-terrain vehicle tours, fishing trips, pack trips, cabins and lodging. A restaurant and bar are on site. For more information on Steamboat Lake Outfitters programs, call 879-4404.

Just a few miles south of Steamboat Lake is Pearl Lake, which offers 38 campsites for visitors. Like Steamboat Lake State Park, Pearl Lake offers hiking trails and fishing opportunities. Pearl Lake is a wakeless lake.

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