This ranching town near Steamboat Springs is best known for its Yampa Valley Regional Airport, which most visitors to Colorado's far northwest fly in and out of on commuter flights from Denver or less-frequent, direct commercial flights from major cities around the U.S.
However, Hayden is also a great jumping-off point for some of the state's top outdoor adventures. Located in beautiful Routt County, Hayden is near the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest, Mt. Zirkel and Sarvis Creek Wilderness Areas. Opportunities for backpacking, hiking and biking abound in these nationally protected open spaces, while water enthusiasts and campers will enjoy state parks including Stagecoach, Steamboat Lake and Pearl Lake, and Elkhead Reservoir. Hunting and fishing are major draws around the Hayden and Steamboat area. Camping here is a year-round favorite due to Hayden's spectacular landscapes.
Hayden has several parks and family-owned restaurants. Learn about the town's residents, including cowboys and cowgirls, homesteaders and coal miners, at Hayden Heritage Center, a quaint museum located in the historic 1918 Moffat Railroad Depot Building; or take the historic walking tour for a peek at some of enclave's orginal buildings, many of which were built prior to 1910.
For some of the best downhill skiing in the nation, many locals head about 20 miles east to Steamboat Springs. Those feeling a little more adventurous can try out the local dogsled tours.
For an itinerary of things to do nearby, read A Summer Day in Steamboat Springs.