Last updated: November 30, 2021
High-clearance, four-wheel drive vehicles are strongly recommended.
The unpaved 18 mile (29 km) Yampa Bench Road connects the Echo Park Road with the monument's southeast boundary. From there, Moffat County dirt roads lead to US Highway 40. The Yampa Bench Road runs along a large "bench" (flat area) above the Yampa River. Several viewpoints, trails, and historic sites provide access to the area's dramatic scenery and history. Wildlife such as mule deer, elk, pronghorn may be occasionally seen.
Camping is not permitted along the Yampa Bench Road. All vehicles and bikes must remain on roads. The following vehicle types are prohibited: all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), off highway vehicles (OHVs), utility terrain vehicles (UTVs), and non-street legal dirt bikes.
The road is winding with some narrow and steep sections. A few small stream crossings may hold water and mud for extended periods. The road crosses soft sand deposits in several places. In dry conditions, the Yampa Bench Road is considered relatively easy for high-clearance, four-wheel-drive (4WD) vehicles. The road impassable for all vehicles when wet and during the winter.
There is no food, fuel, restrooms, paved areas, or services along the entire length of the Yampa Bench Road. Cell phone service is not reliable. In the event of an emergency, it could take several hours for help to reach you. Let someone know where you're going and when to expect you back. Bring snacks and supplies, and pack out all waste.
- Drive carefully! Make sure your vehicle is in good shape and that you drive appropriately for the terrain and road conditions. Visitors caught in the backcountry with disabled vehicles may face towing fees in excess of $1,000.
- Bring water! There is no potable water along the entire length of the Yampa Bench Road. This is an arid environment. Summer temperatures often exceed 100°F (38°C). Bring at least 1 gallon (4 liters) of water per person, per day. Bring more if you'll be active.
No sites of interest along this road are paved or wheelchair accessible.
There is no potable water and no restrooms along the entire length of the Yampa Bench Road. The nearest in-park restroom is located at the Echo Park Campground.