One of Steamboat's best kept secret is the summertime. There is little humidity here, so even if the temperatures are high, it's cool in the shade and it always cools down at night. Remember to bring a long sleeved jacket or sweatshirt for summer nights.
Free concert series: Check the local papers for these events, usually held at Howelson Hill or the base of the mountain. There are many good groups of musicians that come through here in the summer (and winter) and the concert is FREE. I bartend the beer tents at these events in the summer so if you mention virtual tourist....I can give you a "local's discount" on beer!!
Hiking and such: Fish Creek falls seems to be a very popular place to go for one of those "light" hikes. It's a short jog from the parking lot to the lower falls, and possible when water is low enough to adventure among the large boulders. If water is low enough you can boulder jump towards the falls and there are some nice pools to play in. Chipmonks are little gluttons and used to being fed, great entertainment for kids. If you are adventurous you can hike up to the second falls, about a 5 mile hike. Well worth the effort though. Just remember, if you are following the trail upwards, bring plenty of water, and something to eat....peanut butter and jelly is the BEST after a long hike, as are protein bars and the like. Also wear appropriate shoes and clothing, and make sure you allow plenty of time for the hike up and down before dark.
Also...if you want to experience some great hikes, there are 2 local book stores(down town) that carry books about hiking trails around Steamboat. If you go into the National Forrest, please, leave nothing but footprints.
Tubing the Yampa....a must...you can rent tubes right downtown.
ALWAYS check the local paper for events....right in the front of the paper it gives a list of events and such around town for the next few days. Papers are free for the weekdays and Saturday and found at several locations around town.
As stated by many, the springs are a must when visiting Steamboat, winter or summer. Know that they are clothing optional after dark, and only 18 or older after dark because of that. The local papers, both free, have listings of happenings about Steamboat (The Pilot, and The Local) Both papers are usually found at the post office, or in many other places around town. If you happen to be in town when they are having a fire show or African drums at the springs you MUST NOT miss this!! It is a wonderful experience. A friend of mine who visited from California called it "clubbin in the wilderness"
It can be a harry drive up there, but there are some local outfits that will take you and pick you up. Sweet Pea tours is one.
You can also hike in the back way, from the Mad Creek trailhead parking lot, there is another trail that will take you (eventually) into the back side of the springs. Only during the day is this recommended since the trail is ....well a mountain hiking trail.
The opera's largest production to date-- Puccini's greatest dramatic work will be sung in Italian (with surtitles) by a fabulous cast of stars from the rosters of the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera and your local favorites.
Snowboarding here is a premier place. Something like 100 trails. Well 160 I think it says. We maybe did 30? Maybe.. I find it hard to believe by looking at the map . But whatever. Was pretty good. Some icey spots, wasnt as much snow as had hoped even after a huge snowstorm the week before. It did do some snowing so we found some spots with fresh powder.
Fish Creek Falls was just a couple of miles outside of downtown. From the location were you leave your car at the self service pay station to the Falls is only about a quarter of a mile. The walk is very easy and short, just be careful because the altitude makes you feel like you are out of breath.
The falls were beautiful and like i said, not too far from downtown. You cant get lost either because there are signs pointing you in the right direction, everywhere.
The place to buy your wine and beer is at " CENTRAL PARK LIQUOR " located at 1835 Central Park Plaza . In cannot be missed . Easily accessable using the shuttle buses .
They have some 1400 different wines on display and 325 types of beer , from all over. The wine selection is superb considering this is Colorado . Prices are reasonable , not like Whistler . In late March they were having a sale on some wines . Really good deals .
Day 4, everyone went skiing..we went snowmobiling. For 20 dollars more than a one day lift ticket, it was a blast, beautiful and a welcome change from the mountain. The skiers only lasted an hour on the slopes and wish they had joined us for an afternoon of snowmobiling fun. Get your own snowmobile, stand up on it and have fun. Get 5 dollar off coupons at your lodging or ski rental shop.
Just right outside of town, Fish Creek Falls is the most popular waterfall in proximity to Steamboat. The park is commonly packed with tourists, locals running or walking dogs, and those wanting to just relax at the foot of the falls. The falls are divided into upper and lower sections with a bridge crossing over the two parts. I've tried to scale the rocks leading into the falls and I'll tell you that it is dangerous. The currents are swift, and the rocks are slippery. I had cut my feet and legs from top to bottom after my adventures. Although exciting, maybe you shouldn't wander around under the falls.
There are several hiking paths that take you to the falls and above the falls. These make perfect day hikes. Come early, pack a lunch, and relax with your feet in the falls after a short yet mildly-strenuous hike.
Here you can see the sweet runs that skiiers from all over come for. This is great skiing country and make sure to take advantage of all runs on the resort. It will take you a few days to see it all, but it is well worth it.
What else can you do beside snowboarding and downhill skiing? You can snowmobile, horseback ride, sleigh ride or get a massage. Cross-country ski on more than 30km of trails, or explore the backcountry on snow-shoes or go tubing right on the mountain with your kids. When you're done, sample more than 70 restaurants and bars, and then take a dip in the restorative waters of the mineral hot springs.
If you want to relax your bones from a long days hike or if you just want to be in a most beautiful place... check out Strawberry Park Hot Springs. There are 3 different pools of temperature choice and they are open all year round,
While skiing dominates the winter season, the weather is quite nice in the summer. In fact, it can even get quite hot. Grab a inner tube (you can rent one from many vendors located along the river) and float down the Yampa River.
Lift System (20 total lifts)
1 Gondola (8-passenger)
2 High Speed Detachable Quads with Bubbles Covers
2 High Speed Detachable Quads
1 Conventional Quad Chair
6 Triple Chairs
2 Surface Lifts
Uphill Capacity: 34,658 skiers per hour
Snowmaking: 438 acres
Annual Snowfall: Over 335'/851 cm (10yr average)
Base elevation: 6,900 feet/2103 meters
Midway: 9,080 feet/2768 meters
Summit: 10,568 feet/3224 meters
Vertical rise: 3,668 feet/1118 meters, Second highest in Colorado.
Trail system: 142 named trails (over 65 miles, 105 kms of trails)
Permitted acres: 2,939 acres
Longest run: Why Not, over 3 miles
Trail classification: 13% Beginner 56% Intermediate 31% Advanced
Uphill capacity: 36,658 per hour
Snowmaking: 438 acres
Annual snowfall: Over 363 inches!
Bed base: 20,208 Pillows
Well it's not called Steamboat Springs for nothing you know! All year round, the hot springs are always hot. And there are many to choose from. Most can be reached right in town. One of my favorites is Strawberry Park Hotsprings. It's kind of out of town but it's well worth it. It's a funky little area at the end of a long dirt road. It reminds me of the hippy communes of the 60's but it's much nicer. Cost is 10(US$) for as long as you want to spend. In summer the lush greenery by itself is reason enough to take the drive out but the springs are wonderful as well. In town, there is a Pro Rodeo every Friday and Saturday night from June 16th through August 26th right downtownat the Rodeo grounds by Howlsen Park. There are many mountain and road bike races all summer long as well as art exhibits, concerts and festivals all celebrating the beautyand excitement of Steamboat.
Obviously in the winter the skiing is phenomenal! Powder hounds abound through town! The dry crystaline powder and the long Aspen glade runs are world famous for good reason. The ski area is very large and since the city is kind of an island in the wilderness of northern Colorado, it doesn't attract as many people as the front range areas. There are also ample opportunites to snowmobile, snowshoe, crosscountry ski, hike, bike, hunt and fish in Steamboat.
It's a good slice of Colorado with real western ranches and cowboys mixing with the city folk and athletes that make up this town.