About Steamboat Springs
Steamboat’s unique mix of warm sun, cowboy boots and friendly locals lends an inviting, laid back atmosphere to the historic Colorado resort town, where western heritage meets abundant outdoor adventure. You’ve can envision it now: Waking up from a great night’s sleep next to a cozy fire, walking onto your flagstone patio, the crisp morning air greeting you as you sip your morning beverage. Next, you take in the panoramic view of the high Rocky Mountains, your backdrop to another gorgeous day.
Steamboat Springs was originally a summer resort. Travelers as far back as 1900 visited Steamboat Springs in the summer months for the natural hot springs and vast hunting and fishing opportunities.
Today, the snow falls in abundance in the winter months, and Steamboat Springs has become known as Ski Town, USA® and renowned for its world class skiing and famed Champagne Powder®.
Colorado’s Yampa Valley is located just 160 miles northwest of Denver. From Denver, take I-70 west through the Eisenhower Tunnel to the Silverthorne exit; go north on Colorado Highway 9 to Kremmling, then west on U.S. Highway 40 to Steamboat Springs. From Salt Lake City (390 miles), take I-80 east, merge into U.S. 40 east (exit 148) and take U.S. 40 into Steamboat Springs.
FACTS & FIGURES
Steamboat Ski Area: Base: 6,900′ Summit/Mt. Werner: 10,568′
Medicine Bow/Routt National Forest: 5,500′ to 12,940′
Mt. Zirkel Wilderness: Fifteen peaks reach 12,000′ with Mt. Zirkel the highest at 12,180′
Flat Tops Wilderness: Devil’s Causeway 11,600′
Hahn’s Peak Village: 8,128′ Hahn’s Peak Summit: 10,839′
Steamboat Springs lies against the western ridge of the Continental Divide and is nearly surrounded by national forest and wilderness areas. The Yampa River begins in the Flat Tops Wilderness Area, flows through downtown Steamboat Springs and eventually meets the Green River in Dinosaur National Monument. Steamboat Springs boasts two ski areas, three Colorado State Parks, more than 150 natural springs, lakes, rivers, and trail systems cater to a plethora of outdoor activities.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 10.1 square miles (26 km2), all of it land except for the Yampa River.
The Yampa Valley and surrounding area contain several geothermal hot springs. The city is named after the Steamboat Spring, located near the present-day library and the old train depot. The spring itself was so named because its bubbling sounded like a steamboat to early settlers. Unfortunately, the construction of the railroad, which passes right next to the Steamboat Spring, silenced the chugging sound in 1908. Locals take pride in the name of their town, as evidenced by the humorously named Steamboat Yacht Club, a local restaurant formerly located on the Yampa River, but has since been closed. It has since been reopened under a different name.
Though there are no steamboats in the town, except for an allegorical “steamboat” playground in West Lincoln Park, the area does offer two hot springs that are open to the public. The largest is at the Old Town Hot Springs, with multiple pools and two slides. Located in the hills a few miles out of town is Strawberry Park Hot Springs, with two pools and natural rock features. Strawberry Park Hot Springs offers excellent stargazing opportunities due to the lack of ambient light.
The Yampa River flows through the middle of town.
Steamboat Springs’ summers are mild, cool and dry. July is the hottest month with an average high of 82 degrees and low of 41 degrees. Low humidity and elevation combine to make the summer comfortable and pleasing.
|Climate data for Steamboat Springs, Colorado (1981–2010)|
|Average high °F (°C)||28.8
|Average low °F (°C)||2.6
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||2.30
|Average snowfall inches (cm)||38.2
AREA ATTRACTIONS & POINTS OF INTEREST
- Strawberry Park Hot Springs: 7 miles from town
- Old Town Hot Springs: located downtown at Third Street and Lincoln Avenue
- Fish Creek Falls: 3 miles from downtown
- Continental Divide Trail: Summit Lake trailhead 18 miles from downtown
- Steamboat Lake State Park: 27 miles north of downtown
- Stagecoach State Park: 17 miles south of downtown
- Yampa River Core Trail: 7 miles of paved trail winding along the Yampa River through downtown Steamboat Springs
- Tread of Pioneers Museum: located downtown at Eighth and Oak streets
Skiing, river sports and cycling
The Yampa river is a popular conduit for water sports like fishing, rafting, tubing, and kayaking . The 4-mile (6.4 km) grade II-III whitewater run through town ends with two surfable holes. One is called D-Hole; the other one—near the library, close to the Steamboat Spring—is named Charlie’s Hole or C-Hole for short, after local kayaker Charlie Beavers (1981–2002). Beavers started kayaking at age 12, was the first to explore a number of rivers and successfully contended in kayaking competitions. He died in a non-boating accident in 2002. The hole and some kayaking events were dedicated to him.
Every year on the first weekend of June, Steamboat Springs organizes the Yampa River Festival. It includes a kayak rodeo (i.e. a playboating competition) which attracts national and international world class kayakers. Additional events include but are not limited to a downriver race which is Colorado’s only upstream slalom race, and The Crazy River Dog Contest, in which dogs retrieve sticks from the river and may pass a whitewater section. One of the winter’s most popular on-mountain events is the annual mid-January Cowboy Downhill.
In 2011, Steamboat Spring’s was recognized by the League of American Bicyclists as a Gold Level Bicycle Friendly Community. In 2013 Steamboat Springs will host another stage of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, a multi-stage professional cycling race, which draws over 1 million onsite reviewers and was recently nominated by Cycling News as the World’s Best Stage Race.