Steamboat Springs Colorado
Lush greenery in the Mount Zirkel Wilderness
Bathing in the naturally warm waters of Strawberry Hot Springs
A wintry scene in downtown Steamboat Springs
Horses graze in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains
Browsing shops on popular Lincoln Avenue
Admiring colorful foliage at the Yampa River Botanic Park
A rustic barn at scenic Steamboat Lake
Bright autumn colors decorate the scenic trails of Buffalo Pass
Al fresco dining with a view at Salt & Lime
Old West charm meets mountain recreation and hot springs
The Way of the West
Steeped in history, Steamboat Springs captures the essence of Western life. Downtown is anchored by Lincoln Avenue, a hub of activity lined with the brick facades of shops, restaurants, galleries and more. One of the most legendary of these is F.M. Light & Sons, a Western apparel store that’s been outfitting cowpokes since 1905. Stop in for a unique souvenir to bring a taste of the Old West home with you. Dive into the area’s history at the Tread of Pioneers Museum, which takes visitors on a journey through time and explores the legacies of Indigenous peoples, ranching, mining, pioneers, skiing and more in this rugged and beautiful region. Nearby, the Steamboat Art Museum showcases artwork that reflects Western culture and heritage. Finally, don’t miss the summertime Steamboat Springs Pro Rodeo, a thrilling weekend series that includes bull riding, barrel racing and other events.
Make a Splash
With an array of rivers, lakes, springs and waterfalls in the area, it’s no wonder that Steamboat Springs is a haven for water lovers. Of course, no trip is complete without a visit to one of the famous hot springs. For a rustic experience, Strawberry Park Hot Springs’ series of cascading, mineral spring-fed pools provide a soothing respite north of town. Soak in the warm waters, enjoy a rejuvenating massage or even stay the night in a cabin, covered wagon or train caboose. On Lincoln Avenue, the family-friendly Old Town Hot Springs boasts multiple pools of varying temperatures, water slides and a fitness center.
The Yampa River snakes along the length of the town and offers a prime opportunity to take part in more adventurous water activities — including tubing, kayaking and rafting — for all skill levels. It’s also ideal for anglers who are looking to cast a line in search of rainbow and brown trout in the swirling waters. And to behold one of the most breathtaking natural attractions nearby, head to Fish Creek Falls. The 85-meter cascade is especially thunderous in the spring when the snow melts and rushes through, plummeting into the creek below.
The natural environment that Steamboat Springs calls home lends itself to a variety of outdoor experiences, ranging from leisurely to heart-pumping. Soak up the scenery at the Yampa River Botanic Park, a peaceful oasis where you can meander among gardens, sculptures and wildlife. Pick up the pace and take in alpine views on any number of hiking and biking trails, including the Emerald Mountain trail system. The 6-kilometer out-and-back Emerald Mountain Quarry trail is a moderate route that’s easy to reach from town. And if you’re looking to hit those iconic Colorado slopes come winter, you won’t be disappointed in a place that’s adopted the moniker Ski Town, USA. With both Steamboat Ski Area and Howelsen Hill, you can ski, snowboard, tube, snowmobile and more on Steamboat’s acclaimed light and fluffy snow, dubbed Champagne Powder®.
Ranching is an important part of Steamboat Springs’ history, and downtown Lincoln Ave was built to accommodate the width of cattle drives heading through town.
Legend says the name Steamboat Springs originated around the early 1800s, when French trappers thought they heard the chugging sound of a steamboat engine. The sound turned out to be a natural mineral spring.
Steamboat Springs has produced 100 (and counting!) winter Olympians, thanks to its vibrant winter sports scene.