There’s a saying here in Steamboat Springs that you come for the winters and stay for the summers. And truer words have never been spoken. It’s the Champagne Powder® that draws newcomers here, but it’s the incredible vistas and ability to be outside in nature 365 days a year that make them want to set down roots.
Winter is all about the powder pursuits, from skiing and snowboarding to sleigh rides and snowmobiling. Evergreens caked in the purest snow set against pure blue skies. Cocktails by a fire pit isn’t a rare treat here, it’s a way of life. And many restaurants, and your neighbors, are happy to oblige. Mt. Werner’s peak sits at a glorious 10,568 ft and offers guests and residents 2,956 acres of skiable and ridable terrain across 170 runs, with 17 lifts to get you to the powder stash of your dreams.
Spring skiing is one of the great social events of any season, with people camped out at “the beach” in their t-shirts and snow pants. And as the snow begins to melt the rivers begin to swell. Hiking Fish Creek Falls, and taking in the stunning 280-foot falls is a perennial favorite among locals and visitors. The trails begin to dry out, the wildflowers begin to bloom and everyone begins to come out of their Winter hibernation. More than 80 hiking trails are just waiting for you to explore Northwest Colorado on your time, and at your pace. The lakes and rivers also come alive for kayaking, paddle boarding and canoeing. You’ll see bumper stickers around town that say “The Yampa is wild.” And it is. In the Spring the Yampa runs fast and hard, and you can see expert kayakers attempting a slalom course. For most of us, though, it’s best to wait a little longer before we take to the river that winds its way through town and functions as the heart and soul of this valley.
As Spring gives way to Summer, the river finds its rhythm. It’s time for flyfishing and floating and just taking minute to relax and dip your toes into the pure, clear water. Summer also marks the return of our Farmers Market, the Saturday social event from May to September. Get your groove on with our free concert series, and kick back with quiet evenings under a blanket of stars. And Steamboat is the perfect home base for road tripping. Take off west to Utah, north to Wyoming or south into the rest of Colorado. And when you return to Steamboat Springs, go golfing, mountain biking, horseback riding, or whatever else you feel like getting into—here the possibilities are endless.
After a glorious Summer, green turns to yellow and gold and red. The hillsides come alive as the temperatures begin to dip. This is the time when your favorite hiking trails take on an entirely new landscape full of color. It’s when t-shirts give way to flannels and when walking through the woods gives way to chopping and stacking for the Winter. Things get quieter here in the Fall. One of our “shoulder seasons,” it’s when parking downtown is a breeze and when friends gather in our world-class restaurants to catch up before the craziness of Winter sets in. It’s a wonderful time of year to explore our art galleries and shops downtown, especially during the First Friday Artwalks, and Sidewalk Sales.
Steamboat is a ranching town with a skiing problem. We’re not flashy. We’re not celebrity obsessed. We are a real community of real people who genuinely care about our friends and neighbors. And that might be why we have more than 150 non-profits in this little valley. Lifting each other up is what we do. As a new resident of Steamboat Springs, we encourage you to find a non-profit you’re passionate about and volunteer with them when you can. It’s a great way to meet new people while doing some good in your new home.
No one can really describe the “Yampa Valley Curse,” it’s a little different for everyone. But you’ll know you’ve been bitten by the bug if Steamboat is always lingering in the back of your mind. If when you think about your memories here it tugs at your heart just a little bit more than other destinations you’ve visited. The “Curse” got hold of me the first time I set foot in this valley. It’s a very special place I get to call home, and I’m glad I heeded the call. I look forward to helping you find your home, and your footing, here in the Yampa Valley.